Fighting for Air

Throughout the United States, waste disposal facilities, power plants and industries are frequently sited in low-income communities of color where environmental laws are poorly enforced and cleanups happen slowly, if at all. Camden City, which has a predominately African-American and Latino population and is one of the poorest cities in the country, is a classic […]

When Your Bank Leaves Town

The pictures tell the story. In each, a bank has closed a branch in a vulnerable neighborhood. But in one, the bank completely abandoned a fragile community; in the other, the bank helped stabilize it. Same situation, two remarkably different outcomes. Bank branch closures are a global trend, from Australia to Europe to Asia, which […]

Headshot of Thomas Menino, former Mayor of Boston

The Housing Policy We Need: An Interview with Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston

Thomas M. Menino, now serving his third term as mayor of Boston, became president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in May and quickly elevated the issue of affordable housing to the top of the organization’s agenda. By the end of May, the nation’s mayors delivered recommendations to HUD Secretary Mel Martinez and Congress. They […]

Partners Power GIS

In 1998, Dan McCormick, a program officer at Richmond Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), read an article about Geographic Information Systems, and something clicked. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are based on advanced information technology and can display demographics and other data spatially, using maps. McCormick knew little about GIS himself but was excited by its […]

What Lies Ahead

Over the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with many of our readers and colleagues – community builders, advocates, researchers and funders, old friends and new acquaintances. Many of you are taking the work of community revitalization to new levels, creating effective community plans, winning living-wage campaigns, creating labor and community partnerships, designing […]

Shelter Shorts: Community Development News

A Lump of Coal for Xmas About one million people will begin losing their unemployment benefits after Christmas. Why? House Republicans successfully blocked Democratic efforts to extend benefits through the end of March and rejected efforts by the Senate to fashion a compromise. Congress did manage to vote itself a raise before adjourning for the […]

How to Cope with Funding Cutbacks

I’ve been in fundraising since 1976, and I remember the panicked calls I received after Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980: “We’re losing our government funding; what shall we do?” After the stock market crashed in 1987, the panicked calls came again, but this time it was, “We’re losing our foundation funding; what shall we […]

The Right to Know

 Josefina de la Cruz’s migration history does not stop at her arrival from Mexico in 1972, but continues through five different Chicago neighborhoods, most recently West Humboldt Park. Like thousands of other poor, immigrant families forced from their communities by gentrification, de la Cruz feared that rising taxes would push her and her three children […]

What Congress Left Behind

Legislators failed to complete a range of major initiatives during the 107th Congress, including the passage of affordable housing legislation and reauthorization of federal welfare programs. Although these carry-over items suggest continuity between the previous and upcoming legislative sessions, much has changed. Republican victories on Election Day transferred power in the Senate, expanded the Republican […]

Artist Profile: Ricardo Cartagena

Dreaming of Home Above and below, paintings © 2002 Ricardo Cartagena, from “The Eviction Chronicles” Two years ago, the artist Ricardo Cartagena was sharing an apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District with enough space to sleep and work. “I always live where I paint,” he explains. “I sleep over my art.” One day, he painted […]