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.

Punctuated Equilibrium and Racial Justice

“Ordinary people exercise power in American politics mainly at those extraordinary moments when they rise up in anger and hope, defy the rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives, and, by doing so, disrupt the workings of the institutions in which they are enmeshed. The drama of such events, combined with the disorder that results, […]

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.

Plugging the Leaky Bucket: It’s About Time

“A society grows great when old people plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” If that Greek proverb is true, what does it say about a society where most of our policies for affordable housing and community development look more like the mono-cropping of field corn than the patient cultivation of […]

Remembering Sen. Wellstone

We’ve seen some coverage commemorating former Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, who died eight years ago this week in a tragic plane crash. This is...

Who’s Afraid of ACORN, and Why

Yesterday I posted here on Rooflines to explain the back-story behind the latest round of accusations about ACORN and voter fraud. Today, the McCain-Palin campaign...
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.
Chicago resident Tom Gordon speaks to a crowd. He, as well as other organizers, are fighting for a citywide community benefits campaign.

Chicago Activist Convention Shifts Focus to Community Benefits Campaign

Standing on a truck in front of a group of several hundred protesters, Tom Gordon expressed a feeling shared often at the ONE Northside...
housing justice for all rally

What the Fight for Universal Rent Control in New York Can Learn from Prop...

Voters have set up an unprecedented fight between progressive housing groups and real estate interests. It will be a brutal fight. For proof of this, housing advocates in New York need only to look at California.

Jane Jacobs: Defender of Cities and their People

On April 10, 1968, New York state officials scheduled a public hearing to discuss their plans for an expressway...

A Community is Organized, But Where’s Superfund?

It’s probably the worst Superfund site in the U.S.: a smoldering fire in a mismanaged landfill is less than...

Hard-Earned Victories Recognized by NLIHC

Its gratifying when you’re recognized by your colleagues for hard work, and that happened this past weekend when The...
Close-up of the back of a t-shirt that says "Because the rent won't wait."

Renter Week of Action in Pictures

This past week, renter advocacy groups staged coordinated demonstrations in over 45 states to disrupt business as usual, including stand-ins at the personal residences of corporate landlords, banner drops, neighborhood tours of the housing crisis, and creative actions at city halls. With the help of #RenterWeekofAction convener Right to the City, Shelterforce has compiled photos from several such demonstrations throughout the country to highlight their scope.

Inside the Affordable Housing “Big Tent”

I had an interesting chat over lunch on the train home from National Housing Conference's Solutions 2013 in Atlanta last...

GOP: Organize This!

I kind of knew it before, but watching John McCain’s speech as I write, it’s easy to see how the GOP VP pick Sarah...

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...

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 […]