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.
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?

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...

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...

The Next Move is Always Ours

Gale Force: Gale Cincotta: The Battles for Disclosure and Community Reinvestment, by Michael Westgate with Ann Vick-Westgate, Education and Resources Group, 2011, 416 pp. $20.00 (paper). Available on Amazon.

OCC Moving Steadily Forward on Fintechs–Is This a Good Thing?

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appears to be plowing ahead with its proposal to allow non-bank financial technology companies, known...
Illustration of muscular hand lifting scales of justice.

Trump Era a Time to Build Power, Not Buildings

This is a time that calls for us to start thinking a little less like an “industry” and more like a movement.
Guadelupe Neighborhood

The Guadalupe Neighborhood in Austin: 40 Years of Pushing Back Against Displacement

The community of Guadalupe’s 40-year struggle to fight displacement in the face of development pressure is instructive for other communities facing similar challenges.

Disappearing Ink: Why No Coverage of the Demonstrations?

CNN this morning reported that grass-roots groups are organizing demonstrations across the country against what they’re calling the Bush administration’s “cash for trash” bailout...

ACORN: The New York Times, Lies, and Videotape

The New York Times hit ACORN with a one-two punch last weekend, making sure that the community organizing group — flattened by attacks from...

Decision 2012: What About Housing?

I just took a stroll through the Obama and Romney campaign Web sites, and neither candidate's list of “issues” includes...

Finding Allies in the Sequester

There are two good things to say about the sequester, the federal government’s obligation to cut 8 percent from...

Mel Watt, Get to Work!

Monday marked a big victory for housing advocates as Rep. Mel Watt was sworn in to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He replaces...

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Organizers Grow Up To Be Developers

When a community-based developer of affordable housing incorporates community organizing into its programmatic repertoire, there is almost always added value—for...
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.

Failing The Equitable Development Test

I wondered whether the Americans who suffered the injustice of our most recent Great Recession haven’t already been not only forgotten but abandoned by the White House and Congress, despite their votes. 

Organizing for Hospital Community Benefits

Community development corporations need to become more educated about hospital community benefits. This is what can be done to get the process started.