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...
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...

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.
John Henneberger

Interview with John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service–Part 1

Shelterforce talks with John Henneberger of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, one of the 2014 MacArthur Fellows.

North to Alaska—Where Organizers Roam

Very enlightening : I came across an article today on the Minnesota Independent, an online news source, titled Palin’s Maligning Aside, Alaska’s Rife with Community...

ACORN and the Media

You might have seen Peter Dreier, NHI board member, and the director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College on Rachel...

Can’t Offer Housing Counseling Without the Funding

One of the highlights of this year’s National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference was the luncheon on Day 2, which took place in the Hart...

Lesson from Sandy: Better Disaster Planning Needed for Housing

As storms become more violent and damaging, even if not necessarily more frequent, public housing organizations must update their disaster planning and build more resiliency into their organizations.

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 to live in a place...

Poetry Slams Conditions of Richmond’s Public Housing

When poetry and investigative reporting combine, the results are fantastic. PBS recently featured a collaboration between the...

Better Loans, Better Laws: Showing Communities What “Home” Looks Like

For generations, Americans from across the nation, the demographic spectrum and the income strata have strived for homeownership, working...

I’m a Tenant and I Vote!

New York's Republican legislators learned a lesson in June: Hell hath no fury like a New York City tenant scorned. Just when it seemed...

Disclosure Remains Our Right

I was interviewed last month for a book on redlining that took me back to the ‘70s. Going through my file of the national...

When Disaster Hits, Your First Responder Probably will Not Be a First Responder

Social scientists reviewed all the recent research on disaster recovery and tell us that before the coordinated help arrives, before the Red Cross and all the other recovery groups descend with legions of volunteers, there are neighbors.
decade of fire

Out of the Flames

A review of a documentary about the decade-long period in the South Bronx when 80 percent of its housing, home to around a quarter of a million people, was lost to fire.