John Duda

John Duda

John is a member of the Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse Collective and is finishing a PhD at the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins on the history of the idea of self-organization.


Let's start with a website. Visit and you'll find a glowing description of responsible urban development, of a large institution acting benevolently, even munificently, to lift up a troubled neighborhood, mired in generations of poverty, and bringing prosperity back to a decaying city. This is a good story, and one that postindustrial cities, clinging to their “anchor institutions,” are increasingly vocal in telling.

A mix of vacant and occupied homes on a neighborhood block in Park Heights Baltimore. Photo by Casey McKeel.

A powerful tool for the development of affordable housing -- the community land trust -- is getting its debut in Baltimore. John Duda sat down with Will Hanna, president of the New Park Heights Community Development Corporation, to discuss how in Park Heights this tool will be used to encourage real estate development in a way that “preserves culture and deals with the fear of gentrification.” In his report back, Duda explains how the structure of the land trust ensures that residents are not displaced by skyrocketing home prices when redevelopment succeeds and an area is revitalized.

John Duda and hundreds of other Baltimore residents presenting a letter to Jay Brodie at the November 7, 2011 “Another BDC is Possible” Action.

M.J. "Jay" Brodie has officially ended his service as head of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). Should his successor follow the same economic "development" path led by Brodie or embark on a new one? John Duda argues for the latter while outlining the key components of an effective, community-inspired development approach in his recent op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.

Cover of the book "People's Pension"

On Friday, May 11th, 2012, Eric Laursen spoke about his groundbreaking historical account and analysis of the three decade struggle over Social Security, entitled: People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan. Social Security is arguably the most successful anti-poverty social program that the US has ever institutionalized and upkept.

It's a beautiful night in the Inner Harbor, for the first time in a long while.  As I type this---under a freshly hung cardboard sign declaring this folding card table the beginnings of a media center, people are making the square their own.  A precocious seven year old, doing what has to be the best homework assignment ever, wandered up to ask me what I was doing here, and I explained, as best I could, what was going on, why we were unhappy, and what we wanted to do about it.  If you haven't already done so, try explaining the crisis to a seven year old; it's probably the best thing you might do to sharpen up your analysis.


An Interview With Claustrophobia
A Short Guide to Baltimore Underground Newspapers (1968-1970)
For A World Without War
Mapping the War Economy in the Baltimore/DC Regional Corridor
Book Review - "Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self- Organization in the Revolution of Everyday Life"
The City from Below: An Introduction
An Interview with Claustrophobia
Reboot Baltimore Indymedia
Looking at Baltimore's Surveillance Cameras
Experiments in Economic Democracy
MOVEMENT AND MOVEMENTS: introduction to the issue
Report #1 from occupied McKeldin Park
Audio: "The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan"
A new focus for the BDC
In Park Heights, A New Tool For Creating Permanently Affordable Housing
Economic Development 101
Memory Against Forgetting: Marisela Gomez's book illuminates the history of the fight against displacement and dispossession in East Baltimore