Shelter Shorts

NY State Found Guilty of Segregation In the 1960s and 1970s, New York State education officials and the State Legislature actively encouraged the perpetuation of segregation in Yonkers, a Federal appeals court ruled in September. In ruling on this 16-year-old case, the three-judge court found that legislative leaders engineered appointments to the Board of Regents, […]

Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Lessons in Neighborhood Transformation

In the September/October 1995 issue of Shelterforce, William Traynor wrote that the principle of “community building” is gaining prominence among community-based organizations and their funders. One important branch of this movement is known in the field as “comprehensive community initiatives,” or CCIs. CCIs aim to do more than remediate problems, such as teen pregnancy or […]

Community Building & Community Organizing Issues in Creating Effective Models

Sandy O’Donnell and Ellen Schumer have been deeply involved in developing a new model of organizing called “family focused community building.” Their work centers on organizing low-income families in Chicago neighborhoods. In the following article, O’Donnell and Schumer examine the problem of organizing, or lack thereof, in housing and community development, from the vantage point […]

Organization Profile Asian Americans for Equality

During the early 1970s, living conditions for Asian-American residents of New York City’s Chinatown typified those found in turn-of-the-century slums. In Lower East Manhattan, the area had always been a port of entry for new immigrants. Earlier in the century, it was settled primarily by Eastern European immigrants who were seeking opportunities to become assimilated […]

Community Development – Is There a Right Way?

Fight City Hall and win. That’s what housing advocates did in Bloomington, Indiana, after gentrification and development made low-income housing dangerously unavailable. In the best tradition of confrontational, issue-oriented organizing, coalitions were formed, troops rallied, battles fought, defeats examined, and victory (the winning of a housing trust fund) celebrated. An empowered army is now ready […]

Billions for the Rich, Pennies for the Poor

Once again the top 1% score big with the mortgage interest deduction The current debate over several Republican flat tax proposals has renewed public attention on the mortgage interest deduction (MID). An analysis of data from the Joint Tax Committee (JTC) of Congress reveals that this tax break for homeowners has become even more regressive, […]

Not Another Parking Lot

Fight City Hall – and WIN! It took almost a year, but solid strategic planning and tenacious grassroots organizing paid off for affordable housing activists in Bloomington, Indiana. After an unprecedented direct-action organizing campaign by the Coalition of Low Income and Homeless Citizens, the City of Bloomington agreed in December, 1995 to set aside $500,000 […]

Continuing Lack of Resolution in Washington

We are now firmly into that peculiar form of government known as a Continuing Resolution (CR). To call it a form of government may be too generous; rather, it would be more accurate to describe it as the absence of government. After two federal shutdowns, and with President Clinton appearing to be winning the public […]