1st Principles of Organizing

14 LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIZING

  1. Building trust on a personal level with the community is the first responsibility of an organizer.
  2. The organizer must understand that organizing requires building relationships and not just engaging in transactions.
  3. The organizer must listen to the community to understand its concerns and/or problems.
  4. The organizer must understand that his/her political priorities may not be the priorities of the community.
  5. The organizer should then discuss with community leaders possible solutions that the community might support to resolve the concerns and/or problems.
  6. The organizer should discuss with community leaders the various resources that may be available to help resolve the problems and/or concerns. This could include research, financial resources, making public the community’s concerns, mobilization of various organizations, political connections, and others.
  7. The organizer should now work with the community leaders and community to develop the best strategies and tactics to resolve the community’s problems and/or concerns.
  8. The approach to solving the problems and/or concerns should be communicated to all of the community on a continuous basis.
  9. Develop community organizations to tackle the problems and/or concerns.
  10. The community organization should have its own leadership with the organizers as advisors.
  11. The organizer should continuously reevaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and tactics used to solve the problems.
  12. Changes in strategies and tactics should be communicated to the community leaders and the community.
  13. The community must determine if and when the problems and/or concerns is/are solved.
  14. An organizer must understand that all communities are composed of people with different ideas and ideologies, different goals and personal agendas, and different amounts of available time, yet as many as possible need to be united in a coalition that accommodates that variety.

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