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Hi,I read your article because I am an AmeriCorps service member at Lake Washington Technical College. I thought it was very good and informative. You provided me with information I did not have about door knockers and poor communities, and other thoughts to ponder. Thanks.Susan Hawley, AmeriCorps Retention Specialist
This is a great site. I came to it from your online discussions over at OpenLeft, which I found to be dead on. I have a couple of points to throw in. I'm a union organizer, and when I'm giving a presentation or training to one of our locals, I tell our leaders that people get involved with any cause for three reasons: First, the issue has to matter to them, and not be only your issue as a local leader. Second, they have to perceive that their participation will lead to a desired change or outcome (a point you visit in your discussion of apathy--a universal concern for leaders of all stripes). Third, they have to perceive that their failure to participate will doom this enterprise that they see as important. This is the flipside of #2, and often is perceived as 'peer pressure', or as I like to jokingly put it 'solidarity.' It's all the same concept. Secondly, I think that a site this good should have at least some mention of the role that labor organizing can play in shaping people's lives. I recently participated in a strike, and was talking with a veteran teacher was on the striking bargaining team. She told me, "Even if we lose, I just realized--I don't have to take it any more. I don't have to do whatever they tell me, just because they tell me to." They won, but I told her that this was precisely what the strike was 'about'--the rights of professional educators to stand up for their rights to direct their own work lives over the insistence of their managers that they have no rights. Anyway, great site.
like dan chambers, i followed one of your links from open left also. thanks for this site -- your 'think like an organizer' series has given me a few ideas....
I would like to know how to aply for scolarship for my son im a single mother and its no easy to me colect that money. thankyou.ruth.
Professor Schutz, You might have seen my book, Building Powerful Community Organizations, which might be useful for your students. Also on the www.micahma.org website, there is a 7 minutes video on "What is Community Organizing" you might find helpful, and we are in the process of doing a similar video of a one on one relational meeting. The one you have from Marshall Ganz (note spelling of Marshall's last name. You added a "t"). It took my laptop a long time to download. Hope this is useful, Michael Jacoby Brown, Director, MICAH, Framingham, MA, USA
Michael,You are right about the Ganz example. I've deleted it. Hadn't looked at it closely enough.