This book portrays how small, geographically dispersed, and progressive social change and social service organizations working within a coalition can influence national-level social policies. Based on extensive empirical research on two national organizations and their local affiliates, one focusing on affordable housing and the other working to protect lower-income communities, this book shows the ways in which professionally staffed organizations that coordinate coalitions come about, and describes their work to mobilize coalition members to lobby and advocate, providing information, analysis and instruction to facilitate such action and, in so doing, becoming the public voice for the social change efforts of coalitions. Advocacy for Social Change details the characteristics of these organizations that the author has labeled as focal catalytic coalition organizations and then provides numerous examples of campaigns led by them on affordable housing and economic justice; campaigns that illustrate tactics that other social change organizations can emulate. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology with interests in social problems, social action, political sociology, urban studies, community development and organizing while extending the literature on interest group lobbying.
Table of Contents
Part I The Focal Catalytic Coalition Model
1. Advocating for the Poor Through State and National Coalitions
2. NCRC and the Issues that Emerge from Defending the Community Reinvestment
3. NLIHC and the Issues that Emerge from the National Housing Trust Fund
Part II Mobilizing and Informing Members
4. Mobilization: Building a Foundation for Coalition Action
5. The Power of Information and Information as Power
Part III Advocacy and Lobbying Efforts to Bring About Policy Changes
6. The Tools of Coalition Advocacy: Working with the Mass Media to Frame Issues
7. Techniques of Influencing Legislators and Regulators
8. Lobbying in Person
9. Legislative and Regulatory Agency Hearings
10. Other Forms of Political Pressure
Part IV Bringing It All Together at the Annual Meeting
11. What Annual Conferences Accomplish
12. Encounters with Elected and Regulatory Officials at the National Conference
13. Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Coalition Advocacy
Appendix: Methodological Approach
Herbert J. Rubin is a retired professor of sociology from Northern Illinois University. His interests are in urban studies, community organizing and research methods, with a focus on organizations working to help low-income individuals and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods of deprivation. He is author of Renewing Hope within Neighborhoods of Despair: The Community-Based Development Model and co-author of Community Organizing and Development.
"Herbert J. Rubin’s new book, Advocacy for Social Change, is an important primer for those who seek to promote social change through national organizations. Many books discuss the corrosive effect of money in politics and lobbying organizations, but few are devoted to how those representing the have-nots organize on a national level to fight for laws and regulations that seek to empower communities. His book is a valuable contribution to the field, and one we can all learn from." - Josh Silver, Shelterforce Magazine
"Herb Rubin’s Advocacy for Social Change sets a high bar for research on social change organizations. The identification and characterization of focal catalytic coalition organizations is a major contribution. The on-the-ground observation and the careful identification of successes and missteps make for valuable, excellent scholarship." - Dan Immergluck, Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University, USA.