Frances Goldin is a co-founder of the Cooper Square Committee who, along with and her neighbors, and Walter Thabit, helped develop the Alternate Plan for Cooper Square. She was born in Queens, in 1924, to immigrant Jewish parents from eastern Europe. In the 1940s, Goldin moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and quickly became involved in local tenant organizing. Her husband Morris Goldin was a staff member of the New York State American Labor Party and a key advisor to leftist Congressman Vito Marcantonio of East Harlem. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Goldin’s organizing played a key role in the Cooper Square Committee’s campaign against the City’s plans and policies for the neighborhood. In later years, Goldin was instrumental in developing affordable housing in the neighborhood, fighting the displacement of low-income residents and adapting the Alternate Plan to a community land trust model.
Today Frances Goldin is a literary agent whose clients have included Barbara Kingsolver, Adrienne Rich and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.