City Life/Vida Urbana is a 38-year-old bilingual, community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power through direct action, coalition building, education and advocacy. In organizing poor and working class people of diverse race and nationalities, we promote individual empowerment, develop community leaders, and are building a movement to effect systemic change and transform society. Our roots are in promoting tenant rights and preventing housing displacement. In response to the devastating impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities in Boston, we launched a major campaign in 2007, the Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense campaign to help keep people facing foreclosure in their homes. Victories won by hundreds of organized families have created public and political pressure which is driving legislative reform and has inspired the emergence of similar campaigns across the region.
In 2011, a lead grant from the Open Society Foundations’ Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative has made it possible for us to expand this effort beyond Boston. We are now working closely with groups in four other cities and towns within Massachusetts and Rhode Island that have begun to replicate this model. Through regional and national presentations and trainings, CL/VU is extending its impact.
CL/VU maintains its core commitment to movement building and working across issues through staff and members’ active participation in numerous peace and justice coalitions.