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.

Flowers Follow

Sometimes all a vacant lot needs to become a community hub is for someone to know who owns it and who can turn over the keys.

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?

Home Again

With the help of its local community development corporation, a Boston neighborhood comes to terms with its transformation as a beloved church, long a treasured part of the community is reborn as housing.

Obama’s the One: Are You Really Surprised?

I’m not. Call me smug, but I’ve been saying since Barack Obama’s 2007 announcement of his candidacy in Springfield, Ill., that he would take the...

Get Your Green On

In general, most efforts to develop “green infrastructure” at the neighborhood level have been volunteer-led, grassroots efforts. City governments don’t tend to take the...

Fed Report: No Wrongful Foreclosures By Banks?

A report issued by the Federal Reserve has found no wrongful foreclosures following an investigation into abusive mortgage practices. Though we must quickly note...

Don’t Rewrite Andrew Breitbart’s Legacy

I extend condolences to Andrew Breitbart’s family. He died last week at the young age of 43. Because my brother...

Rural Housing Budget Disappointing, But Not Surprising

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the Obama administration’s rural housing budget continues trends that were evident in the last several...

The Push for Public School

Confusion, ambivalence and anger all seem to accompany many discussions of public education. High stakes testing, positive behavior intervention and...

The False Choice Between Mobility and Community Development

What is it about community development that it constantly seems to be posited in a binary set of choices that...

Flint: Tainted Choices, Tainted Water

Like the water itself, the situation in Flint, Mich., should be crystal clear: elected and appointed officials, at the state and federal levels, have done...

You’ve Seen This Movie Before. You Know What to Do

I prebooked my post-election group therapy by getting a ticket to hear Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, speak...

Congress Misses AmeriCorps’ 20th Birthday

AmeriCorps turned 20 on September 12th. To celebrate, the agency had an immensely successful Thunderclap campaign that reached over 51 million people on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. It was the 4th most popular Thunderclap campaign so far. Now I’m an old dog still learning new social media tricks so I didn’t know what a Thunderclap […]
group lobby day photo

The Collaboration Behind California’s Successful Statewide Ballot Campaign for Housing

As housing becomes ever more urgent an issue, California's model for running a statewide ballot campaign offers insights to organizations around the nation.