SDOP Faith-Based Community Organizing Model
In SDOP's congregation-community model, congregations of all denominations and faiths serve as the institutional base for community organizations. Rather than bring people together simply based on common issues like housing or education, the faith-based or broad-based organizing model makes values and relationships the glue that holds organizations together.
SDOP builds community organizations in religious congregations, which are often the only stable civic gathering places in many neighborhoods. As a result, SDOP congregations are able to engage thousands of people and sustain long-term campaigns to bring about systematic change at all levels of government.
SDOP helps congregations identify and solve local neighborhood issues before addressing broader issues at a city, state or national level. As a result, SDOP churches are deeply rooted in local communities.
SDOP provides intensive leadership training that teaches people how to use the tools of democracy to improve their communities. As a result, SDOP is led by ordinary people who have learned to successfully use the levers of power to bring resources to their communities.
SDOP brings people together based on faith and values not just issues or anger. As a result, SDOP churches have the ability to act on a comprehensive vision for their communities, cities and regions.
SDOP challenges its leaders to listen to the concerns and ideas of their neighbors through individual one-on-one meetings, house meetings and listening campaigns. As a result, SDOP community leaders establish a broad following and choose issues that matter most to their communities.
SDOP takes the time for leaders to meet with public officials and policy experts to research how things work and who really has the power to make changes. As a result, SDOP community leaders become the experts and are able to get to the root causes of problems facing their communities.
SDOP teaches the art of compromise and negotiation. As a result, SDOP community leaders find common ground with public officials who are both Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal, to bring needed changes to communities.
SDOP does public business in public through large action meetings. As a result, SDOP congregations gain the reputation for being able to gather together large numbers of people over and over to hold themselves and public officials accountable.
SDOP influences public policy from the ground up by starting with local problems faced by families and then doing careful research. As a result, the San Diego Organizing Project have created some of the most valuable policy innovations in housing, education, health care and public safety in the United States.