Greetings Rising Renters,

 

After weeks of continual pressure on the new Biden administration, and frustrations of empty promises, we face an eviction crisis that is still impacting our member organizations and communities. RTTC has been serving in the housing front capacity to call for a stronger CDC moratorium and we will continue to prioritize housing justice as a direct means to combat rising COVID-19 cases — and as a basic human right. We deserve safe and well resourced communities where there is no fear of violence from the state.

The $1.9 trillion relief bill was just signed into law by Biden last week, and the housing front now is now working to ensure on local and state levels that the funds are used to truly address the needs of our communities. The Department of Justice is planning to appeal a Trump-appointed Texas judge’s ruling, claiming that the CDC federal eviction moratorium is unconstitutional. We need more bold solutions from our elected officials to create legislation like the cancel rent policy that Rep. llhan Omar introduced last week.

Our member organizations are fighting back for the communities that we call home. Our conditions continue to be impacted by the lack of substantial support from governing structures. Right to the City Alliance will continue to support our member organizations translocally to fight for our right to live without the threat of the violence of eviction proceedings. On local levels, member organizations are engaging in policy to resist the public health eviction crisis. We need social housing solutions, debt relief, and rent, mortgages, and utility debt canceled so that our communities don’t need to worry about choosing a meal over paying a bill in a global pandemic that has just surpassed a year.

RTTC Commitment to Language Justice/ Compromiso de justicia lingüística ⛳️

Versión en español aqui

[NOTA: RTTC/HFA están comprometides con todas las ramas de la justicia social. Como tal, respetando la justicia de identidad de género, este boletín está escrito en lenguaje inclusivo en español. Encontrarás palabras que usualmente terminan en “o” o “a” terminando en “e” en este documento. Para más información sobre el lenguaje inclusivo en español, ve aquí

 

Winter Storm Emergency Updates

Updates from Housing for All South:

  • Esperanza, San Antonio: Neighborhoods are still in a state of disaster. Some undocumented folks have been reported for complaining about busted pipes. Many residents who they’ve spoken to don’t have the resources needed to recover from the winter emergency.
  • BASTA, Austin: Winter emergency added additional stress on residents who were already being harmfully impacted by eviction, eviction threats, and conditions due to COVID-19. Residents are having plumbing issues and some have been using the creek and swimming pools to get access to water. They are anticipating another wave of COVID-19 cases, which will impact the already difficult conditions.
  • SMASH, Miami: Community members are concerned with the continual threats of evictions from landlords, with some folks falling through the loopholes of the CDC moratorium. Sharing this story of a resident who was murdered by their landlord, who claimed ‘stand your ground’. Here is the story.
  • Housing Justice League, Atlanta: HJL has been trying in their capacity to support with funding to residents for monthly rent. Residents are experiencing landlords attempting to evict them based on faulty lease violations.

 BASTA in Austin, Texas is asking for support: We need your help to continue to support renters to advocate for healthy housing!

Chip in $25, $50, $100 or more during Amplify Austin

BASTA works to organize tenants to collectively prioritize the issues they want to work on and then collectively strategize on how they want to tackle them. COVID and the recent winter storm have shown us just how important it is to have safe and healthy housing as thousands of Austinites remain without water due to landlord neglect. Help up to organize tenants to advocate for their rights.

We’ll continue amplifying asks from member organizations in areas impacted by the storm in the days ahead — be sure to follow our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on how to support our RTTC fam. 

 

Member Highlights

In Atlanta, the Housing Justice League is fighting for respect in a subsidized housing complex.

Pictured from left to right: Shikia Snipes, Velissa Sims, Shikina Jackson, Tempestt Sims and Miracle Fletcher.

Tenants at Trestletree Village are organizing for a voice in their subsidized housing complex. They’ve had trouble getting management — and some homeowners in the neighborhood — to listen.

READ MORE ABOUT HJL’S FIGHT HERE

 

Current News

Residents in Detroit sue over racial discrimination gentrification

  • ““The problem is the standards, the rubric that people use to determine what’s good and what’s bad doesn’t consider what the community needs or wants,” said Tristan Taylor, a volunteer organizer for the Charlevoix Village Association in an interview with The Detroit News. The residents would rather the property remain vacant than be unaffordable for people in the community.“

Click HERE to read more.

 

Kentucky state legislator introduced new legislation to prevent the governor from implementing an eviction moratorium.

  • ““The bill would allow individuals to evict those who are not paying rent or who have violated their contract,” said Buford, who owns rental properties.”

We will continue to share updates on this lawsuit. Click HERE to read more.

 

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth push for the HB 21 Breonna’s Law

  • Kentuckians deserve more than what the General Assembly is offering. Rep. Attica Scott’s House Bill 21 “Breonna’s Law” has been sitting in Frankfort since August 2020. We need your help to continue statewide support for Breonna’s Law and move this legislation forward.


Abolitionists Thoughts on BLM policy

The reforms being pushed could not have even saved George Floyd’s life.

Photo: Photograph: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

  • Derecka Purnell discusses the contradictions of the recently passed George Floyd Act, in a recent article from The Guardian.
  • Purnell also shares that, under “The George Floyd Act, police will still kill more than 1,000 people every year.” We must continue to make connections between state violence and its impacts on marginalized communities, including folks who are already facing housing insecurities.

Interested in deepening your understanding of policing, 6D’s, and prison abolition? Check out these resources on the Interrupting Criminalization website by the BCRW Social Justice Institute.

 

 

 CHECK OUT THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO FROM THE BCRW ON HOUSING JUSTICE IN THE AGE OF ABOLITION

In 2016, the Barnard Center for Research on Women assembled a Poverty Working Group to examine the state’s neglect and abandonment of poor people, people of color, and people with disabilities. The group asks how can we deepen our understanding of and resistance to the ways that the neoliberal state and racialized, classed, gendered, and ableist logics target the most vulnerable members of our communities for surveillance, control, precarious lives, and premature deaths.

In the first public event in this series, scholars and activists who work on issues of housing and homelessness in New York City imagine how we can take an abolitionist approach to resistance and how we can begin to build social systems that offer safety and equal resources to all citizens. Source: The BCRW

Capacity-Building Technical Assistance Opportunities

Offered by Open Society Foundation (open to ALL RTTC/HFA Members)

Open Society Foundation is launching the Organizational Resiliency Project, which is designed to address several top concerns identified throughout the past year: financial sustainability; digital organizing and digital retrofitting; and burnout, trauma and need for healing support for movement and organization leaders.

Rockwood Leadership Institute:

Are you or someone else in your organization interested in participating in a leadership development training with Rockwood designed around the theme of resilience? If so, please email Alia at alia@righttothecity.org. RTTC staff can nominate RTTC/HFA members, but have no say in final decisions. That said, our OSF Program Officer is holding a few seats for RTTC/HFA folks, so please do let us know if you’re interested!

Training Description: Two cohorts of 25 grantee leaders (staff and executives) will be selected by Rockwood through an application process. These leadership development trainings and cohorts are designed around the theme of resilience, with the aim to give participants the tools “to shift from reactivity to a state of resourcefulness in moments of stress and crisis. This support centers racial equity, and integrates trauma-informed and healing practices to navigate through times of uncertainty, stress and fear.

Financial Sustainability Trainings in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund:

Are you or someone else in your organization interested in participating in financial sustainability trainings led by the Nonprofit Finance Fund? Up to 500 people can participate. If you’re interested, please feel free to register below.

REGISTER HERE FOR THE UPCOMING WEBINAR

Webinar II: Budgeting and Scenario Planning March 11th 3:30-4:30 EST

A crucial tool for navigating a rapidly changing environment is a flexible budget that provides visibility into risks, changes, and the “what if’s.” This webinar will focus on budgeting techniques and tools that can increase visibility and enable timely decision-making. In this 60-minute webinar, NFF consultants will guide participants through:

  • Strategies for identifying risks and opportunities within existing budgets
  • Budgeting strategies and formats that increase the utility of budgets for decision making
  • Scenario budgeting and planning tools to navigate unknowns

This webinar will help participants improve the flexibility of their budgets and add visibility for risks, timing considerations, or potential triggers for decisions.

Webinar III: Financial Storytelling and Communication March 18th 3:30-4:30 EST

During times of change, turbulence and uncertainty, it’s even more important to stay connected with stakeholders and aligned on priorities. Nonprofit leaders must be able to tell their financial story to create buy-in for decisions and support for potential changes. This webinar guides participants a framework for narrating their financial situation and offers ideas for communicating the financial story of 2020 and 2021 to boards, funders and other stakeholders. Content in this 60-minute webinar includes:

  • Three useful types of financial stories
  • Guidance on connecting numbers to narratives
  • Ideas for communicating with boards and other stakeholders on financial needs and plans

This webinar will help participants create a clear and data-informed narrative about their organization’s financial situation, needs and plans. It will also provide ideas for engaging with various stakeholders around those financial stories.

Please email Alia at alia@righttothecity.org for more information.

 

Green New Deal Day of Action

Working Families Party, together with the Green New Deal Network and other partners like RTTC, are committed to generating as much energy and support over the recess to win critical legislative victories in the immediate term and create conditions for bigger victories in the medium term. The March-April congressional recess is a major opportunity for progressives to mobilize members of the public at scale and in their home districts around a broad-based Jobs & Care agenda—guided by the principles of the THRIVE and the PRO Act.

 

 

Consider joining in the Green New Deal national day of action as a member of Right To The City Alliance! If you’re interested in participating or finding out more info about virtual or in-person actions in your state please email jayanni@righttothecity.org. #GreenNewDeal #ItsTimeToTHRIVE

 

RTTC 2010 Walk down Memory Lane

Pictured is the Steering Committee post-Detroit USSF 2010. Gihan Perera (MWC), Alicia Garza (POWER), Yvette Thiery (Safe Streets/Strong Communities,NOLA), Marisa Franco (RTTC staff), Leonardo Vilchis (Union de Vecinos, LA), Jon Liss (Tenants and Workers United), Mark Swier (Mothers on the Move)

 

Until Next Time

As we continue to face the impact of a global pandemic, housing insecurity, and state violence that prioritizes corporate landlords over the survival and safety of in the communities we are a part of, we will continue to be renters rising toward a more just and liberating future. We want all of our communities to be empowered and not criminalized for missing a rent payment. We stand together in this fight against fascism, racism, and predatory housing policies.

“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” -Gwendolyn Brooks

 

-In solidarity,

Right to The City Comms Team (CAM, Kamau, Matt, and Tara)