our movement story

how we started

Established in 2007, Right to the City was born out of a desire by members, organizers, and allies around the country to have a stronger movement for urban justice.

Right to the City Alliance asserts that everyone — particularly the disenfranchised — not only has a right to the city, but as inhabitants, have a right to shape it, design it, and operationalize an urban human rights agenda.

The Right to the City Alliance seeks to create local, regional and national change grounded in and guided by our platform:

Land for People vs. Land for Speculation

The right to land and housing that is free from market speculation and that serves the interests of community building, sustainable economies, and cultural and political space.

Land Ownership

The right to permanent ownership of urban territories for public use.

Economic Justice

The right of working class Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, queer and trans people to an economy that serves our interests.

Indigenous Justice

The right of First Nation Indigenous people to ancestral lands that have historical or spiritual significance, regardless of state borders and urban or rural settings.

Climate Justice

The right to sustainable and healthy neighborhoods & workplaces, healing, quality health care, and reparations for the legacy of toxic abuses such as brown fields, cancer clusters, and superfund sites.

Freedom from Police & State Harassment

The right to safe neighborhoods and protection from police, INS/ICE, and vigilante repression, which has historically targeted Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities, women, queer and transgender people.

Immigrant Justice

The right of equal access to housing, employment, and public services regardless of race, ethnicity, and immigration status and without the threat of deportation by landlords, ICE, or employers.

Services and Community Institutions

The right of working class Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities to transportation, infrastructure and services that reflect and support our cultural and social integrity.

Democracy and Participation

The right of community control and decision making over the planning and governance of the cities where we live and work, with full transparency and accountability, including the right to public information without interrogation.


The right of working class Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities to economic reciprocity and restoration from all local, nation and transnational institutions that have exploited and/or displaced the local economy.


The right to support and build solidarity between cities across national boundaries, without state intervention.

Rural Justice

The right of rural people to economically healthy and stable communities that are protected from environmental degradation and economic pressures that force migration to urban areas.