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.
"Targeting Young Men of Color for Search and Arrest during Traffic Stops: Evidence from North Carolina, 2002-2013" (with ). Politics, Groups, and Identities. (2016): 2-25.
"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.
"How ACORN Was Framed: Political Controversy and Media Agenda-Setting" (with ). 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.
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.
"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.
"Homeownership Policy" (with ), 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.
"Underwater America – How the So-Called Housing Recovery is Bypassing Many Communities," (with ), 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.
Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century, 3rd Edition (with ) (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.”
In the News
"Disneyland's Workers are Undervalued, Disrespected and Underpaid," Peter Dreier (with ), Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2018.
"The Cubs, Cars, Cat Stevens, Consumers and Capitalism," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, October 12, 2016.
"Can New CEO Tim Sloan Fix Scandal-Plagued Wells Fargo’s Corporate Culture?," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, October 28, 2016.
"'Loving' Reminds Us of an Earlier Struggle for Marriage Equality," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 11, 2016.
"Trump Isn’t Hitler, But We Should Act Like He Is," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, November 17, 2016.
"Democrats Must Mobilize America’s Largest Political Party: Nonvoters," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 23, 2016.
"Steve Mnuchin: Evictor, Foreclosure, and Our New Treasury Secretary," Peter Dreier, American Prospect, November 30, 2016.
"A Trump Candidacy Is Good for the Democrats, But Bad for America," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, February 16, 2016.
"Gloria Steinem Renews an Old Debate About Socialism and Feminism," Peter Dreier, Dissent Magazine, February 20, 2016.
"Academic Drivel Report: Confessing My Sins and Exposing My Academic Hoax," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , February 25, 2016.
"David Brooks is Wrong Again - Trump's Rise is Not 'Anti-Politics' but the Cancer of Big Money," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, February 26, 2016.
"A Working Class Family Battles a ‘Fix and Flip’ Real Estate Tycoon," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, March 27, 2016.
"Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Radical Feminism Still Challenges Us Today," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, March 29, 2016.
"Stop Thief! City Leaders Must Address Pasadena’s Growing Wage Theft Problem," Peter Dreier (with ), Pasadena Weekly, April 7, 2016.
"The Jackie Robinson Story: Ken Burns Documentary Captures the Man and the Movement," Peter Dreier, American Prospect , April 11, 2016.
"Jane Jacobs’ Radical Legacy: Cities Are For People, Not Developers," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, May 4, 2016.
"The Worst of Wall Street: Meet Donald Trump’s Finance Chairman," Peter Dreier, The Nation, May 10, 2016.
"Real Estate Mogul Greg Geiser Sues Working Class Couple for Protesting Unfair Eviction," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, May 19, 2016.
"Is the Contemptible Donald Trump In Contempt of Court?," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, June 2, 2016.
"Does Tonight’s Speech Indicate a New Donald Trump or Just Temporary Sanity?," Peter Dreier, The Blog, Huffington Post, June 7, 2016.
"Pasadena City Council Should Pass a Minimum Wage Law without Gaping Loopholes," Peter Dreier (with ), LA Progressive, January 31, 2016.
"What Super Wealthy Times Columnist Tom Friedman’s Attack on Sanders Misses," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 23, 2016.
"My Dishwasher is What’s Wrong with Capitalism," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, July 13, 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.
"Trump and Gingrich: Two Men. Six Wives. Family Values.," Peter Dreier, The Blog , Huffington Post, June 26, 2016.
"Community Activists and Senator Warren Persuade HUD Sec. Julian Castro to Help Homeowners and Reign in Wall Street Speculators," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, July 1, 2016.
"“The Big Short’s” Shortcomings: The Real Culprits in the Financial Meltdown Never Paid for Their Crimes, but Still, It’s Not All Gloom and Doom," Peter Dreier, Salon, January 16, 2016.
"Martin Luther King Would Support a $15 Minimum Wage in Pasadena," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 26, 2016.
"A Century Ago, Louis Brandeis Beat Big Business and Anti-Semites, and Revitalized American Democracy," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 28, 2016.
"NLRB Ruling Says 2 California Nurses Were Illegally Fired during Union Drive," Peter Dreier, In These Times, February 12, 2016.
"Nine Battleground States That Could Flip the Senate - and the Supreme Court," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, February 14, 2016.
"Howard Leibowitz -- Advisor to Two Boston Mayors, Social Activist, Mensch -- Dies at 63," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, December 28, 2015.
"'The Washington Post' Fired Lefty Columnist Harold Meyerson," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, December 31, 2015.
"On the Minimum Wage, Pasadena's Restaurant Lobby is Serving Baloney," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, January 14, 2016.
"Playwright Arthur Miller, Dead for a Decade, is Still Stirring Controversy," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, October 19, 2015.
"Paul Ryan - Liar, Hypocrite, Charlatan, and Right-Wing Extremist," Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, October 23, 2015.
"Paul Wellstone’s Ordinary Life and Extraordinary Legacy," Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, October 25, 2015.
"Now Louie Gohmert and Fox News Will Mansplain Planned Parenthood: The New Lie Right-Wing Men Can’t Stop Pushing," Peter Dreier, Salon, October 27, 2015.
"Celebrating W.E.B. Du Bois: A Towering Figure Who Died 52 Years Ago," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, August 27, 2015.
"The Rise of the 'Self-Proclaimed Socialist': Why Reporters Shouldn’t be so Surprised That Bernie Sanders’ Appeal is Growing," Peter Dreier, Salon, August 19, 2015.
"Hedge Funds: The Ultimate Absentee Landlords," Peter Dreier (with ), The American Prospect, October 2, 2015.
"Good Luck, Trevor Noah: Stephen Colbert Just Raised the Bar Very, Very High," Peter Dreier, Salon, September 28, 2015.
"Let's be Real: Donald Trump Doesn't Really Want to be President," Peter Dreier, Talking Points Memo, September 22, 2015.
"On Gay Marriage, Will the Supreme Court Favor Equal Rights or States' Rights?," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, June 23, 2015.
"Huntington Hospital’s Dirty and Expensive Union-Busting Pays Off," Peter Dreier, LA Progressive, April 18, 2015.
"Remembering Guy Carawan: The Man Who Popularized ‘We Shall Overcome’," Peter Dreier, The Nation, May 7, 2015.
"Philanthropy's Misguided Ideas for Fixing Ghetto Poverty: The Limits of Free Markets and Place-Based Initiatives," Peter Dreier, Nonprofit Quarterly, May 19, 2015.
"Bernie Sanders's Presidential Bid Represents a Long Tradition of American Socialism," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, May 4, 2015.
"Cold Anger in Restless Times: The Growing Movement for Racial and Social Justice," Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, December 6, 2014.
"Is It Time to Boycott Haley Barbour over His 'Tar Babies' Remarks?," Peter Dreier, Talking Points Memo, November 12, 2014.
"Corporate Triumphs, Progressive Victories and the Roadmap for a Democratic Revival," Peter Dreier, Moyers & Company, November 5, 2014.
"Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic," Peter Dreier (with ), The Upshot, New York Times, September 12, 2014.
"Suburban Ghettos Like Ferguson are Ticking Time Bombs," Peter Dreier (with ), The Washington Post, August 21, 2014.
"We Have the Hope. Now Where’s the Audacity?," Peter Dreier (with ), The Washington Post, August 30, 2009.
"Demonstrations at CEO Mansions? Ho Hum: Can the Media Cover a Movement that Plays Nice?," Peter Dreier (with ), Columbia Journalism Review, October 5, 2009.
Guest to discuss his recent book profiling important individuals working for social justice on The Tavis Smiley Show, Peter Dreier, October 14, 2012.
"The Real Story of Baseball’s Integration That You Won’t See in '42'," Peter Dreier, The Atlantic, April 11, 2013.
"To Rescue Local Economies, Cities Seize Underwater Mortgages through Eminent Domain," Peter Dreier, The Nation, July 12, 2013.
"50 Years after the March on Washington, What Would MLK March for Today?," Peter Dreier, The Washington Post, August 22, 2013.
Guest to discuss his recent book profiling important individuals working for social justice on Bill Moyers & Company, Peter Dreier, October 25, 2013.
"Ten Lessons for de Blasio from Los Angeles," Peter Dreier, The Nation, January 20, 2014.
"How Seattle’s $15/Hour Minimum Wage Victory Began in New York City’s Zuccotti Park," Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, June 5, 2014.