Community Organizing & Economic Democracy in New England
Citizens' action organizations in the Naugatuck and Merrimack valleys in rural and small town Connecticut have been integrating strategies of social and economic development to restore a region seriously threatened by the changing American economy. Thousands of jobs have been saved and new ones created through community organizing being linked to economic and enterprise development processes. Community organizing has been a key in forging relationships across religious, union, local government, education, and business divides, without which the Mobilization of the region’s political, social, and economic resources would not have occurred. This article is an important corrective to practitioners in Canada who often ignore the organizing dimension. The reasons for this are not clear, but perhaps the greater density of foundations, interest, and funding in the US versus the somewhat greater dependence of CED and Social Economy organizations on government in Canada is a factor.