These are difficult times. Immigrants, people of color, and low-income communities are facing rising racism and exploitation promoted by our federal government. Amidst the national chaos, lawmakers in Sacramento are slowly waking up to the importance of tenants’ rights in our affordability crisis.
In 2008, Tenants Together formed to connect tenants across the state in the fight for the fundamental human right to safe, stable shelter. We played a key role in saving rent control, passing new tenant protection laws, and changing the narrative on tenant rights. Now, after passing the first new rent control laws in 30 years, a wave of local campaigns are moving forward in cities around the state and Costa-Hawkins repeal is on the November ballot. The fight for housing justice is gaining momentum.
Together, we are building strong bottom-up tenants’ unions, solidifying the statewide coalition to dismantle special interest barriers like the Ellis Act and Costa-Hawkins, and galvanizing a lasting movement for housing justice from your apartment to the Sacramento Capitol.
This year, we’re hitting a milestone: our tenth anniversary!
At our annual event, Raising the Roof: 10 Years of Renter Power, we’re celebrating resistance and housing justice. We need to raise $50,000 to continue growing the housing justice movement during this critical time. We hope you can join us on September 21st at the Verdi Club in San Francisco as we honor activists, celebrate our movement, and have fun.
Awesome Ally: California Alliance for Retired Americans
As rising rents disproportionately target seniors on fixed incomes and with disabilities, CARA has been a strong, resolute partner in championing legislation to protect vulnerable tenants. From the Prop 98 fight ten years ago to save rent control from the landlord lobby to the current Prop 10 fight to repeal Costa-Hawkins, CARA has stood up for California's 17 million tenants time and time again.
Knowledge Is Power:
Jessica Chuidian-Ingersoll, Santa Cruz: Jessica worked tirelessly as an intern for TenantsTogether and Alameda Renters Coalition to help create tenant organizer programs that educate to liberate. She now continues organizing with our partners in Santa Cruz to mobilize a rent control ballot measure in 2018 that has been a model to changing the narrative and countering deceptive tactics from the real estate lobby.
Jake Jimenez, Volunteer Counselor: In just eight months since Jake has joined our team on the hotline, he has been truly an inspiration, calling hundreds of tenants, facilitating trainings, and most recently broadening his commitment to supporting tenants by becoming a counselor at the Hayward Court house.
Tricia Cardillo, Volunteer Counselor: Tenants Together's counseling hotline has served over 15,000 California tenants since its inception. For over 2 and half years, Tricia has dedicated her thoughtfulness, compassion and energy to counsel tenants, do research and train new volunteers to keep the hotline running.
Betty Gabaldon, Concord: Betty's journey as a tenant leader started with fighting predatory rent hikes and evictions in her own building, then expanded to her block and her community, then to the fights in her own City Hall and in the Sacramento Capitol!
Veritas Tenants Committee, San Francisco: Fighting one of the biggest corporate landlords in America's most expensive city is no small task, but the Veritas Tenants have organized in 50 buildings across SF so far with the goal of organizing all 250 Veritas-owned buildings in the city. They've already been instrumental in pushing City Hall to pass new tenant protections in San Francisco.
Pasadena Tenants Union, Pasadena: The PTU mobilized a new coalition for housing justice and invented creative new tactics in its push to get rent control on the local ballot this year. While their fight for rent control continues past 2018, their organizing shows how quickly dedicated organizers can build solidarity and expand the horizon of what is possible for the renters' rights movement!
Lifetime Achievement: Mike Rhodes, Fresno
Mike's crusading journalism on homelessness, slumlords and predatory eviction has forced the city of Fresno to confront the housing crisis, establish policies around rental housing, fine abusers and set up procedures to inspect quality-of-life issues in rental units. His work on homelessness eventually led to a class action lawsuit that the homeless won, leading Fresno to stop their policy of seizing and destroying homeless neighbors' property.
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Verdi Club • 2424 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110