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.

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...

Affordable, But for Whom?

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

Homeownership Counselors—And Organizers, Too!

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

Winning a Land Bank We Can Trust

Lessons from Philadelphia's Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land

Occupy Wall Street: A New Wave of Fair Housing Activism?

Is there a new community reinvestment movement afoot?

A Decade of Growth

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

Living in the Buffer

Preventing the development of new affordable housing in close proximity to freeways isn't a just solution to the health effects of LA's air pollution.

New CDC Trade Association Lays Infrastructure

As sequestration takes hold and Congress wrestles with FY 2014 budget negotiations, the affordable housing and community development field is in a fragile state....

Renters Rising

How San Francisco’s housing movement turned an assault on renters into a victory

Beating Bank-Owned Blight

When Oakland residents raised hell about trashed foreclosed houses harming their neighborhoods, the city got on board and changed the way it handles code violations on bank-owned properties.

596 Acres creates tools to help neighbors “Find the lot of their lives” by:

596 Acres creates tools to help neighbors “Find the lot of their lives” by: making municipal information about vacant public land available online through a...

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.

Big Island Organizing

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

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.
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...

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...

A Surprising Victory

When business leaders in St. Louis withdrew financial support for a campaign to pass a badly needed transit tax, it was a blessing in disguise.
An orange tinted bridge over water in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

A Battle for Wards in New Jersey’s Hub City

How an organization of residents crossing age, race, and socioeconomic lines took on an unyielding City Hall known for quelling grass-roots efforts and (almost) overtook the political party machinery.

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...

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...