COMM-ORG Papers 2003

From the Ground Up:

The Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s Approach to
Building Community Capacity

Prepared by

Suzanne Blanc, Ph.D.
Matthew Goldwasser, Ph.D.
Research for Action
Joanna Brown
Logan Square Neighborhood Association

 February 2003


Preface: Reflections on a Collaborative Research Project

Executive Summary

Chapter I: Documenting the Contributions of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association
     Building Community Capacity and Grassroots Community Organizing
     Overview of Research and Findings
     Lenses for Understanding the Process of Capacity Building
          Looking through the Lens of Relationship Building
          Looking through the Lens of Leadership Development
          Looking through the Lens of Democratic Participation
          Looking through the Lens of Building Power and Changing Policy
     Summary of Chapter I
     Outline of the Report

Chapter II: Logan Square and the Evolution of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association
     Portrait of Logan Square
     Historical Overview
     The Current Chicago Context
          LSNA and Chicago Public Schools
          Citywide Development Policies: The Impact on Housing in Logan Square
               Rental Properties in Chicago
               Homeownership in Chicago and Logan Square
               Displacement in Logan Square and LSNA’s Response
     LSNA Today
          LSNA and its Executive Director
          The Development of LSNA’s Holistic Plan
     Negotiating Different Agendas and Competing Interests
     Managing Differences within LSNA
          Working-Class Leadership
     Contributions to the Study of Community Capacity Building

Chapter III:  LSNA–Building Community Capacity through School/Community Partnerships
     The Interdependence of Schools and Communities
     Using the Four Lenses
          Building Power and Changing Policy
               Sustained Campaigns
               Public Recognition of LSNA's Agenda
          Building Relationships
               New Relationships among Community Members
               Enhanced Communication between Parents, Teachers, and Students
               New Networks Developed
          Leadership Development
               Individual and Family Empowerment
               Leadership Roles in the School
          Democratic Participation
     Summary of Chapter III

Chapter IV: LSNA–Building Community Capacity through a Sustained Campaign for Affordable Housing
     LSNA’s Strategies for Supporting Neighborhood Stability
          Early to Late 1970s—Housing Development
          Late 1970s to mid-1980s—Tenant Issues
          1980s to 1990s—Creative Approaches to Homeownership
          Current—Multiple Approaches to Affordable Housing
     Using the Four Lenses
          Building Relationships
               Building Relationships between Organizers and Community Members
               Building Relationships across Groups and Organizations
               Benefits of Relationship Building and Challenges Faced
          Leadership Development
          Democratic Participation
          Building Power and Changing Policy
               Building Power through the Zoning Committee
               Negotiating Tensions with Politicians and City Officials
               Increasing Visibility through Public Action
     Directions for the Future
     Summary of Chapter IV

Chapter V: Concluding Comments and Recommendations
     Contributions to Community Capacity Building
     Strategic Implications for other Organizations
     Issues for the Future of LSNA

     Appendix I: Balanced Development Platform
     Appendix II: Research Methodology
     Appendix III: Documentation Project Activity
     Appendix IV: Data Collection by RFA
     Appendix V: Sample Research Instruments

Works Cited



About the Authors