Over 80 tenant-leaders and organizers from around the Southern California region including Santa Clarita, Glendale, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim, San Diego, Palm Springs and more gathered together for a two-day bootcamp on tenant counseling and how to integrate counseling and organizing. Facilitation was led by Tenants Together staff and hotline counseling volunteers, as well as member organization Strategic Action for a Just Economy (SAJE) and allies Disability Rights Advocates and Latino Health Access.
It's been a big month for tenants' rights.
On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Senate Bill 529 (María Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles), which aimed to prevent landlord retaliation against tenants who form tenant associations, failed to pass the California Senate by one vote. The measure, sponsored by Tenants Together, required 21 votes to pass the Senate.
On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, the State Senate Judiciary Committee in a 6-2 vote approved Senate Bill 529 (Durazo). The bill would prevent retaliatory evictions of tenants participating in a tenant association or rent strike. SB 529 will now head to the State Senate Appropriations Committee. The hearing date has yet to be determined.
Today, Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, announced its sponsorship of Senate Bill 529, which aims to protect California tenants from retaliation by their landlord for organizing collectively. The bill would prevent evictions of tenants participating in a tenant association or rent strike.
Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the US housing market is anything but fair. In stark contrast to the racially and economically integrated neighborhoods envisioned by 1960s-era reformers, the United States housing market today is characterized by striking inequality: precipitously rising rents accompanied by high rates of eviction and homelessness in US cities, along with exploding luxury construction marketed to the wealthy.
The newest fight for state-level tenant protections was ignited by an old pamphlet.
This past February, Elizabeth McGriff, a resident of Rochester, New York, moved back into her home at 618 Cedarwood Terrace. It was no small act, following a foreclosure local housing activists deemed unjust, prompting more than five years of bank negotiations, eviction blockades, rallies, acts of civil disobedience, prayer services, lockouts and a “live-in,” in which McGriff and others moved back into the house after sheriff’s deputies removed her belongings.