By Georgia K
There’s a pause after electoral campaigns culminate in victories for some candidates and disappointments for others. The media frenzy winds down. A lull sets in. But there’s certainly much more to do. And recent Democratic primary election victories have shifted the terrain in our favor, particularly on housing.
Pro-tenant candidates for State Senate defeated six of the eight members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), who had voted with Republicans to block pro-tenant legislation and other progressive initiatives. In addition, Julia Salazar defeated a real-estate industry backed incumbent, in the city’s most rapidly gentrifying district. If Democrats pick up at least one more Senate seat in the November general election, it may be possible to pass universal rent control legislation in the coming year.
NYC-DSA is working with tenant and community groups across the state and city to pass universal rent control and support other local initiatives. In the Bronx, DSA members are joining neighborhood groups to support tenants in housing court, a hostile system dominated by landlords. In Bushwick, tenant town halls with simultaneous translation provide a forum to support our neighbors. In Harlem, DSA tenant organizers are challenging an abusive landlord bankrolled by some of Cuomo’s biggest donors. In Ossining, a coalition that includes DSA and 12 other housing justice groups is fighting for rent stabilization of 1,400 apartments. On September 5th, the coalition won an important vote in favor of regulating apartments with six or more units built before 1974.
The housing crisis is radicalizing tenants. DSA can help provide a left analysis and amplify demands for housing justice. Volunteers are needed to help with translation, logistical planning, strategic research, quantitative research and graphic design. To find out more about how to get involved, contact your branch’s’ housing working group.
B/UM Housing: b-um.housing [a] socialists.nyc
Brooklyn Housing: bk.housing [a] socialists.nyc