The Community Organizer: What the New Civic Activists Are Doing and How They Act

We don’t start with problems. This is one of the characteristics community organization: A method for forming and strengthening civic coalitions, developed by the American sociologist and activist Saul Alinsky in the 1940s, which is becoming increasingly popular in Europe as well.

“Power comes before problems,” Barack Obama said in one of his famous writings from 1988, Why Regulation? Promising problems in the heart of the city.” Only Obama, who worked before becoming the forty-fourth president of the United States community organizer, explained thatto organize It starts from the premise that “the problems facing societies are not the result of a lack of effective solutions. They are the result of a lack of power to implement these solutions.”

Heather Booth, founder of the Midwest Academy and one of the world’s most famous community organizers, coined the formula: the three “o”: “OOO = organizers regulate organizations.” Before “o”: regulators. The second “Q”: organization. The third “Q”: organizations. that of community organization It is therefore a process that leads “regulators to regulating organisations”.

method community organization It is based on three guiding principles:

  • Listen to the community
  • determine the minimum aspirations of this community;
  • Creating conditions, both internal and external, to meet the expectations of that society.

By metaphor, the regulator can be compared to a mechanic that runs on a car engine. Society is the machine, but people are the engine. The goal is to move this machine and make it “competitive” and able to earn respect.

the community organizer It is a key actor in changing social policy with regard to certain groups. His work requires meticulous skills in terms of communication, ability to move into action, leadership and organization. Today there are schools, courses and training courses to prepare for this real profession.

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In the United States, a community organizer The average operating income is $43,000 per year. With continuous salary growth and upside potential, not only in the non-profit world, but also in the for-profit and institutional world.

Action community organizer It is carried out on the basis of four strategic lines: organization of society, defense, advocacy and ability to provide services. In particular, notes Alberto Alemanno, lawyer and expert in civil cases and author of the recent book “The Good Lobby” (Edizioni Tlon, 2021),advocacy and the Pressure Civilization is taking an increasingly important role in community organization.

the Pressure Alemanno explains that civic “helps to mobilize citizens and organizations, who often feel powerless and frustrated, to involve them in decision-making processes and to create a new connection between civil society, institutions and businesses”.

Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of constructive dialogue with communities. This is why they focus on community organizer Not only to mitigate conflicts, but to implement processes of cooperation and participation.

Especially after the epidemic, which witnessed the re-emergence of the topic of society strongly, which is community organizer Is a profession in demand: in the field of logistics, inhome sharing And in all those practices that affect the territory. The platforms were the first to notice, and they focused heavily on this number, making it a pivot between the local hosts, the community, and the company itself. How do? with method community organizationIndeed: inspiring, promoting, making the community’s voice heard, and examining strategies to bring value to the community through impact and an inclusive economy.

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