9780807008843 / 0807008842

The Community Activist's Handbook: A Guide to Organizing, Financing, and Publicizing Community Campaigns


Publisher:Beacon Press



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About the book:

Too often, when citizens complain about inertia and noncreativity in local government, the time servers in command reply: "If you don't like what's happening, why don't you run for office?" Certainly this is the most direct action you can take to change what you don't like about (or supply what is missing in) your community. Yet often the time demands are such that you cannot realistically pursue such a course. Whatever an irritated official object of your criticism may imply, this is certainly no reason to disqualify yourself from taking exception to "the way things are" - and doing something about it. Unless we come to grips locally - in varied and personal ways - with the significant problems of our social existence, we will almost certainly evolve into a homogenous nation of nearly identical communities, reacting inflexibly and statistically to national trends without regard to local differences. To prevent such a dull society, we need a far-flung underground of community activists who dare to translate their personal aspirations - or their communities' peculiarities and potentialities - into political enterprise, with a forcefulness which will keep local government on its toes. This handbook is written to encourage that underground. But whether you are really driving for significant community innovations or simply presiding over the routine and noncontroversial functions of an existing organization or committee, it should provide some practical assistance for all who conduct meetings, seek publicity, raise money, or otherwise engage in part-time, voluntary civic activity. This book is designed to help you cope with the more complex types of volunteer activity. By covering all of the ground thoroughly, the handbook will help you avoid costly oversights. More than anything, this book should provide a focus for what you already know about people, about organization, about purposeful dialogue with the public.

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