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.

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.

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

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

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...

Thirty-Five Years of Building Citizen Power

The 2008 presidential contest vaulted community organizing into the national limelight, as the McCain campaign sought to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Barack...

Learning to Love Sticky Cities

Dispelling stereotypes, the Great Lakes Urban Exchange has set out to unite the Rust Belt, starting with restoration of the Great Lakes region and ending with equitable, sustainable transformation.

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 Word of Caution: The Forgotten Photograph

The trouble with many of us, and with our culture as a whole, is that we don’t take time to “relate,” to connect formally...

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.