Strategies for Change: How to Make the American Political Dream Work

By Dick Simpson; George Beam | Go to book overview

Appendix
A Documentary History of Institution-Building

Institution-building is never easy and there are no clear rules to follow. However, we include in this appendix some of the relevant documents about the creation of two new institutions, the Independent Precinct Organization and the 44th Ward Assembly. Both were begun in Chicago. IPO began in September 1968 (although some discussions were held earlier) and the 44th Ward Assembly in the fall of 1971 (although the first Assembly meeting of the entire body was not held until January 1972). Both proceeded from an idea committed to a brief paper, discussed among potential leaders, rewritten, introduced to a larger meeting, and carried out by a cadre of leaders and several hundred members of the new institutions. Both required money, leadership, and hard work. Both were successful.

These documents include the original paper which was used to spark discussion and leadership commitment, the resulting charter of the organization, and some descriptions of the organization as it functioned. They provide less than a complete blueprint for institutions you may want to build but they reveal a good bit about the process we followed successfully in Chicago.

"The Roots of IVI" by Mary Herrick gives the background of the formation of IPO's predecessor and parent organization. The Independent Voters of Illinois is a statewide organization and affiliate of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), but its local roots were in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago. On the

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