Developing Workers

As community development corporations (CDCs) strive to develop comprehensive strategies to help individuals and families in their communities, they are increasingly turning their attention to job training and placement programs, finding that living-wage jobs are critical to the health of every aspect of a community. Where schools have failed to prepare people with basic reading […]

Other Job Training Initiatives of Note

Esperanza Unida, Inc. 1329 W. National Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53204 414-671-0251 A CDC focusing on job training, Esperanza has programs preparing people for jobs in automotive service, security, printing and graphic arts, culinary arts and construction. In operation since 1971, Esperanza has trained and placed thousands of community residents, and was recognized by the U.S. […]

Section 3: A Viable Solution for Job Creation?

Dina Schlossberg of Regional Housing Legal Services in Glenside, Pennsylvania, compares Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 to the Community Reinvestment Act. While Section 3 has the potential to be a good job creation tool, it’s helpful to think of the law as a good organizing tool, says Schlossberg, who […]

YouthBuild: Building Homes and Futures

Walking with his friends through his neighborhood in East Harlem, New York, Darnell Smith leads them past a building on 2nd Avenue and 118th St., to proudly point to the work he has done there. Less than a year ago the building was uninhabitable. Now it’s just a couple of months away from being home […]

The Last Stop Sign

I had my first organizing experience 28 years ago working for the National Welfare Rights Organization, knocking on doors in the suffocatingly humid summer of 1970. My “turf” was a small Black neighborhood in Northeast D.C. In preparation for the first organizing meeting, I “doorknocked” 61 families; 59 people came to the meeting. I thought […]

Some Good News for Organizers

It is easy to believe that racial division and a never-ending conservative era will relegate the collective work of community organizers to the margins. After all, isn’t it true that progress toward racial equality has slowed since the 1970s and schools, neighborhoods and businesses remain segregated? Books such as Tragic Failure, American Apartheid, Two Nations […]

Colored People

When I was growing up on Folsom Street in West Philadelphia everyone was colorless but the world insisted on calling us colored. There was Mr. Ray the candy store owner selling happiness in pretzel sticks two for a penny or peppermint balls so chilly hard they made your ears pop if you tried to crack […]

Beyond Job Training

Poor people need to, want to, and will work. That simple truth was made clear in the recent book Making Ends Meet – How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work by Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein (Russell Sage Foundation, New York. 1997). Over a six-year period, Edin and Lein gained the confidence of and […]

Shelter Shorts

Journalism of Note: The Economic Cleansing of San Francisco In its 33rd Anniversary Issue, the San Francisco Bay Guardian (10/7/98) highlights the city’s growing gentrification. Fueled by the influx of young professionals, a proliferation of cafes and sushi bars signals the change of once working class neighborhoods like the Mission District and Bernal Heights. In […]

Why People of Color Need to Be Good Fundraisers

When I started out in fundraising 10 years ago, I was usually the only person of color in the room. Today, the situation is much the same. Whether it is a meeting with a potential donor to my organization, or a training I am giving to the fundraising committee of a nonprofit organization, the room […]

Park 1 – Stadium 0: The People Win!

In April 1996 residents of Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood – an old industrial area now home to a thriving immigrant population – read in a suburban newspaper, the South Orange-Maplewood News Record, that Riverbank Park was slated to be used for a minor league baseball stadium. Riverbank Park is one of only two public parks in […]

Creating an Economic Development Policy Infrastructure

The last dozen years have witnessed the emergence of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) as leading developers of affordable housing in severely distressed urban and rural communities. This housing has helped to stabilize the physical condition and population base of many neighborhoods, setting the stage for the development of shopping centers and industrial facilities to create […]

Legislative News

1998 Elections Senate Banking and Financial Services Committee Chairman Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) was defeated in his race for re-election on November 3 by Charles Schumer (D-NY), changing the leadership of this committee so critical to housing and community development and to communities in general. Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) will become the committee’s Chairman. A November […]