Peter Dreier

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Peter Dreier is professor of politics and director of the Urban and Environmental Policy program at Occidental College. He is a member of the boards of the National Housing Institute and the Southern California Assn. for Nonprofit Housing, and chair of the board of the Horizon Institute, a progressive think tank in Los Angeles.

Jane Jacobs: Defender of Cities and their People

On April 10, 1968, New York state officials scheduled a public hearing to discuss their plans for an expressway...

How to Make Housing Affordable for All the Working Poor

The headlines tell the story: “Half of all renters can’t afford the rent.” “Renters, get ready to take it...

The Revitalization Trap

Place-based initiatives won’t address the kinds of injustice and poverty that community development was formed to fight.

With responses by Brentin Mock and Miriam Axel-Lute.

Segregation 101

A year after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, The New York Times published a front-page article about racism in the St. Louis area. What it doesn't address is ...

The Revitalization Trap

The community development movement began in the 1960s as part of a crusade against social injustice,...

The Stunning Inequality Overlooked in the Nation’s “Housing Recovery”

This piece has been excerpted from “What is Mel Watt Waiting For?“ originally published on Huffington Post.—-Mel Watt, the...

Fifty Young Progressive Activists Who Are Changing America

In the next decade, America will be transformed by a new wave of progressive activism, led primarily by organizers, thinkers,...

Racial and Gender Diversity at the Top Is Good, But it Can’t Stop Greed

Last month Wells Fargo, the nation's largest home mortgage lender and fourth largest bank, agreed to pay at least $175 million to redress blatant...

The Next Stage of the Occupy Movement

Criticized for focusing more on what it is against than what it is for, the Occupy Wall Street movement has now found an organizing...

The Rosa Parks of a New Economic Justice Movement?

The protesters challenging the big banks and the super-rich won a dramatic victory in Los Angeles on Thursday, as I describe below. OneWest Bank,...

California’s Anti-Foreclosure Movement

Rose Gudiel is on the front lines of a growing protest movement to stop banks from foreclosing on families victimized by the economic crisis...

Want to Help Homeowners? Replace the Mansion Subsidy

I don’t think for a second that The New York Times is in bed with the real estate industry. It has done some excellent...

Fukuyama’s Wisdom on Rent Control and Unions Is Anything But Conventional

The ideas of Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) are making a comeback, in large part due to Glenn Beck, who has touted the libertarian economist and...

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire at 100: Businesses and Politicians Still “Cry Wolf”

A year and half ago Donald Cohen and I created the Cry Wolf Project to expose how business organizations and conservative politicians repeatedly evoked...

Does Public Housing Have a Future?

Everybody hates public housing, except the low-income people who live there and the people on the long waiting lists to get in. After years of neglect, the Obama administration wants to save public housing for future generations. Let's let them.

Does Public Housing Have a Future?

Everybody hates public housing, except the low-income people who live there and the people on the long waiting lists to get in. Now, after years...

Showdown on Wall Street and K Street

The shake-out of the American economy has left a handful of large banks at the pinnacle of the corporate power structure. Next week, a...

The War on ACORN

The political and media war against ACORN continues. In an article published today on the Web site of Editor & Publisher, the well-known magazine...

National Work Among Community Organizing Groups Is Growing

Editor’s Note: This is in response to Randy Stoecker’s earlier post on community organizing on the national level. ACORN, PICO, and US Action are...

The Chicago Sit-in: Has Obama’s Election Spurred a New Mood of Union Activism?

Editor’s Note: This article by Peter Dreier, NHI board member and professor of politics at Occidental College, first appeared in Dissent Magazine Two recent union...

Prescription for Progressive Change: Inspire and Mobilize

Barack Obama is going to need all his organizing skills to be an effective leader. As I write in an article in the...

Keeping Hope (And Housing) Alive in LA

Wall Street is in meltdown. Banks are collapsing. Developers can’t get loans to build homes. Housing values are plummeting. Millions of Americans are facing...

How to Fix the Mortgage Mess 101

Here’s the problem with the nation’s troubled financial system in a nutshell: Americans don’t have enough money to pay their mortgages. President Bush’s plan to...

Did the GOP Attack on Community Organizing Backfire?

In a column on September 14, titled “Community Organizing Changed Fishery,” John Corrigan, the fishing writer for the Concord Monitor, explained that “anybody...

Section 8 Is Only One Part of Addressing the Housing Crisis

Editor’s Note: The following is a response to a comment posted by Rooflines blogger Nandinee Kutty that points to “serious weaknesses” in Section 8...

Abolish HUD?

When faced with a serious and persistent problem, it is often tempting to propose dramatic ideas, like blowing up existing programs and starting from...

Memphis Murder Mystery? No, Just Mistaken Identity

A group of the nation's leading scholars and experts on housing and urban policy respond to The Atlantic's "American Murder Mystery"

What is a Housing “Crisis”?

Do we face a housing crisis when home prices are spiraling upward or when they are tumbling downward? Or both? Between 2000 and 2006, the...

Californians Defend Rent Control

On Tuesday, California voters provided a tremendous victory for tenants’ rights. They defeated Proposition 98, which would have phased out rent control, by...

Will Foreclosures Translate into Votes?

What are the political consequences of the mortgage meltdown? Will the spiraling wave of foreclosures translate into votes in November’s election? And, if so,...

Stemming the Red Tide

Greedy bankers, brokers, and investors abused their political power and forced millions of Americans to lose their homes. Now what can we do to solve the crisis?

The Supreme Denial of Integration

Despite the high court's recent blow to achieving classroom diversity, fair-housing practices can go a long way toward moving the country beyond racism.

Housing the Working Poor

What big ideas should housing activists put forward to the next president and Congress? Assuming that a Democrat wins the White House and that the Democrats hold onto or even expand their majority in Congress, housing advocates have an opening to promote a progressive agenda. Are we ready?

The Politics of Poverty

Can John Edwards make fighting poverty a winning platform?

Jane Jacobs’ Radical Legacy

Sometimes a book can change history. Books often influence ideas, but only rarely do they catalyze activism.

Frank Wilkinson’s Legacy

His was a life devoted to the preservation of our civil liberties. But it all began with a belief in decent, affordable housing

Katrina: A Political Disaster

The handling of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath underscores the human disaster resulting from the ascendancy of right-wing ideas and corporate domination of the federal government, which extols market forces, individualism and private charity over public responsibility and the common good.

NYC Tenants Don’t Want Tourists

Tenants in New York City are getting fed up as growing numbers of tourists camp out in their buildings. Landlords have taken to evicting...

Enraging the Right

It’s not everyday that a powerful right-wing think tank takes aim at a grassroots organization – after all, there are many groups working in...

A Brief Triumph for Progressive Housing Policy

Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era by Gail Radford. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. 273 pp. Until the Depression,...

Growing Together:

After civil unrest shook the streets of Los Angeles in 1992, local low-income communities of color enjoyed what Andy Warhol once described as fifteen...

I’m a Tenant and I Vote!

New York's Republican legislators learned a lesson in June: Hell hath no fury like a New York City tenant scorned. Just when it seemed...

Public Housing: What Went Wrong?

Public Housing: What Went Wrong? The best-kept secret about public housing  is that most of it actually provides decent, affordable housing to many people. Properly...

Start Your Engines: The Housing Movement and the Motor Voter Law

In June, 1993, President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act, legislation that progressive activists had been demanding for almost a decade. Usually called...