Community Change approaches our issue campaigns and work with partner groups as opportunities to build grassroots organizational capacity and power. Winning a policy fight, for example, can be one indicator of a partner’s power. In eight places, we are taking an intentional approach to assessing and seeking to replicate power-building strategies through multi-year projects. For each targeted geography, local partners determine and test what it will take to advance a governing agenda with bold, progressive ideas for structural change, focusing on one or more of these economic justice priorities:
- Improving the material conditions of low-income people’s lives in our communities.
- Creating and accessing high-quality jobs, especially for women and people of color.
- Creating and accessing affordable housing, especially for women and people of color.
- Securing greater clean energy/green infrastructure investments in our communities.
Community Change and our partners are focused on four dimensions of building power:
- People power through organizing at scale or in innovative ways, including base building and leadership development.
- Alliance and relationship power, particularly among Black, Brown, and Immigrant organizations.
- Narrative power to shape public narrative and discourse.
- Governance power to shape institutional decision-making as a legitimate and credible “force to be reckoned with.”
The current projects are focused on metropolitan areas and their suburbs: Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. Our eighth project focuses on a rural area of Eastern Kentucky. Each of these projects is tailored to the specific challenges, opportunities, and political realities of its particular location.