One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Pacific Institute for Community Organization (PICO), Oakland, CA
Contact(s): John Baumann, Executive Director: (510) 655-2801
Purpose: To help families build community organizations which encourage participation in the democratic system, and to enable families to effectively address issues affecting their lives

The Pacific Institute for Community Organization (PICO) is an institute for community organizations comprised of a national network involving over 70 cities. For 25 years, PICO has worked to empower local community members to organize around central issues that affect their lives. Some of the issues include the creation of job training programs, the improvement of quality education and the creation of affordable housing. PICO's organizing techniques focus on bridging cultural, ethnic and racial differences by building multiracial coalitions. Through collective work, PICO organizers believe that people will learn to appreciate the richness of each other's cultural heritage. Over the years, PICO has trained thousands of local leaders through its Program of National Leadership Development. The Program is offered twice a year to organization representatives who are interested in joining the PICO network and to those who are currently members. The training covers several areas of community organizing and leadership development such as research techniques, relationship building, organizational development and process, and an analysis of power structures. Today, over 60 professional organizers are working throughout the PICO network to empower local residents to take action and create safe, clean and prosperous communities.

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