=========================================================================
Date:    Wed, 25 Sep 1996 11:08:10 CDT
Sender:  H-Net/H-Urban Seminar on History of Community Organizing &
         (COMM-ORG@UICVM.UIC.EDU)
 
Posted by Wendy Plotkin (u13972@uicvm.uic.edu)

As a follow up to Ed Bontempo's and Stan Wenocur's comments, I'd
suggest that those interested in pursuing the evolution of Alinsky's
influence over time consult the bibliography in Randy Stoecker's and
Susan Stall's paper, "Community Organizing or Organizing Community?
Gender and the Crafts of Empowerment" (available at
http://h-net2.msu.edu/~urban/comm-org/alinsky).  Stoecker and Stall
acknowledge that some "Alinskyite" organizations have deviated from the
"classic" Alinsky model:
 
                Indeed, many Alinsky organizations are
     reluctant to engage in public conflict (Lancourt, l979;
     Bailey, 1972), and Alinsky followers such as Fred Ross,
     Cesar Chavez, and Ed Chambers increasingly emphasized
     private sphere issues and family and community relationship
     building (Reitzes and Reitzes, l987; Industrial Areas
     Foundation, l978).
 
Among the books cited often in this paper is Donald C. Reitzes
and Dietrich C. Reitzes, THE ALINSKY LEGACY: ALIVE AND KICKING
(Greenwich: JAI Press, 1987).  This is a set of essays
covering both Alinsky's career and the community organizations
spawned by him or his followers.  The Table of Contents is as
follows, including some comments on the topics covered:
 
 CHAPTER 1: Getting Acquainted
 
   About Alinsky the man.
 
 CHAPTER 2: Understanding Alinsky: Influences and Underlying Themes
 
   Discusses the connection between Alinsky, the "Chicago school
   of sociology" and de Tocqueville's views of U.S. society, among
   other influences.
 
 CHAPTER 3: Realigning and Reestablishing the Linkage Between Alinsky
   and the Social Sciences
 
   Examines Alinsky's views of community, power, and organization
   in light of contemporary sociological thought on these subjects.
 
 CHAPTER 4: Three Alinsky Community Organizations
 
   Discusses Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, TWO, and
   the Community Action Project (CAP) in Chicago, a broad-based
   citywide/metropolitan coalition in the early 1970s (initially
   addressing pollution)
 
  CHAPTER 5: The Industrial Areas Foundation
 
   Discusses the philosophy, structure, and programs of the IAF
   under Ed Chambers.
 
  CHAPTER 6: The IAF in Texas and California
 
   Discusses COPS in San Antonio, The Metropolitan
   Organization (TMO) in Houston, El Paso Interdenominational
   Sponsoring Organization (EPISO), Valley Interfaith in
   Brownsville (Texas), United Neighborhood Organization (UNO)
   and the South Central Organizing Committee (SCOC) in Los
   Angeles.
 
   CHAPTER 7: Heather Booth: The Midwest Academy and Citizen
     Action
 
   Discusses the alternative approaches used by Heather
   Booth, especially her endorsement of activist involvement
   in mainstream politics and espousal of short-term training
   for organizers (as opposed to the long-term, intensive
   training of the IAF).
 
   CHAPTER 8: Neighborhood Organizations, Coalitions and
     Training Centers: The Works of Thomas Gaudette, Gale
     Cincotta, and John Baumann
 
   Thomas Gaudette was an organizer in Chicago's West
   Side (and racially changing) Austin community who
   recruited Shel Trapp and Gale Cincotta for the
   Organization for a Better Austin.  Trapp and Cincotta
   eventually established National People's Action and
   the National Training and Information Center (NTIC).
 
   Offers a description of the anti-redlining activity of
   these organizations, a major part of their agenda in the
   1970s and 1980s, and other issues.
 
   Also examines the Oakland Community Organization (OCO)
   and the Pacific Institute for Community Organizations
   (PICO) in Oakland, California.
 
   Describes involvement of Gaudette and his trainee-priest
   John Baumann in establishment of Oakland Community
   Organizations (OCO) in late 1970s.  This Alinsky-style
   organization of organizations initially focused on issues
   such as rodent control, housing conditions, lack of recreational
   facilities, illegal dumping, and bad policing.  At time of book,
   (in 1987) had "over 100 local organizations and 50
   neighborhoods." (189)
 
   OCO was involved in municipal reform to make the city council
   more responsive through district elections, as well as affordable
   housing development and economic development (hiring of Oakland
   residents on all government assisted contracts).
 
   As a means of strengthening OCO, Baumann established the
   Pacific Institute for Community Organizations (PICO) as
   a resource for community organizations in Oakland and
   elsewhere.  PICO assists communities in establishing
   organizations by undertaking a community study to identify
   local problems and resources, and then assisting local leaders
   to mobilize support.  It relies heavily on churches as its
   principal institutional base, including Protestant and Catholic
   churches (the Campaign for Human Development is especially
   important as a Catholic resource).
 
   PICO  has developed a network of the organizations it has
   established to allow them to share resources and experiences on an
   ongoing basis.  In addition, it has moved from neighborhood issues
   to city and regional issues that require coalition building among
   organizations on a broader geographic scale.
 
   CHAPTER 9: Fred Ross and Cesar Chavez: Two Independent Organizers
 
   Describes the development of the Community Service Organization
   (CSO) in Los Angeles and the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).
 
   CHAPTER 10: Wrapping Up and Closing the Gaps
 
Those of you familiar with this book and/or the organizations (and
COMM-ORG is fortunate to include individuals who participated in
the above activities) are welcome to augment the above abstracts.
 
I'm also interested in recommendations and short descriptions of other
books that assess Alinsky and/or the organizations that adopted his
philosophy.
 
Wendy Plotkin
COMM-ORG