Gordon Whitman is Director of Policy for PICO National Network. As a community organizer, legal services lawyer and strategist, Gordon has helped working families build strong and effective community organizations for 18 years. During that time he has helped triple the size of the PICO network, in part by leading the effort to build new grassroots organizing efforts in Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Alabama. He regularly represents PICO at the White House and on Capitol Hill and has built close relationships with the leaders of national labor, organizing, and civil rights groups.
He is the author of Stand Up! How to Get Involved, Speak Up, and Win in a World on Fire, published by Berrett-Koehler. Stand Up! describes five types of conversations that enable people to build organizations that can solve local problems and confront the greatest challenges facing our country — from gun violence to climate change. It is a road map for standing up to the bullies who’ve hijacked our democracy and divided us against each other.
A lawyer, Gordon began organizing in Philadelphia in 1992 as the co-founder of the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project, where he directed successful organizing campaigns to improve low-performing public schools, reverse bank redlining and revitalize housing in urban neighborhoods. He served as Director of Research for Democracy and the Associate Director of the Center for Public Policy at Temple University, where he conducted research projects on racial and socio-economic disparities in access to high quality teachers; economic models for eliminating blight and revitalizing neighborhoods; the impact of suburban sprawl on faith institutions; and teacher and parent attitudes toward school governance and decision-making. Gordon regularly writes on issues of race, immigration policy, housing policy, big banks, faith, politics, and inequality on Huffington Post.