National People's Action

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National People’s Action (NPA) is a community organizing network with affiliates in 14 states that builds grassroots power to advance racial and economic justice. Headquartered in Chicago, NPA was founded in 1972 by Austin neighborhood activist Gale Cincotta and professional organizer Shel Trapp. [1]

Emira Palacios


Founded in 1972 by Cincotta and Trapp, NPA played an important role in the writing and passing of key federal housing legislation -- the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, and the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990. NPA is best known for its annual spring conference in Washington, DC, which brings a thousand people for direct action confrontations with housing and banking officials. For many years Cincotta and Trapp offered training to its affiliates through their National Training and Information Center (NTIC).

NPA survived the retirement of Trapp and the death of Cincotta in 2001, but refocused its efforts on legislative lobbying and direct action, de-emphasizing the training programs once offered through NTIC. Emira Palacios of Wichita, Kansas -- pictured above -- has served as board co-chair and presently as vice-president and secretary. George Goehl has been the executive director since 2008. [2]


National People's Action conducted a series of "Showdown" events starting in October 2009. The events, dubbed "Showdown In America," "called for the end of corporate lobbying and too-big-to-fail financial institutions." [3]

According to National People’s Action, it exists as a network to create a society in which "racial and economic justice are realized in all aspects of society, resulting in more equity in work, housing, health, education, finance, and other systems central to people's well-being."


The following beliefs were developed by NPA community leaders. According to NPA, these beliefs are the building blocks for achieving its mission:

  • Every person has innate dignity, beauty, and worth, and thus is entitled to basic human rights;
  • All people, regardless of race, class, gender, and national origin must be ensured a high quality of life;
  • Society should be organized on the basis of mutual responsibility, cooperation, and community self-determination achieved through political and economic democracy.

NPA's big ideas – based on NPA's beliefs – are those policies that NPA fights for as a network. NPA fights for policies that:

  • Take back our power to use the government as our tool to promote the common good, correct the injustices of the past, and redistribute resources equitably and sustainably.
  • Democratize the market to put people above profits.
  • Enforce fundamental human rights standards that prevent exploitation of people and the environment.
  • Take action to ensure racial, gender, economic, and immigrant justice in all social and economic systems.[4]


  1. ^ Martin, Douglas (2001-08-17). "Gale Cincotta, 72, Opponent Of Biased Banking Policies". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  2. ^ Sasha Abramsky (December 3, 2012). "George Goehl and the Fight Against Corporate Power". The Nation. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ Peck, Sara (2010-05-14). "National People’s Action, Unions Stage ‘Showdown on K Street,’ Push Financial Reform". In These Times. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  4. ^ " Who Is NPA?"


  • Rachel G. Bratt, Michael E. Stone, Chester W. Hartman, A Right to Housing: Foundation for a New Social Agenda (Temple University Press, 2006). ISBN 1-59213-432-7
  • Frances Moore Lappé, Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life (John Wiley and Sons, 2005). ISBN 0-7879-4311-8
  • Jacqueline Mondros, Organizing for Power and Empowerment (Columbia University Press, 1994). ISBN 0-231-06719-4
  • Kristina Smock, Democracy in Action: Community Organizing and Urban Change (Columbia University Press, 2003). ISBN 0-231-12672-7
  • Michael Westgate, Gale Force: Gale Cincotta, The Battles for Disclosure and Community Reinvestment (Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge, 2011). ISBN 978-0-615-44901-2

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