Going Public An Organizer's Guide to Citizen Action

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An Organizer's Guide to Citizen Action
Going Public

Written by Michael Gecan

196 pages -- 6" x 9" -- Anchor Books -- 2004

Urban decay can sap the determination—not to mention the soul—of anyone who experiences it. But there are forces that can and do reverse it. They are not spectators, or critics, or occasional demonstrators. They are groups of citizens, encouraged and trained to take power with dignity and creativity and unrelenting determination, and to make it work for them, day by day, month by month, and year to year. For more than twenty-five years, Michael Gecan has been a professional organizer with Industrial Areas Foundation, which has trained thousands of little-known community groups from Brownsville, Texas, to Brownsville, Brooklyn. Having grown up witnessing at close range the destructive effects of political patronage on powerless, disenfranchised Chicago communities, Gecan knows from experience that strong relationships in the public sphere and sustained and disciplined organizing can spark the public and private alchemy necessary to achieve sidewalks, parks, schools, housing--and the collective renewal that results. Full of good advice and entertaining accounts of success, Going Public is the story of those who, says Gecan, "succeed in unexpected ways and in unexpected places."

"If you want to know how ordinary Americans accomplish extraordinary things—build affordable homes, createeffective schools, win living wages—then the story and the strategy reside in this remarkable book. Going Public is at once pragmatic and profound." —Samuel G. Freedman "A treatise on power for those whose goal is to make effective social change... a kind of manual of style for those who want to—at least once, just once—beat the bastards." —The Village Voice "A must-read for anyone interested in the promise of a flourishing democracy . . .a lucid colorful drama about the lfie of an organizer, with some important lessons about the future of progressive politics in America." —The Star-Ledger"This book celebrates the "ordinary" person who discovers his/her hidden power in a community—as an organizer. As a result, the place and the person come awake and alive. Going Public is one of the most hopeful books I've read in years." —Studs Terkel, author of Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Product code: AP7051
Dimensions: 6" x 9"
Length: 196 pages
ACTA Publications
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7649-9
Written by Michael Gecan