Fall 2010
Tuesday/Thursday 10-11:25 a.m.
Professor Peter Dreier
Office: Urban & Environmental Policy Institute
Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday 3-5 pm and by appointment
Phone: (323) 259-2913
Class location: UEPI Conference Room

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What This Course is About

"Organizing," writes author Si Kahn, "is people working together to get things done." This course focuses primarily on community organizing efforts by people working together to improve their neighborhoods and cities. Community organizing can focus on a wide variety of issues - housing, the environment, public safety, public health and health care, child care, jobs, poverty, discrimination, and many others. We will also focus on union organizing as a compliment to community organizing.

The purpose of the course is to help prepare you to be effective leaders. Some of you may want to become professional organizers, but all of you are) and will continue to be) citizens in some community. If you want to be an effective, active citizen who can make a difference in your community, you will need to use the tools of leadership and organization-building.

The course examines the history of community organizing in the United States. It explores the different theories and approaches to effective grassroots organizing. It emphasizes the skills and techniques used to empower people so they can win victories and improve their communities.

Course Requirements

The course is intended to be a small, participatory seminar. Active student participation is critical to its success. The course involves five ways of learning:

1. We will read several books and a number of articles about organizing, including several case studies, and discuss them in class.

2. We will watch several films (including documentaries) and discuss them in class.

3. We will talk with several guest speakers who have experience as effective organizers.

4. We will participate in several hands-on exercises.

5. You will spend at least 12 hours a week working with a community organization in the L.A. area.

You should already have picked one of these groups to work with during the entire term. You will attend meetings and public events, work in the office, meet the staff and members, and undertake research that will help the organization achieve its goals.


Your grade will be based on four things:

1. Your participation in class. Students are expected to do the reading on time, participate in class discussions and exercises, and complete writing assignments on time.

2. Your participation in a community organization internship. Students are expected to be responsible volunteers and complete the tasks assigned to you. Each student should keep a journal about their internship experiences. The journal will be handed in at the end of the term. To evaluate your internship, we will discuss your work with the supervisor and with you.

3. Your participation in an on-campus organizing project

4. A short paper (15 pages) describing and analyzing your internship and the organization you worked with. The paper should draw on the class materials (readings, films, speakers, exercises) as well as your experiences and your journal. The paper should explain what you learned about community organizing especially, and how well the organization met the criteria of effective organizing. Some guidelines for your journal and final paper are attached at the end. A draft of this paper is due Thursday, November 18. The final version is due on Thursday, December 9. I won't accept any late papers.

Required Readings

Much of the course reading will be found in the books listed below. In addition, all readings with an asterisk (*) will be found on the Moodle site this course, which you get by first going to “My Oxy” on the library webpage. We may occasionally add or switch readings if we think it is appropriate.

Students should also regularly bring to class articles from newspapers or magazines that relate to the topics discussed in the course.

You should purchase the following paperback books. They are on sale at the Bookstore.

Si Kahn, Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall and Steve Max, Organizing for Social Change: A Manual for Activists, 4th edition

Mary Beth Rogers, Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power Politics

John Atlas, Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Organizing Group

Michael Lux, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be

Recommended Readings

The following paperback books are recommended for basic reference:

Kristin Szakos and Joe Szakos, We Make Change: Community Organizers Talk About What They DoB And Why. You will enjoy this book, which has lots of great profiles of and stories about effective organizers working in different parts of the country, in different kinds of organizations, on different issues.

Robert Fisher, Let the People Decide: Neighborhood Organizing in America (2nd edition)

This is the best overview of the history of community organizing. It describes various efforts and strategies to organize communities and neighborhoods in this century.

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals

Alinsky was the "father" of community organizing, starting in the 1940s. These two books are the "bibles" of organizing -- the lessons he learned from his decades as an organizer. They are both in paperback, easy to read, and full of great insights, most of which have stood the test of time.

Gregory Pierce, Activism That Makes Sense: Congregations and Community Organization

This book discusses the relationship between religious commitment and social activism and describes the role of religious faith in community organizing.

MoveOn.Org, 50 Ways to Love Your Country

This is MoveOn's guide to political activism and the many ways Americans can be effective citizens

Charlotte Ryan, Prime Time Activism

This book is a handbook for grassroots activists about dealing with the media.

Mark Warren, Dry Bones Rattling

This is case study of effective community organizing around a variety of issues in Texas. It is also an analysis of how community organizing relates to the persistent crisis of American democracy -- inequalities of power, participation, and policymaking.

Rinku Sen, Stir it Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy and Makani Themba, Making Policy, Making Change: How Communities are Taking Law into Their Own Hands.

These two books document grassroots organizing campaigns that focus on media and policy advocacy; the Themba book focuses on public health issues. She includes a chapter case study on the Community Coalition's organizing campaign to shut down liquor stores in South Los Angeles.

Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos. Tools for Radical Democracy. How to Organize for Power in your Community

This how-to manual includes: 1) In-depth analysis of how to launch and win a campaign; 2) Tools, worksheets and guidelines for training people to lead their own campaigns and organizations; 3) Insights for using technology effectively, building more powerful alliances, and engaging in the social justice movement.

Lunchtime Discussions and Films

In addition to speakers we've invited to our seminar, several prominent activists, policymakers, and thinkers will be speaking on campus for lunchtime discussions (11:30 am to 1 pm) with the class, immediately following the class. They are listed in the syllabus and at the end of the syllabus. These are all very busy people. Some may have to cancel or reschedule at the last minute, but we will alert you as soon as we know.

Web Sites

I hope that all of you will use the internet to connect to the larger worlds of public policy, advocacy, and organizing. There are thousands of web sites that deal with social issues and thousands of advocacy organizations and political networks that have their own web sites. Here are several key sites with which you should be familiar. We encourage you to bookmark them so you can find them easily.

Community Organizing and Development ( -- This site is a link with hundreds of groups involved in urban community development. If you want to find out what groups are working on different urban issues, this is the site. It also has many articles and reports on urban community development and community organizing.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (, the National Housing Institute (, the Metropolitan Initiative (, Planners Network (, Civic Practices Network (, and Citistates ( all focus on innovative research and programs that strengthen urban neighborhoods and metropolitan areas. Each site has links to many other resources about particular issues, programs, cities, and metropolitan areas.

Campus Activism ( is a good source of information about organizing efforts on college campuses around different issues. Campus Progress ( is one of the most effective progressive student groups, with lots of resources and information on its website. The Workers Rights Consortium ( is a human rights group that monitors sweatshop conditions around the world and works with United Students Against Sweatshops ( to help student groups that seek a “sweatshop-free” campus. Another human rights group that deals with issues of child labor, women’s oppression, and sweatshops is the National Labor Committee (

American Prospect (, and The Nation ( These are two of the most important magazines analyzing American politics from a progressive, grassroots perspective

Demos - A Network for Ideas and Action (; Center for Responsive Politics (; Public Campaign (; Good Jobs First (; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (; California Budget Project (; Campaign for America's Future

( -- These think thanks all provide interesting policy ideas on such issues as tax policy, campaign finance, anti-poverty policy, economic development, citizen participation, housing and homelessness, voting rights, and others


The course will cover the following topics. Students should have reading (and viewing) assignments completed before the class discussion on the topic. Readings with an asterisk will found on the course website. We may distribute additional readings during the semester if they seem appropriate and important. (Note: NYT'New York Times; LAT'Los Angeles Times)

I. Power and Powerlessness

Thursday, September 2 -- Introduction

Milltown Role Play exercise.

Tuesday, Sept. 7 -- What is Power?

Watch before class: “Obama and Project Vote” ('Px1Ut433xPU) - six minutes

Read: Mary Beth Rogers, Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power Politics (entire book)

Thursday, September 9: What is Top-Down Power? – Individuals, Relationships, Institutions

*C. Wright Mills quote (from Mills, The Power Elite)

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 27 (The Breakdown of the Real Economy)

*Cooper, "The Two Worlds of Los Angeles" (The Nation, August 21/28, 2000)

*Sklar, “Pay CEOs Less...” (Ms. Foundation, July 19, 2007)

*Surowiecki, “Soak the Very Very Rich” (New Yorker, August 16, 2010)

*Domhoff, "Class and Power in America (from Who Rules America? 6th edition, 2010)

*Dreier, The Vault Comes Out of the Shadows (Boston Business Journal, October 10, 1983)

*Hames, Connections Are Key to Valley's Most Powerful Person: David Fleming (San Fernando Valley Business Journal, December 10, 2007)

*Zahniser, LA Mayor Lines Up Donors for Favorite Causes (LAT, Dec. 18, 2007)

*Eggen and Kindy, AFamiliar Players in Health Bill Lobbying (Washington Post, July 6, 2009)

*Chan, “A Consumer Bill Gives Exemption on Payday Loans” (New York Times, March 9, 2010)

*Lichtblau, “Largess of Financier Reflects Republicans’ Wall Street Support” (NYT, Aug. 28, 2010)

*Kroll, “’She Will Build That Agency in Her Image,’” (Mother Jones, July 22, 2010)

*Dreier, Mine Deaths Follow Weak Regulations (National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 16, 2007)

*Shapiro, “Toxic Toys” (The Nation, November 5, 2007)

*Greenhouse, Battle Lines Drawn Over Ergonomic Rules (NYT, Nov. 18, 2000)

*Greenhouse, Bush Plan to Avert Work Injuries Seeks Voluntary Steps By Industry (NYT, April 6, 2002)

*Dreier, Bush's Class Warfare (Huffington Post, December 21, 2007)

*Lichtblau, “Lobbying Imperils Overhaul of Student Loans” (NYT, Feb. 5, 2010)

*Baker and Herszenhorn, “Obama Signs Overhaul of Student Loan Program”(NYT, March 30, 2010)

Tuesday, September 14 -- What Makes a Good Issue?

Exercise: Picking an Issue

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 1 (Introduction) and Ch. 3 (Choosing an Issue)

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 5 (Issues)

*Dreier, This Economy is a Real Killer (Huffington Post, March 10, 2009)

*Mozingo, "Residents Want Action After Fatal Accident on Figueroa" (LAT, Oct. 18, 1998)

*Lopez, "Fewer Fire Inspections Conducted in Inner City" (LAT, Oct. 8, 1993)

*Groves, Sidewalks Smooth for Well-Heeled (LAT, July 30, 2006)

*Tobar, "Housing Laws No Cure for Slums' Ills" (LAT, July 20, 1997)

*DiMassa and Khalil, ALandlords Push Tenants Out to Gentrify Units, Suit Says (LAT, June 15, 2006)

*Rivera, "Staples Center's Displaced Have New Homes and New Worries" (LAT, Oct. 9, 1999)

*Winton and Pierson, LAPD Arrests Skid Row Campers (LAT, Oct. 4, 2006)

*Fuller and Beltran, “The Invisible Cyclists of Los Angeles” (Progressive Planning, Summer 2010)

*Leland, When Health Insurance Is Not a Safeguard (NYT, Oct. 23, 2005)

*McGreevy, Question of Race Profiling Unanswered (LAT, July 12, 2006)

*Hamburger, EPA Puts Mandated Lead-Paint Rules on Hold (LAT, May 10, 2005)

*Greenhouse, Among Janitors, Labor Violations Go with the Job (NYT, July 13, 2005)

*Greenhouse, Hotel Rooms Get Plusher, Adding to Maids' Injuries ( NYT, April 21, 2006)

*Greenhouse, "Controversial Overtime Rules Take Effect" (NYT, August 23, 2004)

*Barringer, California Air is Clearer, But Troubles Remain (NYT, Aug 3, 2005)

*Peterson, US Data Reveal Loan Rate Disparity (LAT, Sept. 14, 2005)

*Wright, The Subprime Swindle (The Nation, July 14, 2008)

*Streitfeld, Foreclosures in State Hit Record High (LAT, July 25, 2007)

Thursday, September 16 -- What is Bottom-Up Power? -- Individuals, Relationships, Institutions

Pass out Social Ties assignment

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 1 (Organizing)

* Hinson and Healy. Theories of Power for Activists (Grassroots Policy Project January 2007)

*Powering Up (from Minieri and Getsos, Tools for Radical Democracy)

*Bellah, et. al., Individualism (from Habits of the Heart)

*Bhargava, “Organizing Principles” (NYT, September 13, 2008)

*Greenhouse, "Thousands of Home Aids Strike, Seeking $3 Hourly Raise" (NYT, June 8, 2004)

*Dreier, The Chicago Sit-in: Has Obama's Election Spurred a New Mood of Union Activism?” (Dissent, December 27, 2008)

*Rutten, “Treating People Like Garbage” (LAT, August 28, 2010)

*Hayes, Naming the Enemy ' Capitalism (The Nation, June 3, 2009)

*Meyerson, The Shipping Point (American Prospect. June 29, 2009)

*McKelvey, Downtown: Not Just for Yuppies (American Prospect, July 12, 2007)

*Fears, Foreclosure Protests at D.C. Offices Reflect Trend (Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2009)

*Dreyfus, "The Turnout Imperative" (American Prospect, July/August 1998)

*Sheth, Hardin and Bhagwat, ASLAC Claims Victory as Hunger Strike Comes to a Close(Stanford Daily, April 23, 2007)

*Casey, College Grads: Back the Maids (Houston Chronicle, May 29, 2004)

*Renwick, "Fed-Up Tenants Take Over" (LAT, Aug. 15, 1994)

*Zinn, "Young Ladies Who Can Picket" (from Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train)

*Slater, Public Corporations Shall Take Us Seriously (NYT Magazine, August 12, 2007)

*Watanabe and Becerra, 500,000 Cram Streets to Protest Immigration Bills (LAT, March 26, 2006)

*Lawrence, Rose Ann DeMoro Wants Hospitals to Scream” (Business Week, July 22, 2010)

Tuesday, September 21 -- The Strength of Weak Ties

*Gladwell, Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg (New Yorker, January 11, 1999)

*Kretzman, "Building Communities From the Inside Out" (Shelterforce, Sept./Oct. 1995)

Assignment: Bring to class a list of all your family’s (parents’ and grandparents ) organizational ties.

Tuesday night, September 21 -- Dinner and Film: The Organizer”

*Background notes about “The Organizer

Thursday, September 23: What's the Difference Between Organizing, Advocacy, and Service?

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 2 (Fundamentals of Direct Action Organizing)

*The Hungry Person Exercise

*McKnight, "Services are Bad for People: You're Either a Citizen or a Client (Organizing, Spring/Summer 1991).

*Garea and Stern, “From Legal Advocacy to Organizing: Progressive Lawyering and the Los Angeles Car Wash Campaign” (in Milkman, Bloom, and Narro, eds., Working for Justice: The LA Model of Organizing and Advocacy, 2010)

*Axel-Lute,ADirect Action for Housing (Shelterforce, July/August 2002)

*Traynor, "Community Development & Community Organizing" (Shelterforce, March/April 1993)

*Annia Ciezadlo, “Invisible Men” (City Limits, April 2003)

*Clavel, “Progressive Planning Leader Pat Rosenthal and Common Wealth Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio” (Progressive Planning, Summer 2010)

*Pastor, How to Build in South-Central (LAT, August 22, 2007)

*Rose, Struggling in the Crescent City (Shelterforce, Fall 2007)

*Lydersen, Making Food Deserts Bloom (Shelterforce, Summer 2008)

*Hertsgaard, Green Grows Grassroots (The Nation, July 31, 2006)

II. Organizing for Power

Tuesday, September 28 -- Movements for Justice

Frederick Douglass quote (Bobo, Organizing for Social Change, first page)

For the Ages (poster) B How many names do you recognize? See it here:

*Dreier, “The 50 Most Influential Progressives of the 20th Century” (The Nation, Oct. 4, 2010)

Lux, The Progressive Revolution (entire book)

Tuesday, September 28 -- Lunch film –“The New Los Angeles”

Thursday, September 30: Organizing, Elections, and Politics: The Inside/Outside Dilemma

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 17 (Politics)

Watch this 8-minute video from Bill Moyers' show before this class session:'mFlXpoA-MQY

*Dolan, "Environmental Activists Adapt to Insider Role" (LAT, March 23, 1993)

*Kaufman, Disillusioned Environmentalists Turn on Obama as Compromiser (NYT, July 11, 2009)

*Greenhouse,ADemocrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions (NYT, July 17, 2009)

*Candaele and Dreier, ALA's Progressive Mosaic (The Nation, August 21/28, 2000)

*Dreier, et al. Movement Mayor: Can Antonio Villaraigosa Change LA? (Dissent, Summer 2006)

*Dreier, To Bring Change, Political Insiders and Outsiders Need Each Other (Huffington Post, January 17, 2008

*Piven, Obama Needs a Protest Movement, (The Nation, November 13, 2008)

*Goldberg, Paul Wellstone: The Last Great Liberal Hero (Salon.Com, October 26, 2002)

*Leibovich, The Socialist Senator (NY Times Magazine, January 21, 2007)

*Meyerson, An Army Untapped Washington Post, July 8, 20009

*Walljasper, "Burlington, Northern Light" (The Nation, May 19, 1997)

*Dreier, “Lessons from the Health Care Wars” (American Prospect, May 2010)

*Kirsch, “What Progressives Did Right to Win Health Care” (The Nation, August 9, 2010)

*Judis, “The Unnecessary Fall” (New Republic, September 2, 2010)

Thursday, September 30 -- Lunch film: “The Democratic Promise”

Read these articles/chapters as background for the film:

*Dahle, Social Justice - Ernesto Cortes Jr (Fast Company, November 1999)

*Fisher, ASaul Alinsky and the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, (from Robert Fisher, Let the People Decide: Neighborhood Organizing in America, 2nd edition, 1994)

Tuesday, October 5 – The Organizing Tradition: Alinsky and His Legacy

Organizing Timeline (distributed in class)

*Remnick, “Black Metropolis” (from The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, 2010)

*Ross Sr. Axioms for Organizers

*Ganz, Organizing and Democratic Renewal (2007)

*Rourke, Her Calling: To Help Others Find a Voice (LAT, August 12, 2002)

*Watanabe, Shortage of Skilled Workers Looms in U.S (LAT, April 21, 2008)

*Cardenas, Building a Power Base for Better Education (LAT, May 13, 2002)

*Fausset, Thousands Attend Parley to Improve Life in County (LAT, July 12, 2004)

*Swarts, In Praise of Faith-Based Community Organizing (Shelterforce, Fall 2008)

*Malanga, The Religious Left, Reborn (City Journal, Autumn 2007)

*Dreier and May, Progressive Jews Organize (The Nation, September 13, 2007)

Tuesday,October 5 Lunch Speaker: Sister Maribeth Larkin, IAF/OneLA

Thursday, October 7 – The Tea Party and American Conservativism

Watch: Glenn Beck, “Obama and Saul Alinsky”'N5c1_3ypf2o

Watch: Keith Olbermann, “Special Comment On Shirley Sherrod Controversy” (MSNBC, July 21, 2010)'lcI8nWyugQs

*Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” (Harpers, November 1964)

*Reed, "Miracle at the Grassroots" (from Politically Incorrect, 1994)

*Sabert, "From Moral Majority to Organized Minority: Tactics of the Religious Right"(Christian Century, August 11-18, 1993)

*Field, Recruiting for the Right (Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 12, 2007)

*Vogel, “The Right Loves to Hate – And Imitate – Saul Alinsky” (Politico, March 22, 2010)

*Lacy, “Taking Their Fight On Illegal Immigrants to the Arizona Border” (NYT, August 16, 2010)

*Dreier, “Health Care and Hate in Alhambra” (Huffington Post, August 14, 2009)

*Rich, “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party” (NYT, August 29, 2010)

*Zernike and Thee-Brenan, “Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated” (NYT, April 14, 2010)

*Judis, “Tea Minus Zero” (New Republic, May 19, 2010)

*Zeleny, “In Florida, Tea Party Favorite Tempers His Tone” (NYT, August 23, 2010)

*Nagourney, “Tea Party Choice Scrambles in Taking On Reid in Nevada” (NYT, August 17, 2010)

*Corn, “Confessions of a Tea Party Casualty” (Mother Jones, August 2010)

Thursday, October 7 -- Lunch film: The Rise of the New Right” (from MSNBC)

Tuesday, October 12 -- Case Study: Living Wages and Accountable Development

*Gertner, What Is a Living Wage? (NYT, Jan. 15, 2006)

*Dreier, “Good Jobs, Healthy Cities” (American Prospect, October 2009)

*Greenhouse, Maryland Is First State to Require Living Wage (NYT, May 9, 2007)

*Malanga, How the Living Wage Sneaks Socialism Into Cities (City Journal, Winter 2003) *"Business Takes a Beating" LA Business Journal, March 24, 1997)

*Rector, "Interview: Madeline Janis" (LAT, July 26, 1998)

*Newton, Madeline Janis: Labor's Pensive Warrior' (LAT, June 17, 2007)

*Janis, “Special Attention Paid to ‘Special Interests’” (LA Business Journal, August 9, 2010)

*Range, LA Confidential: How community activists are making big developers their partners in fighting poverty (Ford Foundation Report, Winter 2004)

*Mathews Labor Protest Targets Airport-Area Hotels (LAT, Sept. 29, 2006)

**Mathews and Helfand, AAirport Hotels Ordered to Pay a `Living Wage' (LAT, Nov. 16, 2006)

*Jones, Business Groups Blast Living Wage Ordinance (CNS News, Nov. 16, 2006)

*Dumon, A 'Living Wage' is Money in the Bank: A Hotel Owner Urges His Fellow LAX-area Hoteliers to Stop Fighting the City's Living-Wage Ordinance (LAT, June 11, 2008).

*Fine, “LAX Hotel Agrees to Union Contract” (LA Business Journal, April 13, 2009)

*Weikel, “Los Angeles City Council weighs bumping up 'living wage' for LAX workers” (LAT, May 13, 2009)

Tuesday, October 12 -- Lunch Speaker: Madeline Janis, LAANE

Thursday – October 14 – Fighting Sweatshops – Connecting Local and Global

Watch this two-minute video: “Wal-Mart: The Real Story”'ATu-WhQ8IsY

*Cleeland, Iritani and Marshall, “Scouring the Globe to Give Shoppers an $8.63 Polo Shirt” (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 24, 2003)

*Barboza, “In Chinese Factories, Lost Fingers and Low Pay” (NYT, January 5, 2008)

*Weiner, “Low-Wage Costa Ricans Make Baseballs for Millionaires” (NYT, January 25, 2004)

*Dreier and Appelbaum, AThe Campus Anti-Sweatshop Movement (American Prospect, Sept. 1999)

*Dreier and Appelbaum, “Campus Breaththrough on Sweatshop Labor” (The Nation, June 1, 2006)

*Greenhouse, “Labor Fight Ends in Win for Students” (NYT, November 17, 2009)

*Greenhouse, “ Nike Agrees to Help Laid-Off Workers in Honduras” (NYT, July 26, 2010) *Greenhouse, “Factory Defies Sweatshop Label, But Can It Thrive?” (NYT, July 18, 2010)

Fall Break – Monday, October 18-Tuesday, October 19

III. Finding Leaders and Building Organizations

Thursday October 21 – ACORN

Atlas, Seeds of Change (entire book)

Thursday, October 21 – Lunch Speaker: Amy Schur, ACCE (formerly CA director of ACORN)

Tuesday, October 26, B What Do Effective Leaders Do?

Pass out Organizational Assessment Assignment

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 2 (Leaders), Ch. 3 (Organizations)

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 6 (Organizing Models)

Prior to class, listen to this KPCC radio interview with Humberto Sanchez:

*Burns, The Power of Leadership (Leadership, Ch. 1)

*Cesar Chavez, "The Organizer's Tale" (Ramparts, July 1966)

*Jarrat, "The Forgotten Heroes of the Montgomery Bus Boycott" (Chicago Tribune, Dec.1975)

*Dreier, ARosa Parks: Angry, Not Tired (Dissent, Winter 2006)

*Payne, "Men Led, But Women Organized" (from West and Blumberg, eds., Women and Social Protest)

*White, "Fall From Grace" (City Limits, August/September 1994)

*Leland, "Savior of the Streets" (Newsweek, June 1, 1998)

*Hoerr, "Solidaritas at Harvard: Organizing in a Different Voice" (American Prospect, Summer 1993)

*Types of Leaders. Types of Volunteers (from Obama >08 training manual)

Tuesday, October 26 -- Lunch film: Norma Rae

Thursday, October 28 -- How Do Organizers Find and Develop Leaders and Get People to Participate?

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 11 (Developing Leadership)

*Exodus: Chapter 18" (Bible)

*Alinsky, "Native Leadership" (from Reveille for Radicals)

*Von Hoffman, "Finding and Making Leaders" (Midwest Academy, 1975)

*Freeman, "The Tyranny of Structurelessness" (Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 1970)

Organizing Role Play Exercise

Tuesday, November 2 -- How Do Leaders Keep People Involved?

Kahn, Organizing: Ch. 4 (Constituencies), Ch. 6 (Members)

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 10 (Recruiting)

*Ballenger, "Why People Join" (Community Jobs, April 1981)

*Rosin, People Powered: In New Hampshire, Howard Dean's Campaign Has Energized Voters>(Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2003)

*Gecan, All Real Living is Meeting (from Michael Gecan, Going Public, 2002)

*Reagon, "Songs that Moved the Movement" (Civil Rights Quarterly, Summer 1983)

*Feingold, "Putting Faith in Labor" (LAT, August 28, 1998)

*Pensack, "Illinois Tenants' Union" (Shelterforce, September/October 1993)

*Frantzich, AWouldn't You Just Love to Live Here - Lois Gibbs (in Citizen Democracy, 1999)

Tuesday, November 2 -- Lunch Film: One Day Longer”

Read these two articles as background for the film:

*Mosle, "How the Maids Fought Back" (New Yorker, Feb. 26 and March 4, 1996)

*Barabak, He Helps Give Labor the Edge (LAT, July 12, 2007)

IV. Taking Action: Campaigns, Strategies, and Tactics

Thursday, November 4: Thinking Strategically: How Do We Organize Effective Campaigns?

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 4 (Developing a Strategy), Ch. 5 (A Guide to Tactics), Ch. 7 (Meetings to Pressure Officials), Ch. 8 (Holding Accountability Sessions)

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 8 (Strategy), Ch. 10 (Tactics)

*Levy, Boycott Grapes, AThe Miracle of the Fast, and AVictory in the Vineyards (from Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa)

*Cleeland, AMissteps Hurt Union in Supermarket Strike (LAT, Feb. 11, 2004)

*Dreier, AGrocery Union Gets It Bagged (LA Daily News, July 26, 2007)

*Haugh, AThe New Union Strategy: Turning the Community Against YOU (Hospitals and Health Networks, May 2006)

*Lassen and Adamson, "Erasing the Red Line" (From CTWO manual)

*Cleeland, Farm Workers Urge Davis to Sign Binding Arbitration Bill (LAT, August 11, 2002)

*Jones, History Echoes As Farm Workers Rally for Bill (LAT, Aug. 26, 2002)

*Hirsch, Ahmanson Ranch Protestors Turn Up the Heat on Sizzler Chairman (LAT, Jan. 1, 2003)

Thursday, November 4 -- Lunch Speaker: Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Community Coalition

Tuesday, November 9: Case Study: Housing Organizing in LA

Organizational Assessment papers due.

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 9 (Building and Joining Coalitions), Ch. 17 (Working with Religious Organizations)

Watch this video about LA Voice:

*Dreier and Pitcoff, "I'm a Tenant and I Vote" (Shelterforce, July/August 1997)

*Breidenbach, LA Story (Shelterforce, March/April 2002)

*Rivera, Morrison Hotel Hit with Tenant Suit (LAT, Dec. 22, 2004)

*Lopez, Another Employee's Butchered Benefits (LAT, June 27, 2007)

*Hale, Activists Protest Projects' Lack of Low-Income Units (LAT, Feb. 18, 2001)

*Hymon, Activists Press Council for Affordable Housing Law (LAT, June 5, 2005)

*Lopez, No Words, No Sign of a Heart From Developer (LAT, December 6, 2006)

*Lopez, City Paying High Price in Dispute Over Rentals (LAT, December 13, 2006)

*Garrison, UCLA Instructor Gets a Lecture as Tenants Take Protest to Class (LAT, May 17, 2007)

*Dreier, LA Renters Strike Back (LAT, May 27, 2007)

*Dellinger, Its Very Sad the Way I Live Now (Tidings, January 11, 2008)

*Dellinger, 'This is a moral issue that faces our city' Citywide coalition Housing LA kicks off affordable housing campaign (Tidings, March 14, 2008).

*Garrison, LA City Council Ok's Plan to Introduce Inclusionary Zoning (LAT, August 14, 2008)

*Fine, Developers Brace for Housing Fight (Los Angeles Business Journal, June 22, 2009)

Tuesday, November 9 - Lunch Speaker: Jared Rivera, LA Voice

V. Coalitions, Faith Groups, and Unions

Thursday November 11 -- What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Coalitions?

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 15 (Coalitions)

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 9 (Building and Joining Coalitions), Ch. 20 (Working with Religious Organizations)

*Fine, "An Organizer's Checklist for Coalition Building" (from Brecher/Costello, Building Bridges)

*Shearer, "How the Progressives Won in Santa Monica" (Social Policy, Winter 1982)

*Kelleher and Talbott, "The People Shall Rule" (Shelterforce, Nov./December 2000)

*Simmons, Labor and the LEAP: Political Coalitions in Conn. (Working USA, Summer 2000)

*Patler, “Alliance Building and Organizing for Immigrant Rights: The Case of the Coalition

for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles” (in Milkman, Bloom, and Narro, eds., Working for Justice: The LA Model of Organizing and Advocacy, 2010)

Role-Playing Exercise on Coalitions

Tuesday, November 16-- Case Study: the LA Clean and Safe Ports Campaign

Video: APort Truckers Campaign

*Bensman, “Stuck on the Low Road” (American Prospect, October 2009)

*Samuel, A Good Working Environment (American Prospect, February 27, 2009)

*Moch, Fighting for Green Justice (American Prospect, March 23, 2009)

*Schoch, Labor Lends Its Clout to Port Pollution Battle (LAT, January 28, 2006)

*Saharan and White, Port Drivers Steer Toward Clean-Truck Program (LAT, June 6, 2007)

*Matsuoka, Clean and Safe Ports: Building a Movement, Region by Region (Race, Poverty & Environment. Fall 2008)

*Hricko, “Global Trade Comes Home: Community Impacts of Goods Movement” <(Environmental Health Perspectives, 116 (2), Feb, 2008, 80-81).

*Hanson, “Children closest to harbor trade roadways suffer more respiratory issues, study says” (Long Beach Press Telegram, November 4, 2009)

*Hanson, “Suit alleges trucking company denied workers wages, expenses” (Long Beach Press Telegram, Oct. 5, 2009)

*White, “Cleaner Port Air, But How? Legal Tussles on Trucker Rules Bedevil L.A. and Long Beach” (Los Angeles Times, Jan 9, 2010)

*Zahniser, “Trucking Group to Appeal Port Ruling” (LAT, August 28, 2010)

Tuesday, November 16 -- Lunch Speakers: Patricia Castellanos (LAANE) and Oscar Ruiz (Teamsters union)

Thursday November 18 --- Unions: How Can the Labor Movement Be a Powerful Force for Social Justice?

What Have Unions Ever Done For Us?'184NTV2CE_c (Watch this 2-minute video, an Australian TV ad, before this class session)

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 16 (Unions)

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 19 (Building Labor-Community Partnerships)

*Unions: Facts and Figures (Economic Policy Institute, 2007)

*Murray, On the Ropes (National Journal, March 8, 2003)

*Greenhouse, The State of the Unions (from The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American

Worker, 2008)

*Peterson, A Lazy Man's Labor Policy (Dollars&Sense, Sept/October 2007)

*Selvin, A Worker for Janitors, Guards (LAT, June 3, 2007)

*Arellano, Year 2000 Justice for Janitors Campaigns: Reflections of a Union Organizer (from Teaching for Change, 2002)

*Bloom, “Ally to Win: Black Community Leaders and SEIU’s LA Security Unionization

Campaign” (in Milkman, Bloom, and Narro, eds., Working for Justice: The LA Model of Organizing and Advocacy, 2010)

*Bacon, Unions Come to Smithfield (American Prospect. December 17, 2008)

*Amber, ACNA/NNOC, Tenant Reach Agreement for Organizing Hospitals Outside California (Bureau of National Affairs, August 21, 2007)

*Rohrlich, "Union's Fight with Hotel Reverberates Across LA" (LAT, Dec. 5, 1997)

*Bronfenbrenner and Hickey, AWinning is Possible: Successful Union Organizing in the United States Clear Lessons, Too Few Examples (Multinational Monitor, June 2003)

*Phillips-Fein, "A More Perfect Union-Buster" (Mother Jones, September/October 1998)

*Dreier and Candaele, ALabor Law Reform Not Just for Unions (TomPaine.Com, May 10, 2007)

*Featherstone, Will Labor Take the Wal-Mart Challenge? (The Nation, June 28, 2004)

Thursday, November 18 -- Lunch Speaker: Eddie Iny, SEIU

VI. Action Research, Intelligence Gathering, and Communication

Tuesday, November 23 -- How Do Organizers Use Research?

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 9 (Research);

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 17 (Tactical Investigations)

*Rappaport, AReport: Tesco won't live up to hype; Grocery chain prepares to enter SoCal market (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Aug. 3, 2007)

*Watanabe, Survey Finds Lingering Poverty in Koreatown (LAT, May 27, 2007)

*Rosenbaum, Little-Known Crusader Plays a Big Role in Tax Debate (NYT, May 21, 2001)

*Dreier, "Rent-a-Politician Exposed" (Shelterforce, 1981)

*Seelye, "Lobbyists Are the Loudest in the Health Care Debate" (NYT, Aug. 16, 1994)

*Samuels and Glantz, The Politics of Local Tobacco Control (Journal of the AMA, October 16, 1991)

*Richman and Kawano, "Neighborhood Information is Not Just for Experts" (Shelterforce, Sept./October 2000)

Internet Guide to Power Structure Research. Spend half an hour looking at this site:

*Obstetler and Kazis, "Corporate Campaigns" (from Cohen and O'Connor, Fighting Toxics)

*Crowther, "How to Research Companies" (from College Placement Council)

* Oldham On The Front Lines Of Search For Toxic Sites (LAT, September 7, 2008)

* Mapping for Social Change. Report developed by Coleman Associates for Children and Youth.

PowerMap Exercise

Tuesday, November 23 – Lunch Speakers: Jackie Cornejo, Oxy ’05 (LAANE) and Rachel Torres (HERE Local 11)

Thursday, November 25 - Thanksgiving - No Class

Tuesday, November 30 -- How Do Organizers Use the Media?

Bobo, OSC, Ch. 14 (Using the Media)

Kahn, Organizing, Ch. 12 (Communication) and Ch. 13 (Media)

*Cleeland, Why I'm Leaving the Los Angeles Times (Huffington Post, May 28, 2007)

*Witt, "We Rarely See Those Who Labor" (Baltimore Sun, Aug. 22, 1999)

*Are You on the Nightline Guest List? (FAIR, February 6, 1989)

*Media/Political Bias (Rhetorica)

*Dreier, Edwards' Poverty Campaign Met With Media Blackout (Huffington Post, May 15, 2008)

*Candaele, "Teamsters Go For Public's Heart" (LAT, Aug. 17, 1997)

*The Making of a Good Message, AHow to Tell the Story of Your Work and AWhat is Framing?

Why Is It Important? (Community Change, Spring 1998)

*Ryan, "What's Newsworthy" and "Pegs, Leads, and Bites" (from Ryan, Prime Time Activism)

*Deterline, "Strategic Publicity and Media Activism" (Extra!, Sept./Oct.1997)

*New Report Finds Hospitality Workers' Incomes Too Low for Los Angeles (press release,

National Economic Development & Law Center, August 17, 2004)

*Model press advisory and model press release (from Fighting Toxics)

*Organizing a Media Event

VII. America’s Future: Can Progressives Build an Effective Movement for Social Justice?

Thursday, December 1 -- Case Study: The Campaign for Marriage Equality

*Friedman, The Real Stonewall Legacy (American Prospect, June 26, 2009)

*Ettelbrick. Since When is Marriage a Path to Liberation? 1989 (from Women's Lives: Multicultural Perspectives, 4th ed. McGraw Hill 2007)

*Chauncey, Ahe Legacy of Antigay Discrimination” and AGay Rights, Civil Rights (Ch 1 and 2 in Why Marriage: The History Shaping Today's Debate Over Gay Equality, Basic Books. 2004).

*Cusac, Harry Hay Interview (The Progressive. September 1999)

*Peters, Why There's No King or Steinem for the Gay Movement (NYT, June 21, 2009)

*Wright. A Fragile Union (ColorLines, March/April 2009)

*Shin. Show me the money! The geography of contributions to California's Proposition 8, California Center for Population Research, UCLA. June 2009)

*Beach-Ferrara. Why We Lost in California: An Analysis of the >No on 8' Field Strategies

(Democratic Strategiest online)

*Stolberg, Obama Invites Gay Rights Advocates to White House (NYT, June 22, 2009

*Russell. AThe Psychological Harm of Anti-Gay Ballot Campaigns (Beyond Homophobia. November 25, 2008)

*Dreier, “Gay Marriage: The Tide Is Turning and There’s No Going Back” (Huffington Post, August 6, 2010)

Speaker: Rick Jacobs, Courage Campaign

Tuesday, December 7 – The Near and the Far: What Are We Organizing For?

*Reynolds, "Social Citizenship: Lessons from Sweden" (from Taking the High Road, Ch. 1)

*Dreier, "The U.S. in Comparative Perspective" (Contexts, Summer 2007)

*Block, "A Corporation with a Conscience?" (New Labor Forum, Summer 2006)

*Smeeding, AThe Poverty Quagmire (Washington Post, December 21, 2003)

*Obama, Keynote Speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention (July 27, 2004)

*Vanden Heuvel, “’The 'Principled Left' Obama Needs” (The Nation, August 15, 2010)

*Hardisty and Bhargava, “Holding the Center” (The Nation, July 19, 2010)

*Halpin and Teixeira, Progressivism Goes Mainstream (American Prospect, April 20, 2009)

*Kuttner, “My Private Obama” (Huffington Post, July 4, 2010)

*Alterman, “No Bounce for Obama” (The Daily Beast, July 17, 2010)

*Beinart, “Obama’s Unbelievable Winning Streak” (The Daily Beast, June 28, 2010)

*Beinart, “Why Obama Disappoints the Left” (The Daily Beast, July 2, 2010)

*Leonhardt, “A Progessive Agenda to Remake Washington” (New York Times, May 21, 2010)

*Judis, “The Quiet Revolution” (New Republic, February 1, 2010)

*Cohn, “What Do Liberals Want From Obama?” (New Republic, July 5, 2010)

*Liu and Hanauer, Patriotic Values and Politics: A Ten Principle Plan (from The True Patriot, 2007)

*Alperovitz Another World Is Possible (Mother Jones January/February 2006)

*Leyden, Teixeria, and Greenberg, The Progressive Politics of the Millennial Generation (New Politics Institute, June 20, 2009)

*Goldstein, Another Kind of Youth Movement (The American Prospect; Mar 2008)

Summary of Dates for Speakers and Films

Tuesday, Sept. 21

“The Organizer” (dinner)

Tuesday, Sept. 28

“The New Los Angeles” (lunch)

Thursday, Sept. 30

“Democratic Promise” Sister Maribeth Larkin, One LA (lunch)

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Sister Maribeth Larkin, One LA-IAF (lunch)

Tuesday, Oct. 12

Madeline Janis, LAANE (lunch)

Thursday, Oct. 21

Amy Schur, ACCE (lunch)

Tuesday, Oct. 26

“Norma Rae” (lunch)

Tuesday, Nov. 2

“One Day Longer” (lunch)

Thursday, Nov. 4

Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Community Coalition (lunch)

Tuesday, Nov. 9

Jared Rivera, LA Voice- PICO (lunch)

Tuesday, Nov. 16

Patricia Castellanos, LAANE, and Oscar Ruiz, Teamsters (lunch)

Thursday, Nov. 18

Eddie Iny, SEIU (lunch)

Tuesday, Nov. 23

Jackie Cornejo, LAANE and Rachel Torres, HERE (lunch)

Thursday, Dec. 2

Rick Jacobs, Courage Campaign (lunch)

Final Paper

Each student in this course is required to write a short paper (15 pages) describing and analyzing your internship and the organization you worked with. The paper should draw on the class materials (readings, films, speakers, exercises) as well as your experiences and your journal. The paper should explain what you learned about community organizing, especially, what are the key elements of effective community organizing and how well the organization met these criteria.

Two exercises/research projects will help you write your final paper.

1. Keep a journal. As part of this course, you should keep a journal. Your journal should record your internship activities. You should take notes on your observations and impressions about the people, the organization, the community, and issues you are dealing with. You should record your own activities -- including the highlights and problems.

2. A mid-term organizational assessment. (Due October 15) This includes.

a. Annual budget of the organization for each of the past three years. In cases where you might be interning with a union local of a chapter/local office of a statewide organization, you may have to determine local and higher level budgets.

b. % of budget devoted to community organizing

c. Number of full-time and part-time staffpersons in the whole organization

d. Number of full-time and part-time staffpersons with responsibility for community organizing and advocacy

e. Sources of funding for the organization for each of the past three years, including dues, foundations, fundraisers, other. List the foundations.

f. List the issues that the community organizing staff have worked on in the past three years

g. Describe the group's key organizing campaigns over the past three years, using a narrative version of the Midwest Academy's strategy chart. Who were the key constituencies, targets, allies, strategies, tactics, etc. List the outcomes of their community organizing campaigns B victories, defeats, stalemates.

h. If you organization has a board of directors, list the names of the people on the board of the organization.

i. Profile the board of directors in terms of the following categories: (1) community residents, (2) staff, (3) funders and/or business, (4) allies, (5) attorneys, (6) other

j. Provide a one-page summary of the organization's history, including the date of its founding, its evolution over time, any significant changes in its mission or structure

3. Final Journal

The reflective information from your journal as well as the organizational information you research for your mid-term paper will inform your final paper. Your final paper should aim to be objective. That means you should view the organization from a variety of angles and perspectives -- not simply the perspective of your supervisor. You should look organization from the perspective of the staff, the board, constituents, allies, targets, and others. Then you can come to your own conclusion based on having an "outsider's" view of the organization

In order to write this paper, in other words, you will need to talk to people besides your intern supervisor. Your analysis of the organization's strengths and weaknesses should be based on the criteria we have discussed and read about in class. To help you think about these issues, we will put on the course website a chapter called AGetting to Know the Placement Site from the book The Successful Internship: Transformation and Empowerment in Experiential Learning by H. Frederick Sweitzer and Mary A. King (third edition, Thompson-Brooks/Cole Publishers, 2009). Please read this chapter within the first two weeks of your internship.

The final paper should include an evaluation of the organization and of your internship. Topics should include (but aren't limited to) the following:

o The history of the organization. How it was started and by whom? Why was it started? How and why it has changed since its beginning? What are the organization's missions and goals?

o How is the organization organized? Discuss its budget, staff, board, and sources of funds. Who runs the organization? How does the way it is organized reflected its missions and goals? How does the way it is funded influence what it does?

o How does the organization decide what issues to get involved with? What is the group's overall strategy? How does it decide on strategy and tactics?

o What is the organization's constituency? How does it determine what its constituency is?

o How does the organization deals with such matters as leadership, recruiting and maintaining members, maintaining morale, fundraising, research, and the media?

o What impact does involvement in the organization have on the people -- staff, leaders, members?

o Discuss how your internship fit into the organization's overall activities. Discuss the specific role(s) you played in the organization. Evaluate the pros and cons of your internship.

o Discuss the overall strengths and weaknesses of the organization. Be sure to clarify what criteria you are using.