Gecan takes us through the principles and practices necessary to make change on a local level. Those of us watching or even participating in the reaction to the recent stretch of police killings Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice — the list, unfortunately, could go on , there is much to learn. I was interested in the way Gecan described his insights into power — who has it, how it manifests itself, and how to develop it. And I wholeheartedly agree with his call that some things public schools?
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The philosophy and methods described in Going Public not only work, but are congruent with core Christian values. Christian leaders who are struggling to articulate why and how the church might improve the quality of life in their communities will find the help they need in Going Public. Michael Gecan is a veteran community organizer who works with the Industrial Areas Foundation. For more than 25 years, he has birthed citizen organizations in urban areas and taught them how to recognize, engage and reorient the power structure of their cities.
The results are impressive. Gecan and the organization he helped build in New York City were the prime movers in an effort to rejuvenate a large section of East Brooklyn. The end result was the famous Nehemiah Project, which resulted in 3, new homes and the positive transformation of the community. For those who love good stories, Going Public provides a feast.
We are invited to listen in on conversations some congenial, some confrontational between the community organization leaders and public leaders such as Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani. Through the stories, we catch a glimpse of how power actually works in urban environments and of what it takes to successfully channel that power toward improving the community. Gecan, though, goes beyond storytelling to provide a virtual manual for creating a community organization that can get the powers that be in a city to do the right thing for the public.
This is not a book about how we ought to deal with the powers and needs in our world; it is about how to do so effectively. The relational culture provides the context and paradigm for community organizers. In that culture people build relationships, see needs, develop a response and go into action. Leaders in the relational culture accept that their ability to effect change depends largely on the number and quality of relationships they can develop. At its core, the book is about how to tap the vision and energy of volunteers in order to make a community or an entire city a better place to live.
As Gecan notes, his story is just one of many playing out across the United States. A similar effort is under way in my small city of 80, Buy Going Public now from Amazon. Box Nashville, TN Email: info ethicsdaily. Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from Ethics Daily. You can unsubscribe anytime. Skip to site content. Search Search. Share Tweet LinkedIn Pinterest. Book Reviews Mike Smith. Read More. By EthicsDaily. Constant Contact Use. By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: EthicsDaily.
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Going Public: An Inside Story of Disrupting Politics as Usual
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Going Public. Michael Gecan. Hired by residents to help them save their community, he and local leaders spend more than a decade wrestling New York politicians in an impassioned effort against all odds that brings in five thousand new homes. From bad behavior by Ed Koch to complicated negotiations with Rudy Giuliani, Gecan tells the inside story of how the city really works, and how any organized group of citizens can wield power in seemingly unmovable bureaucracies. In his inspiring story of the will to claim the full benefits of citizenship, Gecan offers unforgettable lessons that every American should know: What is the best way to talk to politicians? What resources do all communities need to create change?