[COMM-ORG] No more "COMM-ORG Papers"?

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sun Aug 3 09:38:55 CDT 2014

[ed: thanks to Steve for the contribution.]

From: "sebarton" <sebarton at jps.net>

Hi Randy,
A few thoughts on the Papers.
1. If it is the case that standard journals are publishing more material 
about organizing, it would be very helpful to inform people who are not 
academics and can't access academic articles through their university 
library. Most copyright agreements allow the author to send individual 
copies on request and to post near-final versions on their personal web 

2. I don't know whether Papers on Comm-Org generate much in the way of 
feedback to the authors (that may just be my personal experience with my 
one paper back in 1997) but I haven't seen much discussion about the 
papers. Perhaps authors could also do a couple paragraphs on a major 
point they are trying to make in the paper and put those out for 
discussion and debate. It seems to me that one of the strengths of 
Comm-Org is that it has both academics and organizers, but I have the 
impression the dialog has not been as strong recently as it has been in 
the past.

3. I like the suggestion of a monthly (short) reading and discussion.

Now that I am retired from working for the City of Berkeley I am writing 
papers on Berkeley history and working on a local initiative campaign to 
put a windfall profits tax on high rents on the 2016 Berkeley ballot 
along with a companion measure to direct funding to affordable housing. 
See http://www.fundaffordablehousing.org/ for details.

It had not occurred to me to submit my recent papers to Comm-Org because 
they are at bit to one side of the Comm-Org focus. I reviewed the last 
40 years of progressive housing policy in Berkeley and wrote about the 
Socialist Mayor elected in Berkeley back in 1911 and the problems of the 
movements for socialism and land value taxation that he supported. But 
if anyone at Comm-Org is interested, just e-mail me 
(StephenBarton at alum.berkeley.edu) and I would be thrilled to have one 
more reader for any of my articles:
"Berkeley Mayor J. Stitt Wilson’s 1911 Synthesis of Socialism, Georgism 
and Feminism", presented at the 34th North American Conference of the 
Council of Georgist Organizations, Newport Beach, July 7 - 11, 2014
“This Social Mother in Whose Household We All Live: Berkeley Mayor J. 
Stitt Wilson’s Early Twentieth Century Socialist Feminism”, Journal of 
the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, forthcoming, Oct. 2014.
“From Community Control to Professionalism: Social Housing in Berkeley, 
California, 1976 – 2011”, Journal of Planning History, May 2014, 13:2, 
160 – 182.
“The City’s Wealth and the City’s Limits: Progressive Housing Policy in 
Berkeley, California, 1976 – 2011”, Journal of Planning History, May 
2012, 11:2, 160 – 178.

Thank you Randy, as always, for keeping Comm-Org going.
Best wishes,

Steve Barton

"Is not our whole civilization essentially a
social product? Back of every inventor
stands a thousand others who made his
invention possible. Back of every enterprising
capitalist stands the entire nation, without
which not one of his schemes could succeed.
No man can point to his pile of gold and say
‘Alone I earned it.’ What is called Socialism is
not a visionary plan for remodeling society;
it is a present fact, which is not yet recognized
in the distribution of wealth.”

Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, 1899
multi-millionaire inventor & manufacturer
Mayor of Toledo (1897 - 1904)
On 8/1/2014 9:48 AM, Discussion list for COMM-ORG wrote:
> --------
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
> --------
> Those of you who have been following the COMM-ORG papers series know 
> that, over the past couple of years, the number of papers as been 
> dwindling. So far, this year, I only have one paper in the queue.
> So, I have three requests of everyone. First, I'd like to know whether 
> anyone is writing anything about community organizing or things 
> related (which, for me, includes grass-roots people coming together to 
> plan, research, learn, create, etc.) that they would like to be part 
> of the collection.
> Second, and I'd like this to be a list discussion so I *will* post 
> your responses unless you tell me not to, I would be interested in 
> your thoughts on why there are fewer and fewer papers being sent to 
> COMM-ORG. I have a few hypotheses. One is that I am seeing more work 
> on community organizing in the mainstream journals and presses, so it 
> may just be that COMM-ORG isn't needed as an outlet any more (I got 
> involved in COMM-ORG in the '90s partly because of an editor who told 
> me that no one was interested in reading about community organizing). 
> Another is that there are more people with their own blogs, so again 
> they don't need COMM-ORG. And the scariest hypothesis, at least for 
> me, is that community organizing is falling out of fashion, which I 
> hope isn't true.
> Third, and related, I would like your thoughts on what to do if paper 
> submissions continue to decline. My initial idea is to shift from a 
> papers series to a kind of monthly featured readings series. So I 
> would look at the existing publicly accessible writings and link to 
> one each month. Other ideas?
> Thanks everyone.
> Randy Stoecker
> moderator/editor, COMM-ORG
> rstoecker at wisc.edu
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