Dreier

Peter Dreier

Dr. E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Chair, Urban & Environmental Policy Department, Occidental College
Areas of Expertise:
  • Economic Growth & Innovation
  • Social Movements
  • Cities & Regions
  • Housing
  • Labor

About Peter

Dreier researches, writes, and teaches about urban policy and politics, housing policy, banking and the foreclosure crisis, community organizing, labor issues, electoral politics, and democratic social movements. He is on the board of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (a coalition of unions, community organizations, and faith groups) and the National Housing Institute (a policy think tank and publisher of Shelterforce magazine). He co-chairs the Cry Wolf Project, a nonprofit research network that identifies and exposes misleading rhetoric about the economy, regulation and government. He works closely with many unions, community organizing groups, and public interest organizations, as well as with a number of elected officials and government agencies. He served for eight years (1984-92) as senior policy advisor to Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and as director of housing for the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

In the News

Peter Dreier's research on history of rent control discussed in Jared Brey, "Rent Control Policies Gaining Momentum Across America," Next City, April 16, 2019.
"Rose Parade Glitz Hides Pasadena Poverty and Inequality," Peter Dreier, Pasadena Star-News, January 1, 2019.
"Yankees Players Cross the Picket Line in Boston," Peter Dreier, The Nation, October 10, 2018.
Peter Dreier's research on the affordable housing crisis discussed in All Things Considered, "Is Rent Control an Answer to California's Housing Crisis?," NPR, September 27, 2018.
"Disneyland's Workers are Undervalued, Disrespected and Underpaid," Peter Dreier (with Daniel Flaming), Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2018.
"Steve Mnuchin: Evictor, Foreclosure, and Our New Treasury Secretary," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 30, 2016.
"Democrats Must Mobilize America’s Largest Political Party: Nonvoters," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 23, 2016.
"Trump Isn’t Hitler, But We Should Act Like He Is," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, November 17, 2016.
"'Loving' Reminds Us of an Earlier Struggle for Marriage Equality," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 11, 2016.
"Making the Most of Your Luck," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 11, 2016.
"Mourn, Then Organize," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 9, 2016.
"Can New CEO Tim Sloan Fix Scandal-Plagued Wells Fargo’s Corporate Culture?," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, October 28, 2016.
"Tom Hayden Always Rocked the Boat," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, October 24, 2016.
"Donald Trump is a Serial Anti-Semite," Peter Dreier, AlterNet, October 23, 2016.
"A Century of Anti-Abortion Attacks," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, October 17, 2016.
"The Cubs, Cars, Cat Stevens, Consumers and Capitalism," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, October 12, 2016.
"My Dishwasher is What’s Wrong with Capitalism," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, July 13, 2016.
"Caught on Camera: Police Racism," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, July 11, 2016.
"Progressive Patriotism – Not an Oxymoron," Peter Dreier (with Dick Flacks), Visions, AlterNet, July 2, 2016.
"Song for an Unsung Hero," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , July 1, 2016.
"Helen Keller’s Radical Vision," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, June 27, 2016.
"Trump and Gingrich: Two Men. Six Wives. Family Values.," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, June 26, 2016.
"Three Strategies to Beat the NRA," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , June 24, 2016.
"Huntington Hospital Values Profits Over People," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, June 20, 2016.
"Farewell to ‘Darling Corey’ Lewandowski," Peter Dreier, Tapped: The Prospect Group Blog, American Prospect , June 20, 2016.
"A Who’s Who of Trump’s Surrogates," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, June 10, 2016.
"Let Bernie Be Hillary," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, June 9, 2016.
"Does Tonight’s Speech Indicate a New Donald Trump or Just Temporary Sanity?," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, June 7, 2016.
"Is Donald Trump a Bald Bald-Faced Liar?," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , June 6, 2016.
"The Greatest – Muhammad Ali – Dies at 74," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, June 4, 2016.
"Is the Contemptible Donald Trump In Contempt of Court?," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, June 2, 2016.
"The Political Bob Dylan," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, May 25, 2016.
"A Five-Point Plan for Sanders," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , May 25, 2016.
Regular contributionsPeter Dreier to The Nation.
"Real Estate Mogul Greg Geiser Sues Working Class Couple for Protesting Unfair Eviction," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, May 19, 2016.
Regular contributionsPeter Dreier to The American Prospect.
"The Worst of Wall Street: Meet Donald Trump’s Finance Chairman," Peter Dreier, The Nation, May 10, 2016.
"Jane Jacobs’ Radical Legacy: Cities Are For People, Not Developers," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, May 4, 2016.
"The Full Spectrum of the Republican Party," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, April 8, 2016.
"Stop Thief! City Leaders Must Address Pasadena’s Growing Wage Theft Problem," Peter Dreier (with Pablo Alvarado), Pasadena Weekly, April 7, 2016.
"How the Fight for $15 Won," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , April 4, 2016.
"Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Radical Feminism Still Challenges Us Today," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, March 29, 2016.
"Housing and the Working Poor," Peter Dreier, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, March 29, 2016.
"A Working Class Family Battles a ‘Fix and Flip’ Real Estate Tycoon," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, March 27, 2016.
"Bernie is Mainstream," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, March 10, 2016.
"Academic Drivel Report: Confessing My Sins and Exposing My Academic Hoax," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , February 25, 2016.
"Gloria Steinem Renews an Old Debate About Socialism and Feminism," Peter Dreier, Dissent Magazine, February 20, 2016.
"A Trump Candidacy Is Good for the Democrats, But Bad for America," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, February 16, 2016.
"Israel's New McCarthyism," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, February 2016.
"Nine Battleground States That Could Flip the Senate - and the Supreme Court," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, February 14, 2016.
"NLRB Ruling Says 2 California Nurses Were Illegally Fired during Union Drive," Peter Dreier, In These Times, February 12, 2016.
"City of Roses Will Soon Be City of Raises," Peter Dreier, LA Progressive, February 3, 2016.
"How Four College Students Started a Revolution," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, February 1, 2016.
"Pasadena City Council Should Pass a Minimum Wage Law without Gaping Loopholes," Peter Dreier (with Mark Maier), LA Progressive, January 31, 2016.
"Martin Luther King Would Support a $15 Minimum Wage in Pasadena," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 26, 2016.
"What Super Wealthy Times Columnist Tom Friedman’s Attack on Sanders Misses," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 23, 2016.
"Martin Luther King Was a Democratic Socialist," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 18, 2016.
"On the Minimum Wage, Pasadena's Restaurant Lobby is Serving Baloney," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 14, 2016.
"'The Washington Post' Fired Lefty Columnist Harold Meyerson," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, December 31, 2015.
"The Amazing Rosa Parks Story Too Few People Still Know," Peter Dreier, Salon, December 6, 2015.
"What is Democratic Socialism, American-Style?," Peter Dreier, CNN, October 28, 2015.
"Paul Wellstone’s Ordinary Life and Extraordinary Legacy," Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, October 25, 2015.
"Paul Ryan - Liar, Hypocrite, Charlatan, and Right-Wing Extremist," Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, October 23, 2015.
"Playwright Arthur Miller, Dead for a Decade, is Still Stirring Controversy," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, October 19, 2015.
"Hedge Funds: The Ultimate Absentee Landlords," Peter Dreier (with Aditi Sen), The American Prospect, October 2, 2015.
"Let's be Real: Donald Trump Doesn't Really Want to be President," Peter Dreier, Talking Points Memo, September 22, 2015.
"Celebrating W.E.B. Du Bois: A Towering Figure Who Died 52 Years Ago," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, August 27, 2015.
"Racism on Camera," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, July 30, 2015.
"How the Bankers Destroyed the Dream," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, May 15, 2015.
"The Revitalization Trap," Peter Dreier, Shelterforce, May 7, 2015.
"Huntington Hospital’s Dirty and Expensive Union-Busting Pays Off," Peter Dreier, LA Progressive, April 18, 2015.
"Organizer in Chief?," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, December 9, 2014.
"Why is Jay Leno Flacking for the Gun Lobby?," Peter Dreier, The Nation, November 20, 2014.
"Is It Time to Boycott Haley Barbour over His 'Tar Babies' Remarks?," Peter Dreier, Talking Points Memo, November 12, 2014.
"Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic," Peter Dreier (with Richard D. Kahlenberg), The Upshot, New York Times, September 12, 2014.
"Suburban Ghettos Like Ferguson are Ticking Time Bombs," Peter Dreier (with Todd Frederick Swanstrom), The Washington Post, August 21, 2014.
"How President Obama Can Help Rebuild the Middle Class," Peter Dreier, Los Angeles Times, June 19, 2014.
"What Housing Recovery?," Peter Dreier, New York Times, May 8, 2014.
"A Local Approach to Bigger Paychecks," Peter Dreier (with Harold Meyerson), Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2014.
"Ten Lessons for de Blasio from Los Angeles," Peter Dreier, The Nation, January 20, 2014.
"Radicals in City Hall: An American Tradition," Peter Dreier, Dissent, December 19, 2013.
Guest to discuss his recent book profiling important individuals working for social justice on Bill Moyers & Company, Peter Dreier, October 25, 2013.
"Dr. Seuss Goes to Washington," Peter Dreier, Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2013.
"50 Years after the March on Washington, What Would MLK March for Today?," Peter Dreier, The Washington Post, August 22, 2013.
"Shut Down the Merchants of Death," Peter Dreier (with Donald Cohen), The Nation, February 7, 2013.
Guest to discuss his recent book profiling important individuals working for social justice on The Tavis Smiley Show, Peter Dreier, October 14, 2012.
"Demonstrations at CEO Mansions? Ho Hum: Can the Media Cover a Movement that Plays Nice?," Peter Dreier (with Todd Gitlin), Columbia Journalism Review, October 5, 2009.
"Good Jobs, Healthy Cities," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, September 20, 2009.
"We Have the Hope. Now Where’s the Audacity?," Peter Dreier (with Marshall Ganz), The Washington Post, August 30, 2009.
Regular contributionsPeter Dreier to Huffington Post.

Publications

"Targeting Young Men of Color for Search and Arrest during Traffic Stops: Evidence from North Carolina, 2002-2013" (with Derek A. Epp, Kelsey Shoub, and Bayard Love). Politics, Groups, and Identities. (2016): 2-25.
"Underwater America – How the So-Called Housing Recovery is Bypassing Many Communities," (with Alex Schwartz, Saqib Bhatti, Robert Call, and Gregory Squires), Haas Institute, University of California, Berkeley, April 30, 2014.
Examines the geographical locations (ZIP codes, cities, and metro areas) with the highest proportion of “underwater” mortgages and looks at the causes and consequences of the dramatic decline in housing values and the misguided view that the so-called “recovery” will rescue the worst hot spots.
"Homeownership Policy" (with Alex Schwartz), in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy, edited by Daniel Béland, Christopher Howard, and Kimberly Morgan (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Examines the various ways that local, state and federal government policy has supported the goal of homeownership and some of the issues that the emphasis on homeownership raises in light of the mortgage/foreclosure crisis.
Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century, 3rd Edition (with John Mollenkopf and Todd Swanstrom) (University Press of Kansas, 2014).
Analyzes of the causes and consequences of economic and racial segregation in the United States, including the political consequences, as well as two chapters outlining a policy agenda and political strategy for addresses the nation’s urban crisis. The book won the 2001 Michael Harrington Book Award from the American Political Science Association, for “outstanding book that demonstrates how scholarship can be used in the struggle for a better world.”
"Building a Movement for Fair Lending, Foreclosure Relief and Financial Reform" in From Foreclosure to Fair Lending Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy, and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit, edited by Chester Hartman and Gregory Squires (New Village Press, 2013).
Examines the grassroots movement that emerged to address the banking/mortgage crisis and to push for banking reforms at the local, state and federal levels.
The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).
Profiles liberal and progressive organizers and activists, thinkers and writers, and elected officials and judges who played key roles in the mayor progressive movements (labor, civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, civil liberties, anti-war, gay/lesbian rights, and others) of the 20th century.
"How ACORN Was Framed: Political Controversy and Media Agenda-Setting" (with Christopher Martin). Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 3 (September 2010): 761-792.

Explores how the conservative media echo-chamber, in combination with Republican Party officials and operatives, helped to destroy the community organizing group ACORN.

"Community Empowerment Strategies: The Limits and Potential of Community Organizing in Urban Neighborhoods" Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 2, no. 2 (May 1996): 121-159.
Argues that the greatest obstacle to successful community organizing is the lack of training in leadership development and organization capacity building; the primary strategy recommended for overcoming this obstacle is to help community organizations take advantage of intermediary organizations and training centers.