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.

The Fight to Save Section 8

In April 2004, when the Bush Administration launched a major assault on the program that helps Marion Brady pay her rent, she sprang into...

Building For the Future

The supply of affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to increase in the next five years because of an innovative...
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.

Tenderloin Senior Organizing Project

"It's hard to do this – I was scared," said Robin King, one of the younger women living in a building organized by the...

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...

Vertical Integration

When Vickie Stapleton’s landlord announced his intention to terminate his project-based Section 8 contract with HUD last year, she got nervous. “A lot of...

The Right to Know

 Josefina de la Cruz’s migration history does not stop at her arrival from Mexico in 1972, but continues through five different Chicago neighborhoods, most...

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...

A Decade of Growth

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

Building A Power Base

The first and most important battle organizers face is working with members to build an independent power base. Building an organization, and forcing a...
A sign for payday loans is seen on a window, with a illustration of a man in a suit holder cash in his arms. The sign also reads "Fast friendly service. $50 to $500."

Getting New Jersey to Divest from Payday Lending

NJ Citizen Action says having a state pension fund invested, even indirectly, in a form of lending illegal in the state cannot stand.

Clearing the Air

The Bronx neighborhood of Hunts Point has one of the highest asthma rates in the world. Home to the world's largest food distribution center,...

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.

Strategy Shift Yields Jobs from Marriott

A local organization affiliated with National People's Action, a 27-year-old coalition of grassroots neighborhood groups, won a public meeting with Chicago Police Superintendent Terry...

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.
Chris Wilder, Valley Medical Center Foundation CEO, holds a sign that reads "Yes on A: Affordable Housing. Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home." The initiative tied health and housing funding for county residents.

Housing Is Health: Ballot Initiatives in California Approved

A conversation with three county supervisors who were instrumental in moving affordable housing ballot measures forward in the California Bay Area by bringing in the health factor.

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...

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...

Persistence Pays

Employees of Erickson Cosmetics Company (makers of Banana Boat lotion) only wanted what they had earned. Especially workers like Juana Vasquez who worked at...
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.