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.

Defending the Union

At this point, we’re all versed in what’s turning out to be a pretty heroic stand held by public workers and advocates for sanity...
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Public Housing Residents as Activists

In the 1990s, a group I co-founded, the Eviction Defense Network, was asked by public housing residents to organize alongside them during the HOPE...

CRA Exams Aren’t Cutting It For Communities in Need

In 1977, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and required the federal banking agencies to assess a bank’s record of helping to meet...

Embracing Affirmative Action, Imperfections And All

In a piece on my personal blog, I referenced a bigger politics of social and economic justice vs. a...

NCRC: Why Were You There?

We had a great opportunity to interview several attendees of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2011 annual conference on what they hoped to achieve,...

Town & Gown: Making Research Serve Communities’ Needs

Academics often get a bad reputation for studying poor communities without involving them in study design. But some researchers are doing it differently.

What Happens in Successful Community-University Partnerships

11 ways to recognize a functional university-community partnership, from an advocate who participated in several.

Tweaks to CRA Q&A Document Miss the Larger Picture

During the dog days of summer this July, the federal bank agencies decided to quietly bunt instead of swing...

Out of Reach 2016: Much More than Bad News

“A worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work 2.8 full time jobs, or approximately 112 hours per...

Three Ways Your City Can Prosper by Embracing Equity

. Two years ago, New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio captivated voters with his “tale of two cities” narrative summarizing...

Looking for Solid Returns? Invest in Criminal Justice Reform

In my last life, I worked at a large public housing authority, where one of my tasks was to...

McCain Hearts ACORN

Just picked this up from the Jed Report:

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...

Too Little, Too Little: Obama’s MID Reform Proposal

Obama’s mortgage interest deduction (MID) reform falls short of the mark. Housing advocates have been holding their breath for...

Are You An Advocate?

“Isn’t it true, Dr. Squires, that you are an advocate?” As an occasional expert for plaintiffs in fair housing lawsuits this is a question I...

Who Counts as a “Homeless” Child? It Matters

Are children in foster care homeless? It might sound like semantics, but it really makes a big difference. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the...
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Speaking Up On Race, Housing, and Opportunity in Minnesota

In the housing world, narrative plays an important role in defining whose voice gets heard, how issues are framed, and what solutions are developed. This is especially true in Minnesota.

A Year of Progress….Let’s Not Screw it Up!

There was major action on the home opportunity front this past year, the result of persistent activism by advocates,...
Photo by charlene mcbride via flickr, CC BY 2.0

Industry versus Movement – Redux

Three years ago, I posted a blog in which I wrestled with the question of whether community development is an “industry” or a “movement.”...

Community Developers, Don’t Ignore This Housing Finance Reform Bill

As the U.S. emerges from the housing crisis, the fundamental architecture of mortgage markets is being decided. Although it...