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Becoming a Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies, and Advice for Changing Our World
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Becoming a Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies, and Advice for Changing Our World

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Recent waves of social activism like the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter show that you can fight city hall--or any other powerful entity for that matter. Now comes the playbook for citizen activists wanting to improve the world around them from Nick Licata, admired Seattle city councilmember and one of the city’s most effective leaders of political and social change ...more
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Sasquatch Books
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Jan 03, 2017 added it
Meh. It was ok. I enjoyed reading the stories about Seattle's politics, but as many commenters have stated, this book seemed to recount the author's experiences and successes as an activist (from the position of an elected official) rather than giving concrete advice for the average joe to change the world. Many people don't have the time to put into attending rallies or giving press conferences, or they have jobs (e.g., in government) where being too visible politically would be problematic. It ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: seattle
This is not "Rules for Radicals", but a guide on working within the political system to create non-revolutionary change. It's more interesting for its stories of Seattle's politics than for what the book's title suggests it will be. ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Best for: People who have literally never thought about how to be an activist. As in, have never heard of petitions, don’t know about public forums, have never seen a protest.

In a nutshell: Former Seattle City Council member Nick Licata shares his tips for making change in the world, as illustrated by many, many, many Seattle-based anecdotes.

Line that sticks with me: N/A

Why I chose it: Mr. Licata is a local politician and this book looked like it could be interesting.

Review: This review could go
Samantha Sprole
May 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This book suffers greatly from a lack of organization. Important points of theory or strategy are buried at the end of paragraphs detailing the minutia of some Seattle effort. The book seems to start off with a thematic structure based on Seeing, Listening, Learning, and Organizing, but that seems to fizzle out. A casual reader might get lost and frustrated by the seemingly stream-of-consciousness structure.

Still, I think this book provides a lot of value if you have the time and mental energy
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps it is better than two stars, but the book does feel curiously dated in 2020. The book is well written and researched, and the hardcover edition is nicely laid out. But honestly it feels like the information within is bloody ancient! If you are riveted by Seattle civic politics then this may be of further interest to you. To me? Not so much. Good practical advice throughout; but I would suggest that anyone with any sort of activist cred, this is going to be a full on 'been there, done tha ...more
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a short and helpful anthology of examples of people changing policy. It’s very Seattle-centric, but there are anecdotes on ways that people organized. I wish there was a bit more analysis and depth on how to recreate these successes in other places, but overall it’s a good and inspiring read.

Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
A collection of career stories from a Seattle politician, this book feels like listening to someone's life experience but not necessarily taking concrete points away. It is nice for me as someone who might work with Seattle government in the future. Less rambling style and more focus could elevate it. ...more
I liked second half better than the first. Would have rated higher if there was a little more about how politicians make decisions. What are their concerns, metrics? Too often the stories included, show that the idea worked elsewhere... Except not everyone can be third or second. Someone has to be first.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a good one for an introduction to citizen activism. If you are already experienced in community organizing, protest, or other civic activities it would be a good resource to have on hand for new participants.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read for a class. Very simple, good place for folks to begin.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
Rules for the Less-Radical …

This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free copy of the book.

When Saul Alinsky wrote “Rules for Radicals” in 1971, he outlined activism as an “us vs them” (have/have nots) conflict. While the book’s tactical blueprint has been successfully used by activists and politicians for decades, it’s become somewhat dated, stale and (gasp) somewhat impractical nowadays. With BECOMING A CITIZEN ACTIVIST, former Seattle Councilman Nick Licata att
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
more 2.5 -- this has some good tips and ideas throughout, but it skews heavily toward stories and anecdotal support rather than strategies or advice or any real explanation of how to go about half this stuff. it's also very seattle-centric, and the lack of mention of some groups like BLM seemed really werid. also, comments like how it was amicable for the cops to not shoot anyone despite taking the safeties off their guns? that's just. horrifying, really. I think the further reading section is p ...more
Olivia Sonell
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book. A little too liberal sometimes, but definitely on the side of progress. The highlight of the book is all the stories Nick shares of times he's learned from other people's activism, he even shares stories of the times he was wrong about something, and it all works because it adds authenticity to his advice and an air of experience; he knows what he's saying because it has worked for him or he's seen it work for others. ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Not exactly what I was looking for, but it was short with some helpful points and several stories of change from Seattle.
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