Building a Movement

Ordinarily, we use our Wednesday posts to discuss policy issues. But we readily admit that it takes more than just good ideas and some research findings to move a policy agenda through Congress. It takes the voices of many to encourage lawmakers to act. This is why we work so hard to grow our membership, build the public will for a change in housing policy, and engage advocates like you in the process through Calls to Action and our annual lobby day.

What it takes, in other words, is a whole lot of us working toward the same goal and building a movement.

On his Washington Post blog today, Ezra Klein shared some interesting thoughts on movement-building from a community organizer named Rich Yeselson. Yeselson analyzes the current Occupy Wall Street protests in the context of past social movements and identifies a number of things he thinks will determine the success of this or any social movement:

[T]he work of skilled organizers; the success of those organizers in getting people, once these events end, to meet over and over and over again; whether or not the movement can promote public policy solutions that are organically linked to the quotidian lives of its supporters…..

How does advocacy for affordable housing match up to these standards? What do you think housing advocates need to do to ensure the building and preservation of housing affordable to the lowest income people? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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