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?

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...

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.

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...
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.

Making Lemonade

Here’s a great example of the law of unintended consequences: The McCain campaign’s sour, distortive targeting of community organizing in an attempt to marginalize Barack...

Right Wing Taking Cues From Saul Alinsky?

On his Comm-Org listserv, Randy Stoecker, a professor in the Community and Environmental Sociology department at the University of Wisconsin, talks about an emerging...

Organizing as a Culture

Organizing is a culture. It’s not a tactic, a speech by a charismatic leader, or a department. “It’s a culture, and it’s what we...

Community-Based Organizing Must Change. But How?

I grew up in rural Iowa. During my childhood, my community was shaken by the collapse of family farms, the...

Dismantling the Model Minority Myth Should be Everybody’s Project

The National Coalition For Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD) recently released a report that gives a demographic profile...

4 Organizing Trends You’ll See in 2014

Community organizing is changing. It's more social media driven and younger.Immigration advocacy alone has brought a new sector of...

The Role of Municipalities in Supporting Family Wealth-Building

How might a municipality leverage its resources and influence to better support its families?Hawai'i County, specifically the Office of...

“No Evictions. We Won’t Move!”

"This land is too valuable to permit poor people to park on it." —Justin Herman, former executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, 1970 The...

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.

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