Preface | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Bibliography | Appendices | List of Acronyms | About the Author
Learning to work with others to achieve common ends was, in one form or another, the objective of the largest category of our grantees. It is true that this was a major purpose in virtually all of our projects, but this category differs from the preceding one in that the citizens involved were not arbitrarily prevented from participation in the political process. There was, for example, no arbitrary denial of the right to register to vote, as with the blacks in South Carolina or Mexican-Americans in California or Texas. Nor were these citizens effectively unable to take part in such a process because of factors indigenous to their culture as was the case with Indians. Rather, the solution of the problems of their communities was dependent on various combinations of other factors. Citizens may have lacked information about what could be done. The vision and understanding of existing leadership may have been inadequate to deal effectively with the wider community. Community residents may have come to believe that it was futile to try to change conditions or to "fight city hall." The possibility that the citizens of a community could, by joining together, make a difference may never have occurred to them as a realistic possibility.
In the fifties, however, new initiatives were beginning to emerge. Some were grounded in rising expectations after World War II. Some were stimulated by legislation having a major impact on neighborhoods--such as that concerned with urban renewal and the requirement of "maximum feasible participation." Some arose more or less spontaneously from the concerns of community residents or of local institutions about deterioration of their neighborhood as, for example, in Hyde Park-Kenwood. Others were initiated by a professional in a local agency, as in the case of Colony House; or by a group of professionals, as in the Woodlawn area of South Chicago. And in other instances, the initiative came from outside the community, vide the attempts by Monsignor John O'Grady of the National Conference of Catholic Charities to promote citizen organizations in Lackawanna, New York, and in Butte, Montana. To Monsignor O'Grady, citizen organization was a way to promote social justice. To directors and boards of neighborhood houses, organizing the community seemed a way to be of service on a broader scale and in a more relevant way.
Certain groups in colleges and universities, too, began to respond to the arguments of such persons as Baker Brownell, Richard Poston, Howard McCluskey, Royce S. Pitkin, Frank Anderson, William Biddle, Jess Ogden and others who underscored the importance of the community as the locus for dealing with public problems. They stressed also the responsibility of colleges and universities, because they were social institutions, to help communities realize their potential. Although differing from each other in many ways, it can fairly be said that one typical element was a perceived need to develop within a community the know-how of participation in public affairs. Having said this, it is necessary to acknowledge a major qualification. The Industrial Areas Foundation project in Woodlawn (on Chicago's South Side involved much more emphasis on developing the motivation to organize, and, as for know-how, there was less emphasis on civic structure and procedures than on the tactics of organizing to force city hall and social agencies to listen and act. As it turned out, nearly one-third of the total number of grants made by the ESF and nearly one-third of the funds granted involved efforts described in this chapter and the nex-efforts to help the citizens of communities learn how to solve problems which such citizens held in common.
We have then some nineteen projects, so grouped because presumably the citizens of a community could, with some stimulus from the outside or arising within the community, organize to secure some agreed-upon benefit. But the Foundation was also interested in discovering whether certain kinds of sponsors were better adapted to helping communities realize common goals than others, as well as in knowing whether agencies wanting to apply IAF principles to the organizing of citizens would succeed in doing so.
In retrospect, the Foundation's experience can shed some light on these matters. I will, therefore, classify the treatments of these projects to reflect such concerns, realizing, of course, that groupings based on these principles need not be mutually exclusive. In any case, the classifications are as follows: (1) a national level, professional organization (Industrial Areas Foundation) whose principal reason for being was to help people learn how to organize their community so as to gain the power to achieve the objectives they had identified; (2) agencies specifically expressing their desire to try to apply IAF organizing principles; (3) neighborhood houses using principles drawn primarily from the social work field; (4) voluntary associations, usually professionally staffed, either at a metropolitan or community level; and (5) college and university programs with a community focus. It is not my intention to review all nineteen projects in detail. Rather, certain projects for which significant results can be claimed (whether positive or negative) will be considered. Data relating to other projects will be discussed only insofar as they help to affirm or modify conclusions having some general character or will be treated to the extent of accounting for their dismissal. On this basis, the following projects are reviewed in some detail: (1) the IAF project in Woodlawn; (2) the grants to the National Conference of Catholic Charities and Hudson Guild, made in part to learn whether they could successfully apply IAF principles to the formation of a community organization in selected communities; (3) South Chicago Community Center as an instance of successful organization by a neighborhood house; (4) Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, which, alongside others, built a successful community organization on a voluntary citizen basis rather than an institutional basis, and (5) Earlham College, which achieved a modicum of success in one of the two areas in which it worked.
Because of the special interest which the Foundation had as to the effectiveness of IAF principles of organization as compared with those employed by various kinds of social agencies, community or metropolitan associations and colleges, the IAF-inspired projects will be discussed separately in this chapter and the other projects in Chapter 6. It is my hope that these two chapters will provide some understanding of the effects of using power-oriented versus social work or process or consensus-oriented approaches to community organization. Let us begin then with one of the least expected success stories in the ESF project list--the attempt by the IAF to organize a deteriorated, black slum in South Chicago. (I refer to this as an ESF project, but it should be understood that the Foundation's financial contribution to get the project started was only half of the initial funding."
The Woodlawn project was an effort to build an effective citizen organization in an urban black ghetto, the Woodlawn area, which lies immediately to the south of the University of Chicago campus. The grant was made in November 1960, in the amount of $69,996, with an equal amount to come from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago (subsequently reduced to $50,000) and $21,000 to be supplied jointly by the United Presbyterian Board of National Missions and the Presbytery of Chicago through the First Presbyterian Church (in Woodlawn). The total budget was $219,996 to support the organizing effort for a three-year period. The proposed project was noteworthy for at least two reasons: because it involved close, public collaboration of Catholic and Protestant churches in a major city and because no substantial demonstration of citizen organization among blacks in cities had yet been achieved.
Unfortunately, there is not as much information available on the details of the organizing effort and its outcomes as we might like. It is paradoxical that this lack of information is, in part, due to the very success of the project, if it is seen as an achievement of black self-determination and, consequently, to some degree a closing off of the community from scrutiny by whites. There were, of course, other reasons for reticence, such as suspicion of the intentions of outsiders including police investigators. Hence, our hope of getting information through the visit by a Foundation consultant in 1967 to the Woodlawn area Alinsky was "too busy" to see him and to the offices of The Woodlawn Organization (TWO) was not fully realized. The failure of Saul Alinsky to provide reports that he had agreed to make was also a factor. Enough information is available, however, to support Charles Silberman's assertion that TWO was "the first successful attempt anywhere in the United States to mobilize the residents of a Negro slum into a large and effective organization."1 (We do not have evidence on whether it was indeed first, but it does appear to have been successful.)
Background of Woodlawn
Prior to World War II there were almost no black residents in Woodlawn, an area extending from 60th to 67th Streets, and between Stony Island and Cottage Grove Avenues. Separating Woodlawn from the main University of Chicago campus was the Chicago Midway.2 By 1950, 17 percent of the Woodlawn population was black. By 1960, the percentage had risen to 89 percent. The social indicators showed a rapid trend toward social disorganization in terms of lowered educational level (dropping from 11.6 years in 1950 to 9.8 years in 1960), number of persons per household, proportion of children under eighteen not living with both parents, higher fertility ratio, unemployment, shift from white-collar to unskilled occupations, deteriorating housing and decreasing average incomes. The population was much more transient than the population of Chicago as a whole. About 87 percent of the residents in March 1960 had moved into their homes in the preceding six years and over half in the preceding two years.3 Elinor Richey summarized the situation succinctly: An unemployment rate of 25 percent, the highest crime rate in the city, a population density four times the city average, a birth rate one-fourth higher, 80 percent of the housing available as furnished rooms and "kitchenettes," buildings badly deteriorated and rents as high as those on Lake Shore Drive.4
In spite of the drop in average years of schooling, we can assume that the great majority of the adult participants in TWO had at least a basic literacy level. Average family income was low. An important membership group consisted of welfare clients. But beyond this, people felt themselves to be victimized by city hall and the politicians, by the board of education, by landlords, by merchants and, at a critical juncture, by the University of Chicago. The goal of bringing these feelings into focus was initiated by the clergy in Woodlawn and not least among the TWO accomplishments was the continuing ecumenical collaboration which ensued.
Contributing to the deterioration of the quality of life in Woodlawn was the growth of powerful street gangs as a consequence of the alienation of young blacks.5 The IAF Annual Report for 1959-1960 called attention to the weakness of the few social organizations in Woodlawn, controlled as they were by middle-class leaders. The Reverend Ulysses B. Blakeley, copastor of the First Presbyterian Church, saw the problems as follows: "We were watching a community dying for lack of leaders, a community that had lost hope in the decency of things and people. Outsiders consider a place like this a kind of zoo or jungle. Such people may mean well, but they choke us. It seemed any effort would be futile unless our own people could direct it, choose their own goals and work for them, grow in the process and have a sense again of the rightness of things."6 Thus, as Saul Alinsky put it, the former leaders with their organizations and institutions had fled, and "the new people do not have the roots nor the ties to the community to be concerned, and so there is no organization of the new. ..."7 The community consisted of bedrooms for transients who were trying to get out. According to Ed Chambers, an IAF organizer in Woodlawn, only a third were church members.8
This, then, was the background. How did organizing get started? In 1959, four local pastors of Woodlawn churches met to explore what might be done to help the community. They were Reverend Ulysses Blakeley and his copastor Charles Leber; Father Martin Farrell, pastor of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Woodlawn; and Reverend C. Kenneth Proefrock of the Woodlawn Emmanuel Lutheran Church (who later withdrew). I met with Blakeley, Leber and Farrell on October 21 and 22, 1960, to discuss their analysis of Woodlawn's situation and the results of their inquiry into the appropriateness of attempting to create a community organization with the assistance of the Industrial Areas Foundation. Following these conversations, the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation agreed, in November 1960, to make a grant to the project which, with the funds contributed by the Chicago Archdiocese and the Chicago Presbytery and the Urban Church Department of the Board of National Missions of the United Presbyterian Church, enabled the organizing effort to proceed.9
The organization of the Woodlawn community assumed significance for several reasons. The Protestant churches were beginning to ask whether their role should not be greater in assisting blacks to achieve their rightful place in society. The Woodlawn location would necessarily lead to confrontation with the most powerful city political machine in the country and with the University of Chicago. These factors resulted in a high level of visibility for the organizing effort--not least with respect to the principles upon which it was based. These principles were particularly difficult for Establishment-minded churchmen to accept without a good deal of soul searching, and, of course, some were unable to accept them. A strongly condemnatory editorial in The Christian Century attested to this.10
Principles of the Organizing Effort
The basic principles were not new, They had been expounded by Alinsky in Reveille for Radicals, which documents the story of the Back-of-the-Yards Council, and later in Rules for Radicals. 11 He outlined the principles of a rationale for organizing as follows: (1) Some measure of self-determination for all citizens is essential in a democratic society. (2) Self-determination depends upon having some modicum of power to control one's situation and to have access to the benefits which are supposed to be available to the members of a society by virtue of such membership. (3) Power is not immoral per se although some uses may be immoral. (4) Power is not normally shared willingly by those who have it with those who do not. Hence, efforts to broaden the distribution of power necessarily involve controversy and confrontation. Consensus as an aim is relevant when participants meet as equals. And (5) given the opportunity, people living in a community can work out their own problems. Meeting with members of the Greater Woodlawn Pastors' Alliance on February 17, 1959, Alinsky pointed out:
The Woodlawn community has within it representative issues that affect every community in the city of Chicago. What happens in Woodlawn would be significant for urban redevelopment in the rest of the city. This city needs a strong representative group of Negroes as a power block in order to meet their own needs. The term "power" as it is used in most circles carries with it evil connotations. Power is life impulses; anything without power is death. This is the reason for community organization--that they have an instrument for negotiation.12
For Alinsky, the enemy of urban democracy was apathy with its concomitant dependency; apathy was the enemy because an essential element in democracy is participation. To him, the other side of apathy was suppressed resentment over a sense of impotence. To change this, it was necessary to arouse resentment (to end the suppression of resentment, as it were) in the interest of mobilizing community pride and the impulse to self-help. But, in addition, it was essential to convert the resentment into a statement of a problem. It would then have something about which something could be done. Only then could a mass organization be created as an instrument for changing bad conditions. Alinsky rejected the notion that he was introducing polarization and destroying a metropolitan consensus. In his view, the blacks of Woodlawn were never part of any consensus; they were just apathetic. Reverend Brazier does not accept the idea that apathy was the problem in Woodlawn. Rather, inactivity was the result of a sense of powerlessness. 13
How, then, can one deal with inaction. Neither the problem nor concern about it is new. But conventional appeals to ghetto residents to get together fail. As Silberman pointed out, there are several reasons for this failure: agencies have been concerned primarily with their jurisdictional rivalries; preserving property interests has little appeal to renters; and civil rights is too abstract a foundation. 14 What Alinsky showed to be effective in Woodlawn was mass organization based on an appeal to self-interest to get something they wanted. His ideas as to the essential characteristics of an effective community organization were summarized by Stephen Rose as follows: (1) The organization must recognize self-interest as its basic raison d'etre, but to be effective it must aim at a multiplicity of goals. It should attract and involve most of the groups in the community. (2) In order to create self-respect through success, the program must be specific, immediate and feasible. (3) The organization must see power for what it is and use it. (4) The organization must choose its means on the basis of what means are available and likely to be most effective. And (5) it must recognize and accept the fact that controversy has always been the "seed of creation" and that it is inevitable that resentment will focus on the "prevailing dominant interest of the status quo."15 And finally, although Rose did not include it in his list, Alinsky continually underscored the principle that the organization must be controlled by its members.
Goals of the Organizing Effort
The group concerned with trying to do something about Woodlawn did not move at once to make an agreement with the IAF. There were extended discussions. And at one point, the Woodlawn pastors propounded a set of sixteen questions to which Alinsky responded.16 Listed therein were four goals for the organizing effort: (1) that the local religious institutions should become strong and effective forces in a movement to correct many of the inequities and negative factors in the life of the community; (2) that the community organization should gain strength to insure that Woodlawn obtained the public services to which it was entitled; (3) that the community organization should provide local residents proper representation in the development of various programs designed to fight blight and deterioration and that, furthermore, the organization should have the power to implement their desired programs; and (4) that through successful participation, local residents would develop a healthy, positive climate of hope for the present and future.
The organizing effort began with selection of staff. The first staff member was Nicholas Von Hoffman, who had been associated with the IAF for a number of years.17 A white organizer may seem to have been inappropriate, but this was not necessarily so, at least in the beginning, because being white, he was not seen as a threat to existing or emerging leadership. Most of the organizing staff, however, were recruited from the community, receiving their training as they organized, Robert Squires being the first. At the same time, efforts were made to recruit and assist leadership in the community. The advantages of recruiting staff from the community were, of course, obvious. It showed that the organization was not to be dominated by outsiders. And it contributed to the continuing availability of a trained indigenous staff when the grant funds ended. By 1965-1966, all TWO staff members were black.
As to the role of staff in Woodlawn, according to Von Hoffman, the initial job of the organizer was to listen to what people had to say about what they wanted and did not want to happen.18 Alinsky outlined the job of the organizer in more specific terms: "He must learn the characteristics of the community from a general survey of the situation and plot the power pattern of the community. He must look for and evaluate local leaders. (They are not necessarily the titular heads of organizations). In addition, issues or problems of concern to the people must be searched out; people must be encouraged to talk about their views of the community. It is important that the people realize that the organizer does not come with a preconceived program. The organizer must be able to encourage enough trust so that people will talk about issues like political corruption. An organizer must be able to get people not only to talk but to act, rather than leaving it to somebody else so that the organizer must become an agitator: "Until the people recognize that it is they who must do something about their own problems, and that it is only THEY who can be trusted to do the right thing and until they realize that only if they organize enough power in their community that something can be done about these things, nothing will get done."19 When people realize this, they demand an organization.
At first, a temporary committee begins recruiting delegations from other organizations. When enough organizations have been recruited to be representative, a Community Congress is called to consider and adopt a constitution and to elect officers.20 Up to this point, no permanent policy decisions will have been made, but it is "an organization which will decide what it wants to do."22 The organizer has insisted on only two things: The organization must be democratic, and it must be broadly representative of the community. The staff then become "handymen" for the organization, which makes the decisions. The staff works for the officers and the committees. Finally, the staff begins to spur the organization to do something about self-support and hiring its own staff on a continuing basis. "When this is completed, the organizer's job is done.” 22
What were the qualities looked for in a good organizer? Rose quotes Alinsky as saying that he looks for "a guy who is mad and organizing on his own...." But he needs to know whether it is neurotic anger, which could be cured by remedying a personal problem, or anger at injustice, which will stay with him. Also, will he take advice? Does he want to learn? He must not only see himself as a learner but also as a teacher; and he must "see the opposition as an integral element of the organizing strategy."23 In his reply to the queries from the Greater Woodlawn Pastors' Alliance, Alinsky touched on other qualities of the organizer. He said that organizing is not a science but an art, and reasoning in art is illogical, paradoxical and intuitive. "The kind of person we look for must be able to deal rationally with the irrationalities of life." Organizers must be able to work long hours and function in spite of extraordinary tensions and pressures. Hence, organizers must have extraordinary psychological and moral stamina.24
Having chosen organizers with such qualities, what kind of training was provided? In essence, training was done on the job. Organizers were expected to make mistakes. But at the end of the day, they were required to complete a detailed diary of their contacts and activities, not only as a record but as a basis for reflection on what they had done. A dialogue was then set up between the individual organizer's experience and the cumulative experience of the IAF. The discussion of the day's experience in relation to analogous situations elsewhere encouraged the organizer to look at his activities from other points of view: "We can make suggestions; we can point out aspects of things he has overlooked; we can broaden his horizons; but in the last analysis he must teach himself."25 The method is Socratic. It is effective when the staff members feel free to speak with complete candor, not only about their own individual experiences but those of other staff members.
At first, staff meetings are held daily. One question follows another in an effort to extract principles. But the organizer is counseled to look at each situation as unique so that he will not apply a principle blindly. A typical question would be: "Assume your plan works 100 percent (which it won't), what have you got when you get it?" If the anticipated result does not seem worthwhile, the proposal is scrapped. After a time, each organizer will have developed his own plan of procedure which he has defended against the rest of the staff in meetings.26
For staff in Woodlawn, the IAF had budgeted for three organizers in each of the first three years. During part of this time, two additional organizers were available from outside the project.27 In 1967, Reverend Brazier informed Herman Blake that TWO had a basic staff of two to three but could use eight. While inexact, these figures are close enough for our purpose. In retrospect, it is clear that a large black ghetto community had been organized by a staff which was tiny in comparison with the number of employees in such governmental offices as the welfare department. The more important question is whether meaningful results were achieved by methods which might be replicated elsewhere. What did TWO seek to do, and how, with IAF help, did it go about doing so?
In a series of articles in the Chicago Defender, Ernestine Cofield wrote about TWO's intention to achieve self- determination. She said that to TWO, self-determination meant that "we are smart enough, that we are united enough and that we are strong enough to make the kind of lives for ourselves and our community that we want-- self-determination is the 'partnership' of equals-- to them, a right is not a right unless the people actually enjoy it." And, she went on to say, they have built this spirit out of people who "were the supposedly ignorant. illiterate, lazy, dirty transients of the city."28 On January 5, 1961, the Temporary Woodlawn Organization for Community Planning and Rehabilitation was formed.
The Organizing Targets
The Square Deal Campaign. As a first step, the organizers looked for a problem which would be quickly acknowledged as such by many community residents, could readily be made into an issue, would not attract strong opposition and offered a good chance for the fledgling enterprise to score a victory. The problem of cheating by local merchants offered such an opportunity.29 In 1961, TWO launched a Square Deal campaign against practices and conditions in certain Woodlawn stores: shortchanging, short-weighting, dishonest pricing, faulty credit contracts and inferior merchandise. The campaign was supported not only by residents but also by those Woodlawn merchants who preferred honest to dishonest competition.
To start off, a Square Deal parade was organized in which about a thousand residents marched (March 6, 1961). A code of ethics was drawn up and prominently displayed in cooperating stores. Violators were expelled from the Woodlawn Businessmen's Association. Serious offenders were boycotted. Disputes were heard by a board of arbitration representing consumers and businessmen.30 Resentment against exploitation had been converted into a problem about which something could be done and it was done.
The campaign was still flourishing in 1967, although the dramatic tactics of the early days no longer seemed to be needed. Herman Blake learned that considerable reliance was placed on businessmen to police themselves. The Consumer Practices Committee had "two members each from the Woodlawn Businessmen's Association and the Jackson Park Businessmen's Association as standing members. These businessmen take an active part in all negotiations of the committee and usually make the first approach to a merchant who has been charged with some malpractice."31 The Square Deal program had provided the fledgling organization with a necessary element--a keenly felt problem about which something could be done quickly. It gave the organization visibility and credibility.
The Threat of Urban Renewal. The Square Deal campaign did much to get TWO off to a strong start, but it was not the issue which had originally sparked interest in the possibility of forming a citizens' organization in Woodlawn. The precipitating issue was the threat that once again urban renewal would turn into black removal, this time from Woodlawn. The fear was real. Having observed the disappearance of many small businesses in Hyde Park-Kenwood, businessmen became an active group in TWO.
The threat arose from the desire of the University of Chicago to acquire land in addition to what it already owned south of the Midway so that it might expand its facilities. The university's announcement of its plans, made on July 19, 1960, proposed to do this under the federal legislation providing for urban redevelopment. It spoke of an investment from its own resources of a very large sum. This investment was important to the city of Chicago because it could claim this proposed expenditure as a credit in its own application to the federal government for a grant of federal funds.32 The university needed the city's cooperation to get the land, and the city needed the university's investment to secure the needed credits for its own application. Perhaps relying on the city's need, the university may have felt that it could proceed with its own plans to expand its campus as a separate step. TWO opposed this, contending that the university's plans should be considered as part of a total overall plan. (In this connection it should be noted that TWO was not saying that the university ought not to be allowed to expand. As the TWO executive committee said in a release dated March 10, 1961, "We know that a landlocked major institution is confronted with a serious problem and that justice and common sense argues in favor of making suitable provisions for the university."33 It was the assumption that the university could pursue its goal without reference to the needs of the community that TWO would not accept.)
The members of TWO recorded their opposition to indiscriminate demolition by adopting the following resolution:
In the past, urban renewal planning has taken place between the city planners and the builders. Citizen participation, insofar as it existed, was either to support the plan drawn up or protest what had been done. This actually meant that the people did not have a real say-so in the drawing up of the plans but were cast in the role of protesting or surrendering. Since there has been no citizen participation in the real sense of the word, the people of the affected communities have suffered. Large numbers of homeowners have been forced to sell their homes at a loss and then purchase homes in other communities at inflated prices and high interest rates. Tenants have been uprooted and relocated in already overcrowded communities, thereby creating what has become known as mobile slums. Thousands of small businesses have been destroyed and their proprietors ruined. Luxury housing projects and monopolistic shopping centers are springing up in many of these renewal areas, and very little has been done for families in the lower-middle income bracket and the small businessman.
We do not want these things to happen in our community. We want sound planning. We are very realistic; we have serious housing problems, but they are curable if we have a plan and program designed to cure them. Therefore, be it resolved that TWO use all of its power and influence to insure genuine citizen participation in the planning and rehabilitation of our community.34
Actually, one of TWO's first major victories involved the urban planning and rehabilitation issue. Within three weeks of its formal establishment as the Temporary Woodlawn Organization, it succeeded (against the strong opposition of the South East Chicago Commission and the University of Chicago) in securing from the Chicago Plan Commission (CPC) the deletion from a draft ordinance drawn to allow the university to proceed with construction of a building south of the Midway, any reference to the south campus proposal. This was to eliminate any possible implication that the commission was committed to such a program. Second, it persuaded the CPC to recommend to the Chicago Land Clearance Commission that its eligibility survey be extended from the area from 60th to 61st Streets to include all of the area to 67th Street and from Stony Island to Cottage Grove. This would insure procurement of technical information basic to the development of TWO's own rehabilitation program for Woodlawn. Third, the CPC committed itself to commencing an overall planning approach in Woodlawn as TWO had been urging. These steps were eventually confirmed by action of the city council.35
Fortunately for TWO, the federal legislation required "maximum feasible participation" of citizens who would support the proposed program in the affected area. This requirement could not, of course, be met if a strong, broadly based citizens organization in Woodlawn opposed the project. It became necessary, therefore, that TWO move as rapidly as possible to build its strength in two ways: by recruiting more organizations and by encouraging residents to register to vote. Both efforts were successful. On Saturday morning, August 26, 1961, forty-five rented buses left Woodlawn for city hall loaded with about 2,000 residents intent on registering to vote. The buses were decorated with signs: "Jobs," "End School Segregation" and "Stop Slumlords." These facts attest to the vitality and capability of TWO, especially when considering that buses had to be rented on very short notice after the Chicago Transit Authority repudiated its agreement to provide them. Dozens of signs had to be made and delivered throughout Woodlawn. An extensive telephone network had to be setup to make sure that the buses got to the agreed rendezvous points and that marshals got up in time to get their charges out. In an interview with Tony Gibbs, assistant director of TWO in 1967, Herman Blake was told that voter registration was a key activity and that three-fourths of the eligible voters were registered. In one election, TWO threw its support to a white candidate for alderman, who defeated the Daley machine's black candidate three to one.
But old ways tend to persist. In March 1962, the City Planning Department issued a draft proposal for a social renewal program in Woodlawn. This program was to encompass "urban renewal clearance, conservation and rehabilitation; an investigation of illiteracy, ill health, crime and unemployment; and a 'total' pilot attack on these problems to be financed by large government and foundation grants." In reply to a question about involvement of the community in preparation of the proposal, the coordinating consultant said, "There is nobody to speak for the community. A community does not exist in Woodlawn." 36 This statement was made within about a week of March 23, 1962, when over a thousand delegates from over a hundred organizations were to meet in their first Community Congress in order to establish The Woodlawn Organization on a permanent basis. One of the resolutions to be adopted warned that, "We will not be planned for as though we were children." To underscore this warning, TWO hired (jointly with the Woodlawn Businessmen's Association) a planning consultant. His reactions to the planning department's plan and his proposals for the future were published in a special edition of the Woodlawn Booster to serve as the basis for discussion with more than 105 community groups.37
Given the requirement of maximum feasible participation and the obvious evidence that TWO was the representative citizen's group in the community, Mayor Daley saw no alternative to informing the University of Chicago that it would have to work out an agreement with TWO before its plans could be implemented under the urban renewal program. The decision was assisted by a sit-down outside the mayor's office by 600 Woodlawn residents. On July 16, 1963, Chancellor Beadle of the University of Chicago met with Reverend Brazier and twenty-five TWO members plus Chicago's commissioner of urban renewal in Mayor Daley's office and an agreement was reached. The agreement provided that TWO was to approve the project director and have a majority on the community planning and renewal committees to supervise the program; that renewal was to be on a selective rather than a wholesale basis; that the housing should be built by a nonprofit organization so that those displaced would be re-housed at rents Woodlawn residents could afford; and that land-clearing activities were not to be begun by the university until new housing was ready for those to be displaced. Apparently, the university was not fully convinced that it must negotiate the matter because (according to the Sun-Times for September 24, 1963" it asked city hall's Planning and Housing Committee to approve a preliminary planning survey before the mayor had appointed the planning committee with TWO membership as had been agreed at the July 12 confrontation. In any case, the university's request was rejected.
On October 18, the mayor appointed a Woodlawn citizens' committee (the key community development committee) of thirteen members, of whom seven belonged to TWO membership organizations, one becoming chairman. The significance of this was stated by the Reverend Lynward Stevenson, TWO president, when he said, "What we have fought for and won is citizen participation in urban renewal. The people in this community know what they want. We will not be shut out of decision making."38 But progress on the urban renewal front was excruciatingly slow. It was October 1964 before a tentative agreement was worked out, providing that TWO and the Kate Maremont Foundation would build 520 low-cost housing units. "Reservation" of $11,500,000 in federal funds for the 150-acre renewal project was not announced until November 1965. But it was June 1967 before the city council's planning committee approved the agreement. The land for the low-cost housing was not sold to TWO until July 1967.39
It must have been a frustrating period for TWO members, and it is a tribute to the strength of the organization that it was able to go forward. It was able to do so, in part, because there were so many other critical problems urgently calling for attention. And, of course, TWO's planner with the volunteer help of several architects was busy developing community-based planning concepts. In 1966,one meeting on planning was attended by 1,300 persons. In the winter and spring of 1967, five meetings had been held with no fewer than 400 persons at any one of them.40
Housing. While the struggle over urban renewal was going on, the battle continued on other fronts, particularly with respect to housing. To deal with it, a Housing Committee with 200 active members was formed. In Alinsky's terms, of course, the problem was one of slumlords. The Reverends Blakeley and Leber put it this way:
Woodlawn is plagued, like all big city "ghetto" areas, with absentee landlords who make huge amounts of money by running slums. No city has made much headway against them. In Illinois, they hide their names in secret trusts administered by respectable banking institutions. They are able to bribe building inspectors. When they are finally cited ... , they secure endless delays in court and laughable small fines.
They quoted Alderman Leon Despres as saying, "Court fines on slum buildings are so small they are actually a license fee to continue breaking the law."41 The attack began with a visit to a bank to ask disclosure of the name of the owner of a slum building. The suggestion that a sit-in might take place in the bank led the bank to resign the trust and disclose the name of the owner: "What years of litigation by city officials had not been able to produce, the people of Woodlawn had obtained for themselves in twenty-four hours. . . . The owner, who was afraid that his friends and neighbors would discover that he was a slum operator, agreed to make the required repairs. Not all landlords are so obliging. Often TWO members have had to charter buses and actually picket the homes of slum landlords in well-to-do, all-white sections of Chicago."42
Another tactic used was the rent strike in which a committee collected the rents and put them in a special bank account until the landlord complied with what needed to be done. In one case, TWO issued a Black Paper: "Concerning 1415-21 E. 61st Place and the Forces That Made It a Slum, November 19, 1965." But, overall, the policy was to work with landlords if they would cooperate. In fact, when the Housing Committee discovered that payments on a mortgage were taking 90 percent of the rent (hence, no money was available for repairs), the committee undertook to get the mortgage refinanced.
The Housing Committee works closely with the planners and architects in determining which buildings in the community can be rehabilitated... . Also, when they receive a complaint about conditions or services in a particular building, they make a thorough investigation of the complaint.... The owner is then contacted, the complaints explained to him, and he is invited to come before the committee for a negotiating session. . . . The owner is permitted to present his case; then the people in the building present theirs. The committee then gives the owner a reasonable period of time to prepare a plan for dealing with the complaint.... If an owner refuses to meet with the committee, or refuses to make a reasonable attempt to deal with the problems in the building, the committee applies some of the sanctions available to it. One sanction is to register a complaint with the appropriate city agency.... Given the reputation of TWO, such complaints now get results.... The committee may organize a rent strike in the building or picket the home of the owner on a weekend, pointing out to his neighbors that the individual picketed can live in a nice area because he gets income from slum property.
Herman Blake called attention to another tactic:
I should point out that when TWO begins to work with a resident of a building which needs attention, they do not work with one individual only. The resident is expected to call together the other families in the building; they are then organized into a block club, and that club becomes a member organization of TWO. The people are shown that it is their organized efforts which bring them results, and they learn that their independence, self-reliance, self-determination and success will require effort on their part in terms of participation and finance through TWO dues... . Time after time as I talked to the members of different committees and asked them how they became involved in TWO, the answer given most frequently was that they came to the organization with a complaint, that instead of resolving their problem, the organization got them involved in resolving their own problems, and they have been committed to TWO ever since.43
In 1966, the Housing Committee presented a list of the major slum properties in Woodlawn to the Building Commission. Committee members then accompanied building inspectors on their visits and received information on what follow-up was needed and would be forthcoming. In another unique development, TWO won the first court case in the country in which a building owned by a recalcitrant landlord was placed in the hands of a court-appointed receiver.
These tactics were having an effect. It was, for example, asserted at the 1965 Community Congress that TWO had been responsible for the rehabilitation of a million dollars worth of property.44 At the 1966 Congress, Reverend Stevenson stated that absentee landlords had put more than $2,000,000 back into rundown buildings over the preceding thirty months. Important as these gains were in improving the quality of housing, we should not overlook the prodigious efforts required of the 200 members of the Housing Committee. They, of course, gained enormously in many aspects of civic and personal competence in the course of their study of situations and the many negotiations with landlords and officials.
Schools. Another critical campaign involved efforts to improve the educational opportunities available to Woodlawn children.45 Parents and teachers (the latter wearing sheets to conceal their identity) testified to gross overcrowding in Woodlawn schools with classes being held in basements, attics and corridors. A "death watch" was started at meetings of the board of education. Fifteen persons wearing black capes would occupy the first two rows; they represented the "mourning of Negro parents for the plight of their children." Some picketed the home of the president of the board of education. Other TWO members were arrested for demonstrating at schools. A "Truth Squad" of four mothers visited all-white schools and pinpointed vacant classrooms into which black children from overcrowded Woodlawn schools could be moved. Cofield noted, "According to documented reports, schools were found that had entire floors vacant...." The response of the board was to buy hundreds of trailers to be used as classrooms at black schools in Woodlawn. TWO called them "Willis Wagons" (after Benjamin Willis, who was school superintendent during that period). When school officials held a dedication ceremony for these trailers in Woodlawn, they invited an all-white high school band to play, which obliged with "Old Black Joe." The effect on the parents of Woodlawn can be imagined. This underscores the point of one of Alinsky's assertions that in organizing a poor community, you can usually count on the Establishment to do much of the organizing.
At one point, TWO organized a boycott of one of the neighborhood schools. A few days before, TWO had been enjoined from picketing the school. While publicly protesting this injunction, TWO quietly changed its plans. No parents came to the school at all. The waiting police had no one to arrest. Instead, neighborhood apartment buildings were converted into day care centers for the day. Only twelve out of 2,800 children came to the school.46 The fact that hundreds of parents could be reached on such short notice and given new instructions which were carried out so totally testifies to the effectiveness of TWO as an organization, the commitment of its members and the responsiveness of the parents. "It was," Chambers said, "the first time that such a boycott had been successfully organized against a school board in a large city."47
While TWO was pursuing a sequence of steps to secure administrative redress (as required by the presiding judge who acknowledged that segregation existed), TWO also issued a "Social Planning Policy Memo" outlining what must be done about the schools. The memo pointed out that 20 percent less money was spent in Woodlawn's segregated schools than elsewhere in Chicago and went on to ask for a full instructional day, increased expenditure per pupil, integration, use of parents as teacher aides, availability of study facilities after school, an academic review board to prevent falsifying test scores (as TWO alleged), more liberal arts and an adequate treatment of black history in the curriculum. Eventually, progress was made on these issues, but the most encouraging development was the negotiation of a tripartite agreement among TWO, the University of Chicago (largely through its graduate school of education) and the Chicago Board of Education to reconstruct the public school program in Woodlawn. The community's full participation was not assured until some pointed prodding accelerated a widening of Establishment views. Work on the Urban Education Developmental Project was eventually funded in early 1967 by the U.S. Office of Education.
Health. TWO's insistence on self-determination encouraged some interesting innovations in the delivery of health services. Two examples can be cited. In 1964, the Woodlawn Mental Health Center was set up by the Chicago Board of Health with an advisory group including community members. The community representatives said they were more concerned about preventive services than they were with a treatment program. They wanted an emphasis on children, beginning with first-graders, on the ground that this was a period when strain could have a damaging effect. High risk cases were to be identified and worked with. Efforts were to be made to bring parents of such children into the schools as part of the program.
The advisory group played a very important role. It was its responsibility to articulate community hopes and aspirations, thereby providing community sanction for a program proposal--unless, of course, the advisory group did not concur, in which case the matter would be dropped.48 Subsequently, in 1967, the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare made a grant of $300,000 per year to fund the Woodlawn Child Health Center for a five-year period. A key principle was that children were to receive health care over a continuous period, with annual physical examinations until age eighteen. The community advisory group was expanded to include twenty-one members. Seven members were to be designated by each of the following: TWO, the University of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Health. It was agreed that no community health program would be started unless a majority of each of the three groups concurred.49 The community had achieved through TWO a significant and responsible role in determining the character of the health programs to be made available to Woodlawn.
Social Welfare. Another important program in TWO concerned social welfare. A minority report at the TWO convention in 1966 recommended that the Social Welfare Committee be supplanted by a vigorous Social Welfare Union. This report was adopted, and by 1967, the SWU had enrolled 300 active members. The organization succeeded in getting welfare recipient budgets reviewed regularly, as well as raising money for extras, such as Christmas toys which were not provided for in welfare budgets. They arranged to buy toys at a discount from a local merchant and made a similar arrangement to purchase back-to-school clothing. "These activities give the members a sense of controlling their own destiny and a sense of freedom and independence which does not characterize most welfare recipients."50
To try to improve the provision of social services, a new social services center was to be built with a grant by the city to the university of $1,300,000 to which the latter was to add $900,000. The Children's Bureau agreed to provide $420,000 per year for five years toward the operating expenses of $531,000 per year. Major social agencies would have offices there in order that families could be served as a unit. The emphasis would be on prevention, moving into the community under the direction of the university and the community advisory board.51
Civil Rights. Another active TWO group was the Civil Rights Committee. Following the closing down of "Baby Skid Row" in Woodlawn through a local option election, the Civil Rights Committee reached an agreement with the agency responsible for issuing liquor licenses, providing that it would not issue a license without prior approval of the committee. At the time of Herman Blake's visit to Woodlawn in 1967, the committee had just presented a list of demands to the hospitals to which Woodlawn residents came for medical services. The demands were for: (1) an across-the-board recognition of welfare recipients; (2) better emergency room treatment and care before transfer to another hospital; (3) elimination of all discrimination throughout the hospital, especially against welfare recipients; (4) recognition of the dignity of all entering the hospital; (5) recognition of a TWO committee to meet monthly with the hospitals; (6) one person, specified by TWO, to serve on the board of directors of each hospital; and (7) the development of a program to get general health services to central Woodlawn. In the meantime, the TWO Steering Committee had authorized the Civil Rights Committee to bring a civil suit under the Civil Rights Act if necessary, to have all federal funds to the hospitals cut off if there were no response to the demands.52
Jobs. Much of the emphasis on jobs took the form of training grants. (See section below on youth.) But much effort also went into negotiating with retail stores. By the end of 1963, Marshall Field and Company had hired 114 blacks. Supermarkets hired blacks as assistant managers, cashiers, butchers, etc.53
Youth. Another TWO jobs activity which had great significance involved gangs, especially the Blackstone Rangers and, to a lesser degree, the Eastside Disciples. These were not street corner gangs in the ordinary sense, but large, elaborate organizations. The Rangers, in fact, were incorporated in Illinois as the Blackstone P. Nation (the P. standing variously for People, Pride, Progress or Prosperity). James Alan McPherson, the poet, asserted that, at the time he wrote his article on the Blackstone Rangers, its membership numbered somewhere between 3,500 and 8,000 boys and men, including married men.54 This suggests that it was as much a way of life as it was a club.
In any case, TWO decided to try to work with the Rangers. It did so in furtherance of its basic position that group problems can be solved only by the group and that alienation can be eliminated and human dignity restored only by working on real issues. Youth was demanding, according to Reverend Brazier, not just freedom from imposed authority but a structure within which they could change their own destiny and at the same time know that the community supported them. TWO thought it would be possible to help redirect energies into positive programs of value to themselves and the community.55
Trying to help the gangs took courage. Some member agencies of TWO had been rejected by the gangs. Middle-class parents feared the gangs and their influence on their children. Some adults withdrew from TWO over the issue, but the organization determined to go ahead. A key decision was to concentrate on job training but only with the full participation of gang leadership in planning, design and operation of the program.56
Beginning in 1964, a variety of job programs was started with federal funds. Some 200 trainees were served in the summer of 1964. In February 1965, arrangements were made to train several hundred on the job with three employers, including a large department store. They were screened, selected and counseled by TWO. The grant funds were used to reimburse the employers for training costs. In addition, 225 persons were being served by TWO in its own training program.57 By the time of the TWO convention in April 1966, President Lynward Stevenson could announce that more than a thousand persons had been placed in jobs.58
On July 20, 1966, a grant to TWO in the amount of $1,900,000 was announced. It was designed to prepare 660 jobless over a two-year period. About 560 would be given classroom training for eventual employment as dental, medical and podiatry assistants, machinists and furnace builders. They would then go into on-the-job training situations with firms which had already agreed to hire them. The remaining 100 were to go directly into on-the-job training.59 In April 1967, the Blackstone Rangers and the Eastside Disciples agreed to "cool it" so as not to jeopardize an application to OEO for a grant to fund further training. A training grant was eventually received from OEO in the amount of $935,000.
While some of the gang members were ready to go into job training, some were not because they were functionally illiterate. The plan called for the more able gang members to go through a special training program which would enable them to become basic education teachers for the functionally illiterate. The idea was that gang members would recruit gang members, gang members would teach gang members and each individual would move at his own pace, When an individual was ready, he would move from basic education into the job-training part of the program. 60
The basic premise of the youth program was that ghetto residents had a low tolerance for frustration. They had had much more experience with immediate ills, such as jail, than with striving for benefits to be realized in the future. "TWO believes that ghetto youth can learn to adjust to the society at large by learning how to utilize their existing life style in a more functional manner and that in so doing they can gradually learn new patterns of performance and interaction."6l As it turned out, the project survived only from September 1967 until May 1968. Mayor Daley had succeeded in getting partial control of the project through his own poverty program office, and staff appointments critical to the TWO project were blocked. The newspapers played up the fact that a number of gang members who had been employed had criminal records. (Given the facts of ghetto life, one must wonder if the situation could have been otherwise.) The police escalated a policy of harassment. McPherson quoted Captain Edward Buckney, head of the Gang Intelligence Unit of the Chicago Police Department, as saying, "Our approach is the hard-line, police approach. We're not concerned with sociological approaches."62
In January 1968, OEO issued a statement supporting TWO and its project management. The General Accounting Office audit gave TWO a good rating. These facts were not carried in the newspapers, according to Reverend Brazier. An investigation was undertaken by Senator McClellan and his subcommittee. Introduced by Senator Percy, Brazier testified to the worth of the project but to no avail. The project was not refunded.
The project ... was designed to use whatever skills and abilities we could find within the youth organizations. The social workers and youth workers all had their day. None have succeeded. We know that it is a high risk to take a youngster with a bad record and place confidence in him, but after all, repression had achieved nothing. We believe that the effort has been justified.63
Reverend Brazier concluded, "The project was killed because white society refused to permit the indigenous leaders in the black ghetto to deal with problems of alienated youth--a problem that white society itself by its indifference and racism has forced on the ghetto."64
Agreement with this conclusion was found in an article by Lois Wille. Comparing the TWO project with other projects involving gang youth, she wrote, "the TWO project had one handicap the others don't have. It drifted through its nine-month course without a director." She continued:
The OEO contract provided that Mayor Richard J. Daley was to "concur" with TWO in naming a director.
Last June, TWO's advisory committee, composed mainly of University of Chicago professors and welfare directors from private agencies, recommended an experienced New York gang worker and ex-probation officer. Daley rejected the recommendation.
Also, Daley has said that he disapproved of the way the project was funded. OEO awarded the grant directly to TWO, bypassing the city's antipoverty agency. The city agency had rejected a similar TWO proposal.65
In an evaluation conducted for OEO, Dr. Irving Spergel of the School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, wrote:
I have no question that the program should have been extended. Certainly, a great many young people were involved in the program. There was clear evidence of delinquent reduction, which is probably a result of the program. There was evidence of job placement.
It is difficult to come to any conclusion about the program failures; the basic failure of the program was essentially political.... The political factors primarily determined the life and particularly the death of the program. The basic political issue was who would control the program.66
Dean Spergel affirmed the positive results of the job training project. Not only would Woodlawn youth be denied training desperately needed to secure worthwhile jobs, but this failure must have been most disillusioning for the community. Mayor Daley and his machine had won again. Yet we must allow that this may not be all of the story; the role of the youth gangs was opaque, to say the least. But let us now take a closer look at the organizing effort itself which led to the formation of TWO.
Organization and Finances
The development of TWO did not reflect a steady accretion of strength without faltering on the way. Commenting on its early history, Ed Chambers characterized TWO at that time as more of a movement than a "solid organization." According to Chambers, after the first Community Congress there was a loss of momentum. Meetings were not being held regularly. Decisions came increasingly to be made by the Steering Committee (numbering between twenty-five and thirty persons). Some leaders quit; others threatened to do so. In January 1963, Chambers was assigned to work with Reverend Brazier, Reverend Farrell and Richard Harmon, and the organizing effort was resumed. New leaders were recruited. Regular meetings were scheduled. The Steering Committee began meeting weekly. The Delegates Council met the third Monday of each month with an average attendance of 250. (The working committees on welfare, schools, etc., were an outgrowth of the Delegate Council's activity.) The year 1963 was a revitalizing, tightening-up year. At the beginning, the organization was $3,000 in debt, in spite of the grant subsidy. Chambers worked to get the organization to face up to the necessity to raise its own money to pay its bills. By the close of the Second Community Congress, TWO had a balance of $14,000.
It took more than regular meetings, of course, to strengthen the organization. The TWO version of the caucus became an essential ingredient. It became the practice for a group involved in taking some action to caucus a half-hour beforehand to review what the purpose was, what was to be done and why and who was going to do it. Immediately following the action, the group would caucus again to evaluate what had happened. Still later the same evening, it became customary for leaders and staff to meet, perhaps at some tavern, to talk again about what had occurred and what the next steps should be. This procedure meant that goals could be clarified, the value of particular tactics assessed and organizational commitments strengthened. But the movement element was not ignored. The president's report became a fixed feature of the Steering Committee meetings. It was his opportunity to explain goals, and the need for money, as well as to put impending action in focus.67
Turning to the matter of membership, data can be found, but assessment of their significance is not easy. An article in the Chicago Defender asserted that in its second year, TWO's membership included sixty business organizations, fifty block groups and thirty churches, collectively representing some 40,000 persons out of a total population of 100,000.68 The membership figures appear to be somewhat exaggerated, and the total figure must be applicable to a larger tract than the original project included. For example, the six census tracts which officially cover the Woodlawn area indicated a total population of about 45,000 in 1960. The data on the number of organizations are difficult to evaluate. The connection of some organizations with TWO may have been rather nominal, as Stephen Rose learned. In 1964, in an effort to get some clues as to the involvement of churches in TWO, Rose attempted to contact thirty-six churches listed as members. Of these, four had no telephone, five no longer existed and eight did not answer after repeated calling. Each of the remaining nineteen churches was asked its reaction to TWO and the extent of its participation in the organization. Eleven indicated a positive response to TWO and the active support of church members; three respondents were in opposition; two were inactive in the organization but favorable toward its aims; one minister said his church "just sits back and watches"; one was inactive but expressed awareness of what TWO "has been and can be"; and, finally, with the sound of a midweek Pentecostal service in the background, the respondent said that he had "never heard of it." Most of the favorable responses asserted the view that TWO's program was consistent with the aims of justice and that association in the ministerial alliance had been a spur to ecumenicity.69 The impact of Rose's survey is partial at best. The positive responses are positive; the negative responses, negative. The question is, Who were the respondents? Were they entitled to represent the organization? How large were the congregations where the telephone was answered? All of which is to suggest that a mass organization is not necessarily massive.
According to the IAF Annual Report for 1962-1963, some eighty-five organizations paid dues at the Second Community Congress. (Each organization was entitled to seven delegates and five alternates.) This figure is probably more realistic than the 140 organizations reported in the Chicago Defender.70 The convention fee for each organization was $50 with a total of $125 being due from each organization annually. According to the report, about $14,500 was raised in this way.71 Evidently, fundraising efforts were pursued more energetically after the revitalization of the organizational effort in 1963. Rose reported that by mid-1964, $27,000 had been raised within Woodlawn and, quoting Alinsky, that the 'IAF will probably withdraw by the end of 1964 and TWO will operate on a budget of $30,000 to $40,000, all of it raised within the community.72 President Stevenson reported to the 1966 convention that fund raising in the preceding year had been excellent, that dues had come in on time, that the January 1 Big Party was a great success and that the newspaper was profitable. Accordingly, the annual budget was being raised from $35,000 to $45,000.73
Evidently the newspaper made a significant contribution to organizational support. The Woodlawn Observer had grown from a four-page sheet published semimonthly to a respected weekly. In a further development, $9,000 had been invested in additional printing equipment, and five other community papers were being printed in the Observer's shop. Unfortunately, it was not possible to learn much more about TWO finances. Brazier's book is of little assistance on this matter, being almost exclusively a statement of objectives and description of activities. There is almost no material dealing with staff operation, organization or finances. But in 1967, Brazier confirmed to Herman Blake that about $15,000 per year accrued through fundraising events and organizational dues. This would indicate that the number of organizations paying the full dues of $125 per year must have been something less than the figure of eighty-five organizations reported by the IAF in 1963. Nevertheless, TWO was able to maintain a staff and continue to expand its program significantly.
The organizational structure was itself interesting.
The officers include a president, executive vice-president, secretary, treasurer and a host of vice-presidents representing the clergy, business groups, the Spanish-speaking people and eleven geographical areas within Woodlawn. Each member organization is permitted to send seven delegates and five alternates to the annual convention.
The large number of vice-presidents gives official representation to the various segments of the community. The actual day-to-day business of the organization is carried out by the president, the paid staff and the standing committees. The Delegates Committee, which has the major responsibility of the organization, consists of four delegates from each member organization. This committee meets monthly to hear reports from all the other committees and implements the policies of the annual convention. The Steering Committee, made up of chairmen of the standing committees, meets weekly. The standing committees, which also meet weekly, consist of social, welfare, housing, civil rights, community maintenance, schools and consumer practices. 74
The structure may seem cumbersome, but Blake's observations indicate that at least the committee structure was functioning actively and well. This is a solid measure of the effectiveness of the organization. In fact, the organization was even more elaborate than is indicated by the above description. Georgie Anne Geyer pointed out, for example, that TWO had a network of telephone callers. "Even a TWO group of 200 appears orderly because it is really twenty groups of ten people each. Each group of ten has a leader."75 Although TWO, like all human organizations, has been subject to ups and downs, in general it appears that it has had vigorous leadership which addressed its tasks with competence.
Many of the results achieved by TWO have already been mentioned. But what can we say about the significance of what has happened in Woodlawn?
1. First, we can take note again of Silberman's statement that TWO was "the first successful attempt anywhere in the United States to mobilize the residents of a Negro slum into a large and effective organization."76 There can be no question that the organization became solid, perhaps, too much so. TWO is now a business corporation with a well-paid executive. It controls in the neighborhood of a thousand housing units and other enterprises representing a total investment of about $35,000,000. It also controls vacant land on which it is expected more housing will be built.77
2. TWO succeeded in building a power base sufficient to achieve a considerable measure of control over the conditions of daily life in the Woodlawn ghetto. Its achievements by the late sixties had been substantial in the fields of housing, employment, consumer protection, health, welfare and other fields. By 1975, further progress had occurred. In spite of many empty, boarded-up stores, there was evidence of new construction or rehabilitation of older buildings, according to an article in the New York Times.78 Gang warfare and the plague of fires were said to have all but disappeared. Jackson Park Terrace, consisting of 322 units (townhouses and a high rise), contained a mixture of low and middle-income black and white tenants. The Woodlawn Gardens project of about 500 units had become stabilized after suffering earlier the effects of inadequate financing, mismanagement and other difficulties. About 100 units in old structures were being rehabilitated. The supermarket and theater, TWO-owned, were returning a profit. Other TWO activities included: a community health center, job training program, adoption referral agency and a neighborhood "crime watch." On the other hand, a shopping center did poorly. According to Leon Finney, most of the black population could not afford to buy in small shops. Their needs had to be met by high-volume, low price operations which may explain the persistence of so many vacant stores.
In contrast to the emphasis on black self-determination in the sixties and the rather closed situation encountered by Herman Blake, Finney stated, "The aim of TWO is to draw to the area not only white residents but white businesses as well. Integration is the byword. . . . A lot of our black friends have criticized us for this, but we know now there is no way Woodlawn is going to make it as an all-black community. We are not going to gild the ghetto, and we're not going to create a poor man's reservation." Furthermore, "we got to have middle-class blacks and whites if Woodlawn is to survive."79 This view was not very different from the principle espoused by the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, that is, that its goal was an integrated community of high standards. That these changes could have occurred in the absence of TWO is scarcely to be credited.
3. TWO demanded that it be informed about and have input into the urban renewal plan from the beginning and not face a fait accompli before the Community Conservation Board. It succeeded in this because it had demonstrated its right to be consulted and had organized the power to make good its demand.
4. The interdenominational character of the TWO effort was a noteworthy achievement.
5. Silberman called attention to another major achievement: "For the first time in the history of urban renewal in the United States, people displaced by demolition will have new homes waiting for them in the new neighborhood."80
6. There was a further result not commonly thought of in connection with community organizations. Silberman pointed out that one of the problems in organizing anything is the personal disorganization which characterizes many ghetto residents. It proved very difficult at the beginning, for example, to organize distribution of leaflets because the individuals who were to assist would not show up at the same time or perhaps not at all. They would lose the leaflets, or they would simply stop distributing them.
Bit by bit, however, the members learned how to accept orders, how to carry out a simple task and follow through on it; then they began to learn how to give orders, how to handle a meeting, how to talk on their feet and debate an issue, how to handle opposition. The result, for those who have been actively involved in the organization, has been to transform their existence, for the discipline of the organization gradually imposes itself on their own lives. And as the individual learns to organize his own life, he learns how to relate to others.81
Silberman's conclusion on this point is supported by Chambers, who said that in his view the significance of TWO was, "It became the teacher of how one functions in society."82 The TWO member learned to function as a member of society by functioning. It was not learned didactically from a social worker. It was learned by doing.
7. Finally, Silberman brings up a critical point: If there is no community base, help offered from the outside is resisted and resented as "welfare colonialism." "TWO's greatest contribution, therefore, is its most subtle: it gives Woodlawn residents the sense of dignity that makes it possible for them to accept help."83 "What is crucial . . . is not what the Woodlawn residents win but the fact that they are winning it."84 They come to see themselves as people of worth, and their militancy becomes matched with a sense of responsibility.
Many hundreds of persons shared the task of carrying on TWO activities. The Housing Committee alone had 200 active members. Many others were involved in voter registration, monitoring welfare and health programs, etc. They had to learn many facts, to find out how things happened or why they did not and to learn the skills of community organization. But most important they learned that they could do it. It is difficult to believe that there would be many white neighborhoods in Chicago that could muster more effective leadership than that which TWO developed in Woodlawn.
In conclusion, it seems appropriate to end this review of results by quoting from Blake's report which takes note of remarks made in the State of the Community address delivered before TWO's 1966 annual convention by the president, the Reverend Lynward Stevenson:
I cannot describe to you what it means to negotiate with people like Sargent Shriver and Richard Daley and not be alone. For, when the president of the Woodlawn Organization goes anywhere to bargain, he has a collective leadership beside him and huge numbers of people behind him. He goes into battle with a real weapon, the weapon of the poor--their numbers. What does it mean to a man to have that kind of support? It means that he and those that support him are free men in every sense of the word.
We have paid heavily over the past five years for our self-determination. We in TWO believe that dignity is more important than money. And if city hall, or Washington, thinks that they can rob us of our self-determination by simply ignoring us, then they picked a bad year to do it.
At the close of my two years as your president, I come to say this: You have made me proud to be a part of The Woodlawn Organization. You have made me proud to be a member of the greater Woodlawn community. You have made me proud--more than I can say--to be a Negro. And finally, you have made me proud to be a man.85
TWO represents the most significant project in this category of citizen education programs to which the ESF contributed financial support. The IAF organizing effort was successful to a degree quite unique on the American scene. It showed a black, disorganized, apathetic urban ghetto population that it could, by working together, mobilize sufficient strength to affect the conditions of community life in significant ways despite the opposition of powerful interests. The community through TWO decided what it wanted, devised the tactics to achieve it and achieved the courage and determination to carry through. A key principle was that programs were not to be conceived elsewhere and then made available for the community. Community residents were to be part of the decision process. The community refused to rubber-stamp plans and programs prepared by others for community residents. And, as time went on, the organization achieved self-support and, indeed, became a significant developer of housing and related investments in the community.
Through TWO, the residents of Woodlawn gained an enormous amount of information about and an understanding of problems, about alternative courses of action, about the roles of various agencies and organizations whose work would be relevant to community needs, about the tactics which would assist TWO to meet its goals and the conviction that organizing made a difference. Perhaps most important was the growth in their sense of self-worth. We must certainly acknowledge that TWO was serving the purpose, successfully, of helping its citizen members in a significant way to work with others toward common ends. Nearly two decades after TWO started, it remains an effective, viable organization. We cannot say how widely its example has been emulated, if indeed it has a close parallel anywhere, yet the principles of its founding are not esoteric. Commenting on the relevance of the TWO approach to other situations, Reverend Stevenson said:
Because of what we have accomplished so far, leaders from Rochester and Kansas City, from Buffalo and Detroit and Oakland have come to Woodlawn to look and ask questions.
They have gone home to raise money. And TWO has sent trained men into Rochester and Kansas City to help them build permanent organization in their ghettos, 86
There were, in addition, applicants who sought support from the Foundation for the purpose of conducting community organization activities using, they said, IAF principles. We turn now to a description of what happened in the case of two grantees: The National Conference of Catholic Charities and Hudson Guild, a neighborhood house in the Chelsea area of New York City.
The success of organizing efforts by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in California, the ability of the Back-of-the-Yards Council in Chicago to maintain its strength over several decades and the continuing pronouncements by Saul Alinsky comparing IAF community organizational efforts with those of the social work profession in general and neighborhood houses in particular inevitably led to the question of whether Alinsky's organizing principles could be successfully adopted by others. The Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation welcomed the opportunity to test this possibility. Three grants were made in the hope of obtaining information on this point. Two grants were given to the National Conference of Catholic Charities (NCCC) to support organizing efforts which, after some initial uncertainty, were ultimately specified to Lackawanna, New York, and Butte, Montana. The third grant was made to Hudson Guild, a neighborhood house in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, in New York City.
The applications submitted by the National Conference of Catholic Charities (NCCC) grew out of a keen interest in the IAF on the part of the Right Reverend Monsignor John O'Grady, secretary of the NCCC. He had followed the work of the IAF in the Back-of-the-Yards area of Chicago and elsewhere since its beginning. A man of strongly liberal outlook, he was concerned by the increasing alienation of Americans and saw in community organization a way to help citizens feel that they could still have some control over their lives. His hope was to find communities where the diocesan authorities would he hospitable to the idea of working with others to organize citizens for community improvement. With funding in hand, he proposed to contract with the IAF to train local persons to organize in the community. The latter would then carry on as staff members of the citizen organization thus created. The first community for which funding of such a project was provided by the Foundation was Lackawanna, New York (adjacent to Buffalo). A three-year grant in the amount of $45,300 was made in May 1956.87
In requesting funding, Monsignor O'Grady indicated that in general his aims were to reduce apathy and to help residents of Lackawanna to develop an organization which could deal with community problems.88 But first, let us review some of the salient characteristics of this community of something over 30,000 people.
1. Economically, the city was dominated by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which controlled five out of every seven jobs. It is startling to learn that the second largest employer was the Catholic social welfare services organization.
2. The company's size meant that the union locals were also powerful.
3. The population was divided into a large number of ethnic minorities including black, Polish (the largest), German, Italian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Macedonian, Slovak, Spanish, Mexican and Puerto Rican. These groups seemed to cooperate with one another as little as possible.
4. It was not a community with a significant amount of basic illiteracy except possibly among older immigrants. Nor were there systematic obstacles placed in the way of exercising the franchise.
5. The community was anything but unorganized. In fact, it could be said that the various groups were so encapsulated in ethnically based organizations that activity on a community basis would be difficult.
6. The political system was highly corrupt. Apparently "the rascals were thrown out" many times but were merely replaced by others. In spite of the political turmoil, conditions in the city only went from bad to worse--unpaved streets, raw sewage on the surface in residential areas, slums, impoverished recreation programs, air pollution, floods, kickbacks, selling of jobs in city agencies, and so on ad nauseam. As a result, there was such a feeling of revulsion on the part of citizens against the political process that it was hard to see how a community organization could do anything effective.
Faced with this catalog of troubles, Monsignor O'Grady said:
Our problem was to find out how a town of over 30,000 people who were highly paid and very well organized in churches, unions, fraternal clubs, national groups and veterans organizations could be so plaintively helpless. We concluded that the completeness of Lackawanna's organizational life greatly contributed to making the status quo so difficult to budge. The organizations in the town which had the power (at least potentially) to make changes had each made their own accommodation with the system. True, the organizations' members did not share in these arrangements.... They suited the corporate personalities, not the individuals. . . . The process can be thought of as an unconscious one. 89
Several examples of institutionalized self-interest may be cited. Industry
had established influence over tax assessments. The unions were glad to have
a policy of noninterference on the part of the Lackawanna authorities. Also,
it was important to the union whether or not the politicians would do something
for old or injured workers. Although church membership was high, the churches
were largely immobilized. They, too, sought favors (lending a hand with money
raising, with construction or with the use of city-owned equipment. As described
by Monsignor O'Grady: "In return for this, what did the Lackawanna politician
receive? He got the parishes' neutrality. For him that was enough."90
A preliminary look around town made it clear to the organizers "... that what was to be done would have to be nonpolitical.... Obviously many people were disgusted with politics and with the [idea of] political reform. People would have to be convinced that anything we did was absolutely nonpartisan."
They further concluded:
The principal organizations would have to be reassured that nothing was underway which was designed to take from them the prerogatives and privileges they had come to think necessary for themselves.
The reader of this report may conclude that we were prepared to surrender our own principles before we had begun. Not so. If our thesis was correct, and Lackawanna's frustrating helplessness rested on a handful of major and powerful groups, one thing was certain: they must not oppose us at the beginning. If they did, we would be beaten before we started.
Secondly, until we were in a position to offer these groups new ways of getting what they considered vital to their well-being, or until we could propose adequate substitutes, we had no hope of getting them to shift their position.91
If the situation was as frozen as Monsignor O'Grady suggested, a valid question was whether there was any hope of achieving the stated objectives. But Monsignor O'Grady was determined to proceed, and organizing began in October 1956.
In a conversation in May 1957, Monsignor O'Grady and Nicholas von Hoffman reviewed the aims of the organizing effort in Lackawanna: (1) to seek to overcome the historical cleavages among ethnic groups through a positive, constructive community effort; (2) to build a realization on the part of citizens that government is their business and that it is their right and obligation to do something about it; (3) to replace an attitude of cynicism with a feeling of pride in their city; (4) to change attitudes towards politics and politicians (which, of course, also meant changing politics and the politicians); and (5) to encourage and develop new leaders who would team how to lead without acting like "the boss." (This involved helping leaders learn that more than good will was necessary and that it would also take footwork and follow-up. It meant being able to distinguish between the practical and the impractical.)92
One difficulty in determining what contribution the project made to the achievement of these objectives is the lack of any final report, failing health having prevented Monsignor O'Grady from producing one. Nevertheless, on the basis of interviews, an interim report prepared by Monsignor O'Grady in 1957 and copies of certain field reports submitted to the NCCC by organizers in the field, it is possible to describe something of what happened and draw some lessons from this experience.
The first organizer was Nicholas von Hoffman, who had worked with Saul Alinsky for several years before coming to Lackawanna. He was to remain for only five months and subsequently would come in on a consultant basis as his time allowed (presumably for a few days each month) and as the need required.93 It was his task to get organizing started, to identify and recruit someone to be trained in the local community and then to give from a distance such guidance as might be needed.
One of the first persons he met was Tom Murphy. Murphy was a native of Lackawanna, had worked in the steel mills after his second year of high school and had taken part in unsuccessful organizational drives in the past. He had been elected assessor and had begun to review the steel company's tax picture but eventually was ousted. When the organizing effort started, he was the city's senior building inspector and engineer's aide. He had been invited to the first meeting called by Monsignor Julius Szabo, director of the Lackawanna branch of the Buffalo Catholic Charities, to discuss the project. His background in politics and his activities over a long period in a variety of organizations persuaded Catholic Charities to employ him as an organizer. It was expected that he would be trained by Von Hoffman in IAF techniques.
A third organizer, Edward Chambers, was brought in later from the Middle West, presumably as a replacement for Von Hoffman. He had studied in a Catholic seminary and had worked with the Catholic Interracial Friendship House movement for several years. Subsequent to his work in Lackawanna, he became Alinsky's chief organizer in Chicago.
Training. With respect to training, documentary evidence is almost entirely lacking. A brief statement by Monsignor O'Grady, however, indicates that it was typical of the IAF pattern:
The training has proven interesting in that while one might have thought it would have to concentrate on "techniques," nothing of this sort has been the case. We found the training consisted principally of two things. The first was getting to know oneself well enough to be able to look at the work around one impartially and ... accurately. The second part of this training program was long and careful discussion of all that was happening. This was not done under any formal set of circumstances, nor was any specific time set aside for discussion. These conversations would take place usually late at night after the work of the day was done and sometimes they could go on until three or four in the morning. 94
Beginning to Organize
In his first report to Monsignor O'Grady, Von Hoffman stated that he began
by visiting an old style family tavern in the community. After establishing
"a beachhead," he moved on to other hangouts. He met Tom Murphy.95
Through Murphy I am being lined up with a lot of other people in the town who feel acutely dissatisfied at the way things are going in a number of places.... They are all furious at the "apathy toward honest graft." I have been working on them to get them to see that the first thing is to build a strong organization and not to get into a war until it can be won.... The chief danger, as I see it, is getting tabbed as a reform group and getting into a fight too soon.96
It was decided to begin by constituting a committee made up of interested individuals who were also members of major groups or organizations in the community. An alternative approach--to ask organizations to designate representatives to such a committee was rejected because it would have necessitated developing a general statement of principles and objectives which might or might not have fit the community and, in any case, might have provided "an invitation to be shot at." It was thought preferable to proceed on an inductive basis, as it were, and "to start talking about and working on the possible."97 The temporary committee was called Lackawanna Neighborhood Cooperative Committee (LNCC).
At about the time when the initial group began to meet, the problem faced by some 120 families in the lower end of the town who would need to be relocated to make way for a new highway was brought up. Most of these families were black, and almost all were poor. Tom Murphy agreed to act as chairman of a committee to deal with the consequent problems. He began organizing and had a small committee working in a few weeks. They asked for and got from the Buffalo Housing Authority a promise of preference in access to housing for those who would be evicted. Apparently, this was the first time that local citizens had accomplished something for themselves instead of just complaining to the politicians. It was especially impressive that most of those involved were poor, ill-educated blacks.98
The outcome of this issue would be crucial for the nascent organization. The question of where to put these people had been kicked around by the politicians for months; speeches had been made, denunciations issued, but nothing had been done or even started.
This small achievement provided the impetus for the decision to keep the organization in existence. People began to talk about things that had been bothering them but which they had held back because they did not really think anything could be done about them. 99
By July 1957, several other undertakings, including a protest resulting in the city signing a contract to deal with a sewer problem, appeared to be successfully underway.
Another important development involved Albright Court, a public housing project built during the war to house workers in war industry. About the time the organizing effort began, plans were made to sell the project to the highest bidder. As it turned out, the high bid was submitted by local interests at a level far above the highest bid offered by outside investors. It quickly became clear that the local bidders expected to get their money back by escalating rents, by converting recreation rooms into apartments and rooms for rent and through a policy of minimum maintenance. This situation was made to order for a citizens' organizing effort. With help from the NCCC organizers, the Albright Court Tenants Council was formed. Its aim was to compel the landlord to bargain with the tenants, to compel the rent control office to establish a rental scale lower than the landlord proposed and to compel the landlord to specify a maintenance schedule. The council said that tenants would refuse to pay rent until repairs were made, and it worked out a maintenance and repair schedule. But, as a tactic, it made no proposals to the landlord, relying on the group's ability to keep negotiations tied up in order to force him to make proposals.
On July 11, 1957, the residents of Albright Court received notice from the owner of his intention to apply for rent increases, ranging from one-third to one-half in amount. Fortunately, because some organizational work had by this time been done in Albright Court, a petition was already on file with the rent control office calling for an extension of controls. A meeting of tenants was called, and plans were made for a mass meeting at which time tenants could complete their responses to the landlord's notice and have the forms notarized and forwarded to the rent control office. In the meantime, the tenants had also succeeded in getting an extension of time, from seven to eighteen days, in which to reply.
Prior to the mass meeting, outside groups were contacted for expressions of support and encouragement of the tenants. The president of the NAACP, pastors of two churches and union members agreed to try to arrange for such overt support. In addition, questionnaires were distributed to the tenants which asked them to comment in very specific terms on the condition of their apartments. The questionnaires "gave us an opportunity to get into every one of their homes and explain the organization we had and that we did have an effective instrument with which to fight the landlord."100 Some 270 people from Albright Court attended the mass meeting.
The whole meeting was very well organized and was run off in about an hour and a half in addition to having over 130 forms notarized on the spot. Several labor fellows commented that it was one of the best-run meetings they had been to in a long time. We set up a system of Unit Captains ... we have tried to get a representative from each building to be on the executive committee . . . and in this way we have a rapid-fire way of communication, keeping people informed and of notifying people of changes.101
During these developments, Chambers made several telephone calls to the
chairman of the LNCC to keep him informed. But at the next meeting of the
LNCC executive committee, a bitter argument broke out because some of the
members were violently opposed to rent controls. The chairman (a school administrator)
argued that it might be all right to work with these "fringe groups" but
should not and could not be identified with the Lackawanna Neighborhood Cooperative Committee. ... He started referring to Tom and I as merely advisors to the executive group and he pretty much put me on the hot seat. I tried to point out that . . . people from the First Ward .. . thought that something should really be done on this issue and that the organization should get behind it. We also have about four members who were in the organization who live in the Albright Court.... There seemed to be a tremendous fear on the part of the chairman and others that the organization was growing to proportions where they no longer could control it and they were not willing to invest some trust and some faith in other people. In effect they were saying that we could possibly work with these groups but that they could not use our name or that we would soon have every rabble-rouser down on our necks. 102
At the general meeting of the LNCC, the argument continued, ending up
with an announcement by the chairman that he was resigning. Chambers' reaction:
The determination must come about as to whether this organization is going to have new groups who can operate under the principle of self-determination and can have representation on our executive committee and on policy-making committees. This determination ultimately is going to decide whether we succeed or fail. We cannot draw off at this point at getting these groups in; if we do it will be a complete victory for the middle-class mentality and for the mentality of a small minority who want to keep a complete air of respectability about our organization. 103
Subsequently, the owners of Albright Court were granted rent increases but in a greatly reduced amount from the original request.
Because it points up certain difficulties in the later development of the organizing effort, it is useful to compare the reports submitted to the NCCC by two of the organizers working in the project. Ed Chambers' reports emphasized organizational principles, including ways and means to use a particular issue to benefit the organizing effort. He tried to determine what lay behind an action or statement that might have relevance to the project. Tom Murphy's report for the same period devoted the first eight pages to a description of the Albright Court project from the viewpoint of a building inspector. This would be useful in a meeting of tenants, but it had no direct relevance to the problem of organizing in the area. Only one page was devoted to a rather cursory listing of some events which had been dealt with at length by Chambers.
As the negotiations concerning Albright Court proceeded, an increasing uneasiness manifested itself among members of the LNCC. They apparently had little inclination for controversy, an attitude which was basic to the issue of viability of the organizing effort. Chambers noted in a later report that some of the subcommittees of the Albright Tenants Council were beginning to show a certain apathy, as though having partially won one issue was enough. In the meantime, the landlords were trying to convert a recreational building into additional apartments although they had not yet repaired the existing ones. Even though the tenants pointed out building violations, the permit to reconvert was granted. Chambers did not appear to be too downcast, observing that:
organizationally it will be good for our tenants in Albright Court. The reason we got beat on this was because we were not organized well enough. . .. I think we have come out very well on this because I don't want to approach the Community Congress with a big fight in the Albright Court deal. We have become too much identified with this one issue ... we have got to submerge it for the benefit of bringing about the Community Congress and organizing many of the people who are yet unorganized... . Tom, on the contrary, was very interested in blasting and in general raising hell because the permits were given. I do not see what we would have gained from that. We were beaten no matter how big a stink we make. Permits will be given. 104
It is difficult to second-guess a decision of this kind. It may be that had the issue been pressed harder, the organization would have collapsed before it had even held its first Community Congress. Yet the record indicates that the fight waged by the Albright Court tenants was one of the major efforts of the LNCC, and certainly the tenants made up a very large proportion of the persons involved with the LNCC committee. One can wonder, therefore, whether the tenants may not have felt that LNCC let them down by deciding not to push the matter. In the meantime, at the first Community Congress (January 1958) the LNCC had become the Citizens Federation of Lackawanna (CFL).
One reason that the tenants' struggle was not used more effectively was because middle-class elements in the CFL vehemently opposed supporting the Albright tenants on the ground that a rent strike was too controversial. Because the Albright tenants were not represented collectively, they had no leverage in seeking CFL support. Other issues requiring confrontation with authorities were also avoided by the middle-class group. As a result, there was no reason for a mass-base to develop. After the initial successful effort to gain housing for those displaced by the expressway, the organization failed to help those who needed help the most.
The Albright Court fight was localized, but there were other issues which affected the whole city. To deal with them, organizations were formed in each of the four wards into which the city was divided. These ward organizations, under the overall designation of Citizens Federation of Lackawanna (CFL), were the first in the city to include a broad representation of groups, including WASPs and professionals. Each ward organization had precinct captains who were not controlled by city hall. Along with these ward organizations there was a leader-in-training program, involving a group of lawyers and Bruce Young, a Protestant minister.115 One example of a citywide issue which was fought by the CFL and its ward organizations involved the policies and practices of the school board. The Education Committee of the CFL which had been organized at the first Community Congress undertook a detailed study of the school budget. On the basis of their analysis they recommended that the CFL oppose the school board's proposal for a bond issue to build a new school. "In this year's budget we laid the ground work for an intelligent understanding of the fiscal affairs of the educational system. ..."106 In the election which followed, the bond proposal was defeated by a vote of four to one. "This was the first time that the power group in Lackawanna (that is, the school board and city hall) had been defeated." Moreover, the Committee's candidate was elected to the school board.107
In the meantime, the Albright Corporation had changed its tactics by filing appeals for rent increases on individual units in an effort to split the tenants. The problem for the tenants was increased enormously because now each appeal had to be opposed on an individual basis. Unfortunately, the organization proved weaker than might have been expected in view of the fact that it had previously been able to gain advantages for tenants. In spite of such gains, of the 200 resident families, only seventy had paid a five-dollar membership fee to the Albright Court Tenants Council. Even so, the tenants did score a success because the New York State Rent Control Office reversed the Buffalo office on rent increases granted to the landlords. A summary of this decision was duplicated and distributed to every family.
Yet, the CFL continued to have difficulties. Prior to the second Community Congress, five persons were approached to run for president but all declined. Apparently, being identified as "controversial" was hurting the organization. Those with political ambitions as well as representatives of industry were withdrawing. A local bank pressured its employees to withdraw. Why, then, did the CFL lose momentum? In part, it was due to the character of the community itself. Both its structure and history had, in my opinion, a decisive impact on the effort to form a citizens organization. The overwhelming size of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation must to some degree have inhibited any effort to bring about significant change contrary to the wishes of the company. Even countervailing forces, such as the United Steel Workers locals, had made their own accommodations with Bethlehem, accommodations which might have been upset had the locals elected to throw their weight against the company on some political issue.
The strong divisions, involving not only whites against blacks but antagonisms among the European ethnic groups as well, made the election process in an organization a very ticklish business indeed. In spite of the active involvement of the Buffalo Catholic Charities, the Catholic parish organizations, with one or two exceptions, remained aloof. This, alone, was a fatal blow. The racial issue affected even decisions about recreational facilities because no progress could be made toward improving them if the effect would be either to perpetuate a segregated pattern or to promote integration. The desire to avoid raising a religious issue enabled the Protestants to block such fundraising devices as the raffle, which might have provided a first step toward self-financing. The widespread corruption in city government and the school administration had produced a cynicism matched by apathy at the polls, except when the electorate swarmed to the polls on occasion to "throw the rascals out." Disillusionment with the political process strongly inhibited any organizing effort which pointed toward political action. This was viewed by citizens as partisan, and they did not wish to have anything to do with it. It was as though they wanted to abdicate their political rights.
Although some inferences can be made, the records available provide little detail concerning the organizational process or structure of what was eventually to become the CFL. Given Lackawanna's history, however, it is clear that the process of building the organization could not have been easy. The many meetings held by Von Hoffman with individuals and small groups in Lackawanna did result in a small steering committee undertaking to plan for a large group meeting to be held January 24, 1957. They also proposed three committees: the Program Committee would in time be expected to have subcommittees for relocation and housing, traffic safety, flood control and sanitation and health; the Publicity Committee would control publicity issued on behalf of the organization; the Rules Committee would deal with matters of organization.
In constituting the group which was to meet in January, an attempt had been made to recruit key individuals who were important in the town's most powerful organizations. They were, however, recruited as individuals rather than as representatives of their organizations. This was done in part because no one was quite ready to explain just what the new organization was and, in part, because to define it in a statement of principles might result in the other organizations' refusal to designate representatives. It was finally decided that the steering committee would invite other people who were approved by the majority of its members and who would agree to support the purposes of the committee. The reason for the restricted entree was the fear that "politicians" would move in and take over.108 By the end of March, Von Hoffman reported that the group had sixty members and that it was a well-balanced group so that no single bloc would control it. On the other hand, we might wonder whether it was so well balanced as to be immobilized, with the various interests canceling each other.
In the meantime, the group, which had taken the name Lackawanna Neighborhood Cooperative Committee (LNCC), was discussing what its permanent form should be. One question was whether its membership should consist of organizations or of individuals. And there were other problems to settle. For example, fear was expressed that the committee would become a rival of the Chamber of Commerce.109 The many differences of opinion, indeed, led to the resignation of the chairman later that summer because he could not accept the fact that the organization would have to be run on democratic lines and not like a teachers' meeting in a school. An important unresolved question was the place of blacks in the organization. In late May, the chairman of the Rules Committee stated that their presence was keeping others from joining the LNCC. Later, action on program matters would be left undecided because of inability to accept the principle of equal access.
In early June, Chambers noted that the Rules Committee chairman wanted to keep the organization small and was concerned about the idea of having a constitutional convention. He also reported that members were lukewarm toward the idea of a delegate organization. Chambers thought that the Rules Committee did not understand the connection between the structural basis of the organization and its financing.110 While some of the leaders of the LNCC were talking about a ten-dollar membership fee, others were pointing out that this would carry the group for only a month; that the need was rather for a budget in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 a year if they were to have a full-time organizer.
The Community Congress was held in January 1958, and the Citizens Federation of Lackawanna was organized. The structure finally agreed upon made provision for a board of ninety persons plus officers. Evidently, there was strong pressure for every organization to be represented on the board.111 A businessman was elected president. The CFL continued to meet through the spring with an attendance of about sixty at each general meeting. Discussion was beginning to improve, but no progress was made on raising money. This was in part because as pressure was applied to contribute to CFL, some of the organizations withdrew. In June, Monsignor Szabo proposed a raffle with a fifty-fifty split between the CFL and the ninety member organizations, a suggestion which was opposed by Protestants. No forthright decision was made on financing, and by 1960, the organization had no funds. In 1961, Monsignor Szabo reported to Monsignor O'Grady that the Buffalo Catholic Charities had appointed a supervisor of community neighborhood relations, adding that, "Our experience with the Citizens Federation has emphasized the necessity of such an office. I am happy to say that our federation has been quite active since all financial support was withdrawn...."112 What was not disclosed by Monsignor Szabo was the nature and quality of the CFL activity.
The attempt to apply IAF principles through another organization was one purpose of the Lackawanna project. Thus, the effectiveness of the contribution of the staff organizers (or the lack of it) was critical. The organizers' reports give us some clues about their activities and their perception of these activities.
At first, Von Hoffman had thought that Tom Murphy would become an excellent
organizer.113 However, in March 1957, when Von Hoffman became
ill and had to leave Tom Murphy in charge, matters soon became immobilized.
Upon his return, Von Hoffman realized that he must invest more time with
Murphy in further training. He reported that Murphy had the idea that
the details would more or less drop into place. "They have not, as he has now learned, and it is not easy to keep all the stuff straight.... Again, Tom seems to have been a person who believed there was a rule to cover every situation as long as you could find it.... Tom loves a yes or no, a good or bad, but the maybes, perhaps, and the gray shades of morality are tough for him to stomach." 114
By this time Ed Chambers had joined the group, and both Chambers and Murphy were concerned about their own roles. How much should they do? How much could they leave to others? And there were other problems. Their weekly reports show that there was a minimum of communication between the two organizers, and when they did refer to one another, there was little evidence of a meeting of minds. This situation was obviously damaging to the organizing effort, but there is no evidence in the available record that anyone noted this or tried to remedy it.
It seems clear that Chambers had a much livelier sense of what building an organization required than Murphy did. He was alert to issues and their relation to the organizing effort and had a sense of the motivations of those involved. In contrast, Murphy's reports were largely concerned with technical matters which interested him as a building inspector but had virtually no relevance to the organizing effort. He also invested a great deal of energy in attacking the iniquities of city hall, but much as city hall may have deserved it, it did not advance the organizing cause. At one point, Chambers did comment on Murphy's attitude:
I have tried innumerable times . . . to sit down and discuss the work, discuss approaches with him, but I seem to be able to get nowhere. He says he does not want to talk about it, let it go to the committee, and we can both present our ideas there and see what happens. He has never asked to have a meeting with me in the past two or three months. He discusses none of his activities; he does not tell me of any meetings; he has a tremendous amount of antagonism, which I frankly do not understand. . . . I have called conferences ... and never once has he tried to get together. This is a terrible state of affairs .... 115
Obviously, there was something seriously wrong with the organizing effort.116
On his side, Murphy complained that he was not being kept informed of what Chambers was doing, that "he begins to think . . . that he is going to be the one to tell the public officials what to do, that he is going to be the guy who is going to run this organization. . . ."117 A further dispute between Chambers and Murphy arose over Chambers' effort to keep in touch with politicians, which Murphy strongly opposed. What strikes one about these complaints is the implication that it is a staff role to tell public officials what to do and indeed to run the organization--a clear failure to understand the purpose of the organizing effort. Although the record is fragmentary, some further clues to Murphy's role suggest two main themes. First, he seemed to see himself as a kind of general "fix-it man," who, when he saw a problem, felt a personal responsibility to try to solve it. This was in sharp contrast to the view that the organizer should help those facing the problem to solve it for themselves. Second, he appeared to consider himself as the conscience of the community. In one report, he devoted two and one-half pages to the subject of gambling in Lackawanna. Yet his role within the CFL would have provided the only reason for his covering the subject in his report to Monsignor O'Grady. His personal and individualistic outlook precluded his seeing situations or events as opportunities for an organizing effort.
Reasons for Failure
There were a few CFL successes: some housing for those displaced by a highway in the First Ward, some help for tenants in Albright Court, and defeat of a school bond issue deemed by the CFL to be unnecessary. But on the whole, the CFL was a failure, both as an organization and as a test of IAF principles and methods. A summary of the reasons follows.
The Community. (1) Bethlehem Steel was just too big. It overwhelmed the city. There was no group not dependent on the company and yet large enough to exert leverage on city hall. (2) There was mutual antagonism among ethnic groups. (3) The unions were concerned about straight union issues. They did not address themselves to such issues as education, housing, sewage or pollution. The unions and the CFL did not make common cause. (4) For too many people, solving a community problem meant sending a delegation to city hall. They did not comprehend nor take seriously the idea of a neighborhood organization working to solve problems. And the organizing activity was not adequate to alter the stereotype. (5) Because economic alternatives to working for the company were so minimal, city hall (and the school system) and its jobs and contracts became the objects of intense political activity. If one got "in," it became a duty to help other family members. Inevitably, CFL leaders became involved. And (6) the community rejected involvement in controversy. This left, apparently, no place for an organization seeking to change the status quo.
Staffing Inadequacies. (1) The initial IAF organizing input was
inadequate; Von Hoffman's illness reduced the impact of what was too short
a training effort in any case; and (2) as an organizer, Chambers was promising;
Murphy was not. But when Von Hoffman left, neither one was placed in charge.
"The divided staff authority was catastrophic."118 After Chambers
left, the staff of the Catholic Charities of Buffalo (CCB) assigned to CFL
lacked adequate training, and they did not follow Chambers' example of trying
to organize in the neighborhoods.119
Organizational Inadequacies. (1) Implementation of the project design was inadequate. Five months of an IAF organizer's time (significantly reduced because of illness), plus monthly visits over the next six months, was simply insufficient. Chambers and Murphy needed more training (although it can be argued that Murphy's outlook was such that more training would have been futile). Alinsky may have been aware that the IAF input would be inadequate because he indicated in conversations at the time that IAF was feeling the strain of keeping up with its regular projects. Yet he recommended the Lackawanna project as being feasible. The know-how to probe for and identify the conflicting interests and to deal with issues on which local feelings were highly charged resided in an outside agency (IAF) which had little leverage or presence in Lackawanna.
(2) The initial organizing effort seems to have proceeded at a rather general level. Individual members of various organizations were asked to join in the effort to bring about constructive community improvement, but organizations as such were not invited to designate representatives; even though these organizations had shared concerns. In my opinion, involving the organizations on the basis of problems and issues would have been the IAF approach. Monsignor O'Grady probably thought that such an approach was premature. But the consequence was that too many members of the CFL, including its officers, were opposed to taking decisive action in behalf of lower-status groups such as the Albright tenants. They had in mind a white, middle-class miracle which would result in "throwing the rascals out."
(3) The organizational weakness was especially obvious in the obstacles put in the way of helping the Albright tenants and using this fight to build the organization. And the grantee's connection with the project was too remote. Age, illness and geographic distance dimmed the relationship. Monsignor O'Grady's headquarters were in Washington, D.C.; thus, at best, his interest and commitment to an IAF-style project would have to be filtered through Catholic Charities of Buffalo.
(4) The funds were controlled by CCB. The NCCC/CFL staff were on the CCB payroll. The CFL office was in the CCB office in the First Ward. There was some ambiguity, therefore, about the relation of staff to the organization. The organizations in the separate wards would have been well aware of Ed Chambers' contribution. But those whose view was limited to a "fight city hall" objective would not have understood or valued these efforts.
(5) There is no reference in the available record about any training effort
involving officers or board members.
Finance. (1) To have believed that a Citizens Federation of Lackawanna could be maintained out of individual dues payments was to have a very limited view of organization requirements--limited to mimeographing and postage. No staff could possibly be supported from so meager a base.
(2) The reticence about recruiting among established organizations meant that more significant sums, such as those secured by TWO from its organization members, would not be realized either. Almost no Catholic parishes joined CFL.
(3) Some knew, of course, that much more money would be needed. Catholic elements proposed almost at the beginning to raffle a house. But this idea was eventually dropped because of vigorous opposition from the Protestants. Their threat to withdraw would have wrecked the ecumenicity of which CFL was proud. (Ecumenicity in 1960 was not yet prevalent.)120 CFL never came near to financial independence.
Racism. (1) An early success was the favorable decision by the housing authority in favor of preference in new housing for those (mostly black) displaced by highway construction in the First Ward. But any improvement in other facilities which might have to be shared with blacks was blocked.
(2) In 1966-1967, the Buffalo diocese proposed to sell land in a white area to a conservative, black, nonprofit housing corporation, but CFL would not come out in support of the move, despite earlier professions of racial "liberalism" toward Lackawanna's blacks. This was upsetting to the Buffalo diocese, which pulled the Catholic Charities money out.121 When this happened, it was all over for CFL except for a remnant which served as a voice of the black community.
Ed Chambers still believes that CFL need not have failed, if adequate organizing staff could have been made available. 122 But the Lackawanna project certainly did not demonstrate that IAF principles were successfully applied by the National Conference of Catholic Charities. At the same time, the IAF contribution was too meager to allow us to determine whether IAF principles could have been successfully applied by NCCC.
National Conference of Catholic Charities: Butte Citizens Project
In July 1958, the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation informed Monsignor O'Grady, secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Charities (NCCC), that a grant of $63,770.86 had been awarded to the NCCC for community organization and development in western Montana. As was the case in Lackawanna, Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) principles were to be applied. From the total grant, the NCCC was to subcontract with the IAF in the amount of $12,170.86 to cover the costs of training local persons to be organizers. The grant was for a two-year period commencing July 1, 1958, and was made conditional upon agreement by the NCCC to prepare a final report on the aims, methods and results of the project. As with the Lackawanna project, Monsignor O'Grady's illness, which forced his retirement, aborted this commitment. Subsequently, the local coordinator was provided with funds to prepare such a report but failed to do so. (Illness was a contributing factor in this case also.) Hence, this account is necessarily based on rather sketchy information contained in correspondence, newspaper stories, several brief progress reports and notes of conversations between persons connected with the project and me.
Although the original application had raised the possibility of organizing in Helena and Missoula as well as Butte, it soon became apparent that such an objective would be completely unrealistic; hence, within the first year a decision was made to restrict the project to the city of Butte. In some respects, the Butte community resembled Lackawanna, but in other ways it was quite different. The two cities were roughly similar in population, but Butte had experienced a decline from approximately 100,000 at its peak to 30,000 at the time of the grant. Substantial sections of Butte looked like a ghost town. Both cities were dominated by a single industry; practically everything in Butte depended upon copper mines and the Anaconda Copper Company. But in spite of the company's dominant position, the possibilities for having some impact on the community were not altogether bleak because there were other groups such as the Montana Power Company, the Farmers' Union and labor unions, which had interests different from those of Anaconda. Thus, there was hope that a citizen organization might have some influence through the ballot box. Like Lackawanna, too, the population of Butte was made up primarily of various ethnic minorities. Membership in the Catholic church was high, but there were several strong Protestant denominations. As in Lackawanna, the project was based on the premise that an organizing staff could be trained in the community by paid staff of the IAF.
Active work in Butte did not begin until February 1959, when Saul Alinsky, Monsignor O'Grady and Lester Hunt, IAF organizer, met there to get the project underway. Hunt was assigned by the IAF for a three-month period to train a local staff with some assistance from Alinsky. 123 Organizing began through the medium of small neighborhood gatherings and meetings of various existing groups in Butte. At each, the question was posed as to what the group saw as the principal problems needing solution in Butte. Later, committees were appointed by a small group constituted on a temporary basis (calling itself the Citizens' Project Council) to continue studying such problems as bus service, health and welfare, parks and playgrounds and new industries.
This activity culminated in a public meeting held on July 7, 1959, in the civic center. According to the local newspaper, nearly 1,000 men and women braved a driving rainstorm to come to a meeting. The proposal that the community proceed to organize itself, as recommended by the temporary council, was moved and carried with the understanding that a constitutional convention would be held in Butte on or near October 12, to which all organizations would be invited to send delegates. It was also decided that the number of delegates from each organization would be based upon its membership. It was announced at the meeting that as soon as an organization could be incorporated, grant funds would be turned over to it. The local newspaper reported that "those present at the meeting represented every segment of Butte's population: business and professional people, representatives of labor, government, education, civic and fraternal organizations and churches of all denominations."124 The meeting was addressed by a cochairman of the temporary committee, Monsignor Daniel Harrington, director of Catholic Charities for the diocese of Helena. "We are here tonight as citizens of the town," he said, "to exercise our democratic rights and our duty to determine our own destiny as individuals and as a community. We are doing democracy!" He went on to say that from its inception, it was agreed that the project should represent the citizens of Butte and not be sponsored by only one organization. From the beginning, he pointed out, decisions on policy and financing had been made by a sponsoring committee representing a variety of interests. This committee included two ministers of Protestant churches, two union representatives, two members of the business community and two Catholic priests. In describing the background of the organizing effort, he stated that heads of 219 organizations were contacted individually: "The project was explained to them ... and their participation solicited. Each one of these people was then invited to small informal meetings to discuss with their neighbors what they thought should be done." Explaining the necessity for staff to take care of day-to-day tasks, he said, "The staff ... is not hired to run the project but to do the leg work; research for some of the committees; advise on how some things can be done and to serve as communications aides between committees."125 Following reports from the chairmen of various committees which had been working through the spring, it was agreed to proceed with a formal organization.
By this time, it had become evident that additional staff to assist in organizing was needed, and in July of 1959 the Foundation informed Monsignor O'Grady that the application from the NCCC for an additional $9,000 per year for two years had been approved. At the Constitutional Convention held on October 12, 1959, Monsignor Dan Harrington was elected president of the Butte Citizens Project, Inc. (BCP).126
By the following fall, a picture of substantial accomplishment began to emerge. Of the 219 organizations in Butte which had been invited to name delegates to the BCP, 135 had responded. All of the large organizations were included. Attendance at meetings of the board of directors had been excellent, ranging from 80 to 100 percent.
When strikes had threatened to close two plants important to the local economy, the BCP offered to mediate the disputes, and negotiations were successfully concluded. This intervention was undertaken on the initiative of the Industrial Relations Committee of the BCP, which could achieve positive results because of a broadly based membership that included representatives of business as well as of strong unions. One of the more active subdivisions of the BCP was the Health and Welfare Committee. For a number of years there had been widespread concern about the health of school children. For six years, PTA groups had tried unsuccessfully to get an immunization survey made by the county health department. The Health and Welfare Committee thereupon undertook a survey without the cooperation of the department. A spokesman for the county health department was reported to have predicted that the survey would produce no better than a 30 percent return; in fact, the return was 87 percent. The results of the immunization survey were then referred to school nurses, doctors, parent-teacher associations and home-school associations. Citizen apathy had apparently defeated previous PTA efforts, but with the upsurge in citizen initiative stemming from the organizational efforts of the BCP, the Health and Welfare Committee succeeded where the PTA groups had failed.
When the Health and Welfare Committee undertook to establish a mental hygiene clinic, members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the unions remodeled space in a school building, and the clinic began operations. The committee also organized a mental health association affiliated with the National Mental Health Association and cooperated with the T.B. Association in testing 10,000 persons in the schools.
Another major committee project was to study a serious air pollution problem stemming from a manufacturing plant using a phosphate reduction process. The committee chairman convened several meetings devoted to citizen self-education on the problem, inviting experts to present information. When a property owner initiated suit in an effort to close down the plant, an out-of-court agreement was reached whereby a committee of three citizens was to decide on which days (depending on atmospheric conditions) the plant should not operate. This agreement was implemented. Eventually the offending plant was moved.
The BCP Industrial Relations Committee had taken the initiative in organizing an Industrial Development Corporation which successfully cooperated with a Small Business Corporation in persuading a General Electric distributing facility to locate in Butte. Of the thirteen director/members of the Industrial Development Corporation, seven represented the BCP.128 But perhaps the most significant result of the BCP was the change in citizen behavior. When the city council took no action on rebuilding the city library, members of the Education Committee attended council meetings for several months. This was a new experience for city and county officials who had been accustomed to conducting their meetings without being observed or questioned by citizens. Now the public was beginning to inquire into a whole range of governmental matters, including budgets. Individuals were gaining a great deal of information and understanding in the process. There was a decided shift in attitude and behavior from that of reluctance to commit oneself or to speak up to that in which a majority would participate overtly in some way. 129
Tim Shea,130 BCP treasurer, stated that with the advent of BCP, people began to think about their community more objectively, for example, on tax questions. Shea mentioned that participants in BCP had come to see that it was better to use tax-delinquent property for public parking than to keep it on the tax roll even though assessments were not being paid. Also, the Education Committee had spearheaded a drive for a needed 18.5-mill levy for the schools. Over a two-month period, members of the committee visited groups in the community to present the case for the levy. It was a necessary informational job and was successful in bringing about the first school tax increase that had been voted in by the citizens of Butte in twenty-six years.
Monsignor Harrington131 was convinced that BCP had effected an improvement in civic abilities, stating, for example, that citizens were much better informed about their tax bills: where the money goes and how it is used. They learned what a mill was. As an example of growing voter sophistication, he mentioned the defeat of an Irish-Catholic Democrat who ran for county commissioner as the widow of the incumbent. Previously, her election would have been considered certain; now the electorate was beginning to evaluate candidates in terms of expected performance. He felt that this could not have happened prior to the organization of BCP four years earlier. He went on to say that before the project, there were only two levels of leadership in Butte--the Chamber of Commerce (allied with the company) and the Miners' Union. BCP had led to the rise of new leadership.
Dick Kunkel, chairman of the BCP subcommittee on business and industry, also commented on the increase in citizen interest. He had learned that when a real problem arose, the citizens were willing to try to do something about it. In his view, there had been considerable broadening of leadership, especially among the younger men in the business and professional groups, pointing out that about one-half of the officers changed each year. No person who was in office in 1962 had been in office during the first year of the project.' 32 Rod Cooney, president of BCP, indicated that new leadership was also developing among union groups, adding that they had broadened their interests beyond strictly union affairs to the community level. A further striking new feature of the Butte scene was the relatively large number of women in leadership roles.
Although the project was certainly reaching some of its goals, it was also becoming clear that this had been achieved only through overcoming rather serious difficulties, and there remained difficulties which, if not overcome, would threaten the continuity of the effort. What were some of these problems?
Declining Economic Base. The change from shaft to open-pit mining in Butte had drastically reduced the need for labor. Power shovels were now doing the work of thousands of miners. Most of the common labor jobs had been eliminated, and during one strike, the Anaconda Copper Company took advantage of the situation to lay off office help and older workers, who were not subsequently rehired. Further evidence of the economic decline lies in the fact that the population of Butte declined from 33,000 to 26,000 between 1950 and 1960. Nor was this just a matter of "moving to the suburbs" because the overall population of Silver Bow County declined from 48,000 to 46,450 in the same period. 133
Catholic-Protestant Relations. Relations between Protestant and Catholic groups were reputed to be better in Butte than in any other community in Montana. But this was only relative. The ability to work together overlay a latent suspicion on the part of the Protestants. This became evident when the Anaconda Copper Company suddenly announced, about the time that the BCP effort was getting started, that it intended to sell the community hospital to a Catholic order. (Apparently, this was part of a deliberate policy of reducing its commitments in the community) There was no consultation with community groups beforehand. Because of the ongoing organizing effort, an open fight was avoided, but interviews with Protestant leaders indicated a more serious reaction than BCP President Harrington recognized. Confidence in the impartiality of the Catholic side had been compromised in the minds of important Protestant leaders. Monsignor Harrington's reelection by the Community Congress in March 1961, led to some further strain, and as a consequence it was proposed that the bylaws be amended to provide that (1) the nominating committee should present two slates of officers and (2) nominations from the floor were to be accepted. Both proposals were adopted.
Organizational Finances. Financing for BCP was a greater concern as it became clear that the significant accomplishments of the organization had been dependent at least in part upon staff backup. This was to be expected, but what had not been expected was that practically no money for the support of staff would be raised by the organization itself. In fact, member organizations did not even pay their dues. It was claimed that the unions, for example, were prevented by their bylaws from contributing funds to other organizations. To give the BCP more time to strengthen its financial base, the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation agreed to a further grant of $16,800 for the year beginning June 1, 1961. In November 1962, the BCP requested that the sum of $18,000, originally held in escrow pending a decision on whether to use it in other Montana communities, be released for use in Butte. This request was approved with the understanding that $2,000 was to be allocated for the preparation of a final report; $6,000 for organizational purposes between January and June 1963; and the remaining $10,000 was to be used only if this sum could be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to December 1963, the balance if any to revert to the Foundation.
Monsignor O'Grady's failing health prevented his participation after 1962, and Monsignor Dan Harrington suffered an illness which prevented activity on his part from some time in 1962 until February 1964. During this period, communication between the Foundation and the BCP was meager. Following his return, Monsignor Harrington reported that a letter dated January 24, 1964, from BCP President Rod Cooney stated that the sum of $10,000 had been matched. How the sum had been raised was not indicated. However, within a relatively short time, BCP activity had declined to the point where a balance of $5,650 which remained in the account could no longer be utilized. 134
In retrospect, it appears naive to have expected this community, economically depressed as it was, to be able to sustain a community organization activity requiring at least $15,000 a year to function at even a minimum level. Because the deep economic crisis gripping Butte was further exacerbated by recurrent strikes which wiped out whatever small reserves citizens of the community had, the prospects for organization support became even more bleak. Another difficulty arose out of the sharp differences between the Protestant and Catholic groups as to what constituted acceptable means of raising money. When the Catholics proposed holding a raffle or some kind of fundraising event at which beer would be sold, the Protestant ministers would not agree. And, in any event, such efforts might not have succeeded, given the economic conditions. There was reluctance to try anything because no one could afford a deficit. The 1959-1960 strike hit Butte hard, as did still another strike in 1962. As a result, people were not spending money for entertainment or anything else. Indeed, the county had to close its civic center, being unable to keep it open even with the aid of a one mill tax levy. Thus, without the capacity to raise funds for a staff person, the demise of the BCP was inevitable.
Organizational Structure. In the absence of adequate records it is difficult to judge the consequences of the particular staff and organizational structure which obtained in the Butte project. The principal staff person was Dan Harrington, nephew of Monsignor Dan Harrington. We do not know how long Lester Hunt, the organizer sent in by IAF, stayed in Butte, but it was probably not for more than the three months originally budgeted. Nor do we know how much consultant time was subsequently given by IAF, but it was inevitably not sufficient. Some BCP members expressed the view that there should have been monthly meetings of officers and committee chairmen in order that work might be better coordinated. This suggestion apparently was resisted by Monsignor Harrington as president of BCP.
This theme came up again (1962) in an interview with Reverend Howard Williams and Rabbi Kert.135 It was Rabbi Kert's view that the organizational structure was inadequate from the beginning. There were to be two vice-presidents and two coordinators for each interest group, but they had no assigned duties or activities. Because board meetings were so loosely structured, it was his opinion that the authority was vested de facto in one man, Monsignor Harrington. During the previous year, the officers did meet as a group, but as Monsignor Harrington said on occasion, "only for discussion." Rabbi Kert felt that the executive group should have prepared the agenda for board meetings and mailed them out beforehand. He asserted, furthermore, that the committees were practically autonomous groups without direction or support from the officers. Reverend Howard Williams concurred in these remarks, especially those dealing with the lack of integration of the committees into the total organization. Rabbi Kert also held that naming a member of the Mine and Smelter Workers Union as chairman of the Committee on Industrialization had the effect of alienating management. Kert felt that this was a principal factor in the steep drop in average attendance at board meetings, a drop concentrated in the representatives of management, Kiwanis, AAUW and PTA groups.136 The pattern of participation was confirmed by Father Frank Harrington who stated that the most active participation was from church and socio-fraternal interests. Next were union representatives, with businessmen participating least of all.137
No firm conclusion can be reached from the BCP experience with respect to the question of whether IAF principles could be made to work through the medium of another organization. The record is too fragmentary to reveal to what degree IAF principles were in fact taught, learned or applied. It is worth noting, however, that Alinsky assured me that organizational work in Butte, in the first few months at least, was a shining example of IAF principles in action as compared with the organizational work in Chelsea (described below). Several significant public problems were identified and worked on by groups of citizens with beneficial results, but exactly how these results were achieved is not clear. The role of staff was no doubt critical--searching out information, suggesting actions to be taken by committee chairmen or raising questions about proposed strategy or tactics. But, in any case, the stimulus provided through staff paid for by the grant eventually came to an end because of the incapacity of the BCP to raise money for its own survival. Given the very negative economic factors at work in the community, it seems at least doubtful that anyone could have made the Butte Citizens Project into a self-financed program.
What can be said is that a number of individuals and chairmen and members of committees did gain a new vision of the citizen role and proceeded to work together with positive results. New leadership did appear, especially among younger members of business and labor groups, and among women's groups. But as a test of whether IAF principles could be employed successfully through NCCC, the project was inconclusive. The IAF participation was not only too limited in its scope and duration, but, in retrospect, it was unrealistic to expect that Monsignor O'Grady--even had he been younger and not located so far away from the scene--could have served as a practicable instrument for the testing of IAF principles in Butte.
Of the grants made in part to determine whether IAF principles could be applied by a different agency, potentially the most important was made to Hudson Guild. Hudson Guild is a neighborhood house in the Chelsea area situated on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, New York City. Among other reasons, the test was considered significant because the prominence of Hudson Guild among the settlement or neighborhood houses of New York City would necessarily draw attention to such a project.
In May 1956, the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation received an application from H. Daniel Carpenter, director of Hudson Guild, for a grant to develop a Citizen Participation Project in Chelsea. 138 The application requested support in the amount of $59,400 to be used over a three-year period with the understanding that an additional sum of $120,000 would be contributed by the New York Foundation (NYF). As it turned out, the two foundations agreed to make funds available for a two-year period, with the third-year grant to depend upon re-approval of the program on the basis of progress to that date. The Chelsea project would also be expected to raise $8,700 over the three-year period. Subsequently, continuation for a third year was approved, but the ESF required that of the $15,200 requested from its funds for the third year, $9,000 was to be used by Hudson Guild for a final report. Eventually, the ESF assumed responsibility for the report, arranging with Dan Dodson to prepare it. It was further stipulated by the two foundations that the funds were to be turned over to the Chelsea Community Council (CCC), which would assume full responsibility for all aspects of the project as of September 30, 1958. An application was later received by the ESF from the Industrial Areas Foundation, dated May 2, 1959, for a grant of $14,800 to be used to maintain an IAF organizer in Chelsea for one year and to cover consultation services by Saul Alinsky. This request was approved for the year beginning July 1, 1959.
On December 18, 1953, the IAF had accepted a grant from the NYF for a study to determine "whether or not the procedures of community organization developed and employed by the Industrial Areas Foundation could be effectively applied to various communities in New York City." Instrumental in this request were Senator Herbert Lehman and Dr. Leona Baumgartner, then consultant to the NYF. The study began in the spring of 1954 and was completed that same year. The final report was turned over to the NYF in July 1955. In it, Alinsky said, "The decision as to whether or not the procedures of the Industrial Areas Foundation can be effectively applied to the New York scene is in the affirmative. We can do the job."139 One of the two proposed project sites was the Chelsea area, and Alinsky's report contemplated the possibility that Hudson Guild would be the principal cooperating institution. "Whenever an established agency in the operational scene ... indicates not only a sympathetic understanding of the premises and purposes of the organizational program but also a desire to cooperate in the community organizing programs, then we prefer not just working with them but as much as possible through them."140
Although Alinsky had expressed to me his reluctance to undertake an organizing project in New York City which would require a major share of his time, he did make an application to the NYF. (His reluctance was reflected in the large budget which, he once said to me would result, he hoped, in the NYF turning down the application--which in fact it did.) Simultaneously, Carpenter was applying to the NYF for funds to undertake an organizational effort in connection with the "300 Block" and "New California" programs--both of which were local projects in which Hudson Guild was trying to work on an intensive basis. At this point, Paul McGhee, newly appointed consultant to the NYF, suggested to Carpenter that he redraft his proposal, including provision for Alinsky as consultant. Carpenter then assembled a committee to help revise his proposal.141 Alinsky was given a copy of this proposal together with a request that he serve as consultant. On March 14, 1956, Alinsky communicated his criticisms to Carpenter, stating, "The proposal you outline is a completely different kind of animal, philosophically, structurally and in terms of objectives from the project recommended in my report to the New York Foundation."142
Alinsky's criticisms were summarized by Dodson as follows: (1) Its philosophy and approach reflected a professional social work orientation bearing no relation to the realities of the power areas in life. (2) Its concern was to avoid controversy which would be a negation of effectiveness. (3) Control of funds by Hudson Guild would be counterproductive. It showed lack of trust in the people of the community. (4) A half-time director would be inadequate. (Carpenter assumed that he would continue to serve half-time as director of the Hudson Guild." (5) The proposal should be less concerned with identifying "outside resources" than with helping people to find the resources within themselves. (6) Prior approval by city hall was irrelevant; what would be significant would be to build the realization that "nobody is going to take care of their problems except themselves." 143 In spite of his forthright criticisms, Alinsky assumed that these inadequacies would be remedied in the course of the organizing effort, as had "frequently occurred in other projects."144
On March 20, 1956, Carpenter wrote to Alinsky that his criticisms were appropriate, except for certain statements which, he thought, Alinsky had misinterpreted. But basically he was in agreement although he demurred with respect to the notion that the support of city hall was unimportant.145 On the basis of his investigation, Dodson concluded that Carpenter's dealings with Alinsky were different after the grants were made from what they had been beforehand. On April 23, Alinsky proposed that his advisor role "would be on (1) organizational procedure, (2) selection of staff, (3) training of staff, (4) appraisal, analysis and counseling on the organizational program as it proceeds [and] (5) that time spent will be in all of the above areas involving problems of community organization, checking organizational staff problems, policy operations. . . ."146 Alinsky also indicated that he should have veto power on staff. Carpenter replied on June 15, 1956, that he would be pleased to have Alinsky provide advice on organizational procedure. These exchanges between Alinsky and Carpenter were being monitored by Paul McGhee, who encouraged Alinsky to agree to participate, in the expectation that differences could be resolved.147 The stage was set for trouble. As Dodson pointed out, the principles (which should have been decisive) were Alinsky's, but the funds to carry them out and the title of director were Carpenter's, Let us look more closely at the Chelsea area and what the application proposed.
Chelsea, as defined in the application, included the area between Sixth Avenue on the east and the Hudson River on the west, and from 14th Street on the south to 34th Street on the north. (The latter boundary was later shifted south to 30th Street.) It had a population of about 60,000, one-third of whom were Puerto Ricans. Many of the latter were literate in Spanish but not English. They were poor and had moved into Chelsea only three or four years before the project started. Of the remainder, a good number were lower-middle-income workers, largely Irish-Catholic in background. But many in this group were leaving as housing deteriorated. Presumably, their apartments were being taken over by Puerto Ricans. There were, in addition, a growing number of professionals, many of them Jewish, and a far smaller population of Protestants. We cannot say that any of the residents of Chelsea were deliberately deprived of access to political life although there was virtually no evidence of interest on the part of the Puerto Ricans in such activity. There were several very active Democratic clubs which were based in the older Catholic community. Nevertheless, it would probably be fair to say that Chelsea was not characterized by a very active civic life involving the majority of the community's residents.
The stated objectives of the proposal were to create with the assistance of skilled leader-organizers:
a self-sustaining organization that will be effective in dealing with such matters as (1) problems which the people themselves feel are important; (2) discovering, encouraging and training indigenous leadership to participate in their communities; (3) overcoming lack of communication and interaction between people; (4) developing a climate conducive to positive attitudes about the community and its residents; (5) poor housing--congestion--lack of law enforcement in housing and building--lack of plans for improvement; (6) helping people to have knowledge of resources and services provided by the social, welfare and education agencies and helping agencies to fill gaps in services; and (7) developing lines of communication between city agencies and the people of the area.148
Hudson Guild proposed that, upon notification of the grant, it would establish an Administrative Committee of seven to nine people, including representatives of business, labor, religious groups, citizens and coordinating agencies of the area. The committee would have authority to administer the grant and would supervise all expenditures and "insofar as possible, see that the purpose of the grant is adhered to throughout its life." Hudson Guild further proposed to make its director available on a half time basis to direct the Chelsea Citizen Participation Project (with half of his salary charged to the project budget). He would be responsible to the Administrative Committee.
Because of the very nature of the project, representation from the "Citizen Organization" would be brought into the Administrative Committee just as soon as feasible, with the idea that its function would eventually be absorbed by the Chelsea Citizen Organization.
It is also clearly understood that neither Hudson Guild nor this committee would in any way control or feel compelled to influence the actions taken by the citizens through whatever organizational structure may be developed, except as they would as individual members or participants as citizens.
Tentative arrangements have been made to enter into a contract with the Industrial Areas Foundation to secure the services of Mr. Saul Alinsky, as chief consultant to the project. Upon notice of the grant, it will there fore be possible to have Mr. Alinsky available to assist in the initial plans, such as in the selection of the staff.149
The language is quoted here because inherent in this rhetoric were the seeds of future controversy. It was also indicated that the staff should spend perhaps three months meeting and talking with people throughout the community to get their views about problems, to discover indigenous leadership, to help identify problems further, to help crystallize some agreement as to the organizational structure that would be required and to set up lines of communication. A variety of possible organizational patterns was suggested: area-wide council and/or citizen congress, small area groups, or interest groups (such as tenant, business or labo).
Shortly after receiving the proposal, I met with Dan Carpenter, Paul A. McGhee and D. John Heyman (McGhee and Heyman representing the New York Foundation) to discuss the application. Carpenter reiterated his hope that the project would lead to the reversal of the defeatism among Chelsea residents. It was hoped that people in Chelsea would gain confidence and the ability to work with others, be less inclined to "leave-it-to-George," regain a sense of community and learn the skills of working together. Carpenter's goals were reasonable enough, but a further reference to the proposal will indicate some difficulties for the future.
The cover page of the application from Hudson Guild stated that the Citizen Participation Project was "based on the Industrial Areas Foundation's report prepared by Saul Alinsky for the New York Foundation." The salient elements of that report, as they related to the problem of organizing a community, are summarized here:
The Industrial Areas Foundation is committed to two fundamental propositions: (1) that the residents of the local areas are infinitely more concerned about their problems than any outsider could possibly be; their problems are primarily theirs.. . . These issues constantly impinge upon their welfare so that the desire to remedy the situation is rooted in much deeper personal drives than an outsider's philanthropic sympathy. (2) That if given the opportunity (and this is the role of the outside agency), there are sufficient resources in the local communities, in terms of leadership, ingenuity and power, when mobilized to solve their own problems. By the opportunity, we mean the introduction of the skills, experience and particularly the assistance of personnel committed to a faith in the above propositions. 150
The report went on to say that the kind of community organization which the IAF seeks to develop has several distinguishing characteristics:
(1) It is rooted in local leadership, organizations and agencies. (2) The driving force is the self-interest of the local people. (3) Its program for action emerges out of the organizing process. (4) It is expected that many persons participate in a variety of volunteer activities and that numerous committees are functioning on a more or less continuous basis. (5) The functional relationship among problems is emphasized and the program is not narrowly constricted, which might result in attracting the support of only a segment of the local population. (6) A democratic society is one which responds to popular pressures. The organization does not shy away from involvement in matters of controversy. (7) It utilizes indigenous individuals and finds and develops its leaders from such people. (8) Self-interest is of primary significance. The organization tries to channel the diverse forces of self-interest within the community into a common direction for the common good, at the same time respecting the autonomy of individuals and organizations. And (9) it becomes self-financing at the end of about three years. Self-financing is the test of their independence.151
Alinsky also expressed the opinion that Dan Carpenter, of Hudson Guild, had an understanding of and dedication to the objective of citizen participation through the medium of community organization.152 This opinion was not to survive very long, once the project got underway. Alinsky had voiced some concerns, however, at an early stage of the project. On March 14, 1956, he had written to Carpenter, reacting to the preliminary proposal Carpenter had drafted. Carpenter had said that, in what he called Organization Step 2, "an effort should be made to secure interest in the project from city hall. ..."153 Alinsky thought such a gesture would be meaningless. The purpose is rather, he said, to build "an organization in which the preponderant number of citizens in the community participate--in which individuals acquire a sense of belonging, of dignity, of self-confidence and a realization which grownup people must achieve--and that is that nobody is going to take care of their problems except themselves." In such an organization, interests are welded into a "citizens pressure bloc--into an articulate representative organization whose strength is recognized by all civic authorities for what it is and therefore they will respond to this pressure."154
In a subsequent memorandum (of November 20, 1956" on the Chelsea Citi- zen Participation Project, Alinsky wrote to Carpenter stating the interest of the IAF in discovering whether or not it can, through a combination of teaching and counseling of staff, orient and aid them successfully to develop and operate a community organizational program. He went on to say that there was no doubt in his mind that the IAF could develop a successful citizens organization in Chelsea. "What we do not know is whether we can successfully communicate the ideas, the philosophy, and some of the skills to an independent group spearheaded by a professional agency and through counseling and advice enable them to effectively develop this kind of program."155 He drew a distinction between the typical consultant role, in which the consultant is brought in for advice on specialized sectors of a total project or organization, and the advisor role. He said the "consultant" model was inappropriate, being limited to one of explanation, counseling and advising on the general philosophy and the overall operational approach. The term "advisor" was much more applicable, and, in his view, the advisor's job should include a limited participation in actual working operations with the use of these situations as part of the learning process. This would mean that the advisor should participate (to a limited degree) in the initial meetings with various leaders and representatives of the community forces in the Chelsea district. 156
The importance of the latter point cannot be overemphasized. For Alinsky, the essence of the teaching function was to raise actual examples, growing out of staff activities in the community, which could be analyzed and evaluated and the results fed back into the organizers' activities the following day. This thesis was developed further in a communication to Paul A. McGhee, consultant to the NYF:
Understanding here can be achieved mainly through the Chelsea staff, including Mr. Carpenter, undergoing specific experiences in the community which will inevitably create a series of small crises in terms of the differences between the purposes and the philosophy of the project and conventional professional tradition. People learn through crisis situations and through their experiences rather than through discussion. 157
Soon, verbal differences became overt in practice. Alinsky had understood that his advisory role included participation in staff selection. And, in fact, Carpenter had indicated in the application that Alinsky was to assist in staff selection 158 But subsequently he employed Marjorie Buckholz as the full-time assistant director of the staff without consulting Alinsky. Entirely aside from her social work background, Alinsky had grave doubts that a woman could work effectively as an organizer, given the kinds of situations in which IAF organizers typically found themselves (in waterfront bars, for example" as they went about a community trying to organize the civic have-nots.
These early indications of differing views regarding the IAF role were to find further expression. In his report on what had become the Chelsea Community Council (CCC", Dodson stated: "Carpenter says he understood that the Schwarzhaupt Foundation would not have been in it had it not been for Alinsky, but he disagrees about the New York Foundation."159 (Carpenter's statement is correct insofar as the ESF was concerned.) After discussing the same question with McGhee, Dodson said, "McGhee is quite clear at present that Carpenter understood it was to be an experiment with Alinsky's techniques." In a memorandum McGhee wrote on March 16, 1960, he said:
The Foundations which made the grant intended-in-so-far as the grantors can "intend" something-to back a particular "process" of community organization. Specifically, it was the Industrial Areas Foundation and its director Saul Alinsky. Dan Carpenter was not under any illusions about this at the beginning. It was, in fact, his assurance that he believed in these same principles ... and would seek to implement them that led the two Foundations to make the grant. 160
Some years later, Alinsky wrote:
A review of the sequence of events at the end of the first six weeks ... led us to a decision to withdraw from the Chelsea scene. We saw that we would probably be forced to bear the responsibility without the authority. We saw ourselves as being used as "outsider," scapegoat, if things went wrong.161
His decision to withdraw was, however, reversed, on the basis of several considerations. He hoped that the lessons which could be learned in the organizational process would help to remedy the situation and that the sponsoring agency would see that it had a great deal to gain from developing an innovative and real community organization. He recognized that at least one of the granting foundations had acted in some measure on his recommendation. He feared that his withdrawal would have meant that several major institutions in Chelsea would withdraw from the organization. And finally, he felt that the director, Dan Carpenter, "would have legitimate grounds for feeling that we had not acted in good faith and that we had not given him the time or opportunity to try to work through the situation.”162 (It must be said that these statements were written four years after the events.)
Other disagreements appeared. Although it did not emerge as such at the time, the minutes of the board meeting of Hudson Guild on June 20, 1956, record that Carpenter announced the grants by the two foundations for the Citizen Participation Project, and Roger Schaefer, executive secretary, reported plans for a moderate-priced cooperative housing project to be sponsored by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU). That same evening, the Hudson Guild board voted approval in principle of the proposed housing project. This was the project which probably made inevitable the disaster which was to follow.163 Alinsky was also critical of the fact that Carpenter, as director of the staff, was committed for only one-half of his time. He was concerned, too, because Carpenter was not participating in the day-to-day organizing work. Alinsky's hope was that Carpenter might come to understand the difference between a neighborhood house constituency and an IAF-style citizen organization, but this depended on Carpenter's involvement in organizing activity, followed by examination and discussion of that experience, such evaluation being a key element in the IAF approach.
Alinsky became increasingly concerned about what he felt were certain insensitivities to organizing requirements. For example, the New York Times for September 10, 1956, carried a story headed: "Block Plan Seeks a Better Chelsea. Citizens Project Undertaken by Hudson Guild." The story read in part: "Carpenter said the area would be divided into one-block citizen participation units. The project directors will seek to find a `natural leader' in each block ... and try to enlist the help of the neighbors through him." It was probably unwise to make an announcement in the name of the Hudson Guild until at least a skeleton community group could have shared in it, thereby giving some semblance of community participation. Nor did the announcement of the block-group approach as the committed organizational pattern soothe already ruffled feelings.
There was continuing tension over the fact that Carpenter still played the community spokesman role which had developed over a twenty-five-year tenure as head of Hudson Guild. Alinsky argued that Carpenter had no right to speak as representative of the community as long as it was unorganized.164 There was also disagreement over control of funds. Alinsky was critical of what he considered to be overzealous control by would-be auditors of expenditures which, in his view, ought to have reflected the wishes of the participants in the organization. Yet the attitude of Hudson Guild was understandable. As Robert Janover, president of Hudson Guild, pointed out, Hudson Guild "had intimate knowledge of the neighborhood and its needs . . ." and had accepted the funds "to further the project as best they knew how."165 Hudson Guild had an obligation to the two foundations. It must avoid "embarrassing situations which would reflect upon the Hudson Guild and its board."166 There was doubt that ordinary citizens should decide how the funds were to be spent.
Admittedly the problem was a difficult one. Of the nine members of the Administrative Committee, four were Hudson Guild board members. In addition, only four members of the committee lived in Chelsea. It did not appear to Paul McGhee and John Heyman that the makeup of the Administrative Committee was adequate. Writing to Madeleine M. Low, a member of the Hudson Guild board, they said:
it would probably have been the desire of the Foundation to make a grant directly to a citizen's participation unit or council if there had been any way of doing so. But since there was not ... the grant was made to Hudson Guild. But ... the Hudson Guild ... is in a sense only the fiscal agent for the project and will not, through its own actions, be responsible for the "success" of the undertaking. This success will be judged to the extent [to] which you and the project staff succeed in bringing about a citizen's participation council which will effectively shape its own program of community rehabilitation and development.167
I subsequently endorsed the Heyman-McGhee letter by suggesting that as soon as the beginnings of a citizen organization begin to emerge, the citizens should begin to assume responsibility for decisions about organization and the program which it will create and carry out.
We do not wish to suggest that Hudson Guild as a grantee has no responsibility. As grantee, it is responsible for seeing to it that the framework of the project develops in accordance with broad principles set forth in the application and in the report of the Industrial Areas Foundation upon which it was based. . . . But to an ever-growing extent, the responsibility for problem discussing and decision making should be assumed by the citizens organization.
Analogies can be pushed too far, but one which might be suggested is that of the relationship of a scaffolding to a building. The scaffolding remains until the main structure of the building is in place; then, the scaffolding comes down, while work on interior finish, landscaping, etc., continues. The Hudson Guild role is to act as the temporary scaffolding while the residents of the community are mobilizing to become the structure.”168
Disbursements continued to be made by Hudson Guild for another year and a half (although outside the control of the Administrative Committee), but in the third year, sums were transferred quarterly by Hudson Guild to the council. There were also differing perceptions of how the organizing and training functions were to be carried out. These will be discussed below.
Marjorie Buckholz, the assistant director, who had been hired without consultation with Alinsky, turned out (as he later acknowledged) to be more effective as an organizer than he had anticipated. Within a few weeks of the announcement of the project, several persons were added to the staff, of whom three were organizers. Of these, one was a woman who had been employed as a group worker at Hudson Guild and had also been a secretary in a labor union. One of the men had been an organizer of young adult programs in Catholic parishes. The other man, hired to work with Puerto Ricans, was a professional group worker and had had experience in an American Friends Service Committee project in Mexico. He had grown up in the area, learning his Spanish in the neighborhood.
In addition, the IAF sent in Lester Hunt to work primarily with Puerto Ricans for two months while also assisting with the training of staff.
Preparatory to organizing, the Chelsea area had been tentatively divided into four sectors, but it was decided rather early that the area north of 30th Street (in sector 1) should be excluded because of a lack of institutional focus. It was in the sector immediately to the south that the ILGWU was proposing to build high rises.169 The building project was to occupy the area from 23rd to 29th Streets between 8th and 9th Avenues. Already there were concerns about the schedule of clearance and the arrangement for relocation of residents. About 2,600 families would be replaced by about 2,800 others in this middle-income cooperative apartment project.170
Organizing activity for the Chelsea Community Council began with visits to organizations and agencies in sector 2. The twenty-nine persons who came to the first meeting discussed the needs of the area and then authorized Carpenter and Father Robert T. Dunn, assistant parish priest of St. Columba Roman Catholic Church, to appoint a steering committee of twelve to take the next steps. Later the group set up committees on housing and on organization and membership.
A similar procedure was followed in the other sectors. It was expected that as soon as a group could be identified in each sector, they would be brought together. At this time, the most active interest was shown by the Catholic parishes, an Episcopal parish, Veterans of Foreign Wars, various social clubs, a Greek Orthodox church, synagogues and political clubs. Other groups such as the Longshoremen's locals, the PTA and business groups were not yet involved.171
In January 1959, Buckholz reported172 in some detail on the essential elements of the organizing process and the staff role therein. In her view, finding out who lived and worked in the community and how they related to each other was the first task. Census and school enrollment data and directories of organizations provided one kind of source. But more important was meeting people and identifying and talking with their leaders: "In this way one learns which organizations have membership comprised of the major national, racial and economic elements, which groups have within their ranks officers of other clubs and where people go to get things done."173
It soon became evident that the members of the Catholic parishes included officers in political clubs, unions and veterans clubs. When people wanted something they would go to the Democratic Club. When the club leader wanted to verify his notions of what people were thinking about, he would check with the priest. Nevertheless, she reports, "Communication was limited among these groups. Although they represented the major bulk of the population they were dormant and passive on general community needs and their relationship to the outside community. . . . There had been so little working together that many community leaders met each other for the first time. The bulk of the people by default left Hudson Guild the one organization speaking for the community." 174 The Guild membership was quite different, overlapping with a street club, the schools and certain coordinating organizations. Overlap between Hudson Guild and Catholic parish members was virtually nonexistent.
The difference in approach between the two groups is illustrated by reference to a committee meeting. Those present included several middle-class "helper" oriented persons (including the chairman) and typical residents. The chairman had pointed to the difficulty of getting information from city hall concerning the date when a trial had been scheduled (the information was needed to insure community input as a contribution to law enforcement). "They don't have to tell you, you know.... How do you propose to find out?" Buckholz went on to report: "Immediately, in unison, three men replied, 'Go to the Democratic Club.' The difference was one of sophistication about politics; between 'insider' and 'outsider' approaches.” 171
Recruiting for the CCC was done by setting out to meet personally with the head of every organization and institution and explaining the value of working together through a council. The program of each group and the work of each leader was recognized. An effort was made to allay any fear that the council intended to challenge their position in the community. There were people who wanted to expand their acquaintance in the community, those who wanted to extend their influence and those who wanted acceptance and power for their groups and, of course, for themselves. They were told that a council affords opportunity for achieving these goals. Those who felt inadequate in meeting and speaking in groups of strangers were assured of help. Again, according to Buckholz's report, an important feature of these contacts was the effort to discover the individual and group concerns on which the council program might be based. It was hoped that the possibility of a community attack on problems would become the incentive for joining. Thus, much more was involved than merely asking an organization to join the council. The dialogue was essential to develop understanding and commitment. It was an important part of the staff role.
Another important staff function was to maintain continuing contact with organization representatives on the board of directors and with organization officers, and to recruit members for the many council committees. Board members needed help to deal with new tasks and with differences among people. They had to learn parliamentary procedure. There were problems with those who continually demanded attention to nourish their own egos while other members had to be helped to learn how to cope with such behavior. A further staff role was to assist in evaluation of a meeting. "Blowing off" about mistakes was followed by analysis of what had happened and why. "Everyone reacts to this and begins to develop possible ways to solve the problem.... These sessions end with a clear, fully agreed upon plan of procedure."176 Committee meetings took a good deal of staff time, both in preparation and at the sessions, working to clarify issues, to increase understanding among people, to present information and to support members who were weak in their presentations.
In concluding her report, Buckholz recalled a statement made by Alinsky to the staff:
Don't think you know the answers . . . you have as much to learn in your day-to-day activities as the people you are working with. As long as this is with you, the people will sense it and then your working together means a mutual exchange and this is in the truest sense the recognition of the dignity and the worth of each for the other. Lacking this quality, the relationship becomes one of mover and puppet.177
This, then, is how Alinsky saw the staff role. But questions remained. How, for example, does the staff person avoid taking sides? Or must he, in some cases? If he does, on what grounds? Because the Chelsea Community Council encompassed radical differences in interests, not to mention the differences of approach between Carpenter and Alinsky, such questions must have arisen in very acute form. But let us turn from organization and staff to a review of events as they were unfolding.
Between October and December 1956, the staff had made initial contacts with over a hundred institutions and groups. On May 14, 1957, the steering committees in the three sectors designated for organizing purposes were merged: committees were appointed on recreation, housing, membership and organization; and arrangements were made for a general organizing meeting to be held June 12. These committees were very active, contributing greatly, not only to the organization's program but also to the development of leadership. Dodson reported, for example, during the first year of the council's operation (the second year of the project), "Recorded minutes indicate on the average, some ten to twelve separate meetings of committees per month."178
On June 12, over a hundred persons representing fifty-one organizations attended the first Chelsea-wide meeting under project auspices. This meeting authorized holding a permanent organizing convention in early fall. The two cochairmen of the meeting, together with chairmen of the temporary committees and the staff, were empowered to appoint a temporary executive committee. Staff, however, was not brought up to full strength until September 1957over a year after the grant approval. On November 17, 1957, the preliminary organizational work culminated in the formation of the Chelsea Community Council. There were 179 delegates from seventy-seven organizations, plus forty-one guests, in attendance. They adopted convention rules and bylaws, elected officers and referred the various resolutions to the board of directors. Father Dunn was elected president and Ethel Abrahamson, vice-president to serve until the convening of the Community Congress, scheduled for April 1958.
On December 4, the board of directors held its first meeting with fifty-five delegate members in attendance. The board authorized committees on housing, education, labor, health and safety, recreation and membership and agreed upon a plan for appointment of committees. At the January 8, 1958, meeting of the board, there were sixty-seven persons in attendance. Among the actions taken were the election of a nominating committee and the appointment of an arrangements committee for the congress. At the January meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Chelsea Community Council, Marjorie Buckholz, reporting on the organizing activity of the staff, touched upon the matter of representation. She indicated that the participants readily understood the organizational pattern as it related to the distribution of power, adding that the implications of allowing the head of a subgroup to serve on the board of directors were obvious: some were concerned that the board would become too unwieldy to function; others, that it would be more difficult for themselves to influence or control the board. She made it clear that in her view, the organizational pattern was desirable for several reasons. More groups would identify with the organization. The elected representatives could participate freely, secure in the fact that their groups had chosen them. It gave more groups (hence, more people) a voice. Conversely, the responsibility to report back meant that more people would become aware of what was going on.179
The use of these concepts in organizing might also be referred to as training of leaders for a community organization. The entire process from drawing out the individual to express his ideas of what should be done, to recognizing his position in the community, to showing him that through a power structure things can be done and his frustrations replaced with action, to helping him function effectively in a power group are all teaching a person to act effectively in his community.180
One problem faced by the CCC in its early days had to do with how to involve the Puerto Ricans, who constituted perhaps one-third of the population of Chelsea. The first task was to find out to what extent Puerto Ricans were already participating in existing groups in Chelsea because one of the principles was that the new project should be based primarily on such groups. It was found, however, that except for school children, Puerto Ricans were "segregated and socially isolated from the rest of the community."181 The staff then undertook to discover whether there was indigenous leadership in the Puerto Rican community itself. Up to January 1958, the staff had contacted a Catholic church with many Spanish-speaking members, a few small social clubs, six Pentecostal churches which tended to remain aloof, a small civic group and several baseball teams. But efforts to involve individual Puerto Ricans in council committee work had been relatively unsuccessful. Michael Coffey, a CCC organizer, concluded:
although we have been successful in involving a few Puerto Rican leaders ... there are not enough leaders in the Puerto Rican community with sufficient background to participate effectively in the council in order to provide adequate representation of this large ethnic group.... Since through our experiences thus far it has become apparent that formalized status and formalized organizational experiences are necessary to enable people to participate in this kind of community power structure ... we have felt that our only recourse is to organize additional Puerto Rican groups, where we can build the kind of leadership that can formally represent large numbers of Puerto Ricans and participate effectively in the council on their behalf.182
Effort was thus concentrated on helping to develop organizations within the framework of or with the sponsorship of the Spanish-speaking Catholic church:
In a period of about six weeks, this has grown to a group of some fifty Spanish-speaking men who are beginning to concern themselves with developing a formal organization. . .. Outside of the motivations of the men and the organizational help provided by our staff, one of the important enabling factors seems to be the fact that it was started within the well-known and well-recognized community institution which has enabled the members of the group to feel secure about the intentions of the sponsor, the social acceptability of the activity and the existence of an authority beyond themselves which can protect the new organization from internal pitfalls until the members get to know each other and establish their own leadership.183
Other organizational efforts were directed toward Spanish-speaking businessmen in Chelsea because "they already exercised an informal leadership role.... "184 Another organizing project involved developing a social club in a local community center. Thus, not only was the organization as such growing, but the number of participants was also growing.185
Organizational Changes and Development
In the spring of 1958, representatives of the two foundations agreed that evidence of progress up to that time (considering that significant work had not begun until late 1956 and early 1957) warranted a renewal of the grant for the third year, as originally requested. There was, however, concern because the CCC had done so little to raise money in spite of the emphasis on the goal of self-support in Alinsky's rationale. At the same time, Paul McGhee and I felt that a more independent role for the CCC was needed. It appeared, therefore, somewhat anomalous that the director of Hudson Guild should also be director (half-time) of the CCC staff, especially so, given the emergence of sharp differences on housing policy between a majority of CCC members and the remainder of the member agencies including Hudson Guild. In addition, the staff director role demanded a commitment of a kind and of an amount of time which Dan Carpenter could not make. As a result of discussions held in late spring 1958, Carpenter's activity as CCC staff director was decreased materially over the ensuing months until Buckholz' appointment as director became effective in October.
A further complication was the sharp rise in CCC expenses above estimates in the second year (about $77,000 actual compared with $62,700 projected.186 The issue of cost came sharply to the fore when Carpenter proposed in early April that for the year October 1, 1958, to September 30, 1959, the professional fee paid to Hudson Guild be kept at $7,500 but that the stipend paid to Alinsky be reduced from $4,800 to $2,400. To the ESF, at least, this proposal was the reverse of what the project required and, eventually, the payment to Hudson Guild was reduced.187 The payment to the Industrial Areas Foundation was also reduced because, according to Carpenter, Alinsky would be unable to spend more than half the time he had previously said he could commit to the project.188
Meanwhile, the evolution of the project continued. The first annual congress of the CCC was held in April 1958. In a letter concerning the congress, Carpenter reported:
Seventy-three of the 83 member organizations sent ninety-six voting delegates and sixty-six alternates. [There was] lively discussion hinging around committee reports on education, recreation, health and safety and housing. ... The five officers elected at the organizing convention were reelected by acclamation, along with three additional vice-presidents who were elected by closed ballot.189
He then went on to say:
In keeping with previous discussions with Dean Paul McGhee and you, the suggestion of turning over to the council the full responsibility for its affairs has been explored and discussed with all parties concerned ... and it has been agreed that not only would it be in keeping with the spirit of the original conception of the project, but that it would be a very healthy move to ask the board of directors of the Chelsea Community Council to assume full management of their affairs.190
On April 30, officers of the CCC unanimously accepted full responsibility for council operations in the third year.
The growth of the council was further attested to by Father Dunn who said that in spite of the grant having been made to Hudson Guild, the people felt that the council was theirs. He stressed the high degree of loyalty on the part of the board of directors to the organization, including the representatives of Protestant and Jewish groups, adding that the monthly board meetings were well attended. The number present, even at emergency meetings, had never fallen below fifty of the eighty-one members. He indicated also that several Puerto Rican board members were beginning to take the floor and were being listened to.
One problem to which Father Dunn called attention was the fact that there was great variation in the extent to which board members reported back to their organizations, adding that the council proposed to start a mimeographed newsletter to organizations as a way to overcome this gap. Father Dunn's most pressing concern, however, was finances. He hoped that it would be possible to work things out without having to discharge staff and said that the board was planning a major fundraising event in the fall based on a bazaar and raffle.191 However valid Father Dunn's evaluation of the council may have been, a fundamental issue was joined when the council's board of directors voted on April 1, 1958, to table a motion concerning the ILGWU project, Penn Station South.192 At this point, the conflict of interests between Hudson Guild and its allies, on the one hand, and the remainder of the council, on the other, became clear. More will be said about this later.
The remainder of the organizational story can be summarized briefly. Discussions leading to the decision to shift responsibility as rapidly as possible from Hudson Guild and its Administrative Committee to the board of directors of the council had a further consequence: Dan Carpenter resigned as director of the staff, and his resignation was accepted by the board at its May meeting.193 According to Carpenter, Hudson Guild "withdrew from active participation and direction of the organizational phase of the Chelsea Citizen Participation Project at the end of the second year, that is, October 1, 1958."194
Preparations for the second Community Congress of the CCC, held on April 12, 1959, had been characterized by bitter discussions concerning the forthcoming elections. Although he had planned not to run for reelection, it finally seemed to Father Dunn that he had to do so, and indeed his slate was elected. After the vote for president, the opposition group, consisting of Hudson Guild and some of the Protestant and Jewish groups, abstained from voting on the other candidates. The break was complete. The abstention from voting had been decided on in advance (anticipating the election of Father Dunn), and copies of instructions to abstain had been distributed to the Hudson Guild group. Subsequent to this congress, the Carpenter-led group caucused several times to consider further steps. On June 1, 1959, sixteen organizational representatives decided to withdraw, with three more close on their heels. Thus, before the June 3 meeting of the board, nineteen groups had withdrawn, with others soon following.195
Concomitant with the split in the CCC was a worsening financial picture, about which Alinsky predicted:
The Chelsea Community Council will be able to finance its own office, secretary, maintenance and operating expenses and the salary for one staff person. What they will not be able to do is ... to select and pay the required salary for a skilled organizer who can effectively develop and carry on an essential major job for that year; a task which will do more than any single activity to determine the ultimate success or failure of the Chelsea Community Council. The task that I refer to is that of an effective organization of the Chelsea residents of Puerto Rican background so that through their organizations they will be able to be part of the Chelsea Community Council and move into the arena of citizen participation in its fullest sense. 196
What Alinsky then proposed was that Lester Hunt, an IAF organizer, be assigned to the CCC for one year with Alinsky providing consultation services as needed. As Alinsky put it, "The Chelsea Community Council has not been, and is not, an Industrial Areas Foundation project. But I feel that the presence of a full-time, trained Industrial Areas Foundation man ... would provide not only a positive contribution to this situation but a hopeful note for the future."197 This proposal recognized, of course, that the effort to apply IAF principles through Hudson Guild had, in critical respects, failed.
In the hope that something could be salvaged, a grant of $14,800 was made by the ESF to the IAF for one year. But it soon became clear that the situation in Chelsea had become so intractable that nothing effective could be done without a much larger infusion of organizing staff. In fact, the council itself decided that it would be better to dissolve, formally voting to do so on February 17, 1960. What then can we conclude from the record? Clearly, there were significant accomplishments. But there remains the question of why Chelsea Community Council was unable to realize more of the hopes of those who helped its inception. Let us turn first to the positive side.
Evidence of Growth and Achievement
Certainly one of the most valuable CCC accomplishments was the identification of new leadership in the community, especially leadership outside of the immediate orbit of Hudson Guild. Because Hudson Guild had been for many years the most, if not the only, visible institution in the area, it was important that other leadership emerge to give voice to a broader range of interests. John Moore's interim report, completed in April 1958, documented the fact that persons formerly unknown in the community had emerged and gained acceptance as leaders. Others had developed the ability to do the spade work, each in his own organization. Some early "doubters" had become energetic workers in the program. He said that much valuable experience had been gained in the art of organizing, in handling meetings, in democratic committee work, in development of clear factual reports and in the presentation and discussion of issues with public officials. Further, he had noted that the tendency toward pettifogging discussion in meetings of the board of directors was decreasing. There was a growing trend toward emphasis on program. He noted that at a meeting of the board an emotional issue had been discussed in objective terms even though the group appeared to be evenly divided.198
One of the staff members, George Sullivan, who knew Chelsea well, had documented in an appendix to John Moore's report a number of examples of leadership development through the project.199 First, of course, there was Father Dunn, the assistant pastor in St. Columba's parish, who became CCC president. He had participated very little in community affairs aside from his parish work although he had attended several meetings of the Chelsea Committee for Neighborhood Development (organized by Carpenter about two years prior to the CCC). At one point he almost withdrew in the face of opposition to his position on low-income housing but was persuaded to stay because otherwise his point would have been lost. Eventually, the plan was changed to include low-income housing. In July 1957, Father Dunn visited the Back-of-the-Yards Council in Chicago (at the time of its Free Fair). He returned full of enthusiasm for what he had seen and wanted to see similar programs carried out by the CCC. He decided to run for president and was elected. As president, he had a difficult time overcoming his lack of experience but in a year's time improved greatly. An important development was his leadership in securing a reversal of the city planning commission rejection of a vest-pocket housing program in Chelsea. Considering his lack of experience in community affairs, Father Dunn achieved a great deal of growth as a community leader although some abilities were less well developed than may have been wished for, as noted below.
Sullivan commented on another active leader, a teacher, contrasting his apparent shyness at the November convention with "his forcefulness and self-assurance and facility on his feet" in his role as chairman of the Subcommittee on Existing Housing and later as chairman of the Housing Committee. Another school person, a principal, was encouraged by the CCC to ask for what the school needed (more personnel and facilities for a hot lunch program). His passive, even negative attitude was changed to one of speaking up for his constituency, and their needs were met. Without his part in the CCC, his attitude would in all probability not have been changed. The president of a parents association had at first been resentful of the CCC, seeing it as competing with her own organization. Instead, she found that new members from the CCC were coming into her organization and that the education and recreation committees were bringing "new life" into the association. A member of the Knights of Santiago (an organization of Spanish-speaking men in a local church, brought together by a staff organizer) had been reluctant to volunteer a proposal, due perhaps to his sensitivity to criticism. With help from the organizer, he worked out some of his ideas and presented them to the group. "In so doing, he has developed a great deal more self-confidence and has risen to be one of the most respected leaders in the group.... He has also shown a capacity to have his ideas and suggestions turned down or modified by other members without becoming upset as he did in the beginning. In fact, he is beginning to take some of the major responsibility in the organization. . . ."200
At the other end of the spectrum of community activity was a professional man who was named chairman of an important committee of the Council. At first, he saw only a limited function for the committee, accepting or rejecting resolutions referred to it and informing the Board of Directors accordingly. He did not see that the committee could and should examine on its own account the problems to which resolutions had been directed. He also had an inclination to refer matters to the Manhattan District Planning Board, a power group with which he was familiar.
Since these problems were not ones which could be brushed aside, it became necessary for certain people in the community to come to the committee to present their problems and for the chairman to appoint subcommittees or himself to visit public offices to get information. In the course of these experiences, he began to develop an understanding of what some of the community problems really were to the people who experienced them, what steps the committee itself could take toward their solution and the potential power and effectiveness he, the committee, and the council had within themselves.201
These examples illustrate how the combination of opportunity and responsibility and the help of staff members can have a significant impact on the abilities of citizens in community affairs.
In his report to the foundations, Dan Dodson provided additional evidence of the CCC contribution to leadership development, noting that many of the rank-and-file members had developed an awareness and understanding of what was going on. They saw that the city bureaucracy would listen to the organization.202 It was his opinion that in the future "the masses" would be less willing to let someone else speak for them. However, he reported that some CCC members were critical of the staff for trying to tell them what to do; that there might otherwise have been more growth on the part of lay leaders.203 Dodson made the further encouraging point that of some forty persons interviewed, all but two said that their community activity would continue.204 Though the organization failed, at least some of the experiences therein must have been positive.
With respect to participation of community residents, Father Dunn said that a leading role in the community had been taken by certain groups--the Puerto Rican group, for example--who had had no impact before, and that many people learned to voice their opinions and to take part in democratic processes. In housing, the council claimed credit for persuading the board of estimate to overrule the planning commission, resulting in a decision to build 1,300 low- and middle-income housing units in Chelsea. It claimed credit as well for blocking a luxury housing project proposed by the Chelsea Committee for Neighborhood Development (closely associated with Hudson Guild)205 and for persuading Mayor Wagner to order the borough president to set up an official "Watchdog Committee" on Penn Station South, the ILGWU Title 1 project. (After the Hudson Guild-affiliated groups withdrew from the council, the borough president disbanded the committee.) The organization also was responsible for securing a revision of relocation procedures.206
In another effort to ease the consequences of land clearance and relocation, the council promoted a rent strike to force landlords to maintain services in their buildings pending relocation of the tenants. In a court suit in Fifth District Court, the rent strike was upheld.207 On the health front, the council, having discovered that Chelsea residents tended not to go to the city health centers, was instrumental in getting three stations for Chelsea, which were open once a month to provide immunization services. On the financial side, the CCC might ultimately have been able to generate sufficient income to pay at least one organizer had it not been for the split, signaled by the withdrawal of the Carpenter group. A raffle, for example, grossed over $10,000 (although net income was only $1,300 because of inept management). But Protestant groups objected to this approach to fund raising; giving, in their view, should be "a matter of intelligent care and concern for others."208 Later efforts included a bazaar and fair, which netted $8,700; and, in the second year, a raffle and fair which produced a net surplus of $12,097. This improved balance, however, made no real difference; other forces pushing toward collapse were too strong.
Reasons for Failure
Ideology. In attempting to piece together a picture of what happened to the CCC organizing effort from the fragmentary record, one is confronted with a tangle of considerations. There were varying views of what should happen in Chelsea and different premises about the basis for organizing a community. Apparent conflicts of interest arose between Hudson Guild, the grantee and the concerns of the citizen organization as it reflected the views of the majority of the residents of the community. There appears to have been a split on social class and religious grounds. In retrospect, too, it can be argued that the organizing effort was neither fish nor fowl: It was a mixture of IAF and social agency principles and methods which to some degree canceled each other. Dan Carpenter had submitted, on behalf of Hudson Guild, an application which he stated was based upon the organizing principles of the Industrial Areas Foundation. But it was later evident that either he did not understand these principles or thought that in practice they could be adapted to his point of view.
Professor Harry Giles of the School of Education at New York University, who had worked on a joint project with him, stated his perception of Carpenter's role in Chelsea: "Mr. Carpenter has stood for the rights and future of the people in Chelsea--not for a part but for all of them. In doing so, I believe he stood against the principles of pressure and of manipulation through power, and for the principles of joint agreement and a wide range of participation." He further noted Carpenter's continuing effort and desire "to reach a shared agreement. . . ."209
With the announcement that Professor Dan Dodson had been asked to prepare a report on the organization of the Chelsea Community Council, an editorial in United Neighborhood Houses News stated in part:
Settlements seek to resolve neighborhood conflicts by bringing citizens in community organizations together around common concerns. Mr. Alinsky's method, apparently, is based upon the use of conflict to stimulate participation and, eventually, on pitting various elements in the community against one another. . . . The Chelsea Community Council was dissolved. And Hudson Guild, as in the past, is playing a crucial part in the physical and moral rebuilding of its community.210
An article in The Christian Century made a related point:
In Chelsea the Community Council was used as the instrument by which leadership was transferred from those who had earned recognition through community service to a priest of the Roman Catholic church and a council in which Catholics hold almost all the seats.211
Ignoring the question of how many seats were held by Catholics, the operative premise here is that leadership should be a prerogative of those who had rendered community service--regardless of where they lived or whom they represented or on what initiative the service was provided. The idea that leadership should involve a relationship established by the citizens of the community themselves would appear to be at variance with the views of the editorial writer. Dan Carpenter would probably have found nothing inconsistent with his own views in the three quotations. And herein lay a principal difference between his and Alinsky's position. Carpenter's premise seems to have been that in any community there is a commonality of interest and concern and that the purpose of community organization is to discover the dimensions of this commonality and attempt to achieve a consensus regarding it. But Alinsky assumed that there would be concerns about significant matters, such as housing, which would not be shared by all, and that certain benefits would not be shared equally. In his view, it was absurd to think that discussing the disparities would necessarily induce those who enjoyed these benefits to share them with those who did not. The deprived groups, therefore, would have to develop the means to force the rest of the community to share benefits.
Alinsky's position was unequivocal. Those residents threatened by the urban redevelopment project must be helped to organize, to mobilize the necessary political power either to block the project or to ensure that acceptable housing was also provided for them. For Alinsky, "mass organization" was the only way to secure a diffusion of power: "While modern social work has paid lip service to 'grassroots' involvement, its success at community organization which included sustained purposeful involvement of lower-income peoples is conspicuously absent."212
The council did, however, begin to secure this kind of involvement from members of the Catholic parishes and even among the Puerto Rican newcomers, one consequence being that Hudson Guild's role would be relatively lessened. One can only conclude that Carpenter did not at the beginning really understand the implications of the project because he said at a later stage that he thought the purpose of the council was to strengthen the local agencies rather than to compete with them.213 At the beginning of the project, it was not apparent that the residents of Chelsea and Hudson Guild were to come into so sharp a conflict. Nor did Alinsky embark on his advisory role expecting to be unable to contribute to the organizing effort by using the principles and methods which had characterized IAF organizing efforts elsewhere, but, in the end, Hudson Guild and the agencies and institutions allied with it were disinclined to move over to let others come to the table. The council was unable to achieve fruition because of defection, some ineptitude and the obstacle posed by the bulldozer approach to redevelopment implemented by city hall in cooperation with a powerful union. Now let us look at some specific aspects of the problems that arose.
Role Ambiguities and Conflicts. A continuing strain in the organization resulted from Carpenter's holding simultaneously the directorships of Hudson Guild and of the staff of the Chelsea Community Council. Prior to the initiation of the Chelsea Citizen Participation Project, the most audible voice in Chelsea for many years had been Carpenter's. As director of Hudson Guild he was associated with a group of high-status trustees, most of whom lived elsewhere. Lines of communication with city agencies, with private agencies and with foundations were available to him. He had ready access to Establishment groups. The problem was that he continued to speak on issues as though he had not undertaken to direct a staff dedicated to the development of a citizen organization, which would have as a principal purpose speaking for the generality of Chelsea citizens.
In his report to the foundations on the Chelsea project, Dodson commented, "Dan Carpenter was, and is Mr. Chelsea," a position which Dodson saw as an earned one. In his opinion, Carpenter had a dream of "a redeveloped Chelsea where low-middle-income people could continue to live in dignity and walk to work."214 Carpenter saw buildings deteriorating. Their replacement seemed inevitable; so why not now, even though 10,000 persons would have to leave? And his board members and the leadership of other voluntary agencies (except the Catholic parishes) shared his view. The purpose of the citizen project, however, was to develop people as functioning members of the community. It should have been up to the citizen organization to decide whether, to what extent and in what way it would seek to improve housing in Chelsea. Yet hindsight shows that Penn Station South and the consequent uprooting of thousands of families was a "given," not subject to discussion or negotiation.
When Carpenter spoke in the name of the council on issues where important elements of the council were arrayed on the other side, it inevitably drove a wedge between him and these groups. In 1959, Father Dunn complained that Carpenter purported to speak for the CCC on Penn Station South and Title 1 housing, which the council opposed. And he had spoken publicly in the name of the council on a Hudson River pier proposal which favored one longshoremen's local but was opposed by another local. (Subsequently, the council worked out a compromise satisfactory to both.)215 Alinsky pointed out that Carpenter was making appointments to talk with the borough president on matters affecting the program of the council, just as he would have done before its existence, but should now not do at all or only as an agent of the council.216 In another instance, Carpenter was accused of taking independent action to oppose a vest-pocket housing project which would have provided more housing opportunities for relocatees.217
Dan Dodson thought "Carpenter had no intention of allowing the council to take precedence over his leadership in the community."218 He summarized:
the limitations of his leadership were those of allowing himself to get involved in a project in which he was so mortgaged that he did not have freedom of movement. It is the yielding to the temptation to take $180,000 without being clearly convinced that he believed in what the funds committed him to. One cannot blame him for rejecting Alinsky's offer of a different kingdom, if he would only sell his settlement house short and allow it to become subservient to a larger, stronger community organization.... One cannot blame him for shrinking in the face of the power play into which he was drawn. This was alien to his personality. One can criticize him on two points: (1) the belief he could manage Alinsky and use process on him to bring him to his [Carpenter's] way of operation, and (2) his relatively heavier emphasis on physical development of the neighborhood as against human development.219
Dodson stated, nevertheless, that the project "was launched with an agency leader who thought he knew what the principles were and thought he believed in them. ..."220 Dodson saw Father Dunn, also, as being constrained in his role as president of the council by his well-justified apprehension concerning the consequences for the Catholic parishes.
It can easily be argued that the ILGWU project was inevitable and that the council should have devoted its efforts to pressing for better maintenance of older buildings, as long as they were inhabited, as well as to improve relocation practices. This had been the hope of the staff. But the fact that the great majority of those to be moved were members of Catholic parishes determined the council president's stand on the issue: Father Dunn's parishioners would not have accepted any other position. (It is not implied, of course, that Father Dunn's position did not also reflect his humanitarian concerns." It was inevitable, therefore, that Dunn and Carpenter were to be on opposite sides of the housing issue. The tension between them was only heightened by other considerations, such as Dunn's relative inexperience in affairs outside his own church and his growing sophistication with respect to the use of Alinsky's power approach, as opposed to Carpenter's process approach. Although Dodson alluded to Dunn's inexperience in working with women,221 Buckholz rejects criticism of Dunn on this score. She points out that her own working relations with Dunn had been excellent. Furthermore, his parish work involved working with many women in relation to cub scouts, bazaar and teen canteen. She went on to say that relations with some women in the CCC were poor but that this was due to individual factors.222 Father Dunn certainly grew in his role as council president, but he, too, was mortgaged by his obligations to his institution and its members.
Something must be said here about Marjorie Buckholz's leadership and the internal conflict in her staff role. According to Dodson, she had accepted the position of assistant director unaware of Alinsky's participation. She herself has indicated that prior to being interviewed, she had heard he might be involved in some way but had little appreciation of the intended extent of his participation until after she accepted the position.223 She learned then that Alinsky felt it to be a mistake to hire a woman for organizing work. However,
In Buckholz' leadership, perhaps, one can see ... the Alinsky operation at its best. The patience with which she went over agendas with chairmen before they were to perform, not to tell them what to do, but instead to brief them on the issues and their significances, is a delight to read. The counsel she tried to give when leaders were perplexed on procedures, showed a high skill.... Said she, "The staff worker serves to interpret a worth of a council, to suggest and to indicate alternatives on how things are done and to handle the feelings and attitudes which play so prominent a part in people working together. The worker must have ... 'a passion for anonymity,' 224
She was criticized for not spending enough time working with women in the council and for choosing sides, but "Whether one agrees with the side she took ... there is room for honest belief on her part, that the people of the community were her first loyalty, and that the council was the way to greater service to them."225
Adequacy of IAF Participation. If the goal of this project was to test whether IAF principles could be used to form a citizen participation organization by a third party, it must be asked whether the nature and amount of IAF input was adequate to the purpose. In retrospect, it was not. Alinsky had agreed to spend four days a month in Chelsea, even though it was suspected at the time that this was, to say the least, insufficient. And as it turned out, Alinsky's schedule, already grossly over-committed, did not allow him to spend even this much time; at a critical point in the council's development, for example, Alinsky was on a consulting trip in Italy. Nor was it only that the amount of time he could spend in Chelsea was too short to provide the kind of training needed; he could not always arrange to be there at certain critical moments. This is very significant when one recalls that an essential feature of the IAF training process was the opportunity for the trainer to use the organizer's day-to-day activities as content for the training curriculum. It was only immediate discussion of activities and their results (especially crisis situations), while the experience was fresh in mind and appropriate lessons could be drawn from it, that produced an effective IAF organizer. Obviously, such a relationship required that Alinsky be in close contact with the organizing staff.
Disagreements Concerning Alinsky's Role. Dan Carpenter was to serve as staff director, but on a half-time basis. Given the pressures of managing the complex program of Hudson Guild, it was not surprising that he found it difficult to engage in sufficient organizing activity to secure the necessary experience to become an effective organizer, as the IAF defined the role. Meanwhile, his staff was involved in learning such skills whenever Alinsky came to Chelsea. Inevitably, differences in understanding of the organizing task became more evident to the staff, and Carpenter came to feel that they were looking more to Alinsky for guidance than to himself. According to Alinsky, Carpenter tried to impose some limits on Alinsky's relationship with the staff: "my hands were tied behind my back and my mouth was gagged, and for the first year he [Dan Carpenter] even issued orders that I could not talk to anyone in the neighborhood."226 Although the notion that anyone could successfully gag Alinsky seems scarcely credible, the tension between Carpenter and Alinsky was having a demoralizing impact. The staff was caught between Alinsky, whose views on organizing made sense to them, and Carpenter, whose notions about organizing did not make sense to them but who was the boss.227
Early on, as noted above, Alinsky had indicated to McGhee and Carpenter that he distinguished between the roles of consultant and advisor, pointing out that a consultant assists on request with respect to some specific element of a total structure. I the case of the Chelsea project, he thought that the much closer relationship of advisor was essential, and it seemed to him that the role of advisor must include at least limited participation in actual operations; the advisor could teach best if he and the staff, including Carpenter, actually became involved in organizing activity. Just talking about principles and methods in the abstract was not good enough.228 Dan Dodson concluded that there was sharp disagreement concerning the focus of the consultant/advisor function. In Alinsky's view, his consulting role was to include organizational procedures; participation in the selection of staff, with veto power if he considered anyone unsuitable; training of staff; and counseling with respect to the organizational program as it proceeded. Interpretations of the program were to be made to others on Carpenter's request. Carpenter, on the other hand, understood that Alinsky's advice would be limited to organizational procedures only, with no veto on staff."229 In February 1959, Alinsky formally withdrew as consultant to the project on the ground that success was unlikely, given the existing arrangements.
Staff Effectiveness. Difficulties concerning the staff did not stop with differences of opinion about Alinsky's role in the project. It could be argued that virtually every decision about staff would have been different had Alinsky been making them, as he normally would in an IAF project. Although Dan Carpenter had the reputation of being one of the ablest neighborhood house directors in New York City, Alinsky would almost certainly not have chosen a social worker as staff director. Too many preconceptions, in his view, would have had to be overcome. Furthermore, he could not conceive of the task as requiring less than a full-time effort--an effort going far beyond a forty-hour week. He would also have been concerned about conflicting demands between the project and Hudson Guild, which had a claim on the other half of Carpenter's time.
Lester Hunt pointed out that the staff had had professional experience in social work, group work or other similar areas. They had to be retrained, and this proved to be difficult.230 He acknowledged Buckholz' ability but felt that given the circumstances in Chelsea, a man could have been more effective.231 Hunt was critical, too, of the inaccurate information about the community which was conveyed by the staff to Alinsky. The picture given was of the old Chelsea community, when the International Longshoremen's Association, the Catholic churches and the Tammany clubs wielded important influence. Hunt felt that the community had changed after World War II and that the organizing targets should have been the walk-to-work middle class, the Puerto Ricans and the would-be Villagers who had not found apartments in Greenwich Village.232 It is hard to say how Alinsky would have reacted if such information had been available to him, but if Hunt's perception of Chelsea was correct, it probably made a difference to the results of the organizing effort. Buckholz, however, does not agree that the disparity was as great as Hunt indicated.233
Conflicts Concerning the Staff Member's Role. An illustration of the difference in viewpoint between Carpenter and Alinsky is found in the case of an organizer who had had active connections with other groups in Chelsea. Apparently Alinsky and Buckholz had suggested to the organizer not only that participation in outside activities should stop so long as the organizer was employed by the project but that it would even be desirable to resign from other groups. Carpenter's reaction was to write to Alinsky: ". . . I would, of course, agree that [the] first obligation ... would be to the project and that for the time being at least [the organizer] should refrain from carrying on any activity that might lead to confusion in people's minds. This is a little bit different from saying that [the organizer] must resign from everything with which [the organizer] has been associated."234 Alinsky responded quickly:
It is obvious that any field organizer for the Chelsea project who is actively engaged in other activities for other groups creates confusion in the minds of the local residents.... For example, if an organizer is working with some social group for purpose X, it then becomes assumed by the community that the project is in support of X issue. One cannot and should not expect the local population to draw a line of distinction in such activities . . . our experience in terms of our own field organizers has resulted in the policy of their not belonging to anything for this same reason. We have learned that in order for a field organizer to be part of all he or she cannot be part of any. 235
Thus, misunderstandings plus other factors seriously affected the pace of organizing. In Butte, it took about three months to bring together a thousand people in a public meeting to constitute the first community-wide organization. In Chelsea, with about twice the population and a significantly large budget, it took nearly fifteen months to arrive at the same stage.
Lack of Organizing Know-How. The data relevant to the slow pace of organizing in Chelsea are scanty, but one clue may be found in Lester Hunt's comments. Carpenter, he said, repeatedly arranged for staff to meet with local organization representatives. The staff would then find that the organization was already "signed up," a merely symbolic act in the staff worker's view, but for Carpenter, this was "involvement." The upshot was that the opportunity to secure real involvement at the level of issues was in effect foreclosed. Discussion was "no longer necessary." As Hunt put it, "The worst thing you can do is to begin by inviting someone to join the Chelsea Community Council."236
In July 1957, Alinsky had written to Carpenter about a stage of the organizer's task which went beyond that covered by Hunt. The first stage, in Alinsky's view, represented only a necessary preliminary to the significant organizational task--if the council were to go beyond the conventional community organization:
the titular leaders or representatives of a substantial number of organizations and institutions in the community have been made acquainted with, and have generally accepted, the premises and purposes of organization. This is usually the terminal point in organization of the conventional, so-called community organization. From our point of view this is simply the jumping off point for organization in depth ... to search out and identify the various natural, non-titular leaders of the organizations and institutions in the community ... this intensive organizing drive during these months would involve not only the identification of many of these leaders but most important, a series of personal, detailed discussions with them and with those representatives already involved in the organizational program. These discussions would range on various aspects of purpose and practices of the organization so that they, as delegates to the Community Congress, would be informed and concerned about certain basic premises. A specific example would be the issue of bylaws, ...237
Disagreements Concerning the Basis of Membership. An issue which took on great importance as the organizing work went on had to do with decisions concerning the basic structure of the citizen participation organization to be developed. Some argued that the group should be built on an individual membership basis. Alinsky felt that this would be a serious mistake. At first, Carpenter seemed to accept an organizational focus through existing groups. In a report to the Advisory Committee in May 1957, he suggested why he felt this was an appropriate approach. It was, for example, a more economical way of reaching people; through existing organizations the project would reach the stable part of the community. It was important, he thought, to get the approval of the recognized leaders so that the staff could have their endorsement and thus combat fears:
When I speak of fears, I mean the fear of being trapped by Communist organizers, fear of possible exploitation and the fear of the more sophisticated that it may be a waste of their time to participate. . . . Inherent in the project is threat to the titular or top leadership in the area. . . . Any need to organize in the area can reflect on inadequacy of present leadership. We assure them that we think they are doing a good job and that everyone considers their job an important one. What we are going to do will, we hope, strengthen their own organizations as well as enable us, acting in a united way, to tackle some of the problems which no one organization alone can tackle.238
To Alinsky, however, replacing the titular leaders might be essential to achieving new goals as they emerged in the course of the organizing effort.
Alinsky recognized that Carpenter was not entirely clear in his own mind as to the rationale for creating an organization of organizations. On July 15, 1957, he wrote to Carpenter, outlining the reasons for proceeding on the basis of organizational membership. The letter is important enough to quote at length:
we must never lose sight of the actual lodestar of this entire program, to wit to involve as many of the citizens of the Chelsea community as possible in citizen participation activities. This becomes a far cry from a structured organization which just has one delegate at meetings from each organization, even though it is further buttressed by a number of committees. The fact remains that limited opportunities for participation in the central control areas of the organization inevitably lead to limited participation in all of the associated areas such as committee operations.... Through experience we have learned that if there is a policy adopted of equal representation from all organizations regardless of their size, that sooner or later large organizations resent (and do so legitimately) the fact that their representation is the same as those of small organizations. Their position is just, and the issue has been met logically in community organization ... with a controlled proportionate representation in the Community Congress and equal representation on the board of directors. Reason for the controlled proportionate representation (which simply means a ceiling on the number of delegates which any organization can have in a Community Congress regardless of its size) is again here a compromise in order to preclude any single large organization from dominating the Congress.
Similarly, he pointed out that alternate delegates were useful to replace absentees, but the chief benefit would flow from the inclusion of more persons in the program:
The issue ... is getting people involved providing the opportunities and the means for citizen participation so that individuals can secure through democratic participation the best hope for realizing themselves as individuals. Bylaws and regulations must be seen as means to an end rather than the end themselves, as they can easily become the ending of the means of actually organizing.
This is an example of the kind of explanation and discussion which goes on through the community prior to the Community Congress. There is no indoctrination--there is no pressing of one's personal opinions or judgments on other people--there is first the assumption that the people you are talking with are interested in getting as many people involved in citizen participation as possible. There is the assumption that they recognize that an informed citizen's group is their best means for realizing many of their needs. What is happening here is that the organizers in these personal discussions are raising questions which arise out of their experiences; that the organizers introduce a sufficient body of information which is helpful to people in arriving at an informed judgment on this specific issue as well as many other areas in which discussion should be pursued.239
Alinsky's analysis of the value of "organizing organizations" is persuasive in terms of the criterion of broadening participation. The principle has, however, another dimension. Decisions about proportional representation and the inclusion of subgroups also affect the question of how power is distributed within the organization. If the citizen participation organization includes, for the most part, groups which share a common purpose, then differences may be worked out without too much difficulty. In the case of Chelsea, however, differences emerged which were so deep that the question of the distribution of power became all-important. More will be said about this later.
In reviewing the history of the council, Dodson concluded that representation on an individual rather than on a group basis would have been preferable, For him, the community was too heterogeneous for the organization approach to be effective. By basing the organizing effort on groups, Dodson saw confrontation as inevitable over the issue of ILGWU housing. In his view, the groups would inevitably cancel each other out, and this, be says, is indeed what happened. He felt that working on an individual membership basis would have attracted those who shared the CCC goals.240 But why could not a structure based on organizational membership also seek to attract those groups which opposed the ILGWU project? However, given the fact that Hudson Guild was the applicant and grantee, it is difficult to conceive of such an outcome. Dodson felt, too, that the organizational pattern of the council was ineffective and inequitable. He was skeptical about whether a board of directors numbering 125 members could transact business. He questioned whether the representatives of the several organizations were responsible enough to speak intelligently for their groups, to represent their interests effectively or to report back adequately to their constituencies. He felt that there was a proliferation of sub-organizations which was not in furtherance of Alinsky's principle of broadening participation and representation but which existed rather for vote-counting purposes.241
In fact, the proliferation of sub-organizations became absurd. One danger was that the large number of Catholic sub-organizations matched by a large number of non-Catholic sub-organizations inevitably emphasized the division between Catholics and "the others." In Dodson's words, "Again the issue of what constitutes fair and equitable representation is paramount, The Roman Catholic group is obviously the largest organization in the community. It is contended that it represented 30,000 people in the four parishes. To what extent this population should be represented as Catholics in the council is a moot point." Concerning the many subgroups identified with Hudson Guild, he noted Carpenter's claim that "They were autonomous groups and met at the Guild only as a matter of convenience. Nevertheless, power-wise, they acted with about the same amount of regimentation in his side's behalf as did the bloc vote of groups under the Catholic leadership."242 Very few of the real concerns of the community were Catholic concerns per se, and very few were Guild concerns per se, yet the organization was eventually torn between these two poles of power.
There is no simple answer to the issue posed by Dodson. Given the decision to work on the basis of organizations, the options were minimal. Catholics were members of unions or political clubs, but their involvement in church organizations seems to have been their most active and widespread organizational activity. The church organizations could not have been left out. If it had been decided to organize on the basis of individual membership, how many organizers would have been needed? Would there have been more involvement or less? Surely, less. And in any case, would the bitterness of the struggle over Penn Station South have been reduced? The fact that many of those who fought it happened to be Catholics may well have encouraged "anti" sentiments on the part of several religious groups. But existing animosities involving Hudson Guild and Catholic interests could only have been heightened by the proposal to uproot 10,000 residents of Chelsea, mostly Catholics, in favor of outsiders.
There were other complicating aspects of the membership problem. Should the council be representative only of the people who lived in Chelsea? Or should it also include those who worked but did not live there? What about organizations such as the Bartenders' Union and the International Longshoremen's Association, whose activities were by no means limited to the Chelsea area? And it may have been that some union locals had very few members living in the community, although Buckholz says many longshoremen lived in Chelsea and many had parents living there as well.243 With very important issues at stake, polarization was probably inevitable. As Dodson put it, "What seems to be implied is that when conflict starts and people lose confidence in the integrity of each other, no type of organizational structure can prevent the deterioration of relationships."244
Formal Versus Informal Structure. Dodson contributed further insight by drawing a distinction between the formal structure, provided for in the constitution and bylaws of the organization, and the informal structure, which actually influenced or determined how activities were conducted. First, Dodson reviewed in some detail the gaps between Alinsky's and Carpenter's interpretations of the same words, their hidden agendas, the attempts to play down differences as being "merely" semantics, the ambiguities about who, in fact, would call the tune. That Hudson Guild was grantee led to the announcement of the grant in terms which seemed to preempt the community's role The status and role of the Administrative Committee were ambiguous; although it had a responsibility, it was not expected to exercise it. Another potent force in the informal structure was Carpenter's other roles as director of Hudson Guild and as leader of the Chelsea Council on Neighborhood Development. Alinsky had thought that the latter, a creature of Hudson Guild, was to be terminated, but Carpenter continued to invoke it as a vehicle to push the ILGWU project. "At least at this point Carpenter had no intention of allowing the council to take precedence over his leadership in the community."245 In day-to-day operations, a division quickly emerged between Alinsky, staff and Father Dunn's group, on the one hand, and Carpenter, Hudson Guild, and (later) Penn Station South, on the other. These were all elements in the informal structure. (Another element which was not without influence was the social work profession itself, especially the settlement house neighborhood center group: "That Carpenter was pressured by this group not to get involved with Alinsky is well documented.246 In due course, attempts were made to alter the organizational structure in an effort to influence the distribution of power, particularly as represented by the board of directors. Officers affiliated with Hudson Guild wanted an executive committee made up of officers and committee chairmen. The staff feared that the executive committee would take decisions before the issues could be explored by the board while the Carpenter group was concerned that in the absence of an executive committee there would be one-man rule through Alinsky's domination of the board.247
Other Difficulties. Dodson noted the negative effects stemming from the tendency of certain participants to talk endlessly, to rise to points of order or to engage in long harangues on minor points. It was said of one of the most indefatigable participants that if four alternatives were presented by others, this person would invariably have a fifth proposal for which he would argue endlessly.248 That kind of problem might have been handled had not major issues, such as Penn Station South, overwhelmed the whole process. Further insight was provided by Marjorie Buckholz in her report to the Advisory Committee on January 23, 1958:
Operating within a power structure is not without its problems. There have been several members of small groups who expected that they could move to the top offices of this organization as easily as they have moved forward in small organizations. They are people with limited leadership ability but who are readily available to do jobs which other people do not pick up. They assume that because they talked a lot and are around a great deal that they would be elected as officers. People saw the power in this community organization and they wanted qualified officers. Serious consideration was given to nominations and several candidates were chosen for each office. These people from small groups who had no influence with larger groups and who had shown little leadership were not elected to any office. They have been unable to see their own limitations in this situation and have felt that a power operation is an unfair one, and they have interfered with officers and chairmen in meetings.249
Because very few participants in the CCC had known each other before,
mistakes could easily be made by giving an individual responsibility far beyond
his capacity. Such problems are typical of community organizational activity.
Unfortunately, Father Dunn, the first president of the council, was relatively
inexperienced in community organizations. Dodson concluded that Father Dunn
was really unprepared for the community role that he assumed, especially
where it involved working with women. Dodson saw leadership style as an important
element in group process. It was clear to him that "Dunn, as chairman, was
going to be boss. He did not take time to involve the second in command,
Mrs. Abrahamson. When she pressed for a manual of procedures, he withdrew
even further.... One gets the impression that the techniques are much more
those of the old-line union organizer, than ... the leadership of a group
The bitter controversy which characterized the congress in April 1959 carried over to the board meeting in May. Dunn was attacked on the ground that his committee appointments were biased, to which he responded that "it had been difficult to try to work with committee chairmen who would not cooperate." This statement was attacked by Carpenter and his group as undemocratic. 251 Dodson also suggested that Dunn's commitment to IAF "power" principles was ill-suited to working with the opposition groups. He had no image of or skills in what Dodson refers to as a "process" approach.252 Whether such an approach was relevant to the Chelsea situation is another question.
Although some persons prominent in the project have denied that religion was a factor in Father Dunn's leadership, this seems scarcely credible-certainly after the split on the ILGWU housing. There had been enough issues in which the Roman Catholic hierarchy was on record as being opposed to other powerful groups in the city, to make it highly unlikely that Father Dunn's status did not influence attitudes toward him and his position as president of the council. Dodson felt that the social work professionals had made a mistake in not supporting Father Dunn's efforts at the beginning, inept though they may have been.253 Instead, their behavior isolated Dunn and forced him back to his Catholic base. While Dodson seems to have concluded that religion was not a significant factor in the demise of the council, my own view is that it was not irrelevant. Dodson saw the irreconcilable difference over whether Chelsea should be subjected to urban renewal or allowed to work out its own rehabilitation and conservation effort as the decisive factor in the fate of the council. I would agree.
The reasons for failure discussed so far have dealt primarily with premises, techniques and abilities. The failure, however, cannot be understood without exploring two further issues: first, that of public housing and, second, that of bringing Puerto Ricans into the organization.
Housing, The overwhelming program issue was the question of what housing should be provided, for whom and under what conditions. It was the emotionalism attaching to this issue which made the conflict over the spokesman role so important. With the availability of new federal and state legislation and funding providing for the redevelopment of blighted areas, it is not surprising that Dan Carpenter, a man with a social welfare orientation and a liberal outlook, should in the 1950s have seen the improvement of housing conditions as an imperative for Chelsea. The ILGWU proposal for a massive housing project, known as Penn Station South, seemed to be the answer to prayer. The Hudson Guild board meeting, at which the announcement of the grant for the Citizen Participation Project was made, was the same meeting at which the board endorsed the ILGWU project. In general, those institutions with limited local membership strongly supported the idea. They included, in addition to Hudson Guild, the Sloane YMCA, General Theological Seminary, French Hospital and the Episcopal churches. The only ones who were against it were the people. According to Irvine, the project staff was somewhere in the middle. The staff thought the project was inevitable, so why fight it? (How do you fight a powerful union like the ILGWU in New York City?) The staff (and Alinsky) argued that it made more sense to fight for a good relocation program, construction of facilities for older citizens and perhaps for the building of rental apartments as well as cooperative. 254 But at a CCC board meeting, a motion to support Penn Station South was tabled by a vote of 29 to 27.255 Thus the Dunn forces had committed themselves to trying, if not to stop, at least to blunt the efforts to establish Penn Station South. When the CCC was defeated in its efforts to halt the project, it turned its attention to helping those needing to be relocated. The borough president, coming to inspect the area, was met by jeering residents, protesting "a deliberate policy of `atrocious maintenance' of the doomed buildings in order to force them to move quickly... They were scornful of the relocation direction given them by the private agency handling their removal. They said they had been directed to bad neighborhoods, to other future demolition areas and even to buildings that had already been demolished."256
When the group led by Carpenter withdrew from the council, the remaining members redoubled their efforts to represent the interests of those affected by the relocation. Rent strikes were organized to force landlords to maintain apartment buildings until satisfactory relocation arrangements could be made. When tenants were taken to court, the court ruled in their favor. The strife spread to include the Citizen Watchdog Committee, an advisory group established earlier, at the request of the CCC, by Borough President Hulan Jack to monitor the relocation program. At the urging of the Carpenter faction, Jack then disbanded the committee. In a mimeographed "Dear Neighbor" letter from George Sullivan in December 1959, the staff director reported that the borough president had dissolved the group because it could not "function in unity." Jack cited the Carpenter faction as saying that it was unable to find "any major incident of mistreatment of the tenants to be relocated," but, according to the council group, affidavits from tenants amply supported its contention that the relocation practices were "most inhumane."257 These diametrically opposed views precluded any cooperation between the two groups. The Chelsea Committee for Neighborhood Development, organized by Hudson Guild two years before the citizen project, condemned the rent strike and picketing. In October 1959, Carpenter was appointed to the board of ILGWU houses.258
The overwhelming obstacle confronting the citizen project was the fact that some 10,000 people out of a total population of about 60,000 would be eliminated from the community. Looking back, it seems improbable that a citizen organization could have been built under these circumstances. But the Catholic parishes could not accept the ouster of 10,000 parishioners without a protest: their credibility with their congregations would have been destroyed. Had the project been funded and organized under the Industrial Areas Foundation auspices, with staff selection and training conducted by the IAF, the outcome might have been different. But with Carpenter already committed to one side of the issue--the side opposed by a majority of the local residents--the cause was probably hopeless. After extensive investigation, both Dodson and Irvine concluded that development of a Chelsea citizens organization had been seriously impeded by Carpenter's two mutually inconsistent roles. The clear purpose of the Chelsea Citizen Participation Project was to build an organization to serve the interests of the residents of Chelsea. To achieve this, large numbers of Catholics (perhaps half of the resident population of Chelsea), previously uninvolved, would have had to participate. Some of these Catholics were Puerto Ricans, but there were many Protestant Puerto Ricans whose only affiliation was with Pentecostal churches. To the degree that the project succeeded in bringing large numbers of local residents into the organization, the status and influence of Hudson Guild and Carpenter would inevitably have been diluted.
Carpenter had committed himself to the project both by making the application in the first place and by proposing himself as director of the staff employed to organize the community. It is quite possible that he did not foresee all of the implications for Hudson Guild and for himself relative to this undertaking. In any case, Carpenter became increasingly disturbed about the trend of events. According to Dodson, Carpenter said he thought the purpose of the council was to strengthen the local agencies rather than to compete with them. Dodson saw this statement as showing that Carpenter's perception of the council was quite different from Alinsky's.259
Referring to Alinsky's presumed reliance on the Roman Catholic church as the core of his organizing efforts elsewhere, Everett C. Parker said that this was "in spite of the fact that before the coming of the council the nonsectarian Jewish and Protestant sectors of Chelsea rather than the Roman Catholic churches had carried the load of community betterment work." Parker's analysis is best summarized in his own words:
Penn Station South will change the whole character of Chelsea, displacing hundreds of poor families, mostly Roman Catholic, with a more heterogeneous population of a higher social class. The Hudson Guild and other nonsectarian, Protestant and Jewish Chelsea groups welcomed the project and urged the council to back it, but the council refused to do so. Instead it embarked on a well-publicized campaign in support of alternative public housing, advocating a slowing down in relocation from the Penn Station South area until such housing is provided to maintain present residents in the community. Mass meetings were held, a rent strike called and the city administration was forced to investigate the resettlement process.
The housing blowup brought on a determined effort, led by Hudson Guild, to break the administration of the council.260
This statement is extraordinary in at least two respects: first, because of the candid assertion that the project would displace poor Roman Catholics in favor of a population of higher social class; and second, because of the equally candid description of the Hudson Guild role. We do not have Parker's evidence for these assertions. Alinsky stated, "To the best of my knowledge the only person Parker interviewed on the majority's side was Father Robert Dunn, the Chelsea council president ... [for] all of twenty minutes. . . ." When Dunn suggested that Parker should put some of his questions to Alinsky, "Parker replied that he had no intention of seeing me...."261 In any case, by the time Parker's article appeared, the CCC was already voting to dissolve.
Organizing the Puerto Ricans. Housing, of course, was not the only issue which contributed to the split. There were strong differences of opinion about how to bring Puerto Ricans into the council. Alinsky wanted organizational work among them to be initiated through the two Roman Catholic parishes which had the most contact with Puerto Ricans in order to encourage continuity of involvement. In Irvine's opinion, this exacerbated the anxieties of the Carpenter group with respect to the growing Catholic participation in the council.262
The effort to organize Puerto Ricans, who were estimated to number about one-third of the population of Chelsea, presented a very difficult challenge. Early in 1958, a staff member, Mike Coffey, summarized the situation: (1) Because Puerto Ricans were not participating in existing community organizations to a significant degree, they had to be treated as a separate group. (2) Those Puerto Ricans who were involved in Anglo organizations were not representative of other Puerto Ricans. (3) The staff so far had been able to reach only certain groups affiliated with Hudson Guild and with a Spanish-speaking church. (4) There were too few existing Puerto Rican ... organizations to be representative of the Puerto Rican community and to provide leaders who might participate in the work of the council. And (5) the staff effort to organize new groups of Puerto Ricans had, up to that time, resulted in one group with fifty Spanish-speaking men meeting in a Catholic church.263
The importance of involving the Puerto Ricans was also underlined by Carpenter, who commented: "If we are unsuccessful in getting them into the organization, they may feel that the purpose of the organization is to oppose them."264 Subsequently, however, some ambiguities could be noted among other council participants. For example, Irvine reported a decision by the "Existing Housing Subcommittee" to the effect that individual problems "should be referred to local housing clinics." According to Irvine, this meant that the Puerto Ricans would get less help from the CCC in disputes with their landlords, and that, according to one of the staff members, the subcommittee did not want to deal with Puerto Ricans again.265 In Irvine's opinion the latent problem was the wish of whites that Puerto Ricans and blacks would simply go away. He felt that the committees on housing and tenants were ineffective with respect to the problems of Puerto Rican tenants.
It is not clear whether important elements in Chelsea were basically opposed to having Puerto Ricans in the community. The split in the council effectively frustrated organizational efforts on several fronts, including that of the Puerto Rican community. The financial support and staffing were quite inadequate to the task of organizing some 20,000 Puerto Ricans, mostly newcomers. Rather late in the history of the project, additional funding was made available to allow Lester Hunt to spend a year trying to organize them, but the amount was probably too little and certainly too late. In fact, before the year's work could be accomplished, it had been decided to dissolve the council on the ground that developments in the community made further work futile.
Split and Dissolution. By late 1958, the polarization was complete. Following the board meeting in December 1958, an ad hoc group met to discuss their opposition to the way the council was being run. In addition to Carpenter, participants included representatives of Jewish and Protestant groups.266 At the January 7, 1959, meeting of the board, a nominating committee was elected, consisting of a Jewish chairman, two members from one of the Catholic parishes, a priest from another church and an ILA representative. The committee's report, presented to the board of directors on February 4, 1959, was, after lengthy and heated debate, rejected 39 to 27. It thus became necessary to nominate officers from the floor. Father Dunn had proposed a compromise candidate to Carpenter, who did not respond. Perhaps the lack of response was related to the tactic whereby members of the Carpenter group had distributed to their board supporters the slate to be nominated at the congress for their side. An interesting addition was the statement, "If---- is not elected president, no member of our group will agree to serve on the remainder of the slate, members of our group will abstain from voting. This is done by turning in a blank ballot." McGhee commented, "This didn't sound like a statement of a group who had any faith in the democratic process."267 At the April congress, Father Dunn was reelected.
In the meantime, Alinsky had decided to discontinue his advisory role because he felt that the possibility of success had been destroyed. He said, "Here I found myself . . . in a situation of responsibility and no authority."268 In July 1959, Carpenter announced to the foundations that the Hudson Guild board at its May meeting had voted to terminate its association as a participating member of the Chelsea Community Council. Attached to his letter was a list of thirty-six organizations that had also withdrawn. (For the most part the list was correct, although a staff member noted that at least three of the groups had never been listed as members and that two other listed groups had not in fact withdrawn.) Also attached was a copy of his letter of June 9, 1959, to James Gaynor, commissioner of the division of housing of the state of New York, announcing the withdrawal of Hudson Guild and other organizations from the council.
The withdrawals were, of course, disheartening. Nevertheless, there were certain encouraging developments. In a ruling dated July 16, 1959, the Exempt Organization Branch of the Internal Revenue Service announced that it had reversed its earlier finding and would grant tax-exempt status to the council. The fund balance at the end of January 1960 stood at $16,287. In spite of the confused and confusing leadership in earlier fundraising events, the council had raised nearly $17,000 through fairs and raffles. But these successes were not enough. The withdrawals were publicized in the local press, and this was damaging. And the Democratic clubs were becoming restive about being caught in the middle on the housing issue.
At a meeting on February 3, 1960, the nominating committee chairman reported that they were unable to produce a single nomination for the office of president. Father Dunn pointed out that there was only one active working committee, the Housing Committee. After extended discussion, it was moved that the board call a "special meeting of the congress at the earliest possible date as provided by law to consider and act upon any and all matters of policy presented to the meeting and that the board of directors recommend to this congress the dissolution forthwith of the Chelsea Community Council." The motion to convene a special meeting was carried unanimously.269
At the special Community Congress, held on February 17, 1960, with eighty delegates present, the motion to dissolve the Chelsea Community Council was adopted 71 to 8 with one abstention.271 It was moved that the congress go on record, for the neighborhood, as unanimously showing their appreciation to Father Dunn and the staff for their efforts over the previous three years in the struggle to make it possible to continue to live in Chelsea. This was unanimously seconded and carried.
Although there were significant accomplishments (leadership was improved, many community residents were helped), the effort to produce a viable community organization failed. The organizing effort failed for these reasons: (1) irreconcilable value differences between Carpenter (with his social work orientation) and Alinsky (with his power orientation) as to goals and tactics; (2) a decisive conflict of interest involving Carpenter and the position of Hudson Guild, which included concern about the Status of Hudson Guild vis-a-vis the CCC in Chelsea, and in relation to city hall, and about housing with particular reference to Penn Station South; (3) a split in the staff, almost all of whom wanted to follow Alinsky's approach in opposition to Carpenter, their director; (4) organizing Chelsea in accordance with IAF principles was dependent upon effective staff training by Alinsky. The amount of Alinsky's time committed in the budget was insufficient and his contributions sporadic. At critical junctures he was unavailable. He complained that the Carpenter forces did not become involved in the training; hence, they could not participate effectively in accordance with IAF principles; (5) the most important issue in the community, Penn Station South, had virtually been decided, with Hudson Guild voting to support the project at the same meeting at which the grant was announced. One-sixth of Chelsea's population (primarily Catholic) was to be ousted in favor of higher-income non-Catholics; (6) insufficient resources were committed to the organizing efforts among Puerto Ricans; and (7) "haves" and "have-nots" were both recruited on a major scale. The result of all these interconnected dynamics was the waste of time, energy, and resources in mutually defeating strife.
Sam Brewer of the New York Times raised other issues when he quoted an anonymous participant as saying that the dispute concerned two fundamental questions:
"Should an indigent section of the community be allowed to block desirable development just because it can muster a majority vote?"
"Has a community house, or any other small group, the right to impose its will on the majority of the area's population even if it is for the good of the community?"
The informant suggested that Father Dunn's position implied a "yes" to the first question and that the attitude of those who had withdrawn implied a "yes" to the second.271 These two questions embody, in my view, a kind of social myopia, not unrelated to the inability of those representing the higher-status agencies and institutions in Chelsea to move over so that a new mix of interests and actions might emerge as the CCC grew and came increasingly to represent the whole of the community. Holding such a structure together might not have been possible in the end, but certainly it was the goal set forth in the project proposal.
Dodson saw the questions and issues in different terms. He wanted to know how the particular concept of community organization affects the outcome of an organizing effort. More specifically, (1) does social action take place through consensus or through conflict? And (2) should the organization be based on individual or group membership?272 It can be argued that the first question was moot in that the major issue (relating to the kind of housing program) had been decided by the ILGWU/city hall bulldozer. Hence, no community organization, whatever its conceptual basis, could have won its case on behalf of local residents and, thereby, gained credibility as an effective force. But this consideration aside, the CCC project did not attempt to implement one concept or the other. In fact, it involved at least two competing concepts. Regardless of whether Carpenter understood the rhetoric of the study prepared by Alinsky for the New York Foundation, as embodied in the Hudson Guild proposal to both foundations, he could not accept its implications as they emerged in practice. What ensued was a struggle between opposing principles which tended to cancel each other.
Indeed, the either-or form of the first question should be restated: "In what situations does social action emerge from consensus and in what situations from conflict?" Although the data are fragmentary, it would appear that there was consensus concerning the desirability of a school lunchroom. This social value was shared, we may assume, by virtually all. But there was no such sharing of social values expressed in the statement: it is good, per se, to replace old, dilapidated housing with new housing. Furthermore, it was suggested at the time by Reverend Parker that a corollary value was the desirability of replacing one group of residents with a higher-status group.273 It is hard to believe that the 10,000 lower-status persons (in 2,600 families) marked for removal would have joined such a consensus. In the situation, the only possible response would appear to have been conflict. Dodson's dichotomy does not seem to have been altogether applicable to the project situation.274
With respect to the second question, the arguments for an organization based on groups have been reviewed above. They involve principally the benefits of widened participation. Nevertheless, the competition to gain relatively in the power struggle by encouraging subgroup membership may have led to abuse of the principle of widened participation. Perhaps the only answer to the dilemma lies in limiting the scope of organization to those who share a consensus reasonably reflective of the organizing goals.
In response to what was learned, Dodson concluded that the grant-making process was inadequate because the question of who was responsible was not clarified at the beginning. I concur that Carpenter's understanding of the project's implications was not sufficiently explored. Dodson was critical of the grant-seeking process, too, for not having made clear what strings were attached to the project. To me, at least, what Dodson interprets as "strings" were matters which could be directly deduced from the Alinsky report to the NYF. Dodson concurs with Carpenter's statement that too much money was available too early in the project. This is debatable. Granted that it takes time to show results (and having a staff which has not yet produced results tends to produce anxiety", it seems to me that it is at the beginning that one needs an adequate staff to produce visible action. Otherwise, the citizens become disheartened because recognizable progress is lacking. On the question of whether the project represented a test of Alinsky's principles in New York City, his answer is in the negative, a conclusion with which I fully concur.279 Whether Alinsky himself could have built a viable mass organization in Chelsea, we can never know.
Dodson raised two further considerations. First, given the trauma caused by powerlessness of some groups in our society, he questions the possibility of their taking the initiative to move to gain their share of power. "The alternative is the 'goading,' the 'incitement,' etc. Here our social work approach fails, for we tend to 'back off' at the sign of conflict. Any virile community organization created in this way would be a threat to the neighborhood house of its area."276 Second, he asks whether anyone in the community gave either Carpenter or Alinsky the right to speak for the community on the question of whether they wanted to be organized. It seems clear that no important groups did so. But is this really to the point? As Dodson acknowledges, no one could really speak for any significant part of Chelsea. It was not a community but an aggregate of many communities, whose wishes and goals could make possible the employment of staff to go out into Chelsea to ask people, after some exploration of needs and possibilities, whether they wanted to do anything. If responses were essentially negative, then the work should have stopped and the balance of the funds returned to the foundations. But the responses received were almost entirely positive. (This conclusion cannot be applied, of course, to the Puerto Ricans because they were relatively unorganized.) Much turmoil and pain came from the Chelsea organizing effort. Mistakes were made. In retrospect, it is doubtful whether it ever had a real chance of success. But given the problem and a premise about ways to solve it, should not the people of Chelsea have been given a chance to choose what they wanted to do?
I conclude, then, that the three projects in which attempts were made to utilize IAF principles did not succeed in creating organizations capable of sustaining themselves on a continuing basis. We may wonder, of course, if the IAF itself could have succeeded if it had been given the grants directly. Any answer must, of course, be merely speculative.
In Butte, the BCP was able to count a number of achievements. It attracted a large membership from a broad range of interests. Given the prominent role of labor unions in Butte, IAF tactics seemed to be quite acceptable. Errors were made, however. The Protestant community was alarmed by the sudden transfer of the Anaconda Copper Company hospital to a Catholic order. Monsignor Harrington's leadership style was authoritarian, which resulted in several groups dropping out. The failure to use the critical IAF tactic of review and evaluation after each important event allowed destructive or ineffective tactics to continue free of critical feedback and correction. Appointing a member of a radical union as chairman of the Committee on Industrialization alienated business interests. Nevertheless, even the partial use of IAF tactics did produce a large organization, representing a broad range of interests which functioned effectively for a time. But, in the end, Butte's hopeless economic future, exacerbated by disputes over money-raising methods, prevented raising enough money to finance even a single staff member. Without staff, so complex an organization could not be maintained. My conclusion therefore, is that IAF tactics (partially applied) worked well up to a point. But the economic base of the community itself embodied such critical negatives that it is doubtful it could have been organized effectively on any basis.
In Lackawanna, the trumpet sounded with even less certainty. The IAF training contribution suffered from personnel difficulties. The staff person hired from the community was ineffective and should have been replaced. Local leadership, especially at the beginning, was far less effective than that of Monsignor Harrington in Butte. Furthermore, efforts to assist those in need of help (for example, the Albright tenants) were greatly hindered by the middle-class, business-oriented officers of the organization. There was another difficulty, too, and that was the widespread alienation of Lackawanna citizens from political affairs. But if this had been an IAF project, it seems reasonable to assume that it could have succeeded in building a viable organization which might have sustained itself for some time.
In Chelsea, the use of IAF tactics was gravely flawed from the beginning. The more the director of the project understood IAF tactics, the more he opposed them. His staff, for the most part, wanted to use them but could not do so effectively in the face of the social work-oriented position of their boss. The director could not have accepted these tactics without courting a result which would have radically affected the status in Chelsea of his own agency. There was the further problem of the Penn Station South project. Even if Alinsky himself had become the organizer, it seems inconceivable that he could have prevented construction of this project. But he might very well have managed to get important concessions of benefit to Chelsea residents--construction of other housing for those to be moved out, better maintenance of housing scheduled for demolition while it was still being rented, etc. Also, it should be noted that the Chelsea project succeeded in raising a significant sum of money before it decided to dissolve--enough to make it seem likely that a staff worker could have been supported. So, a great deal might have been accomplished in Chelsea if IAF principles had been effectively applied. Even though they were not, significant changes took place in individuals. Hundreds of citizens participated for the first time as members of groups concerned with studying and coming to decisions about public problems in conjunction with their neighbors. A respectable array of problems was dealt with which did much to dispel feelings of apathy which had until then characterized the community. In spite of the decision to dissolve the organization, many community leaders who were interviewed as part of an attempt at evaluation of the organizing program indicated that they had no regrets about the work in which they had been engaged and that they intended to continue to take an interest in and participate in community affairs.
In sum, a review of these three projects shows that the wish of the Foundation to discover whether IAF principles could be effectively applied by others was not realized. Which leads to the question: Did agencies and organizations using other principles do any better?
1. Charles E. Silberman, Crisis in Black and White (New York: Random House, 1964), p. 207.
2. The university did, however, own considerable property on the south side of the Midway, including several substantial buildings.
3. Data based on analyses of census reports in J. Herman Blake, "Citizen Participation, Democracy and Social Change," a report to the ESF, Dec. 1969, pp. 79-92, ESF files.
4. Elinor Richey, "The Slum That Saved Itself," Progressive, 27(10) (Oct. 1963), 26-29.
5. Arthur M. Brazier, Black Self-Determination: The Story of the Woodlawn Organization (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1969), pp. 1011. Reverend Brazier, minister of the Apostolic Church of God, was the first president of TWO.
6. Ulysses B. Blakely, Chicago Defender, Nov. 19, 1962.
7. Saul Alinsky, Response to Sixteen Questions, p. 3, ESF files (see footnote 16 for explanation of this source).
8. Edward Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files.
9. A more detailed account of the genesis of this project will be found in Reverend Brazier's book, previously cited. What will be reviewed here will be only as much as is needed to indicate some of the generalizations to be drawn from the project.
10. "Open or Closed Cities?" Christian Century, May 10, 1961, pp. 579-80.
11. Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956); and Rules for Radicals (New York: Random House, 1971).
12. Georgie Anne Geyer, "Woodlawn: A Community in Revolt," Chicago Scene, 3(12) (June 7, 1962), 13.
13. Arthur M. Brazier, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, Sept. 26,
1979, ESF files.
14. Silberman, p. 325.
15. Stephen C. Rose, "Saul Alinsky and His Critics," Christianity and Crisis, July 20, 1964,p.145.
16. Alinsky's position on matters raised by the sixteen questions is reported on the basis of an undated, untitled, typed manuscript made available to the Foundation by him (hereafter cited as: Response to Sixteen Questions).
17. NicholasVon Hoffman resigned from the IAF in July 1963, having been a staff member for eight years. Edward Chambers had become the organizing director for TWO in January 1963.
18. Ernestine Cofield, "Ministers vs. Evils of Urban Renewal," Chicago Defender, Nov. 19, 1962.
19. Alinsky, Response to Sixteen Questions, p. 22.
20. The Community Congress was held March 23, 1962, with Mayor Daley giving a half-hour welcoming address (Ernestine Cofield, "A Blueprint to Secure Community's Future," Chicago Defender. Dec. 3, 1962).
21. Alinsky, Response to Sixteen Questions, p. 23.
23. Rose, p. 144; Bull Connor, chief of police in Birmingham, Alabama, by his repressive policy was of similar help in organizing blacks in that city.
24. Alinsky, Response to Sixteen Questions, p. 15.
25. Ibid., p. 18.
26. Ibid., pp. 18-21.
27. One such organizer was Richard Harmon, a student in the Theological Seminary of the University of Chicago, who spent a year as a field intern. Another was an organizer on the staff of the Cardinal's Committee for Spanish-Speaking People (Alinsky, letter to Tjerandsen, Feb. 6, 1961, ESF files).
28. Ernestine Cofield, "Community Insists on Right to Determine Own Destiny," Chicago Defender Magazine, week of Nov. 24-30, 1962, p. 28.
29. It is of interest that members of two Puerto Rican organizations (Knights of Saint John and Hijos de Borinquen) suggested the Square Deal campaign and were especially active in it; Woodlawn Booster-Bulletin, Special Edition Supplement, 4(22) (March 21,1962), 16.
30. Ernestine Cofield, "Square Deal Campaign Cracks Down on Cheating Merchants," Chicago Defender Magazine, Nov. 29, 1962.
31. Blake, p. 117.
32. Section 112 of the Housing Act provided in effect that when a university had spent its own funds in acquisition of properties for campus expansion in accordance with an approved grant, those expenditures would be recognized as non-cash grants in aid for the benefit of the municipality. Hence, a city assisting a university could secure matching federal funds without cost to the city (Brazier, Black Self-Determination, p. 54).
33, Statement by TWO Executive Committee at press conference, March 10, 1961, p. 2, ESF files.
34. Richey, p. 28.
35. Hyde Park Herald, Feb. 1, 1961.
36. Quoted in Jane Jacobs, "Chicago's Woodlawn--Renewal by Whom?" Architectural Forum, May 1962, p. 122.
37. William L. Nelson, "People, Planning and Planners," Woodlawn Booster, 29(30) (July 5, 1962), 4.
38. Lynward Stevenson, Chicago Defender, Aug. 26, 1964.
39. TWO also bought land for a shopping center for $1,000,000 with the understanding that a chain store tenant would have to train local residents for jobs (Ruth Moore, "Woodlawn: A Happy Future," Chicago Sun-Times, July 5, 1967).
40. Tony Gibbs, notes of interview with Herman Blake, summer 1967, ESF files.
41. Ulysses B. Blakeley and Charles T. Leber, Jr., "Woodlawn Begins to Flex Its Muscles," Presbyterian Life, Sept. 15, 1962.
42. Ibid., p, 14.
43. Blake, pp. 121-23. The tactic of requiring a tenant with a complaint to organize his neighbors into a block club which then becomes a TWO member organization contrasts with the failure of the CSO program to tie the service center into the organizing effort, except in a few cases.
44. Lynward Stevenson, Woodlawn Booster, May 18-25, 1965.
45. Ernestine Cofield, "Death Watch Against School Segregation," Chicago Defender Magazine, Nov. 27, 1962.
46. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF
48. Sheppard G. Kellam, M.D., and Sheldon K. Schiff, M.D., "The Woodlawn Mental Health Center: A Community Mental Health Center Model," Social Service Review, 40 (1966), 255-63.
49. Ruth Moore, "Child Health Tops Woodlawn Recast," Chicago Sun-Times, July 6, 1967, p. 4.
50. Blake, p. 115.
51. Moore, "Child Health."
52. Blake, pp. 126-27.
53. Alinsky, Annual Report, Dec. 12, 1963, pp. 5-6, ESF files.
54. It is not my purpose here to try to report in any detail what TWO undertook to do in relation to gangs, and in any case the available information is not extensive. The reader is referred instead to other published accounts, including Black Self-Determination by Reverend Brazier, and to a two-part article, "Chicago's Blackstone Rangers," by James Alan McPherson, Atlantic Monthly, 223 (May 1969), 74-84; and 223 (June 1969), 92-100,
55. Brazier, Black Self-Determination, p. 68.
56. Ibid., p. 75.
57. "T.W.O. Offers Job Program," Chicago Tribune, Feb. 7, 1965.
58. Lynward Stevenson, "The State of the Community," Woodlawn Observer, April 28, 1966, p. 2.
59. Chicago Sun-Times, July 21, 1966, p. 32.
60. Blake, pp. 111-112.
61. Brazier, Black Self-Determination, p. 89.
62. McPherson, "Chicago's Blackstone Rangers," Atlantic Monthly, 223
(May 1969), 83.
63. Brazier, Black Self-Determination, p. 120.
64. Ibid., p. 125.
65. Lois Wille, Chicago Daily News, June 26, 1968.
66. Quoted in Brazier, Black Self Determination, p. 124.
67. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files.
68. Cofield, "Ministers vs. Evils," Chicago Defender, Nov. 19, 1962.
69. Rose, p. 149.
70. According to Silberman, there were about 30,000 persons represented by the membership of TWO organizations. About 1,200 persons attended the Second Annual Convention in May 1963. These discrepancies illustrate a fact of community organizations. The range of commitment may vary greatly as among member organizations at any given time, among individual officers or members of an organization at any given time or over a period of time.
71. Alinsky, Annual Report, Dec. 12, 1963, p. 7, ESF files.
72. Rose, p. 149.
73. Stevenson, "The State of the Community," p. 2.
74. Blake, p. 102.
75. Georgic Anne Geyer, "Is TWO Political? It All Depends," Chicago Daily News, April 11,1962:p.42.
76. Silberman, p. 207.
77. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files. Chambers' summary of the current status of TWO was startling, to say the least. How had this status been achieved? I am not prepared to offer an answer, but somehow TWO had grown in strength and expanded its activity to such a degree that it became necessary to set up a subsidiary on March 1, 1972, the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation (WCDC), to operate its various real estate, business and other ventures. Its board consists of thirteen TWO members (including the chairman and president of TWO) plus three members-at-large. WCDC is responsible for construction of new housing and rehabilitation of old housing, a joint venture with a supermarket chain (with TWO ownership amounting to two-thirds) which grossed $4,000,000 in sales in 1972-1973, operates an eighteen-man security service, runs a community movie theater which grossed $343,000 in 1972, set up Ferguson Health Center (a Health Maintenance Organization) with 1,600 enrollees and a staff of seventeen and runs a community newspaper. Its financial statement for 1972 showed receipts available for the general operation of TWO of $55,000 and of its subsidiary (WCDC) of $1,480,300.
These data are impressive but they do raise a question, a question raised by Alinsky concerning what he labeled "social worker" efforts. He saw such activities as diverting energy from organizing. But to Leon Finney, executive director of TWO, the attack must be three-pronged: community organizing, economic development and social services (Clarence Page, "15 Years of Progress: TWO has a Dream for the South Side," Chicago Tribune, Oct. 19, 1975).
78. Paul Delaney, special dispatch from Chicago, New York Times, March 8, 1975.
80. Silberman, p. 345.
81. Ibid., p, 347.
82. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files.
83. Silberman, p. 348; his emphasis.
84. Ibid., p. 346; his emphasis,
85. Blake, p. 134.
86. Stevenson, "The State of the Community," p. 3.
87. The initial discussions with the Foundation had been specified to St. Louis and Butte. The shift to Lackawanna occurred under somewhat hurried circumstances. and, hence, may have resulted in a less carefully prepared orientation of the local cooperators. This may have handicapped the organizing effort to some extent.
88. Letter from Monsignor John O'Grady to Leo Gerngross, May 3, 1955, ESF files. Leo Gerngross was then president of ESF.
89. Monsignor John O'Grady, "Interim Report on the Lackawanna Project," submitted by the National Conference of Catholic Charities to the ESF, Nov. 5, 1957, p. 5, ESF files,
91. Ibid., p. 7.
92. O'Grady and Nicholas Von Hoffman, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, May 24, 1957, ESF files.
93. Von Hoffman was later to work as an IAF organizer in Woodlawn (Chicago).
94. O'Grady, "Interim Report," p. 11.
95. Nicholas Von Hoffman, report of Jan. 12, 1957, p. 2, ESF files, Following O'Grady's death, the weekly reports forwarded to the NCCC by Edward Chambers, Tom Murphy and Nicholas Von Hoffman were turned over to the ESF. Von Hoffman's reports cover a short period from Nov. 10, 1956 to April 29, 1957.
96. Von Hoffman, report of Nov. 10, 1956, p. 3, ESF files.
97. O'Grady, "Interim Report," p. 8.
98. Ibid., p. 9.
100. Ed Chambers, work report, July 27, 1957, p. 4, ESF files.
101. Ibid., p. 5.
102. Ibid., pp. 6-7.
103. Ibid., p. I0.
104. Chambers, weekly report, Dec. 18, 1957, p. 6, ESF files.
105. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files.
106. Chambers, weekly report, July 10, 1958, ESF files.
107. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files.
108. Von Hoffman, weekly report, Feb. 9. 1957, ESF files.
109. Chambers, work report, June 15, 1957, ESF files.
110. Chambers, report for week of June 8, 1957, ESF files.
111. Clambers, work report, spring 1958, ESF files.
112. Monsignor Julius Szabo, letter to Monsignor John O'Grady, April 10, 1961, ESF files.
113. Von Hoffman, report of Jan. 12, 1957, ESF files.
114. Von Hoffman, report for week of April 14, 1957, ESF files.
115. Chambers, report for week of May 16, 1958, p. 6, ESF files.
116. Another problem reported by Chambers was that of staff identity following the Community Congress. The organizers' paychecks were written by Catholic Charities of Buffalo, and their work was supervised by Catholic Charities. Hence, it is understandable that the organization members might feel that they were outsiders (ibid., p. 4, ESF files).
117. Tom Murphy, report for week of Feb. 23, 1958, p. 14, ESF files.
118. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF
119. Richard Harmon, memo to Chambers, Sept. 20, 1968, ESF tiles.
120. Harmon, memo to Chambers, Sept. 20, 1968, ESF files.
122. Chambers, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, July 18, 1975, ESF files. 123. Saul Alinsky, letter to Adolph Hirsch, July 10, 1959, ESF files. (Adolph Hirsch succeeded Leo Gerngross as president of the Foundation.)
124. Frank Quinn, "1,000 Butte Residents Mobilize to Push Development of City," Montana Standard (Butte-Anaconda), July 8, 1959, p. 1.
125. Ibid., p. 6.
126. Montana Standard, Oct. 13, 1959, p. 1.
127. Notes of conversations over a two-day period between Tjerandsen and officers and committee members of Butte Citizens Project, Oct. 23-24, 1960, ESF files.
128. Tjerandsen, notes of meetings in Butte, Oct. 2-24, 1960, and Nov. 16, 1962, ESF files.
129. John Banovich, former staff organizer, interview with Tjerandsen, Oct. 23, 1960, ESF files.
130. Tim Shea, interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 16, 1962, ESF files.
131. Monsignor Dan Harrington, interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 16, 1962, ESF files.
132. Dick Kunkel, interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 16, 1962, ESF files.
133. A decade later, a further deterioration was reported, the population of Butte having declined to 23,000. Even more threatening was the fact that the edge of the mine had been moved by 1969 to within four blocks of the business center. Because mining companies have the right of eminent domain, even the city center might be eliminated. "The effect of living on the edge of an abyss has led to a general civic malaise, reflected in Butte's growing number of abandoned buildings, shacks and vacant lots. Banks are wary of making loans, and absentee landlords milk the aging buildings while refusing to make improvements." ("The Undermining of Butte," Newsweek, Nov. 6, 1972, p. 93).
134. The Foundation allowed Catholic Charities of Montana to use this sum for community work with Mexican-Americans.
135. Rabbi Kert, interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 16, 1962, ESF files.
137. Father Frank Harrington, interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 16, 1962, ESF files.
138. H. Daniel Carpenter, "A Presentation to the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation, Inc., Requesting a Grant to Underwrite a Part of the Cost of a Citizen Participation Project," May 6, 1956, transmitted by H. Daniel Carpenter, director of Hudson Guild to Leo Gerngross, president, Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation, May 8, 1956, ESF files.
139. Alinsky, report of the IAF to the New York Foundation, 1955, p, 19, ESF files. Alinsky's statement contemplated an organizing effort to be conducted by the IAF and not by some other organization using IAF principles and tactics, although later in his report he did refer to the possibility of working "through" a local institution. Just where the decision-making authority would then lie was not made clear.
140. Ibid., p. 23.
141. Dan W. Dodson, untitled report to the ESF, Chapter 4, p. 1, Dec. 1960, ESF files. Dodson was professor of sociology in the Center for Human Relations at New York University. He was well known for his work in the field of intergroup relations, including his consultative work with Branch Rickey, in the course of which he contributed significantly to the successful process by which Jackie Robinson became a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1959, Dodson was asked to prepare a report on the Chelsea Community Council.
142. Saul Alinsky, quoted in "Memorandum," to the Reverend Father Robert T. Dunn, president, Chelsea Community Council, Feb. 10, 1960, ESF files.
143. Dodson, pp. 48. (Points 16 are paraphrases from a letter quoted by Dodson from Alinsky to Carpenter, March 14, 1956.)
144. Alinsky, "Memorandum."
145. Dodson, Chapter 4, p. 10.
146. Ibid., p. 13.
147. Ibid., p. 9. (Note; The ESF was not privy to this series of exchanges.)
148. Carpenter, p. ii.
149. Ibid., p. iii.
150. Alinsky, report of the IAF to the New York Foundation, 1954, pp.
12, ESF files.
151. Ibid., pp. 23.
152. Ibid., p. 10.
153. Proposal of May 5, 1956, p. vi, ESF files.
154. Dodson, Chapter 4, p. 8.
155. Saul Alinsky, "Memorandum on the Chelsea Citizen Participation Project," addressed to Paul McGhee and Dan Carpenter, Nov, 20, 1956, quoted in Annual Report to the IAF trustees, 1960, p. 28, ESF files.
157. Ibid., p. 3. Note: I presume Alinsky was referring to discussions in the abstract. He would not eschew discussion of experiences.
158. Carpenter, p. iii.
159. Dodson, Chapter 4, p. 11.
160. Ibid., p. 15.
161. Alinsky, Annual Report of the IAF, 1960, p. 29, ESF files.
162. Ibid., p. 29.
163. Bruce K. Irvine, "Saul Alinsky in Chelsea: A History of the Chelsea Community Council, 1956-1960," p. 4, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in the Faculty of Political Science, Columbia University. We are indebted to Irvine for having painstakingly assembled data from minutes, letters, memoranda, reports from a wide variety of sources and for having conducted interviews with many persons familiar with the events described in his thesis and for having reduced them to a manageable order which is revealing of the events which transpired and some of the consequences thereof.
164. Ibid., p. 45.
165. Robert Janover, president of Hudson Guild, minutes of board meeting, Oct. 24, 1956, pp. 10-11, quoted in Irvine, p. 43. How intimate the knowledge of neighborhood needs was became one of the issues.
166. Minutes of Hudson Guild board meeting, ibid., p. 46.
167. D. John Heyman, secretary, and Paul A. McGhee, consultant, New York Foundation, to Madeleine M. Low, Dec. 12, 1956, ESF files.
168. Tjerandsen to Madeleine M. Low, Dec. 26, 1956, ESF files.
169. This was the project which the Hudson Guild Board had endorsed on June 20, 1956.
170. Dodson, Chapter 2, p. 4.
171. Tjerandsen, notes of interview with Dan Carpenter and Marjorie Buckholz, fall 1956, ESF files.
172. Marjorie Buckholz, "Community Organization in a Neighborhood Council: The Function of Staff in the Chelsea Community Council," paper prepared for the Committee on Community Organization of the New York City Chapter, N.A.S.W. Jan. 16, 1959, ESF files. (Note: Buckholz had become director of the CCC some months earlier.)
173. Ibid,, p. 3.
176. Ibid., pp. 67.
177. Ibid., p. 8.
178. Dodson, Chapter 2, p. 2.
179. Marjorie Buckholz, "Two Concepts Used in Organizing the Chelsea Community Council," report presented ... to the Advisory Committee of the Chelsea Citizens Project, p. 4, attached to minutes of Advisory Committee, Jan. 23, 1958, ESF files.
180. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
181. Michael Coffey, "Report to the Advisory Committee on Puerto Rican
Participation," attached to minutes of Advisory Committee meeting, Jan. 23,
1958, p. 1, ESF files.
182. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
183. Ibid., p. 5.
184. Ibid., p. 6.
185. See George Sullivan, profiles on participants in Chelsea Community Council, April 17, 1958, appended to Interim Report on Chelsea Community Council by John Moore, April 1958, ESF files.
186. Dan Carpenter, memo to Paul McGhee, John Heyman, Sol Markoff and Tjerandsen, March 25, 1958, ESF files.
187. McGhee reported on a meeting held April 7, 1958, which was called to discuss the future status of the project. Concerning suggestions made to reduce the anticipated deficit, he reported the discussion as including: "Reduction of administrative (Hudson Guild) charges to a nominal figure. Such reduction would recognize the demonstrated ability of Miss Buckholz to direct the work of the project from this date, she having had not only the background of community experience relevant to the present project, but also two years of training and supervision under Dan Carpenter and Saul Alinsky." (Paul A. McGhee, memorandum to D, John Heyman, Carl Tjerandsen and Sol Markoff, April 9, 1958, ESF files.)
188. Dan Carpenter, memorandum to McGhee, Heyman, Tjerandsen and Markoff, April 15, 1958, ESF files.
189. Dan Carpenter, letter to Tjerandsen, May 2, 1958, ESF files.
190. Ibid., p. 2.
191. Tjerandsen, notes of meeting with Father Robert Dunn and Sol Markoff, consultant, New York Foundation, April 15, 1958, ESF files
192. Minutes of the council's board of directors, April 1, 1958, p. 2; quoted in Irvine, p. 90.
193. Minutes of CCC Board of Directors, May 7, 1958, pp. 2-3; quoted in Irvine, p. 100. (Note: According to "It Is Time," issued by the CCC, Jan. 8, 1960, Carpenter resigned in Oct. 1958.)
194, Carpenter, copy of letter to Max (Woolf?), member of the Advisory Committee, undated but transmitted as enclosure with letter to Tjerandsen dated July 23, 1959, ESF files.
195. Dodson, Chapter 2, p, 10.
196. Alinsky, letter to Tjerandsen, May 2, 1959, ESF files.
198. John Moore, Interim Report on the Chelsea Community Council, April 1958, ESF files.
199, George Sullivan, addendum to Interim Report on the Chelsea Community Council by John Moore, April 1958, ESF files.
202. Dodson, Chapter 10, pp. 4-5.
203. Notes of meeting with Paul A. McGhee, Dan Dodson, Barbara Mogulescu and Tjerandsen, April 25, 1960, ESF files.
205. "Achievements of the Chelsea Community Council," issued by the board of directors, March 9, 1960, ESF files.
207. New York Times, Jan. 10, 1959.
208, Dodson, Chapter 2, p. 6.
209. H. Harry Giles, memorandum to Tjerandsen, March 8, 1960, ESF files.
210. United Neighborhood House News. 2(4) (spring 1960).
211. Everett C Parker, "How Chelsea Was Torn Apart," Christian Century, 77(5) (Feb. 3, 1960), 130-33.
212. Dodson, Chapter 9, p. 4.
213, Ibid., p. 7
214. Ibid., Chapter 7, p. 2.
215. Notes of conversation with Father Robert Dunn, Jan. 14, 1959, ESF files.
216. Alinsky, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, Dec. 5, 1958, ESF files.
217 Irvine, p. 81.
218. Dodson, Chapter 6, p. 9.
219. Ibid., Chapter 7, p. 5.
220. Ibid., Chapter 6, p. 5.
221. Dodson, Chapter 7, p. 5.
222. Marjorie Buckholz, letter to Tjerandsen, Sept. 19, 1979, ESF files.
224. Dodson, Chapter 7, pp. 10-11.
225. Ibid., p. 11.
226. Alinsky, letter to Adolph Hirsch, July 10, 1959, ESF files.
227. Lester Hunt, notes of interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 10, 1961, ESF files.
228. Alinsky, memorandum to Paul McGhee and H. Daniel Carpenter, Nov. 20, 1956, ESF files.
229. Dodson, Chapter 4, p. 11.
230. We might speculate that there is a basic difference between social workers and community organizers with respect to how they work with people. The former tend to work with the individual, as such, with a view to helping to solve his problem. The community organizer is concerned with building an organization. He works with many persons, not on their personal problems but rather on community or public problems. He tries to bring about change in an individual largely in order to improve that person's abilities to work with others to solve common problems.
231. Hunt, notes of interview with Tjerandsen, Nov. 10, 1961, ESF files.
233. Buckholz, letter to Tjerandsen, Sept. 19, 1979, ESF files.
234. Carpenter, letter to Alinsky, Jan. 29, 1957, ESF files.
235. Alinsky, letter to Carpenter, Jan. 31, 1957, ESF files.
236. Hunt, notes of conversation with Tjerandsen, Nov. 10, 1961, ESF files.
237. Alinsky, letter to H. Daniel Carpenter, July 15, 1957, ESF files.
238. Carpenter, minutes of the Advisory Committee to the Chelsea Citizens Project, May 9, 1957, p. 1, ESF files,
239. Alinsky, letter to Carpenter, July 15, 1957, pp. 2-5, ESF files.
240. Dodson, Chapter 5, pp. 2-4.
241. Ibid., p. 5.
242. Ibid., p. 6
243, Buckholz, letter to Tjerandsen, Sept. 19, 1979, ESF files.
244. Dodson, Chapter 5, pp. 7-8.
245. Ibid., Chapter 6, p. 9.
246. Ibid., p. 2.
247. Irvine, p. 103.
248. Dodson, Chapter 6, p. 13.
249. Buckholz, "Two Concepts," pp. -34.
250. Dodson, Chapter 6, p. 13.
251. Ibid., Chapter 2, p. 8.
252. Ibid., Chapter 7, p. 6.
253. Ibid., Chapter 8, p. 5.
254. Irvine, p. 52.
255. Ibid., p. 90.
256. Edward C. Burks, "Chelsea Tenants Jeer at Project," New York Times, Oct. 14, 1959, p. 70.
257. George Sullivan, "Dear Neighbor," Dec. 21, 1959, mimeographed letter, ESF files.
258. Irvine, p. 152.
259. Dodson, Chapter 9, p. 7.
260. Parker, p. 132.
261. Alinsky, letter to Dan W. Dodson, June 10, 1960, ESF files.
263. Michael Coffey, report to Advisory Committee, Jan. 23, 1958, ESF files.
264. Carpenter, interview with Tjerandsen, Oct. 23, 1957, ESF files.
265. George Sullivan, "Meeting of the Existing Housing Subcommittee," Nov. 18, 1958, pp. 2-3; reported in Irvine, p. 123.
266. Irvine, p. 128.
267. Paul McGhee, memorandum to H. Daniel Carpenter, Aug. 5, 1959, ESF files.
268. Alinsky, letter to Tjerandsen, March 4, 1959, ESF files.
269. Minutes, board of directors, Chelsea Community Council, Feb. 3, 1960, ESF files.
270. Minutes, board of directors, Chelsea Community Council, Feb. 17, 1960, ESF files.
271. Sam Pope Brewer, "Chelsea Project on Unity Splits Up," New York Times, Jan. 24, 1960.
272. Dodson, notes of meeting with McGhee and Tjerandsen, April 25, 1960, ESF files.
273. Parker, p. 132.
274. This view of the role of conflict may not, however, be what Dodson had in mind because in his study he discusses the use of conflict to create solidarity. Such use of conflict as an organizing tactic poses a different issue from the question of whether achievement of a group goal is dependent upon engaging in a conflict because no consensus is likely.
275. Dodson, Chapter 10, pp. 6-8.
276. Ibid., p. 9. Note: After reviewing my manuscript on Chelsea, Dan Dodson commented in a letter dated Dec. 15, 1975: "The further I go, the more I am impressed with the matter of power in human relationships. I am thankful to Schwarzhaupt and Alinsky for the chance to come to confrontation with it. I have some ambivalence about organizing the community to solve its problems in highly polarized urban centers. It seems to me we are trying to apply a consensus model in a conflict type society." Commenting on his study, he said, "if I were making it today it would be different, it would be stronger in the direction of the Alinsky approach" (ESF files).