National CORE, founded on the principles of nonviolence and passive resistance, established "Rules for Action" setting forth very specific rules of behavior and procedures that had to be followed by any group identified as a CORE chapter. We were required to maintain our dignity at all times, appearing "respectable" so that our demands would be taken seriously and worthy of response and corrective action.
Tackling Seattle problems as a CORE chapter required following CORE rules: Investigate, Document, Negotiate, Take direct action. First investigate. Document the facts. Then negotiate with whoever has the power to correct the situation. If unsuccessful in negotiations, then take direct action that could be dramatic but must be nonviolent. Seattle CORE's direct action projects took many forms including boycotts, picketing, shop-ins and sit-ins while informing the public of our goal of achieving equality of opportunity.
It was not just a matter of paying a yearly $2.00 membership fee. To become an ACTIVE member of CORE each person was required to attend an orientation session and make a commitment to non-violence. Then there was a one-month probation period before that person was voted into the chapter by two-thirds of the active members. There was an expectation that active members would walk a picket line, sit-in, doorbell, or be available for any number of direct action projects. CORE was not a "club" it was a movement to bring about change and end discrimination.