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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our Second US Social Forum: Right to the City is growing up!

Right to the City was born, or at least came out to the world, at the first US Social Forum in 2007 in Atlanta. It was all the hype then. The idea of an urban alliance grounded in struggle, and with a very deep, urban human rights framework had the movement in a frenzy. From grassroots leaders, to movement veterans, to academics, and even funders, they were all really excited about the potential impact of the alliance in a time of a booming economy and large scale gentrification pressures in cities across the United States.
 Right to the City delegates at the first planning meeting in 2007.

Flash forward 3 years: To sustain and build the alliance has been a ton of hard work. The momentum of our initial blast has been tempered by all the hard relationship questions that we all hate to deal with: decision-making, governance, structure, representation, resource allocation...YUK!!!!!! But we made it through!!! 

At this year's Social Forum the alliance made a big step forward. The membership elected a brand new and bad-ass steering committee to lead the alliance. We officially opened up the alliance to new groups from across the country to join as member organizations. We re-established the role of member leadership, staff, and how they relate to each other including a discussion about the role of the newly announced Executive Director position. We are expanding our work to build towards a new vision of our cities that includes ecological justice, immigrant rights, housing and quality jobs for all.

 Right to the City Steering Committee 2007-2010

Wow. It feels so nice to be growing up in such a beautiful family!!!

-Gihan Perera
Right to the City
Steering Committee Chair 2007-2010

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