What is Community Organizing?
• Art of bringing people together on behalf of and/or in response
to a common interest
• Community organizing is used for relationship building and
• It is designed to create power in and/for a community
• Creating an alliance between groups of people/communities
• Begins with identifying issues that agitate people on a certain issue
enough for them to do something about it
• Collaboration through self-interest builds power to effect positive
change in communities
Identifying the issues
1. Determine a goal
- Example: hold a meeting or retreat to present common interests
2. Group agrees on campaign issue
- Example: affordable housing in the city of Chicago
3. Formation of a coalition to campaign on selected issue
- Example: Sweet Home Chicago (SHC)
Origin of Community Organizing
• Community organizing grew out of the labor movement in the 30’s
• Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN) and
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is an example of labor
and community organization collaboration in the city of Chicago
• Leadership development is one of the major objectives
• Building an outside base is key to collaboration
• Ironically, over the past couple of decades, the labor movement has
been reborn because of relationships established through community
Community Organizing Tools
• Door Knocking
• Phone Banking
• Media/Press Conference
• Group Meetings
• What is power?
• How to build power?
• Who controls the power?
Q & A’s
• Does community organizing have an impact in Chicago?
• Can you name some examples?
• Have you ever volunteered or worked for a community organization?
• What kind of issues are you interested in working on?
• Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals , by
Saul D. Alinsky (1971)
• Mayor 1%, by Kari Lydersen (2013)