COPA & “relational power” comes out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals?

Some acronyms say a lot: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) concisely makes its point.

COPA is not such an acronym. It is not “wanna cup-a tea…” Why that acronym?

It is hard to wrap your brain or mouth around “communities organized for relational power“.

Is that deliberate? Undoubtedly. A fuzzy acronym lacking clarity (COPA) is better when the ultimate goal is something people might resist: re-distribution of wealth.

COPA talks about “relational power”. What in the world is “relational” power? Is that what a work supervisor has over the supervisee? Is that what the home room teacher has over students as they wait to be dismissed from school?

“Relational power” What in the world is that? As the priest blesses the wine to become the blood of Christ during the Eucharist what is the “relational power” of the priest to the congregation? Magician? Conduit of God’s Love? Relational power. What a mouthful.

Think about it. What is the best way to organize a community for socialistic, Alinsky type goals?

Of course, use the “progressive” and “liberal” churches. Get the titular heads of the organizations to sign on. That is relatively easy to do.

Churches and other faith organizations typically are not democratic. The head of the churches typically set policies and people rarely disagree with their priest, rector, minister or rabbi.

Yes, housing is expensive in Santa Cruz County. Though it certainly is aloft less expensive than it was before Nov. 2009.

The article below appears on the web site for Temple Beth El in Aptos, CA.
Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA)

“Temple Beth El [in Aptos, CA] is an active participant in this interfaith effort to improve our communities. COPA is a network of 35 faith-based and nonprofit institutions in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. COPA’s activities are based on the concept of “relational organizing”—a process of deepening and broadening our understanding of each other that identifies potential areas for action on behalf of our members. Relational organizing includes one-to-one meetings, house meetings, research actions, and community actions. This model can develop in two ways, one identifies and serves the needs of the congregation, and the other prepares us to work together for a better (broader) community.

Our primary action had been an initiative to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in Santa Cruz County. Then our focus was on negotiating with Standard Pacific to develop housing on the Par 3 property in Aptos. The development was to have 90 units, a mix of rental and ownership, that will be affordable by very-low-income, low-income, and moderate-income households.

Andrew Goldenkranz and Carolyn Coleman lead the COPA Committee at Temple Beth El.”

So, is COPA “your cup-a tea” ? Do you think that the Tea Parties organized to tell the government what the People think of higher taxes and less freedom would use the COPA model? Who runs the financial books on COPA?


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