Grassroots organizations are composed of citizens who advocate for a cause to bring about change at the local, national or international level. These bottom-up approaches allow people, sometimes through grassroots organizations, to define their own objectives and how to achieve them. The opposite approach is called top-down, and is usually used by international organizations, governments or companies, which institute policies and regulations that affect the populations they provide services to. However, a feedback cycle with bottom-up and top-down approaches can help track and monitor an innovative project.
Tanvee and Phil offer two examples of how tenants' organizations shape the contours of local politics by participating in opposition political action. Instead, these organizations aimed to articulate and enact an alternative vision of politics that would avoid existing political institutions and create new ones. In addition, the fusion of political experience and political ideas proved instructive for the people involved. This organization not only produces political opportunities for people, but it also structures the realities of local politics. But they also demonstrate how local organizations can emerge to directly combat inequalities, empowering people whose political effectiveness and the myriad forms it takes are often ignored by political scientists.
First, tenants' organizations cultivate distinctive perspectives on the local political economy, developing unique ideational spaces in local politics. Many tenants' organizations operate from a point of view of deep distrust of formal political systems, elections and political officials. Therefore, participating in such political conversations is part of our DNA. We have also begun to see this type of public dialogue as free spaces, where we can provide political education. However, narratives such as Laura's highlight the perspectives of marginal inhabitants participating in critical political forms and building political power in their communities.
Distrust in political and economic systems can motivate the withdrawal of commitment to the formal political system. We offer a very different point of view on political attitudes by qualitatively examining ideas about economic and political systems that arise in local contexts nourished by organizational actors. In a short time, people who were otherwise little exposed to politics (formal or informal) called each other comrades to talk about the failures of capitalism and power by mapping their local political structures. These and a series of related questions need to be addressed to better understand the contours of the local political economy and the possibilities for marginalized actors to successfully exercise political power within profoundly unequal capitalist systems.