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...

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...

Tenant Organizing When Rising Rent Isn’t the (Main) Issue

Tenant organizing has been re-energized in coastal cities where housing costs are soaring. But tenants need a voice in the rest of the country too—and they are organizing to get one.

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...

Listen To Me

When Dolores Shaw first got involved with the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project (EPOP) eight years ago, she had two children entering school and a...

All Organizing is Constant Re-organizing

In 1990, a manufacturing plant in San Antonio laid off more than 1,000 employees, most of them Mexican-American women with limited formal education. The...

Involving union welfare office workers in welfare organizing

The Organization of the NorthEast (ONE) has over 70 members: religious congregations, social service agencies, ethnic associations and businesses from three diverse lakefront Chicago...
A trainee wearing a white hardhat fixes a light fixture in an apartment.

Making a Success of Local Hire

Local hire policies are among the strongest strategies for bringing good job opportunities to disadvantaged communities, but adding more provisions to specifically target those with the most barriers to employment can make local hiring practices even more effective.

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 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.

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...

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...

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

Is there a new community reinvestment movement afoot?

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.

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...

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...