How to Organize Community Councils

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					      CREATING
 A COMMUNITY COUNCIL
MEETING THE NEEDS AND CRISES OF THE
            COMMUNITY


         A COMMUNITY
       EMPOWERMENT MODEL
                    by
              ED YOUNG, Ph.D.




                                      258
   AN OVERVIEW OF THE
COMMUNITY COUNCIL CONCEPT



   THE INTER RELATIONS OF THE
   COMMUNITY COUNCIL, AGENCY
    REPRESENTATIVES, COUNCIL
   WORK GROUPS, AND RESIDENTS
        OF THE COMMUNITY
                                259
COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND THEIR AGENCY COUNTERPARTS




                 COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEMBERS



                       NEIGHBORS




             AGENCY REPRESENTATIVES
                                                    260
   Community Council Origin and Charter
    Selecting Council Member Work Group Coordinators
• Council Chairperson initially is the person who takes the initiative to
  get the Council started.
• Chairperson selects at least twelve tentative Work Group Coordinators
  on the basis of willingness to serve, special interests, and degree of
  experience in a Work Group’s special
• Each Council Member is also a Work Group Coordinator dealing with
  a specific set of needs and problems in the community.
• Chairperson and Work Group Coordinators develop a Charter
• Council broadcasts its formation and needs to the local community
  through local media and local organization leaders to solicit Group
  Leaders.
• Work Group Coordinators choose Group Leaders on basis of
  willingness to serve.                                               261
BASIC PRINCIPLES GOVERNING COMMUNITY COUNCILS
 • Council Decisions are Made by Consensus
 • Work Group Coordinators Direct Activities by Management by
   Objectives and Participatory Management:
    –   Mission Statement
    –   Work Group Purposes and Goals
    –   Group Leader Objectives
    –   Group Leader and Neighbor Plans, Schedules, and Stepwise Strategies
        for Implementing Goals
 • Regulating and Revising the Ongoing Organization of the
   Community Council is Effected by Town Hall Meetings
    – Council Holds Open Meetings with Community Residents
    – Council Records Oral Recommendations and Receives Written
      Recommendations and Petitions from Community Residents
 • Council Reviews and Reports Back at Next Town Hall Meeting
                                                                          262
                     ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMUNITY
                         COUNCIL AND ITS WORK
                                                                CHAIRPERSON
                                                              COMMUNITY COUNCIL
                                                              CONDUCTS COUNCIL MEETINGS



Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator
Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups Work Groups


  Group       Group       Group       Group       Group                Group              Group       Group       Group       Group       Group
  Leader      Leader      Leader      Leader      Leader               Leader             Leader      Leader      Leader      Leader      Leader


  Neighbors   Neighbors   Neighbors   Neighbors   Neighbors           Neighbors           Neighbors   Neighbors   Neighbors   Neighbors   Neighbors




                                                                                                                                           263
       Functions and Roles of Community Council
       Members in Relation to Community Needs
SPECIAL AREAS OF CONCERN OF EACH OF THE TWELVE COMMUNITY COUNCIL WORK GROUP COORDINATORS
        Organization                Children and Teens         Families      Adults

        Community Council        Children’s Health,       Parenting Training,     Adult Education,
        Government;              Safety, and Care         Family Counseling,      Training, and
        Coordinating Interface   Baby Sitting             Dispute Resolution,     Recreation.
        with Agencies;                                    Negotiation,            Finance and Budget
        Member Recruitment                                Mediation               Management
        Local Media and News     Teen Education,          Family Safety,          Adult Offender
        Relations; Program       Recreation, Mentoring,   Marriage                Programs,
        Content, Schedule        Sex Education,           Counseling              Substance Abuse
        and Location             Government, Pro-         Physical Abuse          Prevention and
        Announcements            Social Roles, and Jobs   Prevention              Treatment
        Community Needs          Teen Detention,          Family Economic         Job Assistance,
        and Skills Canvassing;   Abused and Runaway       Assistance and          Disability and
        Coordinating             Shelter, Conflict        Welfare                 Rehabilitation
        Assistance; Leader       Resolution,              Elder Assistance
        Role Assignments and     Substance Abuse and
        Providing Training       Dealing; Teen Court
        Coordinating Delivery    Child and Youth          Family Planning,        Housing Assistance,
        of Local Intervention,   Tutoring, & Family       Family Health           Legal Assistance
        Training, Education      Academic Counseling
        and Programs

                                                                                                        264
Preparing Work Group Coordinators, Group Leaders,
 and Neighbors in the Skills Necessary to Deal with
 the various Needs and Problems of their Neighbors

   • Group Leaders choose Neighbors on the
     basis of willingness to provide direct
     service to their neighbors.
   • Agency experts or non Agency
     professionals willing to donate their skill
     and time can be called upon by Work
     Group Coordinators to provide consultation
     and training to Group Leaders and
     Neighbors for Work Group special projects.    265
    RECOMMENDED BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR
     COMMUNITY COUNCILS TO FOLLOW
•   STAY SMALL. WHEN THE ORGANIZATION BEGINS TO
    ENLARGE, START A NEW UNIT IN AN ADJACENT
    NEIGHBORHOOD.
•   STAY INCLUSIVE. INCLUDE ANY AND ALL RACES, ETHNIC
    GROUPS, RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE, POLITICAL PERSUASION,
    LIFE STYLE, ECONOMIC OR SOCIAL STATUS, EDUCATION
    LEVEL AND BACKGROUND. DO NOT JUDGE OR EXCLUDE.
    RECRUIT PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENCES. LET EVERYONE
    HAVE A VOICE BUT NO ONE DOMINATE.
•   ADAPT THE PROGRAMS AND STYLE OF ORGANIZATION TO
    THE LOCAL SITUATION AND NEED. THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT
    WAY EXCEPT TO BE OPEN, INCLUSIVE, AND THOROUGHLY
    DEMOCRATIC.
•   WHEN AGENCY REPRESENTATIVES ARE INVOLVED, ENSURE
    THAT THEY ALL MEET AT THE SAME TIME WITH THE
    COUNCIL , NOT AS LEADERS, BUT AS EQUALS.
                                                          266

				
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