Civic Model of Community Organizing (S. Nguyen)

DEFINE: The model/theory of community organizing focuses on connecting community members directly with governments on a local level. This type of organizing relies on existing local service systems to solve problems and solutions tend to be narrow in scope. Social networks in this model tend to be small and relationships are generally based on self-interest and neighborly relations.
APPLY: In community organizing, this model is best used in situations where problems exist within a small community where goals identified are to be accomplished through the use of official, bureaucratic channels and citizen interactions. For example in addressing neighborhood crime, a civic model would first create a forum where neighbors could meet and exchange information about the problem. They would then connect with existing channels of government to create a plan of action.
ADAPT: An example of civic community organizing are neighborhood crime watch groups and neighborhood associations.

Smock, Kristina. (2004). Democracy in action: Community organizing and urban change. New York: Columbia University Press.

1 comment:

  1. Apply: This model is the theory of community organizing that ROC-MI is rooted in. ROC-MI (the restaurant opportunities center) is where my current field placement is, and there are member based policy meetings held bi-monthly. These public policy meetings are a space for members to gather together and voice major concerns that they all desire to address within the community and on a policy level. For example, one concern that was mentioned at the last meeting was racial discrimination in the work place. Another concern was raising the minimum wage. When a collective concern is identified, these meetings are used as spaces where the members collectively decide on a plan on action on a political level. This model of community organizing allows for individuals to unite and have their voices heard as a result.

    Adapt: This model could be adapted in any setting. It is a way for individuals to rally together to identify a collective issue, and then think of ways to bring that to a political level, to create change on a systemic level. I am specifically thinking of education. Parents or students could gather in a community to discuss issues surrounding the educational system in the community. A major issue could then be identified and through collective brainstorming, steps could be formed that the community will take on a political level. Change can happen when people come together.