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 The Continuing Job of Organizing

“The continuous job of the organizer is to impart skills and a way of thinking to leaders who then assume the role the organizer has been performing. This leaves the organizer free to move on, into new nonparticipating groups and into new areas of activity. This is particularly true in relation to committees whose leaders have gained expertise in the substance of their community issues and in the strategy and tactics of how to deal with them.

“This applies to the staff director’s relationship to the Steering Committee and its leaders, as well as the individual organizer’s relationship to any particular committee. The leaders of these committees become the organizers for each of them. In the course of the development of the organization, they learn the importance of keeping the organization in action on issues. If the organization does not remain in action, it will begin to chew itself up internally, as rivalries for position, tensions among groups, and disagreements on direction begin to take up the attention of the activists.

“However, successfully working oneself out of a job doesn’t mean the organizing function disappears. If no one is playing the role of organizer, an organization becomes stagnant and dies or gets co-opted. Organizers who stir the uninvolved to become involved, press to address more hard-to-solve issues, challenge complacent leaders, train new leaders, and otherwise prevent development of a comfortable status quo are the leaven that keeps the bread rising. (p. 83-4)  

A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER'S TALE by Mike Miller, Berkeley:Heyday Books, 2009. CSCO believes this is the best book on organizing. Miller has been with CSCO for many years.

Organizer's Job

Knowing the enemy

Educating the People

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  CSCO, P.O. Box 60123, Dayton, OH 45406; email: cscocbco@charter.net phone: 937-276-4077