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.

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.

Make Your Nonprofit a Media Empire

Using soap operas and talk shows to mix entertainment with financial education

San Francisco Housing Activists Win Land and Shift the Debate

On May 11, 2004, homeless people in San Francisco scored a victory by convincing the city’s Board of Supervisors to set aside 15 city-owned...

Living Wage Lives in L.A.

It was 1996, and an economic Godzilla loomed over Los Angeles, coming to crush the city's precarious prosperity. That, at least, was the way...

Organize! A media campaign on the value of affordable housing

Advocates for affordable housing and a high-powered public relations firm make an unlikely team, at first glance. But that’s exactly who teamed up over...

Organizing with the State on Your Side

In California, municipalities are required by law to plan for their fair share of affordable housing. Has this put housing advocates out of a...

Tenant Organizing Wins One-for-One Replacement

In 1996, a small group of highly organized residents of North Beach public housing in San Francisco began to raise questions about the fate...

Public Land Should be Used for Public Good

When a vacant lot in Oakland was close to becoming the home of a 24-story, market-rate development, local activists worked together to prevent it from happening.

Rhode Island Tenants Fight and Win!

On August 1, 2005, 193 residents at the Barbara Jordan I properties in Providence, Rhode Island, received a letter informing them that the owner...

No Place for Us

The low-income students living in Irvine Meadows West, a historic trailer park at the University of California, Irvine, received more than a liberal arts...

Oakland Campaign Puts Kids First

Low-income youth and youth of color are often first to feel the effects of shrinking local human service budgets. In Oakland, California – across...