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.

A Victory Over the Slumlords

In response to tenant organizing, the Washington state legislature approved a bill that requires landlords to pay for relocation assistance for tenants forced out of their homes by the landlords' own negligence.

National Collaboration Drives Transportation Policy

On August 12, 1998, almost 1000 leaders from 14 states gathered in St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois, for a one-of-a-kind...

Tenants Block Evictions by Any Means

Tenant organizers across the country—in places like Virginia, Louisiana, and New York—have taken direct action against surging eviction cases through tactics like mass outreach, shutting down court hearings, and picketing lawyers who represent landlords.

Organizing Lessons from Allen Parkway Village

When Lenwood E. Johnson, the son of Texas sharecroppers, moved into Houston’s Allen Parkway Village project housing, the Freedmen’s Town section of the city...

Housing Set-Asides: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

In August 2002, Kevin Jackson, director of the Chicago Rehab Network, sent a letter out to network members and supporters to introduce a campaign...

Organize! Shedding Some Light on Fighting the Right

Draconian cutbacks in health, welfare and housing services, attacks on the civil rights of people of color, gays and lesbians, immigrants, and the reproductive...

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization

Massachusetts has one of the nation’s worst housing cost problems. Its rents and home prices have risen at one of the steepest rates in...
Residents in Austin, Texas, sit in a micro-unit home.

Flipping the Script

A nonprofit forgoes the typical community meeting for a "living charrette," which leads to greater neighborhood feedback about a proposed 24-acre development in Austin, Texas.

Walking the Walk

In a city full of problems and promise, I'm taking the first steps toward learning up close what community organizing can accomplish.

A Guide for Tenants on Leadership and Building Control

Renters in Washington, DC’s Shaw neighborhood have a little extra help these days as they organize to improve their living conditions – and maybe...

Park 1 – Stadium 0: The People Win!

In April 1996 residents of Newark's Ironbound neighborhood – an old industrial area now home to a thriving immigrant population – read in a...

Once a Landmark, Always a Landmark

The Winthrop, a grand hotel converted to affordable housing in the 1970s, was at the center of a conflict between the city’s hopes for...