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.

Affordable, But for Whom?

How a box of felt pieces helps organizers help New York communities advocate for their real affordable housing needs 

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

A few months ago I was scheduled to moderate a panel on how the Occupy movement would affect the foreclosure crisis happening in New...

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
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.

Homeownership Counselors—And Organizers, Too!

Northwest Side Housing Center combines counseling and organizing to empower homeowners facing foreclosure.

Improving Schools from the Bottom Up

Two years ago, when Oakland ACORN was considering a new citywide initiative, members voiced one concern loud and clear: the poor conditions of the...
Members of Boston Liberation Health hold a banner that reads, "Capitalism, racism, and heteropatriachy are making us sick. Join Liberation Health."

How Organizing for Justice Helps Your Mental Health

How do social justice, organizing, and mental health interact? Shelterforce chats with clinical social worker Dawn Belkin Martinez to find out.

Still Riding Route 61

A labor/community partnership stops a fare hike and gives workers a boost

Alabama Arise Fights For Tenant Protections

It was hardly an unusual story in 1993 in Montgomery, Alabama. A tenant had spent months trying to get her landlord to fix a...

Leveling the Playing Field

In 1997, a coalition of churches, environmental groups, developers, and government officials organized a campaign to help clean up Minnesota's 4,000 acres of brownfields,...

Occupy Makes Space for Community Advocates

By smashing the wall of media silence about America’s wealth and income divide, the Occupy movement has opened a dramatically new terrain for organizations...

High Stakes for Public Housing: Organizing Public Housing Residents

The Millennial Housing Commission (MHC) report represents stage two in an agenda to give increased decision-making powers to local public housing agencies, and target...

Building a Better City: Europe’s Affordable Housing Standard

In the United States, nonprofit builders of affordable housing often compete against each other as well as against larger, better-capitalized private builders for limited...

Using Information to Confront Corporate Power

In 1991 the United Steelworkers of America, locked in a bitter labor dispute with Ravenswood Aluminum Co., decided to extend the battle beyond the...
A vacant building in New York City that has boarded up windows and a "Get Rich" signs for a kid cut.

Housing, Not Warehousing—A Victory 10 Years in the Making

Warehousing is one of real estate’s best-kept secrets, and a crucial piece of how the housing market can keep supply low and demand high. One New York City organization rallied to prove warehousing still posed a problem, and pushed the boundaries of what was politically possible.

Thirsty for Justice

Some 200 miles from the Mexican border, residents of New Mexico’s 23-year-old Pajarito Mesa community pay taxes but lack essential services like roads, electricity...