Community organizing is one component in a comprehensive approach to creating a shift in community norms and standards through environmental prevention strategies.
Community organizing is used to actively engage community leaders, enforcement officials/agencies, grassroots community members, youth and other organizations or groups in advancing the goals of the Policy Panel in communities throughout the county.
Community organizing efforts are not focused on getting as many community members as possible to participate in coalition meetings. While it is desirable to include representation from diverse segments of the community, it is important to focus community organizing efforts on engaging individuals and groups that are willing to take an active role in advancing the goals of a project: individuals and groups that are willing to publicly advocate for change.
This approach may be different for projects where prevention coalition meetings consist primarily of representatives from social services, public health, substance abuse treatment and prevention agencies. Strategic community organizing does not preclude these individuals from being involved, but the objective is to get a broader representation of key segments of the general population with people who demonstrate a willingness to do more than attend networking meetings or act as advisers for a project.
The Policy Panel places a high priority on engaging youth in project activities, and therefore the Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative has formed the San Diego County Youth Advocates. This Team of young adults from around the county is actively engaged in efforts that support the goals and objectives of the Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative set by the Policy Panel.