Tag: Organizing

Remember Slavic Village? It’s Back

A Cleveland neighborhood made famous as an epicenter of the foreclosure crisis works its way back to stability. Here’s how.

Generating Civic Power in North Philadelphia

An organization embarks on a community-driven design process to transform two vacant row homes into a site for residents, artists, and law enforcement to collaborate on new public safety strategies rooted in care rather than control.

Housing Advocacy Needs Housing Voters

Methods from a successful organizing campaign from the past can inform the basis of a new electoral constituency around housing.

Artists as Organizers

Creative placemaking means more than merely adding public art into the mix. To be sustainable it needs to build relationships—and power.

In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew

For equitable development activists, Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance may seem like major progress. And it is—just not how they may imagine it to be.

When Disaster Hits, Your First Responder Probably will Not Be a...

Social scientists reviewed all the recent research on disaster recovery and tell us that before the coordinated help arrives, before the Red Cross and all the other recovery groups descend with legions of volunteers, there are neighbors.

Preparing a Career Path for Community Change Agents

College credentials combined with local organizing experience helps create a new generation of community activists.

Community Organizing: Integrating a Woman’s Approach

“In closed or structured societies, it is the marginal or ‘inferior’ person . . . who often comes to symbolize . . . ‘communitas.’” —Victor Turner

Organizing Will Win

For anyone who organizes and advocates for worker justice, the last months of...

Flipping the Script

A nonprofit forgoes the typical community meeting for a "living charrette," which leads to greater neighborhood feedback about a proposed 24-acre development in Austin, Texas.

Getting New Jersey to Divest from Payday Lending

NJ Citizen Action says having a state pension fund invested, even indirectly, in a form of lending illegal in the state cannot stand.

Government-Funded Organizing?

Public funding for community organizing would strengthen our democracy and re-legitimize a beleaguered public sector. It's time to stop writing off the idea.

If It Can Happen in Virginia…

I've been reading Ruth Berta and Amanda Leonard Pohl's book, Building Power, Changing Lives, about Virginia Organizing. It's a...

Don’t Call It a Comeback for Neighborhood Schools

In the face of widespread school choice, some D.C. residents are advocating for an equitable system of neighborhood schools. But what's the chance that will become a reality?

Dr. King and The Poor People’s Campaign

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968 while in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers. Up until that time, he'd spoken about the dignity...

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...

Equitable Development in Shaw

A recent New York Times article on the revitalization of Washington, DC’s Shaw neighborhood highlighted how real estate developers have rebranded the area to...

Organizing and the Community Land Trust Model

What happens when organizers win a campaign for community control of land? That depends a lot on the choices they make about how to exercise that control.

Have We Forgotten How to Fight?

I write from Wisconsin, now in its fifth year of rule by an entrenched right-wing government that the voters...

Can’t Be in the Gulf for the Katrina Anniversary? Watch These...

Tomorrow is the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, leading to all sorts of reflections on how far the city has...

Are You Hindering Your Organization’s Potential?

Last month I had the pleasure of hearing activist, teacher, and author Angela Davis as she addressed an audience...

We Know Whose Fault Poverty Is–So Why Do Our Terms Blame...

Shelterforce began, 40 years ago, as a newspaper for tenant organizers. They were legal aid lawyers and similar rabble...

Affordable, But for Whom?

How a box of felt pieces helps organizers help New York communities advocate for their real affordable housing needs 

Return to the Roots: Solidarity Networks and Housing Justice

On January 20, two Portland, Oregon women visited their former property managers with several dozen of their friends in tow. Becky and Aubrey Cook were evicted from their apartments, run by Fox Management, after complaining about slum conditions including raw sewage spilling into their apartments. In a bizarre turn, Fox then charged the women $437.00 […]

After a Long Impasse, A Win for Dudley Street?

In the film Gaining Ground, about the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, a powerful community planning and organizing group in Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, one of the major story lines involves the Kroc Community Center. In a nutshell, the Salvation Army got a huge amount of money to build community centers around the country, and wanted […]

Winning a Land Bank We Can Trust

Lessons from Philadelphia's Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land

Getting Rid of the Middleman

A Brooklyn organization discovers that helping its constituents form worker cooperatives tackles poverty and social isolation in a way traditional job readiness training can't.

Beyond the Box

A movement for second chances takes root.

An Organizer’s Work Is Never Done

An unprecedented local hiring win is a stepping stone in a trajectory to turn workforce development on its head.

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Organizers Grow Up To Be Developers

When a community-based developer of affordable housing incorporates community organizing into its programmatic repertoire, there is almost always added value—for...

The False Choice Between Mobility and Community Development

What is it about community development that it constantly seems to be posited in a binary set of choices that...

Writing Truth for Power

When Union United, a recently formed coalition of residents, local business owners, labor unions, and community and faith-based organizations in Somerville,...

Planned Shrinkage by Thirst?

Even the much beleagured CEO of Nestle, who has been accused of trying to privatize the water resources of poor communities...

Jon Kest’s Activism, New York’s Future

Thousands of Bill de Blasio’s grassroots supporters—as well as the small inner circle of advisers who helped catapult him...

Gale Cincotta Reminds Us: The Next Move Is Always Ours

We have a review up by Ted Wysocki of Gale Force, the biography of Gale Cincotta. Cincotta is the legendary (in our field at...

Sick of the Sequester? Learn from Michigan Organizers

The answer for Congress and the stalled action on the sequester? Michigan has some winning ideas.Detroit,...

The Next Move is Always Ours

Gale Force: Gale Cincotta: The Battles for Disclosure and Community Reinvestment, by Michael Westgate with Ann Vick-Westgate, Education and Resources Group, 2011, 416 pp. $20.00 (paper). Available on Amazon.

Time to Seize the Moment on Immigration?

Immigration is finally Topic A.  For many of us who have been working with low income people and disadvantaged communities,...

Occupy Our Homes Alive and Kicking

If you didn't get a chance to yet, check out the roundup of Occupy Our Homes' 2nd day of action...

In Memoriam: Jon Kest

Jon Kest, director of New York Communities for Change, a founder of the Working Families Party, and former head organizer...

Stumbling to Solidarity

It’s been an exciting year in labor organizing, between the Chicago teachers strike, Port of Oakland shut downs, Wal-Mart walkouts,...

Community-Based Organizing Must Change. But How?

I grew up in rural Iowa. During my childhood, my community was shaken by the collapse of family farms, the...

Community Organizing Creates Jobs

The value of community organizing was perhaps never questioned as much as when Barack Obama became a candidate for president...

Fracking, Organizing, and the Good Jobs Message

 This past Monday, I attended a large anti-fracking rally here in Albany, NY, aimed at convincing...

Don’t Rewrite Andrew Breitbart’s Legacy

I extend condolences to Andrew Breitbart’s family. He died last week at the young age of 43. Because my brother...

The New Bottom Line: A Coalition Built to Last

The New Bottom Line, an alignment that is highlighted in the Fall 2011 issue of Shelterforce, recently received the “Most...

The Unlikely Activists

Wall Street’s criminal recklessness and its impact on millions of people across the country is making activists out of an unlikely selection of people.

The Next Stage of the Occupy Movement

Criticized for focusing more on what it is against than what it is for, the Occupy Wall Street movement has now found an organizing...

Occupy Our Homes

As readers of this blog likely know, today is the national kick-off for a new phase of the occupy movement...

Will the Occupy Wall Street Crackdowns Energize or Deflate the Movement?

Last week we asked you how the widespread crackdowns on the Occupy Wall Street protests would affect the movement. More...

Bringing the Occupy Movement to the Community

As the Occupy Wall Street protests continue in public settings all across the country, it’s interesting to watch how the movement begins to take...

Is Homelessness an Occupy Wall Street Issue?

In her recent Mother Jones column, Barbara Ehrenreich writes “What the Occupy Wall Streeters are beginning to discover, and homeless people have known all...

Politics the Wellstone Way

A few years ago, Dave Beckwith, executive director of the Needmor Fund, wrote in Shelterforce about The ABCs of Organizing that offered an overview...

Getting to 99%

I find the occupation of Wall Street terribly exciting.But of course, this is not the first protest of this sort in response to the...

Stops For Us

In the winter 2010 issue of Shelterforce, we published an article, Organizing for Inclusive TOD that looked at various transit and transit oriented development...

Organizing as a Culture

Organizing is a culture. It’s not a tactic, a speech by a charismatic leader, or a department. “It’s a culture, and it’s what we...

Taking the Measure of Community

Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing, by James DeFilippis, Robert Fisher, and Eric Shragge. Rutgers University Press, 2010, 208 pp. $25.95 (paper).

Defending the Union

At this point, we’re all versed in what’s turning out to be a pretty heroic stand held by public workers and advocates for sanity...

The Plague of the Nonprofits

The familiar transformation from volunteer organizing effort to established nonprofit needs an overhaul, or it will keep sucking the life out of truly grass-roots organizing.

Organizing for Inclusive TOD

Large-scale and small-scale transit-oriented development projects are popping up everywhere around the country, and in many places advocates are working to include affordable housing and other community priorities in the mix from the start.

6 × 6: Call for Nominations!

Shelterforce will turn 36 next year and we’d like you to help us celebrate!Community Developers 36 and Under: Call for NomineesAre you, or someone...

ACORN’s Legacy Is Anything But “In Brief”

Tom Robbins, writing for The Village Voice, characterizes ACORN as the kneecapped star outfielder on the World Series opposition to (assumedly) the right wing’s...

Changing the Game

London CITIZENS fights for permanently affordable housing in the shadow of the Olympics.

Has the Fight Gone Out of Organizing?

After a brief, shining moment following the 2008 Republican National Convention, when it seemed community organizers would rule the country, they are now back on the defensive.

What Kind of Community Organizations and for What Purpose?

We expect the "solutions" to social problems to be found within the community, and yet community groups, more often than not, work beyond their communities' boundaries. Why? Because they see the reality that if social and economic justice are to be realized in a community, then changes that are larger than the community must take place.

How Did the Media Fail ACORN and Organizing?

Organizing has been under attack for years, but this time around, the media has been directly complicit in severely damaging one of most influential advocates for low- and moderate-income families in the country. How did the media miss the real story behind the assault on ACORN?

ESOP Rises Again

The success of a Cleveland-based community organizing group in the face of massive foreclosures suggests that the city (and the nation) should have held on to a more diverse set of community organizations.

NHI’s John Atlas to Discuss New ACORN Book

John Atlas, a founder of the National Housing Institute and Shelterforce, will appear today in the 1 p.m. hour (eastern) on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate...

ACORN: The New York Times, Lies, and Videotape

The New York Times hit ACORN with a one-two punch last weekend, making sure that the community organizing group — flattened by attacks from...

ACORN Facing Significant Problems

With state and local chapters of ACORN all over the country considering forming their own groups as the national organizing feels the effects of...

Join Shelterforce, NHI, and Rooflines on Facebook!

Do you dabble around on Facebook? Of course you do! So why not become a fan of the National Housing Institute for a streamlined,...

Court Rules That Congress Unfairly Singled Out ACORN

A federal judge blocked U.S. officials from enforcing a funding ban on ACORN, one of America’s most effective anti-poverty groups. Congress cut off funding...

A Small Victory for ACORN?

There was some good news yesterday for ACORN, the 40-year-old, and largest grass-roots community organization in the country, as a federal judge ruled that...

After the Politicking, Let’s Remember ACORN’s Vital Work

ACORN has been falsely charged in the news media, by politicians, and even by some supporters. This was the point driven home by Wade...

The War on ACORN

The political and media war against ACORN continues. In an article published today on the Web site of Editor & Publisher, the well-known magazine...

ACORN Turns Up The Volume

In September, when Congress voted to ban federal funds for ACORN, it was clear, if it hadn’t been already, that the organization had emerged...

The “Real Threat” of ACORN

We’ve long said here that the right-wing attacks on ACORN are rooted in fear: fear of voter registration, fear of increased wages for working...

ACORN and the Media

You might have seen Peter Dreier, NHI board member, and the director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College on Rachel...

Roasting a Fire Under ACORN

It’s September here in the Northeast and the acorns falling from the oak trees, including those from the Northern Red Oak, New Jersey’s state...

Karl Rove v. ACORN

Now we know that Karl Rove spearheaded the firing of David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico who refused to follow the Bush...

Right Wing Taking Cues From Saul Alinsky?

On his Comm-Org listserv, Randy Stoecker, a professor in the Community and Environmental Sociology department at the University of Wisconsin, talks about an emerging...

Community Organizing Going National?

There are several things that I’ve been noticing out in the community organizing world that I find increasingly intriguing. I first noticed it over...

Equity 2.0: The Missing Pieces

Under President Obama, data transparency, private-sector innovation, and a renewed commitment to expanding opportunity could revolutionize housing and urban planning. But just as proponents of equity, open government data, and social entrepreneurship are being appointed to key positions, and while the administration is still young, the new HUD/DOT sustainable communities initiative illustrates why the devil is in the details.

The Chicago Sit-in: Has Obama’s Election Spurred a New Mood of...

Editor’s Note: This article by Peter Dreier, NHI board member and professor of politics at Occidental College, first appeared in Dissent MagazineTwo recent union...

Chicago Factory Occupation Victory Is Only The Beginning

In the past few days we’ve seen news of 3,500 jobs to be lost by the closing of U.S. Steel facilities in Illinois, Michigan...

Community Stabilization: Are CDCs Up To The Task?

Imagine that it’s hurricane season, and 150 Katrinas are pounding poor neighborhoods — and the federal government response is totally inadequate.The community development...

After Nov. 4: Bringing It All Back Home

Interviewed on “The Takeaway” this morning, Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain, had this to say about how President-elect...

There Will Still Be a Need for Community Organizers

As we approach Tuesday’s historic election, we can count on one clear fact that the political pundits likely will overlook in their election night...

McCain Hearts ACORN

Just picked this up from the Jed Report:

Greetings From Out West

It might have been that brick to the head as a child (long story), but it was October 6 before I realized the second...

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...

ACORN Under Fire, But Is It Justified?

With less than one month left until Election Day, the Republican Party voter repression machine is at it again and once again, its target...

Disappearing Ink: Why No Coverage of the Demonstrations?

CNN this morning reported that grass-roots groups are organizing demonstrations across the country against what they’re calling the Bush administration’s “cash for trash” bailout...

Financial Implosion: 2nd Chance for Progressive Banking Reform?

When present and former public officials ranging from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to Lawrence H. Summers, the former Treasury secretary under President Clinton, started...

Community Organizers Help Turn the Tide

Peter Dreier’s most recent Rooflines post cited a story titled “Community Organizing Changed Fishery,” in which John Corrigan, the fishing writer for the Concord...

Why Has Palin Cooled Toward ARDOR?

Let’s take a closer look at GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s record on community organizing.It seems, as I said in my previous...

North to Alaska—Where Organizers Roam

Very enlightening :I came across an article today on the Minnesota Independent, an online news source, titled Palin’s Maligning Aside, Alaska’s Rife with Community...

Did the GOP Attack on Community Organizing Backfire?

In a column on September 14, titled “Community Organizing Changed Fishery,” John Corrigan, the fishing writer for the Concord Monitor, explained that “anybody...

Service Forum: McCain’s Moment of Truthiness

Just finished watching ServiceNation’s presidential forum on national service, and I’m here to give credit where it’s due: Judy Woodruff asked John McCain to...