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.

Philadelphia Campaign Reshapes Homelessness Debate

For the past few years, homeless advocates in Philadelphia have made some remarkable strides in pushing for solutions to homelessness. Several distinct but overlapping...

Grassroots Advocacy Strengthens Housing Trust Fund

Washington state housing activists came together in 1997 to launch the  Housing Our Community Campaign to increase the state Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to...

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...

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...

Park 1 – Stadium 0: The People Win!

In April 1996 residents of Newark's Ironbound neighborhood – an old industrial area now home to a thriving immigrant population – read in a...

Alameda Corridor Jobs Coalition Wins Railroad Jobs

In 1997, residents of Los Angeles area neighborhoods in the path of what will be the largest public/private rail transportation project in the country...

Divide and Conquer

In its one and a half years, the New York City Coalition for the Preservation of Gardens (known as the Garden Coalition) has worked...

Leveling the Playing Field

In 1997, a coalition of churches, environmental groups, developers, and government officials organized a campaign to help clean up Minnesota's 4,000 acres of brownfields,...

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...

Oakland Campaign Puts Kids First

Low-income youth and youth of color are often first to feel the effects of shrinking local human service budgets. In Oakland, California – across...

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...

Gaining Ground by Holding Back

Late last year, St. Louis ACORN members learned that Regional Hospital – the city's only "safety net" hospital that guaranteed care regardless of ability...

Fighting for Worker's Rights in Maine

Years of alleged wage, immigration, safety, and civil rights violations, environmental sanctions, and other infractions at the DeCoster egg farm in Turner, Maine, have...

Finding Common Ground

Everyone knows the real story of Las Vegas – enormous power concentrated in the hands of casinos, unchecked by government and oblivious to community...

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...

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...

Not Another Parking Lot

Fight City Hall - and WIN! It took almost a year, but solid strategic planning and tenacious grassroots organizing paid off for affordable housing activists...

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...

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...

Holding Politicians Accountable

The elections of 1994 demonstrated the power of constituent organizing (mostly done by the right wing), the dissatisfaction of many voters with the current...