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Remaking the Economy: Tenant Organizing in Unexpected Places

July 12, 2023 , 2:00 pm EDT 3:30 pm EDT

Join Nonprofit Quarterly on July 12 for the next installment of their Remaking the Economy series: Tenant Organizing in Unexpected Places.

Spurred in part by COVID and by a growing housing affordability crisis, tenant organizing is picking up in not just expected places like New York, but in mid-sized cities like Austin and Baltimore, and even smaller cities like Louisville, Kentucky, and Portland, Maine. Increasingly, tenant organizing is not just winning battles against landlords, but changing public policy. For instance, rent control was passed in Portland, Maine, last November.

In this 90-minute webinar, cosponsored and co-moderated by NPQ and Shelterforce, tenant activists will share their stories, both in direct organizing and policy advocacy.

Participating in this webinar are four tenant organizing leaders, who will discuss how they and their colleagues are advocating for renters’ rights at the local level.

Panelists are:

· Anneke Dunbar-Gronke is at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. They live and work in Baltimore, representing tenants, supporting tenant organizing, and developing community land trusts and housing cooperatives.

· Jess Falero is a homeless advocate, Harm Reduction Outreach Specialist, and cofounder of the Maine Peoples Housing Coalition.

· Gabriela Garcia is Project Coordinator at BASTA (Building and Strengthening Tenant Action) based in Austin, Texas.

· Josh Poe is a tenant organizer with the Louisville Tenants Union and a co-founder and Co-Principal Investigator at the Root Cause Research Center.

The webinar will be co-moderated by Steve Dubb, Senior Editor, Economic Justice of Nonprofit Quarterly and Miriam Axel-Lute, Editor in Chief of Shelterforce.

Among the questions this webinar will explore are the following:

· What is tenant organizing and what is the work that tenant organizers do?

· How do tenant organizers build power?

· How do location and political context affect tenant organizing?

· What role can tenant organizing play in changing city and state housing policy?

· What kind of demands can tenant rights organizations bring to city leaders and eviction courts to provide protections and relief for tenants? What messages resonate with local elected officials?

· What would be the best advice to give to anyone facing the threat of eviction?

· What kind of tools can tenant organizers use to organize against private equity owners in the real estate market?

· How can other sectors connect with tenant organizing?

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