Thursday, February 4, 2010

Organizing Mash Up

"Obama offers Organizing for America (OFA) as the vehicle for popular participation.I don't think so. Obama needs Organizing for America to help him with his agenda. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not community organizing."

Mike Miller, "Alinsky for the Left," Dissent, Winter 2010.

Well said.

"Community organizing's agenda should be to push the president."

In part. Its agenda is also to work on local and regional issues,mobilize campaigns, and develop leaders. I'm not even sure how much OFA helps Obama with his agenda because it contributes to the atrophing of popular participation and local initiative. One can only respond to so many fundraising appeals and last-minute calls to action.

Most of this article is a familiar rehash of community organizing history, nothing particularly new here. But the last quarter of the article offers a provocative recommendation -- that community organizing networks and partners come together nationally in some fashion and get engaged in national policy issues and even electoral politics.

It would be self funded and "would constitute a 'near party.'"

Interesting idea. A national focus may result in narrowing local intiative and variation-- that would be bad for community organizing. The question is whether we could do both things at once -- seems possible

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