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.

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...

Organizing to Build a Movement

In December 1994, President Bill Clinton proposed converting public housing and project-based Section 8 into vouchers. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Rick Lazio...

Alabama Arise Fights For Tenant Protections

It was hardly an unusual story in 1993 in Montgomery, Alabama. A tenant had spent months trying to get her landlord to fix a...

Don’t Start Small

It’s often said that organizers should begin with easily attainable goals to bolster their group’s confidence. But Caroline Murray, executive director of the Anti-Displacement...

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...
Three members of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California give a thumbs up as they hold "Register and Vote" signs in different languages.

How the Bay Area Got $2 Billion for Affordable Homes

San Francisco Bay Area voters approved bold new investments in 2016 after housing advocates--part of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California--ignited a successful electoral strategy for the general election. Here's how it worked.

Demanding a Better Deal

Save Middle East Action Committee (SMEAC) was created in 2001 by community stakeholders and representatives in Baltimore after the local newspaper announced that they...

Big Island Organizing

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

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...

High Stakes for Public Housing: Organizing Public Housing Residents

The Millennial Housing Commission (MHC) report represents stage two in an agenda to give increased decision-making powers to local public housing agencies, and target...

Make Your Nonprofit a Media Empire

Using soap operas and talk shows to mix entertainment with financial education

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.

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...

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.

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...
Members of Boston Liberation Health hold a banner that reads, "Capitalism, racism, and heteropatriachy are making us sick. Join Liberation Health."

How Organizing for Justice Helps Your Mental Health

How do social justice, organizing, and mental health interact? Shelterforce chats with clinical social worker Dawn Belkin Martinez to find out.

“No Evictions. We Won’t Move!”

"This land is too valuable to permit poor people to park on it." —Justin Herman, former executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, 1970 The...

Housing Advocates Track Indoor Environmental Hazards to Spur Improvements

When the community health promoters of San Diego’s Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) say they’re doing pollution testing, many people probably imagine samples from the...
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.