Application of Community Organization and Community Building Day One Community Partnership (Day One)

Coalition Initiated in 1987 and sustained through local funding and then secured funding in 1991 through Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).

Initiated by a small group of local citizens and leaders concerned with community-wide alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) abuse.

Serves residents of Pasadena and Altadena, California, urban and diverse communities in northeast downtown Los Angeles.

Use coalition building to reduce prevent community-wide AOD abuse.

As a CSAP community-partnership, its membership is now a mix of professional and grassroots individuals to include local government, and community agencies, organizations and constituencies.

Day ONE:

  • Meet monthly to plan and coordinate prevention activities, advocate for system-level changes and plan objectives for the partnership.
  • Goal is to plan, coordinate, and implement comprehensive and effective AOD abuse prevention strategies.
  • Serves the larger community but focuses on the "un-and under-served", largely low income, African American and Latino youth and their parents.
  • They reach the community though community advocates based at community centers in high risk areas.

These community advocates:

  • Work with local residents to refer them to local services and empower them to b positive change agents in the community.
  • Work with agencies to develop programs that will better serve needs of residents
  • Develop and monitor local alcohol policies
  • Work with community sectors to implement alternative activity programs for youth

Application of Community Organization and Community Building Mother's of East Los Angeles (MELA)

Formed in 1984 to protect a primarily Hispanic neighborhood in East Los Angeles.

Developed and implemented a 7 year plan to block construction of a new 700-bed maximum security prison in an area with33 schools and 7 other correctional facilities.

Used door-to-door outreach, meetings at local churches, schools and senior citizens centers to derive 3500 members.

In 1987, MELA blocked a proposed municipal waste incinerator in East LA and an oil pipeline that would have passed under a junior high school.

In 1989, stopped Chem Clear Company from building a plant to treat cyanide and other waste across from a high school.

Additionally, MELA:

  • Educated community residents about lead poisoning and childhood asthma.
  • Distributed energy-efficient light bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
  • Organized children to go door-to-door to swap older flush toilets for new and free low flush ones to save an estimated 25,000 acre-feet of water a year.
  • They used money from the flush toilet initiative to start a new child-care center and salary support for local residents who used the new toilets.

In 1997, partnered with University of Southern California and University of California at Los Angeles to study the environmental causes of children's health problems and develop novel approaches to reaching asthmatic children.

In 2001, MELA organized a statewide coalition to link growth of prisons and environmental racism.

Application of Community Organization and Community Building The Youth Empowerment Strategies (YES!) Project

Study Description:
A 3 year intervention designed to engage underserved youth as critical thinkers and collaborative problem solvers.

Study Participants:
Intervention included 301, 5th and 6th graders living in distressed neighborhood environments and attending one of five academically underperforming elementary schools.
They formed 37 small, four- to twelve-member social action groups led by pairs of trained facilitators.

Constructs Used:
Empowerment, Community Capacity, Social Capital, Issue Selection, and Participation and Relevance

Questionnaires given to YES! staff, YES! group participants and students at comparison schools.
Year-end interviews were conducted with individual group members and school personnel.


Program participants:

  • Were significantly more likely to engage with friends who participated in prosocial behaviors (involvement in clubs both in-school and outside of school).
  • Less likely to engage in physically aggressive behaviors and in theft.
  • Reported having an increased understanding of important societal issues.