Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. Unlike those who promote more-consensual community building, community organizers generally assume that social change necessarily involves conflict and social struggle in order to generate collective power for the powerless. A core goal of community organizing is to generate durable power for an organization representing the community, allowing it to influence key decision-makers on a range of issues over time. In the ideal, for example, this can get community organizing groups a place at the table before important decisions are made. Community organizers work with and develop new local leaders, facilitating coalitions and assisting in the development of campaigns.CharacteristicsOrganized community groups attempt to influence government, corporations and institutions, seek to increase direct representation within decision-making bodies, and foster social reform more generally. Where negotiations fail, these organizations quickly seek to inform others outside of the organization of the issues being addressed and expose or pressure the decision-makers through a variety of means, including picketing, boycotting, sit-ins, petitioning, and electoral politics. Organizing groups often seek out issues they know will generate controversy and conflict, this allows them to draw in and educate participants, build commitment, and establish a reputation for winning. Thus, community organizing is predominantly focused on more than just resolving specific issues. In fact, specific issues are often vehicles for other organizational agendas as much as they are ends in themselves.