Organizing in Hard Times: Labor and Neighborhoods In by Louise Simmons

By Louise Simmons

One of America's poorest towns copes with monetary restructuring

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By Louise Simmons

One of America's poorest towns copes with monetary restructuring

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Extra info for Organizing in Hard Times: Labor and Neighborhoods In Hartford

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It is built instead on the myriad concerns, often very simple but sometimes extremely complex, that arise in local neighborhoods involving municipal taxation structures and budgets or the practices of financial institutions. In contrast to Alinsky's organizing endeavors in which he drew on his CIO organizing experiences (Alinsky 1949) and implicitly sought to overcome the gulf between the workplace and the community, the staff and leadership of the neo-Alinsky organizations do not have prior associations with labor and employ AIinsky's model without the benefit of the experiences that inspired it.

The major portion of the CLA agenda revolved around the Colt strike during its four years. In the first year of the strike there was an urgency about carrying out plans. As time passed, however, a sense developed among CLA participants that meetings might go on indefinitely and the urgency to accomplish tasks within a short time frame diminished. Some plans were never followed through to conclusion. This indeterminacy could easily frustrate the neighborhood group participants who engage in coalitions with a much more immediate and instrumental orientation.

In 1993 Perry and three PFC candidates lost their election bids. The composition of the city's delegation to the Connecticut House of Representatives has also generated intense contests, but within each of the respective districts. For example, from the early 1980s through the November 1988 election, Hartford sent to the capitol a seven-person delegation consisting of three Black representatives, four white representatives, and one Black state senator and one white state senator. Pueno Ricans grew increasingly impatient with their lack of representation, given the fact that Hanford has one of the largest (in relative terms) Pueno Rican populations in the continental United States.

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