Report to the West Bank CDC: 

Community Organizing in Cedar-Riverside

Randy Stoecker

During Summer and Fall of 2001 Randy Stoecker, in collaboration with the West Bank Community Development Corporation (WBCDC), embarked on a project to assess the community organizing needs and resources in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.  This neighborhood defended itself against a government-developer coalition that would have replaced the neighborhood with high-rise buildings in the 1970s.  In the wake of its victory, a community-controlled development process created low and medium density cooperative housing in the 1980s.*
In the new millennium, the neighborhood has changed dramatically.  In place of the community of 1960s radicals who defended their neighborhood and redeveloped it is now an energetic immigrant community of Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese, and Korean residents along with the remaining older community members.  The changing population has brought new challenges and opportunities and the WBCDC is thinking about how to best serve this changed community.  

This report actually has three sub-reports.  

The Primer on Community Organizing was distributed to WBCDC board members in September of 2001 to outline some of the general approaches to community organizing.  

Communities, CDCs, and Community Organizing
  was distributed in October to help board members understand some of the issues facing CDCs wanting to do community organizing.  

Community Organizing in Cedar-Riverside, Present and Future, was distributed in December of 2001 for initial comments and the final version was distributed in January of 2002.  This report includes the needs and resources analysis of the neighborhood.

The project also resulted in a community organization directory for the neighborhood.

The next step is for the WBCDC to discuss the community options available to them, based on their understanding of the neighborhood's needs and resources, and begin to develop a plan.

*see Randy Stoecker, Defending Community:  The Struggle for Alternative Redevelopment in Cedar-Riverside, Temple University Press, 1994.