Contents      Chapter 1      Chapter 2      Chapter 3      Chapter 4      Chapter 5      Apps/Notes/Refs


Community Organizing, Building and Developing: Their Relationship to Comprehensive Community Initiatives, by Douglas R. Hess


Appendix A       back to table of contents
Table 6: Comparison of Some CCIs to Community Organizing, Building and Development
 
CCI Location/Funder Organizing Building Development Comments
Community Organizing in the Rural South Multiple sites/

Meyer Foundation

Strong. Uses organizing methods, including electoral work, "so that the disenfranchised can achieve community decision-making."  12 Strong. Membership controlled organization in small community replaces survey or planning with direct control. Local culture/community awareness events (a form of building) are held. Moderate. Emphasis is on demanding services from government, although some service provision is conducted to meet "immediate needs."13 Like organizing and unlike most CCIs in its explicit focus on building power for residents to confront government, elect new officials or form new governments. 
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative  Boston, MA/ 

Multiple Funders

Strong. "Foundation for community development is community organizing . . . credits organizing for their success in gaining the cooperation and support of downtown power brokers . . . mobilizations gave people the energy and vision to participate in long term planning process."  14 15 Strong. Uses an asset-based model of community development. DSNI developed a comprehensive neighborhood plan which, coupled with political mobilization, lead to their winning eminent domain authority over 15 acres of land. Moderate. Has spun off several organizations tied to DSNI to handle development projects.  Unlike many CCIs with its roots in organizing residents for improved city services. Like the rural organizing projects, it uses its membership base for clout. DSNIís community planning and organizing feed off each other. 16   Emphasizes getting other affiliated institutions to do the development work. 17

 
CCI Location/Funder Organizing Building Development Comments
Neighborhood and Family Initiative  Multiple Sites/

Ford Foundation

Weak. Collaborative bodies are governed by a majority of non-residents.  18 Moderate. Projects are expected to engage residents in asset identification. Some NFI sites will fund existing community groups agendas, others have incorporated themselves. Strong. Focus on securing housing, education and employment through collaborating with brokers, local organizations and government on community plans. 19 Relationship with organizing intermediary did not produce authentic community organizing. 20
Community Building in Partnership Baltimore, MD/

Enterprise Foundation

Weak. Organizing turned into simple outreach. Board appointed by Mayor. 21 Moderate. Uses an asset-based model for planning and finding opportunities. E.g., discovering that there are 57 churches in 70 blocks led to discussion of their role in community renewal. However, participation did drop off.  22 Strong. Project has developed numerous housing and other service programs. However, as a result, the organization feels that it needs to "spin off" these projects as they limit its ability to serve as a leader in ideas for change, instead of as a developer.23 Close ties to elected officials raises questions about its independence.

 
CCI Location/Funder Organizing Building Development Comments
The Atlanta Project Atlanta, Georgia/

Carter Center

Weak. Started with new cluster organizations as collaboratives of corporate CEOs and neighborhood residents. Little accountability of corporations to join in the employment projects which were later seen as key. 24 Weak, started strong, but was over ambitious. Community planning process for 20 neighborhoods led to most failing because of insufficient roots in the communities and expectations raised too high, too fast. 25   Uses focus groups to identify community needs that policy officials should address. 26 Strong. Neighborhood centers were cluster service providers. TAP assures its neighborhoods are connected to available programs and streamlines these providersí systems. Major focus of programs is efficiency in planning and coordination. 27  
New Futures Multiple Cities/

Annie Casey Foundation

Weak. Started with collaborative bodies of city agencies and external institutions. 28 Moderate/Weak. Planning was often through the collaborative bodies and not community-owned process.  Unclear. Focus was on reforming services and schools in most sites and not development per se.  
Rebuilding Community Initiatives Multiple Cities/

Annie Casey Foundation

Strong/Moderate. Starts with existing community organizations including politically active ones. 29 Strong. Community organizations use community building methods and expand their role into the community planning. Strong. Many of the organizations selected for these CCIs have experience in development. Approaches CCI from an organizing and building background. Most development projects are to be affiliated, but not managed by the organization.30


Notes     back to table of contents

1 Thanks to Marshall Ganz for first suggesting a this sort of representation scheme (1998).

2 Conservative here meaning the organizing by the "neighborhood maintenance" model Fisher outlines is narrower in ideological scope and issue focus.

3 Unfortunately, the term community building is occasionally used as an umbrella term for all local initiatives. In this paper, I will reserve the term for those efforts that fit the definition given later in this chapter.

4 For a commonly cited study on how issues are kept off the agenda and hence become "non-issues", see Crenson (1972).

5 Sources for this review include: Alinksy (1971), Appleman (1996), Beckwith and Lopez (1997), Dailey 1998), Delgado (1986, 1994), Fellner (1998), Ganz (1996), Kest and Rathke (1979), Khan (1991), Shea (1998), Trapp (1976, 1984), Von Hoffman (undated).

6 See Smock (1997) on the close comparison of community building with communitarian thought on solving social problems.

7 In brief, the CRA is a law which community organizations have used to leverage billions of dollars in resources from banks conducting business in their neighborhoods. The law, and other regulations, allow community groups to track data on the banksí lending practices. This information can be used to accuse lending institutions of discrimination against certain geographic areas, a practice commonly know as redlining. Many of organizing networks use the CRA as a source of pressure for bringing financial institutions to the negotiating table. Almost every year a battle over the act ensues in Congress pitting grassroots organizations and their political allies against bankers, their political action committees and conservative politicians.

8 See also Dreier (1998).

9 In this paper the phrase community building will be reserved for those projects fitting the definition given in chapter 2.

10 See Taub (1996) for a discussion of why working on employment should be the largest concern of CCIs. See also Bhargava (1998), p. 6.

11 While the application of "consensus organizing" in the work of the Ford Foundationís Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) is not a CCI itself, the use of consensus organizing is common in CCIs and LISCís efforts can be interpreted as an early form of CCIs.

12 Eisen (1992), p.14.

13 Eisen (1992), p.16.

14 Esien (1992), p.21. See also Tullos (1996) and Medoff and Sklar (1994).

15 See also Tullos (1996).

16 Tullos (1996).

17 Burns and Spilka (1997), p. 12.

18 Eisen (1992), p. 34.

19 Chaskin and Garg (1997), p. 11.

20 Bhargava (1999).

21 Walsh (1997b), pp. 60-79 and p. 102.

22 Walsh (1997b), p. 62.

23 Walsh (1997b), p. 69.

24 Walsh (1997b), pp. 56-57

25 Walsh (1997b), p. 50 and p. 56

26 The Atlanta Project homepage on the internet. Accessed April 3, 1999. Address: http://www.CarterCenter.org/atlanta.html

27 The Atlanta Project homepage on the internet. Accessed April 3, 1999. Address: http://www.CarterCenter.org/atlanta.html

28 Walsh (1997a), Walsh (1997b) and Center for the Study of Social Policy (1995).

29 Burns and Spilka (1997) and Cippalone (1999).

30 Burns and Spilka (1997), pp. 13, 23.


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Contents      Chapter 1      Chapter 2      Chapter 3      Chapter 4      Chapter 5      Apps/Notes/Refs