H I C A G O
R I B U T E
In the late 1930s, he
Back of the Yards Council in this
neighborhood, working with labor unions
and Catholic parishes. Thecouncil
empowered residents to fight for better
housing, employmentand safety. Its first
offices were here, in the Davis Square Park fieldhouse.
In 1940, Alinsky began
the Industrial Areas Foundation, which trained
organizers throughout the country, from the black ghetto of Rochester,
N.Y., to the Mexican-American barrios of California.
Alinsky devised theatrical
protests that used irreverence and ridicule
as weapons, such as threatening to bring protesters from a bean
dinner to an orchestra concert attended by the civic elite. In the 1960s
his bold and imaginative tactics forced politicians in several cities to
negotiate with poor and minority communities whose protests had
been previously ignored.