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         Sider Endorsement - On Power - Wheaton Professor - Rev. Youngblood - Community Organizing 
         Community Development - Democracy - Linthicum


 Winnability - The Key

“A totally different dynamic comes into play if the goal is building the people power necessary to hold major institutions accountable to provide quality education and child-care; decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing; well-paying and meaningful jobs; affordable health care; and whatever else the people of a community or an alliance of communities are willing to struggle for. A rational planning process in the usual sense is not possible, because you cannot determine the reaction of decision makers to whom you make proposals for change, nor the tactical opportunities that will emerge in a conflict.

“this dynamic is build around the idea of making proposals to decision makers in government, business, and major nonprofit sectors to change their policies, structures and procedures. … When reasonable proposals were rejected, and no alternatives put forward, the demand was for good-faith negotiations. Since your proposal might be rejected, you must have an idea of what sanctions you might bring to bear so that good-faith negotiations take place. This, in turn, requires increasing numbers of people to shift from passivity to activity so that people power can be brought to bear on what is now a conflict. Finally, in order to bring increasing numbers of people into participation, an organization has to make the case that their participation will lead to a result. Initial small victories are needed to demonstrate the efficacy of collective action to people who think of themselves as powerless. Thus, how ‘the system’ will respond is a prime consideration in issue selection. If an organization makes a mistake in evaluating ‘winnability,’ it must withdraw and engage in another arena; and it must withdraw in a way that doesn’t admit defeat.” (p. 94-5)  

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.

Participant's Ideology

Redefining Radical


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