Renewing Bonds

President Harry Truman’s pledge to address the postwar housing shortage and the problem of urban slums played a key role in his 1948 presidential victory. During the campaign, Truman declared that the Republicans should update their slogan from “two cars in every garage” to “two families in every garage.” “There is nothing more un-American than […]

All the Issues in Workers’ Lives

Challenging the notion that unions should limit themselves to workplace concerns, breaking new ground on how to connect labor and community issues, exploring the relationship between the fight over economic issues and racial justice, and creating what some think actually has the look, feel, and smell of a social movement.

Back to the Streets

April 15th was a busy day in Washington, DC this year. A week of rallies, protests, teach-ins, nonviolence trainings, and preemptive police action was reaching its peak, and mass protests and civil disobedience were planned for the biannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank the next day. The focus of the […]

Congressional Report Card

The Republican Revolution that captured control of Congress in 1994 resulted in sweeping changes in the way the federal government treats America’s poorest families. With just a handful of new laws, many of the federal programs designed to serve those who most need assistance have been scaled back or eliminated. While issues of poverty rarely […]

Uniting the Poor and Working Class for Housing, Living Wages and Justice

Social Security is politically sacrosanct for two reasons. First, it serves the elderly, and the elderly vote. Second, even though Social Security (like Medicare) provides significant help for the poor, its benefits accrue to all income classes. It’s been a long time since affordable housing was seen as an issue that could unite the poor […]

Shelter Shorts

Welfare-Style Time Limits Spread to Housing San Mateo County, CA is offering 300 families the chance to skip to the top of the Housing Authority’s 11,000 person waiting list – if they accept a six-year limit on the assistance they get. During the six years the housing authority will provide intensive services and set up […]

Improving Schools from the Bottom Up

Two years ago, when Oakland ACORN was considering a new citywide initiative, members voiced one concern loud and clear: the poor conditions of the public schools. Some parents discussed the broken down bathrooms, torn up pavement and broken windows. Other families focused on overcrowding and a need for year-round schools. Still others brought up the […]

Practice Makes Perfect – Or At Least Able to Do the Job

Below is an excerpt from Fundraising for the Long Haul, recently published by Chardon Press. In this book, I explore the particular challenges of older groups and share with readers some of the mistakes I have made in my fundraising career. The following is one of those mistakes. When I train people in how to […]

Community Development Legislative News

HUD Budget Threatened – Again On June 21, the House of Representatives passed (256-169) H.R. 4635, the FY01 VA/HUD appropriations bill. The bill cuts many HUD programs and keeps others at last year’s funding levels. In this time of great national prosperity and tremendous need for housing assistance, the bill provides for no new rental […]

Holding America to its Commitment

The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and His Legacy. Produced by the Chicago Video Project and Media Process Educational Films, 1999, Time: 56:40. $225 purchase; $75 rent. Limited number free to social change groups. Distributed by University of California Extension, 510-642-0460. Labor and civil rights activist Saul Alinsky unquestionably affected many United States’ citizen-based movements. A […]

Creating Your Employee Handbook

Creating Your Employee Handbook, by Leyna Bernstein and the Management Center, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000. 256 pp. Need an employee manual, but don’t know where to start? Creating Your Employee Handbook can help you out. It gives three sample versions – for small, medium/traditional, and large/”leading edge” organizations – of each of the parts and policies […]