A New Day for Tenants
TENANTS FORM NEW CITYWIDE CONSORTIUM TO FIGHT
AND ADVOCATE IN NEW AND STRONGER WAYS!
STRONG COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION-SHARING CLEARINGHOUSE VITAL FOR TENANTS PLANNED
[In memory and honor of our late Chairman Jim, we urge TENAC members and all tenants to carry on his lifework; Below is an introduction to and email from, the new tenants consortium, which would do just that. We urge you to support the Consortium, which TENAC will be fighting with, in alliance and solidarity.]
Tenants have decided it's time to regroup and strengthen the fight for tenants' rights in new and stronger ways. We are making efforts we could not before, due to lack of time, commitment and resources, especially compared to well financed landlord and lawyers. Now we are creating those resources.
First, tenants have united to form the DC Area Tenants Association Consortium (DCATAC), to build effective coalitions, alliances, and close communication among tenants. Under the Consortium's capable leadership of David Luria, Brandywine Tenants Association President and others - - advocates, tenant associations and tenant leaders have heeded the call, including TENAC, LEDC, and Empower DC among others.
NEW MEANS TO ACHIEVE LONG SOUGHT GOALS
Knowledge is power: landlords share strategies, information and developments. They effectively disseminate these to their members, elected officials and the media. Effective communication and organization is the primary - if not only - means of success. (How can you know where to fight if the trumpet does not sound the battle cry?) So, under DCATAC, we are establishing powerful networking, with an umbrella social media and website for all tenants. It will include a kind of information clearinghouse so tenants can share strategies and advice that are essential to victory.
KNOWLEDGE (AND NETWORKING) IS POWER
One vital part of efforts is sharing online the effective ways tenants have won battles; imagine a social media/website detailing experience and practical advice on how we successfully got repairs, won in court, which pitfalls to avoid, which strategies succeed, which fail, and even where tenants are meeting. We can spread the word among tenants about which landlords are good, which are bad, which are simply remiss and which are helpful; which buildings have pest problems; which don't. We can share successful strategies on everything from fending off landlord threats to how to exercise the tenant right to buy; which lawyers work for landlords with conflicts of interest, and which are skilled pro-tenant lawyers. Equally important, keeping abreast of developments - from new loopholes landlords are devising to upcoming legislation that needs your support - - will also be another important part of these efforts.
For details of the first citywide DCATAC meeting and the efforts described above, see the email directly below from Consortium leaders. Please share with your contacts and fellow tenants.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: All Four Threes Tenant Association <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 25, 2020, 09:24:42 AM EST
Subject: Press Release: DC TENANT-ASSOCIATION LEADERS FORM CITY-WIDE CONSORTIUM!
DC TENANT-ASSOCIATION LEADERS FORM CITY-WIDE CONSORTIUM!
Washington DC; January 23, 2020: Tenant-association leaders in DC have now bonded together to form the DC Area Tenant Association Consortium (DCATAC). Its purpose is to strengthen and expand tenant associations and to create a powerful new advocacy group working for safe and affordable housing in the city.
The inaugural meeting of the new consortium took place on January 15th at the Cleveland Park Library with an initial group of 38 people representing 29 associations from all eight wards of the city. Ms. Anita Bonds, Chair of the Housing Committee of the DC Council, was present and gave her full endorsement to the initiative.
The tenant association leaders used this meeting to define the mission of DCATAC to include:
SHARE information via website and social media on best practices for TAs;
COMBINE resources to create litigation capacity for the organization;
ESTABLISH a public rating system of management-company performance;
ADVOCATE, on behalf of all TAs, to the City Council and city agencies;
LIASE with pro bono law firms and DC's Office of the Tenant Advocate;
CREATE a tenant association info package to be included in all building leases in the city;
CREATE DCATAC leadership team representing all eight wards of the city
Hunter Sabin Bokus, President of the All Four Threes Tenant Association and co -founder of DCATAC said:
"Our goal is to enable DC tenant association leaders to exchange information on a regular basis with other tenant association leaders via email or social media. This would be done all across the city on issues of common interest, such as building security, fire and safety, mold-remediation, smoking, barking dogs, residents behaving badly, air conditioning and heating systems, unresponsive management, building renovations, voluntary agreements, package delivery systems, infestation, etc. We also must help TAs organize, through the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), in the event of a building sale.
There are hundreds of tenant associations in this city, and they can all provide each other with tips on membership recruitment, finances, social activities, member outreach bulletins and the development of TOPA agreements".
DCATAC co-founder E. David Luria, President of the Brandywine Tenant Association added:
" In my encounters with other TA leaders from across the city who have told me how they handle particular situations with their management companies, I have often had the reaction: 'Hey! Why didn't WE think of that?' Why don't we set up a mechanism to exchange tips among all tenant association leaders in this city?"
Mr. Bokus continued: "Another BIG goal of the consortium is to serve as a powerful political voice on matters affecting renters that come before the City Council, like rent control. There are 300,000 renters in this city. If we can represent a combined membership of 30,000-50,000 renters, that's a lot of voters."
DCATAC also plans to work closely with other tenant advocacy organizations in the city , such as DC's Office of the Tenant Advocate, TENAC, Can I Live, the Latino Economic Development Committee (LEDC), and with neighborhood advocacy groups such as the Coalition for Ward 3 Vision and the Cleveland Park Citizens Association.
D.C. TENANTS' ADVOCACY COALITION
REPRESENTING ALL D.C. TENANTS
P.O. BOX 7237 WASHINGTON, DC 20044 (202) 288-1921