Community organizing is a process when people who live close to one another— either alongside each other or sharing common issues— come together to build power. The idea is that the people in a community know best what they need to survive and thrive, and that the solutions for problems should come from within a community rather than imposed upon it externally. Successful organizations galvanize people around these problems and solutions, identify the change-makers and targets who they must confront to solve it, and use tactics of negotiation, confrontation, and escalation to win their demands.
The main goal of this kind of organizing is to build lasting, democratically controlled institutions run by and for constituents, which can continue to take on further problems in their name. In this section, we look at the myriad ways that people come together to take control of their communities.
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