A New Day, Same Organizing




The opportunity we created to begin again

The Trump administration is over. The man who cared only about himself, who mocked disabled people–like me–is out of power. The white nationalists he installed–the people responsible for weaponizing our immigration system to rip babies from their parents and deport essential workers who keep this country fed–no longer control our “homeland security.”

Voters did this. Organizers did this. Black women and Latinas were the backbone of both voting and organizing. Women like Nse Ufot in Georgia and Alex Gomez in Arizona and our own Grecia Lima, leading a brave and bold program of voter engagement.

It was not a peaceful transition of power. On January 6, we saw the 21st century version of “Southern Redemption” in real time. The joy and possibility that came with Georgia Senators-elect Warnock and Ossoff met the rage and violence of white supremacy unleashed upon the U.S. Capitol.

Yet our board member Crystal Hayling reminds us: “There’s another transfer of power that has begun — from the elites to the communities, and this deeper power shift must be fully realized to achieve a just transformation of our society.”

That transfer of power is far from over–and it’s far from inevitable. Power begets power. Over the next two years, we must show our communities that their civic participation does yield material benefits. And we must show our elected officials that they cannot disregard our demands or take our turnout for granted.

I am deeply hopeful about the opportunities before us in 2021. And it’s clear to me that Community Change has an essential role to play in winning for our communities.

That work has already begun. Last week, I joined the now President Biden, Vice President Harris, and members of their cabinet to-be to discuss a Latinx political agenda, including COVID-19 relief and immigration. We have both a moral and a political mandate to deliver on immigration early. The new administration’s announcements on immigration yesterday– executive actions to reverse some of Trump’s worst policies as well as bold legislation that creates a path to citizenship for 11 million–are important opening acts.

President Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan is also a welcome start to the just recovery that our families demand. From direct cash payments to eviction moratoriums to support for child care, this bill reflects the priorities–and power–of the Black, brown, and immigrant communities that put the Biden-Harris Administration in office.

Still, we need far more action to deliver not only relief but also transformation.

That will take more power, more organizing, and more accountability to the people directly impacted by the policies perpetuating injustice.

On January 6, we saw the naked face of white supremacy in the well of the Senate. That assault revealed the fragility of our institutions and their vulnerability when the entitlement of whiteness, masculinity, and ableism is threatened.

As we seek to repair the harm wrought by the 45th president–and the 400 years of white supremacy he embodies–I’m re-reading Eddie S. Glaude Jr.’s brilliant interpretation of James Baldwin, who challenges us: “Responsibility cannot be lost, it can only be abdicated. If one refuses abdication, one begins again.”

We are–each of us–responsible for what comes next. Thank you for standing with Community Change as our country begins again.

Lorella Praeli
President of Community Change Action




Immigrant Justice Starts Today

We are ecstatic to start a new presidential administration–and we hope that justice for millions of Americans is around the corner. President Joe Biden introduced on his first day the most progressive immigration legislation of any administration–and this milestone was only made possible because of the power of the immigrant justice movement, including the 47 grassroots groups in 35 states that make up Community Change’s Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). 

Biden’s bill is a bold proposal that includes many of the top demands of our movement-wide We Are Home campaign, which will launch on Monday. These include an eight-year path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people who call this country home. The proposed legislation would also address systemic issues of migration patterns, transparency, and accountability of enforcement agencies.

As the New York Times quoted Community Change Action President Lorella Praeli; “We are truly in the cusp of a new day….The new administration and Congress will face a political mandate to deliver on the vision for a more just and free country.” After four painful years under the Trump administration, pro-immigrant voters and grassroots organizations helped hold the House, flip the Senate, and win the White House. We worked together to elect leaders who represent our values–unity and freedom–and who are committed to working with us to find solutions that work for immigrant communities. We delivered, and now the We Are Home campaign will hold the incoming administration and Congress accountable to deliver on their promises,  starting with our Roadmap to Unity and Freedom, to be introduced in the 117th Congress by Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Judy Chu, Yvette Clarke, Chuy Garcia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Housing Justice Comes Alive

Community Change is excited to preview for you A New Deal for Housing Justice, a policy playbook developed with the support of the Ford Foundation and the contributions of dozens of housing leaders, advocates, and organizations, that outlines our recommendations for the future of housing justice in America. The playbook, which will be made available to the public on January 25, is a call to action for federal policymakers. It lays out a clear role for the Biden administration to provide solutions and policies that assure all of us have a safe, affordable place to call home, including a COVID-19 relief package to remedy the housing insecurity of people of color; a refundable renter’s tax credit; and a Presidential Commission on Reparations to Black people to address a legacy of anti-Black federal housing policy.


The pandemic and economic crisis combined with this racial justice movement moment underscore the need to prioritize housing justice. On January 13, Community Change’s Housing organizing team convened staff and residents from four resident organizing networks in California, Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington to present and discuss the New Deal for Housing Justice. The webinar built excitement for local advocacy to advance identified federal housing policies in the first 100-200 days of the new administration, particularly related to COVID-19 relief. 

The work continues on the local level as residents and housing advocates continue to advocate for housing trust funds. The author Sky Wilson explains how housing trust funds work and how the model could help residents in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in The Citizen. The article also quotes Community Change’s Housing Trust Fund Project Director Michael Anderson, who shares the benefits and positive feedback loop of attaching money to local priorities.

Community Change’s Black Freedom Collective Calls Out White Supremacy and Continues to Organize

After a historic general election that saw record turnout of Black voters, the Black Freedom Collective, a coalition of over 11 organizations convened by Community Change to repair the damage of centuries of economic assaults on Black communities, called out white supremacist violence in this country. In a press release, the Black Freedom Collective partners denounced white supremacy, its origins, and the actors who perpetrate it for their own gains.

This month, the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ), a Community Change Black Freedom Collective partner, won a landmark omnibus criminal justice bill passed in Illinois. The bill will advance racial equity, justice, and liberation through targeted reforms to anti-Black systems of law enforcement and mass incarceration, including police accountability, prison gerrymandering, and wealth-based pretrial incarceration. To achieve this win, WCRJ and allies mobilized thousands of local residents for direct actions and policy advocacy,  sending more than 40,000 emails urging action.


The Voices from Georgia

Photo: New Georgia Project Action Fund

Over the last two months, Community Change Action staff were deeply engaged and embedded with our partners at the New Georgia Project Action Fund (NGPAF) and their New South PAC to build on years of Black leadership to turn out voters throughout the state. On January 6, all of that work came to fruition as the Peach State flipped the final two pivotal Senate seats and sent Reverend Raphael Warnock to Washington D.C. as the first Black southern Democratic senator since Reconstruction.  

NGPAF knocked on 1.66 million doors, made 4.84 million phone calls, and sent 3.68 million texts—connecting with over 800,000 voters. Community Change Action also hosted over a dozen “virtual organizing” and house parties bringing together volunteers to encourage their friends and family in Georgia to vote. And our PAC—Community Change Voters—ran digital ads targeting young Black and Latino voters that garnered over 2 million impressions.

Nse Ufot of NGPAF has been saying for years that Georgia’s conservative leaders have gotten used to cherry-picking their voters, sidelining Black and brown Georgians. Check out Nse’s perspective on the 2020 and runoff elections in The Atlanta Voice where she explains why the Georgia establishment is afraid of our power

Have you met the women leading the movement?

Meet the women of color who stand proud in their identities as organizers, truth-tellers, and change-makers in this moving Community Change Action video. As we all celebrate a new political coalition that brought a progressive vision to power in a new administration and Congress, we recognize these women who paved the way and shook tables to bring us here — and will carry forward the work to build a more just country. Women of the movement have reimagined who we are as Americans, and will continue to lead us on our Path to Power. Check out this video to meet: Arlene Holt Baker, Dolfinette Martin, Sulma Arias, Lorella Praeli, Janiah Miller, Tayna Fogle, and Nse Ufot. 


Dorian Warren Featured by Ford Foundation

How many second graders can say they’ve walked a union picket line? Community Change President Dorian Warren did. And he hasn’t stopped fighting the good fight since. Learn about his experience as an organizer and a leader in this Ford Foundation blog.

VIDEO: The Inspiration for 2021 and Beyond

In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden said “Today we celebrate the triumph of a cause… but we still have far to go.” This week has included moments of celebration, hope, and history — and this milestone was made possible by the millions of people of color, especially Black and immigrant voters, and the multi-racial coalition who helped get us here. In our latest video, members of our organizing family share their thoughts on what made this turning point in history possible.

Dorian Warren on America’s Racist Reality in NBC News Think

Community Change President Dorian Warren writes about America’s reality of racism seen through the police treatment of rioters at the U.S. Capitol. In this NBC News Think piece, Warren explains that the racist reality is that law enforcement believes Black protestors must be controlled while white supremacists must be appeased.

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci / AP file

Biden’s Promise on Childcare

Community Change Fellow Sharisse Tracey writes about why President-elect Biden is keeping his promise to America and focusing on child care and the care economy in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package in Afro News. And the article quotes Community Change Action Director of Economic Justice Wendoly Marte who shares why the $40 billion proposed for child care funding will help rebuild our economy equitably.

Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto