Community organizing is changing. It's more social media driven and younger.
Immigration advocacy alone has brought a new sector of young leaders into organizing: the DREAMERS.
The field also seems to be growing more hard-edged and radical in its tactics. Arrests, hunger strikes and Occupy strategies are becoming more common place. Where will leftist-community organizing stake a claim in 2014? Here's some trends to look for:
1. Increasing involvement by immigrant rights groups in the 2014 elections. Immigration activists plan to register 18 year olds and other eligible voters. They will also work with DACA students and others to get them further down the path to citizenship. Gamaliel plans to engage Latino and African-American congregations in 10 states.
2. More conflict about future of public education, especially in Missouri. More than 2,000 kids are being bused every day to St. Louis suburban districts. State legislators, unions and faith groups like MORE2 and Metropolitan Congregations United are searching for solutions to help them get a quality education nearer to home.
3. More uncertainty about the future of bankrupt Detroit. MOSES and other community groups are continuing to organize to get services like public transit restored.
4. More collaboration between unions and community groups. On Dec. 9th, thousands of parents, students, and teachers organized 100+ events to reclaim public education. Throughout 2013, fast food worker campaigns demanded higher wages in hundreds of cities. Both organizing efforts boost the notion that cooperation can pay off, especially on a large scale.
(Photo by Jacob Ruff CC BY)