This chapter introduces the main themes of the book, bringing together ideas on public policy setting and implementation, organization theory, and social movements to shed light on the work of community-based advocacy organizations. Organizations that advocate for urban youth can play a critical role for this vulnerable population. Youth growing up in the United States' big cities confront the same developmental tasks as do American youth everywhere. Advocacy groups working to secure new or different resources for youth in their cities operate as intermediary organizations, moving between established institutions and political arrangements and the individuals or neighborhoods lacking access to or notice by community leaders. The discussion highlights the efforts of two populations of organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing particular attention on the advocacy initiatives of three case study organizations: Oakland Community Organizations, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, and the San Francisco Organizing Project.
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