Organizing

Community development relies on policies, resources, and recognition that were won by decades of organizing—and organizing remains essential to face new threats, preserve existing wins, and continue to fight back against the big lie that the way things are is inevitable.

Ai-jen Poo speaking.

Interview with Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

Ai-Jen Poo has been organizing with domestic workers for over 15 years, helping in New York to win some of the first statewide labor protections for occupations often exempt from labor laws, and expanding this campaign to a nationwide vision for a strong caregiving workforce and infrastructure for elder care. In 2014 she became a MacArthur Fellow, but this was hardly her first award.

Winning a Land Bank We Can Trust

Lessons from Philadelphia's Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land

Affordable, But for Whom?

How a box of felt pieces helps organizers help New York communities advocate for their real affordable housing needs 

Cross-Community Collaboration on NYC’s Municipal ID Program

Lack of identification hurts many different groups in different ways—from the homeless to immigrants, and they all need to be considered in the fight for an alternative.

Social Innovation and Civic Participation

We have some insight from Sonal Shah, the head of the new White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, who is advocating...

Review of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime & Resistance in the Heart Of San Francisco

I learned about the history of the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s maligned neighborhood, through walks in it with my Great Uncle, Milton Hendrick, and listening...
Ralliers gather in Washington, D.C., with a sign that reads "Stop, Don't close public schools."

Don’t Call It a Comeback for Neighborhood Schools

In the face of widespread school choice, some D.C. residents are advocating for an equitable system of neighborhood schools. But what's the chance that will become a reality?

An Organizer’s Work Is Never Done

An unprecedented local hiring win is a stepping stone in a trajectory to turn workforce development on its head.

Greetings From Out West

It might have been that brick to the head as a child (long story), but it was October 6 before I realized the second...

ACORN’s Legacy Is Anything But “In Brief”

Tom Robbins, writing for The Village Voice, characterizes ACORN as the kneecapped star outfielder on the World Series opposition to (assumedly) the right wing’s...

Solutions After Sandy: Rebuilding the Right Way

All around America, we've watched the devastation of Hurricane Sandy with a sense of shock and heartbreak. For millions of...

HUD’s New AFFH Rule Could Hurt Low-Income Communities of Color

I believe in promoting opportunity and social/economic equity. And I believe that all of us should have the opportunity...

The Fight for Fair Use of Sandy Recovery Funds Surges On

To say that January was a bad month for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would be something of an...

Reframing Government’s–And Our Own–Role in Affordable Housing

Last Tuesday Scott Brown and Henry Cisneros, who serve on the executive committee of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation...

Making Community Benefits Agreements Count

CBAs can be extremely difficult to implement and enforce, which is why a detailed agreement in the early stages of the community-developer relationship is so important.

10 Ways to Speak Truth to Powerful Lies

How to engage, inform, and fight back against falsehoods. ...
Large group photo, black and white.

Empowering Human Development Across the Globe, Locally

One blessing of my job as CEO of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) is being able to tap into the wealth of human...

Make Your Voice Heard

What should you do if you’re politically progressive or even if you label yourself a liberal, or a Democrat but are unhappy about the...

“Better Ideas to Help Our Community”

Dolores Swartworth, an at-large member of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, spoke with us at this year’s National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference on the...