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In 2016, Homes For All & Right To The City launched the Renter Nation Training Series: Tools & Solutions to Rising Rents and Gentrification. More than 1600 people signed up for 8 interactive episodes on topics including Rent Control 101, Organizing Tenant Unions, Winning Community Control through Community Land Trusts, the Eviction Epidemic and Utility Justice organizing!
Building off the momentum and power of 2016, we’re excited to announce the 2017 Renter Nation Series: Strategies and Solutions to defend against displacement and build rebel cities for the people and planet.
Throughout the year we’ll feature and amplify a powerful lineup of political education trainings, local organizing models and movement webinars to support our communities in growing the power of the renter class and deepening our political and strategic approach to building intersectional multi-issue movements. We’ll create space to explore a range of tactics and strategies to build municipal power to take back our cities and win a transition to a community controlled economy that works for the people and planet, not profit.
Renters on the front lines of fighting against housing injustice aren’t simply just renters. We are mothers and grandmothers. We are immigrants. We are black, latinx, asian and indigenous folx. We are young people, single parents and LGBTQ folx. We are day laborers and domestic workers, fast-food employees and taxi drivers. Our neighborhoods are the first one’s targeted for dirty energy projects, stadiums and luxury condos.
Building the power of the renter nation is not and cannot just be about building power to win housing justice. From immigration, climate justice and struggles for workers rights to black liberation and women’s rights, the fight for housing and land justice must be intersectional, striving to build our collective power and a movement to transform our world.
Join local organizers from Homes For All/Right To The City Member Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to learn about the powerful struggle for economic democracy and self-determination in Jackson, Mississippi.
Organizers will discuss the Jackson Kush-Plan and share insights and lessons from the initiative to build a base of autonomous power in Mississippi concentrated in Jackson and the eastern Black Belt portions of the state that can serve as a catalyst for the attainment of Black self-determination and the democratic transformation of the economy.
In particular, organizers will highlight lessons from 2 components of the plan: building independent political power and launching Cooperation Jackson as a vehicle to build a solidarity economy.
How are local residents building economic democracy, including collective land ownership models, devoid of institutional or electoral political power? What could shift when and if people’s movements won influence over municipal policies and power?
Prep Readings / Resources:
Across the country, low-income and working-class renters and workers are the bedrock of local economies and communities. The Trump administration's reported proposal for $6 billion in broad ranging cuts to the US Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD) are yet another blatant attack on communities of color, immigrants, indigenous communities, differently-abled peoples, women, trans and gender nonconforming people. They are an attack on the fabric of our communities and on millions of low-income and working families who are struggling to find or keep permanent jobs and housing.
At a time when we are facing a national housing crisis these cuts will forces thousands into the homelessness, devastate our economy and put monumental pressure on emergency, healthcare and homelessness services. Half of all renters pay unaffordable rents and 1 of every 4 households pay 50% or more of their income on rent. Millions are forced to choose between putting food on the table, getting to work or accessing medicine and paying for rent.
The Right To The City Alliance stands firmly against these cuts and displacement in all forms: eviction, mass incarceration and deportation.
We must stand up and resist these attacks with boldness and vision. In NYC, local organizations have called for a mass action Monday against these cuts. In the face of these cuts, and Trump’s repressive policies, we believe in the power of 110 million renters united in action. We believe in our communities' resilience to unite to fight Trump’s policies of austerity and hate with a vision of solidarity, safety, community. A vision of an economy that puts the people and the planet before the profits of real estate moguls, banks and corporations.
Cities across the country are being transformed into playgrounds for the rich as local governments encourage real-estate speculation by eroding rent-stabilization and eviction protections and subsidizing luxury housing development and private developers, like Trump and his son-in-law and Chief Advisor Jared Kushner.
Trump, who was born into a wealthy family, with easy access to loans, trust funds and political connections, made his own fortune as a real-estate tycoon and slumlord, displacing and ripping off working families and discriminating against Black tenants. His family continues to profit from section-8 tenant rents, gentrification and real estate holdings across the globe.
Now as the “Evictor-In-Chief” and his hand firmly in the cookie jar, he has called for $54 billion in increases to military defense spending and billions in public subsidies for his friends in dirty energy companies, prison corporations and Wall Street bankers. All while pushing for cuts to nearly every critical social safety net and support program in the nation.
Our world does not need more walls, more wars, more pipelines, more displacement and more deportation. We need investment in our communities so our children and future generations can thrive in healthy, safe, and sustainable communities.
In the face of these attacks, let’s rise up together as a network of rebel cities to reclaim our right to the city, reclaim our right to thrive, reclaim our right to determine our futures. From the smallest towns to the largest cities let’s take back our city, return democracy to the people and transform our world.
Contact: Malcolm Torrejón Chu, RTC Communications Organization [Malcolm@RightToTheCity.org]