For groups with a local base, including faith-based networks, National People’s Action, and ACORN, effective national work exhibits these features:

  • Deep local experience on the issues
  • *Campaigns and capacity that mirrors the federal system: that is, simultaneous local, state, and national organizing capacity*
  • Organizational capacity and resources
  • Strategic capacity, including flexibility and openness to new tactics and alliances
Heidi J. Swarts is an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark, and the author of Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-Based Progressive Movements.


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