Revived as U.S. Action.
Numerous former affiliates in various states remain intact.
1401 W. 6th Street, Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Phone: (216) 861-5200
(Now Ohio Citizen Action, which split from the national.)
national organizations destroyed by scandal surrounding
the group's involvement in a 1997
laundering scandal with the Teamsters Union. Former EPA director
Carol Browner and her husband Michael Podhorzer once worked for the
Washington, D.C. office of Citizen Action / Citizen Fund.
Citizen Action pioneered environmentalist door-to-door canvassing,
teamed with Greenpeace and the Nader-founded
Citizen Action is
profiled in Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb's book,
Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking
Citizen Action was founded by
Booth, Chicagoan whose activist career began in the Mississippi
Summer civil rights projects in 1964. She returned to Chicago and
organized an early woman's group in 1967. She founded the Midwest
Academy in 1973 to provide training for organizers in neighborhood
Her husband, Paul Booth, was a founding member of Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS) in the early 1960s, and was president of
Chicago's Citizen Action Program formed in 1969 by organizer
trainees from Saul Alinski's Industrial Areas Foundation.
Academy and IAF worked together on CAP's campaigns. In 1977, Heather
Booth got together with William Winpisinger, president of the
International Association of Machinists and William Hutton of the
National council of Senior Citizens.
In 1978, the
leaders of about 70 labor, citizen, senior, and farm organizations
met in Washington, D.C. to found the Citizens/Labor Energy Coalition
In 1979, five
state groups met in Chicago to form a national federation, Citizen
Action. The founding organizations were:
- Oregon Fair
Public Action Council
Citizen action Coalition
- Ohio Public
and Ira Arlook (of Ohio Public Interest Campaign) were co-directors
until 1988, when Booth left for another leadership position, leaving
Arlook as sole director.
By 1985 Citizen
Action had 20 state organizations representing 2 million people, a
budget of $12 million and a total staff of 1,500 organizers,
door-to-door canvassers, and researchers.
In 1989 Citizen
Action consolidated its various nonprofit structures as Citizen
Action Fund, with a 32-member board of directors representing
affiliate state organizations. During the early 1990s Citizen Action
/ Citizens Fund had 22 state affiliates with 10 more organizing.
Then the Teamsters scandal emerged in 1997 and the national
organizations collapsed, leaving scattered state affiliates, which
disengaged from the national before and during the scandal.
After the 1997 scandal
destroyed Citizen Action, Ira Arlook moved to Washington D.C. where he
established New Economy Communications, a media relations firm.
Heather Booth joined with
activists in 1999 to revive Citizen Action as USAction, where she now serves
Foundations that funded
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