Organize!

In our Organize! columns we explore various lessons in organizing strategies and tactics, going beyond the outside story of a campaign to look at how it worked or what lessons it might have to teach us.

Government-Funded Organizing?

Public funding for community organizing would strengthen our democracy and re-legitimize a beleaguered public sector. It's time to stop writing off the idea.

A Decade of Growth

Institution-based community organizations tackle the challenges of the new millennium at the local, state, and national level

Winning a Land Bank We Can Trust

Lessons from Philadelphia's Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land

Affordable, But for Whom?

How a box of felt pieces helps organizers help New York communities advocate for their real affordable housing needs 
Lisa Owens, executive director of the housing justice organization City Life/Vida Urbana, led an interruption of the YIMBYtown national conference.

City Life and Occupy: A Developing Relationship

This past August, a broad new coalition in Boston formed to plan a massive march against Bank of America and other corporate targets on...

Cross-Community Collaboration on NYC’s Municipal ID Program

Lack of identification hurts many different groups in different ways—from the homeless to immigrants, and they all need to be considered in the fight for an alternative.

Occupying Occupy: Lessons from Central Brooklyn

We who have a legacy of neighborhood action and a lived understanding of racial justice must become the next generation of Occupy.
protesters

Fighting Gentrification Through Collective Bargaining

For the past two years, the Crown Heights Tenant Union of Brooklyn has turned collective bargaining strategies on landlords—and policymakers.

Big Island Organizing

An organizing drive in Hawaii has forced the hand of America's largest bank, achieving a breakthrough that has slashed foreclosures.

Vertical Integration

When Vickie Stapleton’s landlord announced his intention to terminate his project-based Section 8 contract with HUD last year, she got nervous. “A lot of...

Fighting for Worker's Rights in Maine

Years of alleged wage, immigration, safety, and civil rights violations, environmental sanctions, and other infractions at the DeCoster egg farm in Turner, Maine, have...
A woman in a red Cause Justa/Just Cause T-shirt holds a hand-lettered sign reading "Black and Brown for Tenant Protections Now"

Black and Brown Tenant Solidarity in Oakland

Last October, Oakland, Calif., passed a Tenant Protection Ordinance. This strong measure defending tenants against the kinds of landlord harassment that often take place...

Philadelphia Campaign Reshapes Homelessness Debate

For the past few years, homeless advocates in Philadelphia have made some remarkable strides in pushing for solutions to homelessness. Several distinct but overlapping...
A man, who is surrounded by people holding signs, speaks at a podium in in New York.

Moving Beyond Place-Based Community Organizing

How to train organizers to work across various communities, not just neighborhoods.

Homeless Revolution

An organization of homeless New Yorkers rallied residents of Harlem and Manhattan to stand up and take notice of the city's long-standing practice of warehousing vacant properties.

From Brooklyn to Berlin: Organizing Schoeneweide

The scene looks familiar enough. In a foyer outside an elegant legislative chamber, a group of citizens is pigeonholing their local politicians. A vote...

Gaining Ground by Holding Back

Late last year, St. Louis ACORN members learned that Regional Hospital – the city's only "safety net" hospital that guaranteed care regardless of ability...

Putting “Community” Back in “CRA”

The Community Reinvestment Act and regulators have been unable to hold banks accountable to distant and distinct local communities—so nonprofits have stepped in to do the heavy lifting.

Patience and Politics

State education departments are always looking for ways to improve low-performing schools, and not always finding them. In 1992, the Texas Education Agency agreed...
Three members of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California give a thumbs up as they hold "Register and Vote" signs in different languages.

How the Bay Area Got $2 Billion for Affordable Homes

San Francisco Bay Area voters approved bold new investments in 2016 after housing advocates--part of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California--ignited a successful electoral strategy for the general election. Here's how it worked.