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Organizing Strategy and Practice

Recent Articles

New Media and Political Power: An Interview with Brian Rosenwald

Brian Rosenwald talked with us about the Right’s success at monopolizing talk radio — and the possibilities for the Left to use new media to expand our reach 

 

Neoliberalism Is Over. What Comes Next? An Interview with Ganesh Sitaraman

Ganesh Sitaraman talks about the demise of neoliberalism and the urgency of fighting for — and winning — a more democratic political and economic order.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Framework: Strategy Questions for Paradigm Shifts in an Age of Crises

Moving through a long-term crisis calls us to vision the future, process tough emotions, and address immediate emergencies in the present moment, often all in the same day or hour. This tool is intended to help community-based organizations map questions for their teams to navigate these difficult and complex times.

 

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Building Civic Power in the Covid-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a public health and economic crisis. America’s worst-in-the-world outbreak reflects a crisis of democracy.

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Building Power Together: An Interactive Mapping Tool

The Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) network is undertaking a new project to support activists nationwide. We are collecting and mapping as many union contract expirations as we can across the U.S. to create a powerful tool for our collective work.

Bargaining for the Common Good | Negociando por el bien común como justicia racial

Líderes hacen un llamado al sindicalismo tradicional, las organizaciones de trabajadorxs más nuevas y el movimiento más amplio por la justicia racial a que se enfoquen en quienes realmente toman las decisiones en los sectores públicos y privados y tienen interés en mantener intactas las desigualdades raciales.

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Queremos pan y vivienda tambien: Negociar por el bien comun, una estrategia feminista interseccional

 Negociar por el Bien Común es parte del legado histórico de Bread and Roses (pan y rosas), rechazando la división entre el hogar y el trabajo, entre la comunidad y el sindicalismo.

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Todxs necesitamos un hogar: Es hora de que los grupos de justicia de vivienda y los sindicatos se unan.

Al unirse contra lxs caserxs corporativxs y por la expansión de lo que consiguen con negociaciones, los sindicatos y grupos de justicia de vivienda están teniendo un rol crucial en atender la crisis de vivienda.

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Lxs maestrxs de Chicago hacen una huelga por las escuelas que nuestxs estudiantes merecen y la ciudad que nuestra comunidad merece

Una conversación con Stacy Davis-Gates, vicepresidente de Chicago Teachers Union, y Amisha Patel, directora ejecutiva de Grassroots Collaborative, acerca de la huelga por el bien común de octubre 2019. 

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Lecciones de la Campaña del Bien Común de lxs maestrxs de LA y la victoria de la huelga

Conversación con miembrxs sindicales, madres, padres y miembrxs comunitarixs líderes de la huelga por el bien común de United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) de enero 2019 acerca de estrategias y lecciones aprendidas.Un llamado a la acción en este preciso instante

Bargaining for the Common Good | Un llamado a la acción en este preciso instante

Hay momentos en la historia en que el mundo se tambalea sobre el filo de una navaja - creemos que nos encontramos en un momento así. Tenemos que usar las luchas presentes y futuras para transformar nuestro mundo, y Negociar por el Bien Común (BCG, por sus siglas en inglés) es una herramienta esencial para ese esfuerzo.

 
Heather Mcghee

Racism Has a Cost for Everyone

In my TED talk, I tell stories that challenge the zero-sum paradigm of racial competition. I share for the first time how it felt to watch Lehman Brothers collapse from a crisis my colleagues and I had spent nearly a decade trying to prevent. What began with discriminatory loans to Black homeowners (three times as likely to be charged inflated mortgage rates despite good credit) eventually...

Bargaining for the Common Good | Climate Video

Activist and author Naomi Klein and BCG network leaders Saqib Bhatti and Judith Leblanc discuss the Bargaining for the Common Good movement in a time of COVID-19 and climate crisis.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Organizing in the Time of Physical Distancing

This piece was written for community organizations partnering with Community Change and aimed at helping groups manage the organizing challenges of the current moment.

 
Bargaining for the Common Good

Bargaining for the Common Good | Introduction to Bargaining for the Common Good

Bargaining for the Common Good is a recent phenomenon with deep roots in U.S. labor history. If we are to emerge from this crisis with a more equitable nation, we must reinvent collective bargaining to meet the demands of our time

Bargaining for the Common Good | Chicago Teachers Strike for the Schools Our Students Deserve and the City Our Community Deserves

 A conversation with Stacy Davis-Gates, VP of the Chicago Teachers Union, and Amisha Patel, ED of the Grassroots Collaborative, about the October 2019 Common Good strike. 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Lessons from the LA Teachers Common Good Campaign and Strike Victory

Conversation with union, parent and community leaders of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)’s January 2019 Common Good strike about the strategies and lessons learned.

Bargaining for the Common Good | Going Up the Money Tree

Our economy and democracy have been hijacked - going up the money tree, an essential piece of Bargaining for the Common Good, helps us identify our true overlords so that we can force them to get out of our way.

Bargaining for the Common Good | Bargaining for the Common Good as Racial Justice

Leaders call for traditional labor, newer worker organizations and the broader racial justice movement to target the real decision makers in both the public and private sectors that have a vested interest in keeping racial inequities in place.

Bargaining for the Common Good | We Fight Back to Thrive, not Survive: Bargaining for the Common Good in Puerto Rico

In the face of disaster, Puerto Rican movement leaders share what they have learned using Bargaining for the Common Good, forging bridges between communities and unions to ensure that their people thrive.

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Luchamos para vencer, no para sobrevivir: negociamos por el bien común en Puerto Rico

Ante el desastre, líderes puertorriqueños del movimiento comparten lo que han aprendido usando la Negociación por el Bien Común, forjando puentes entre comunidades y sindicatos en el camino para asegurar que la gente prospere.

Bargaining for the Common Good | The Origins and Urgency of Bargaining for the Common Good

Bargaining for the Common Good is a recent phenomenon with deep roots in U.S. labor history. If we are to emerge from this crisis with a more equitable nation, we must reinvent collective bargaining to meet the demands of our time

Bargaining for the Common Good | We all need a home: It’s Time for The Labor and Housing Movements to Unite

By partnering to target corporate landlords and expand the scope of what they bargain for, unions and housing justice groups are playing a crucial role in addressing the housing crisis

Bargaining for the Common Good | Engaging Membership Through Popular Education as a Key Tool in Building Bargaining for the Common Good Campaigns

Popular education uses the immediate struggles around which community and union members are organized as entry points to build shared the struggle that is a central piece of the Bargaining for the Common Good movement and framework. 

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Transforming Higher Education in this Moment: Uniting to Bargain for the Common Good

We must use this crisis moment to refortify shared governance models on Higher Education campuses and ensure that bargaining includes all of those impacted

Bargaining for the Common Good | We Want Bread and Housing Too: Bargaining for the Common Good an Intersectional Feminist Strategy

Bargaining for the Common Good is a feminist intersectional strategy, part of the “Bread and Roses” historical legacy, rejecting the divide between home and work, between community and labor. 

 

Bargaining for the Common Good | Bargaining for the Common Good and the Fight for Better Banks for Our Communities

Bank workers are in unions around the world, but not in the U.S. Using Organizing and  Bargaining for the Common Good, these workers are fighting the big banks, not just for their own rights, but also to stop banks from cheating all of us.

Bargaining for the Common Good | Bargaining for Climate Justice

Bargaining for the Common Good is an important tool as we pave the road to building the just, equitable, and sustainable economy we all need and deserve.

Bargaining for the Common Good | A Call to Action in This Moment

There are moments in history when the world teeters on a razor’s edge - we believe we are in such a moment. We must use the current and upcoming fights to transform our world and Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) is an essential tool in that effort.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Strategic Thinking in a Long Term Crisis: One Approach for Community Based Orgs

Moving through a long-term crisis calls us to vision the future, process tough emotions, and address immediate emergencies in the present moment, often all in the same day or hour. This tool was co-created to help community-based organizations map the questions that help them navigate these difficult and complex times.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Coronavirus and its Political Offspring

Veteran political strategist Mike Podhorzer brings his analytical rigor to COVID-19 and raises important questions about the political implications.

 

Race, Class and Coalitions

Sudip Bhattacharya digs into real-world organizing and left political theory to examine the politics of race, class and coalition building.

 

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Moving Through Contagion Fear, Preparing for Recovery

Note:  This essay builds on a March 7, 2020 essay by Larry Kleinman entitled Organizing in a Time of Approaching Pandemic:  Campaigns and Contingency Planning Amid the Effects and Fears of Coronavirus” [1]  

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Messaging Guidance on COVID-19

This guide is adapted from messaging developed with the Million Voters Project, a coalition of organizing networks in California. It draws upon previous messaging guidance from Nicole Carty and Anthony Torres.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Keeping Business Alive: The Government as Buyer of Last Resort

The coronavirus threatens the world’s economic life. Social distancing measures, essential to fight the epidemic, are sharply reducing demand in sectors such as transportation, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Organizando en Medio de una pandemia inminente: Campañas y planes de contingencia en medio de Una Pandemia Inminente: los efectos y temores del Coronaviru.

Un organizador veterano nos ayuda a considerar las preguntas que surgen con respecto a organizar mientras la crisis del coronavirus sigue creciendo cada dia.

Organizing in the Age of Coronavirus | Organizing in a Time of Approaching Pandemic: Campaigns and Contingency Planning Amid the Effects and Fear of Coronavirus

A veteran organizer helps us to think through organizing questions as the coronavirus crisis grows by the day.

Organizer Voices | Building the Movement for Tax Justice

The new book by Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez, The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay has just come out, and it makes a few things really clear.

Cesar Chavez

From the Archives | An Organizer’s Tale

We inaugurate the From the Archives series with a classic from Cesar Chavez.

Organizer Voices | Energy Democracy Campaigns: Building the Green New Deal from the Ground Up

The climate crisis and the fight for a Green New Deal has opened up a new conversation about energy democracy.  Three DSA organizers from different states examine the growing movement for public power in comparison and context.

Merge Left

Review in Brief | Merge Left

There’s no excuse for recycling tired phrases about “the middle class,” or simply pointing out how Trump is bad, without injecting our own values and vision into the conversation. We know that ignoring race should qualify as political malpractice. Let’s at least make new mistakes. López and his fellow researchers have given us everything we need to get started.

Medicare for all march

Organizer Voices | The Sick and the Well: Ableism is the Problem — Medicare For All is the Solution

Examining different experiences (organizing, mobilization, and otherwise), Vinay Krishnan writes about ableism and the fight for Medicare for All.

 

Organizer Voices | From Textathons to Black Joy: How Color of Change is Re-imagining Organizing

The idea, says Color of Change's chief of campaigns Arisha Hatch, is to center Black joy and to build face-to-face teams, which now number in the thousands, of people meeting and acting locally (and having fun together).

Politically Effective or Just Good at Campaigns?

A research report on capacity building in 501(c)(4) organizations and the role of leadership.

Hot Off the Press | The Triumph of Injustice: From Boston to Richmond

The history of taxation in the United States is anything but linear. It’s a story of dramatic reversals, of sudden ideological and political changes, of groundbreaking innovations and radical U-​turns. 

Organizer Voices | What ACORN Taught Us

It has been ten years since the community group ACORN was destroyed.  At its height, The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now was the largest community organization in the United States with chapters in over 100 cities.

Hot Off the Press | Civic Power: Reclaiming Democracy’s Radicalism

In this excerpt from the book Civic Power: Rebuilding American Democracy in an Era of Crisis, authors K. Sabeel Rahman and Hollie Russon Gilman discuss restoring American democracy and rescuing it from crisis. 

Tips for Organizing Member-Led In-District Meetings At Scale

How many times have you just about gotten to the beginning of a Congressional recess, realized you want to run an in-district legislative campaign to influence them when they’re home from Washington, but didn’t do it because you weren’t sure where to begin?

Review in Brief | Shadow Network

Anne Nelson's Shadow Network: Media, Money and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right tells a holistic story of the toxic cocktail of extremist political operatives and a right-wing evangelical base. This is the coalition that is winning our day. It is perhaps the greatest threat to our freedoms and to a progressive future and deserves our full attention.

Unite Here Protest

Organizer Voices | Ten Lessons from Twenty Five Years in Organizing

My years as a labor organizer have been challenging, joyous, and sometimes devastating, like all organizing. Here are my "top 10" lessons.

Angela Lang

Organizer Voices | An Interview with Angela Lang

I felt like, if you’re organizing from a place of anger, that is not sustainable at all. I’m trying to figure out different ways to go back to organizing from a place of love.

Kavanaugh Protest

How We Fought, Lost, and Learned

What I bore witness to was not merely an announcement about a congressional process. It was seeing people’s faith in our democracy and our world shift.

Eyes to the Wind

Review | Seeing Through the Struggle

A review of Ady Barkan’s Eyes to the Wind.

Womens March DC

Welcome to The Forge: Organizing Strategy and Practice

I'd like to welcome you to The Forge. Let us tell you about our vision, our plan, and how to get involved.

Woman speaking at rally

Organizer Voices | "I Fight For My Family"

"I fight for my family and my neighborhood." Tyla Pond, mother of four, answered her door in Franklin, Indiana to an organizer from Hoosier Action.

Puja Datta

Organizer Voices | Puja Datta

We need to base build. We’re going to have to have mass obstruction of the economic system. We’re going to have to have mass obstruction of the information system.

ILWGU Protest

From the Archives | Organizing: A Secret History

Given the obstacles to organizing and the inability of contemporary unions to increase or even maintain their membership, understanding the history of organizing seems more important than ever.

Video | Welcome to The FORGE!

We are organizers making change in the world.  This is our story.

Cancel Kavanaugh Campaign

I’ve said that the reason that we lost is that we didn’t have the votes and that we ran out of power, but we also lost because we have electeds who are cowards. It’s not their fault, it’s ours, but our the Democrats could not even hold their entire caucus.

How to be an AntiRacist Book Cover

Review | Why Changing Minds Isn’t Activism

A book review of Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist.

Interview with Hahrie Han

The Forge spoke to Hahrie Han, co-founder of the new Center on Democracy and Organizing and professor at Johns Hopkins University.

Woman with megaphone

The Kavanaugh Reckoning Is Only Just Beginning

One year ago this week, after a shameful process, the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh.

Montage of author photos

Kavanaugh One Year Later

What we didn’t know when we started was that this fight would become a sort of reckoning about sexual violence and how power flows along gender lines in our society.

Water Protectors

Community Organizing: People Power from the Grassroots

Community organizing is not merely a process that is good for its own sake. Unless the organization wins concrete, measurable benefits for those who participate, it will not last long.

First We March, Then We Run

How A Devastating Loss Sparked An Even Greater Movement

It’s been a year since the Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court.

On Fire Book Cover

Review | The Burning Case for Fan(non)Fiction for the Climate Movement

Review of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, by Naomi Klein