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Organizing Tenants for Housing Security, with John Washington

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Hegemonicon - An Investigation Into the Workings of Power
Hegemonicon - An Investigation Into the Workings of Power
Organizing Tenants for Housing Security, with John Washington
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In this episode, William continues his series on What We’re Building, exploring noteworthy organizations on the US Left today. Safe and secure housing is one of the most fundamental human needs, yet housing is heavily commodified, often insecure and unaffordable. Property ownership becomes a more lofty dream for young people by the day and rent prices continue to skyrocket across the country. Meanwhile, disasters fueled by climate change have destroyed housing in some regions and threaten housing security many more. Like the relationships between bosses and workers and creditors and debtors, that between landlords and tenants is a foundational relationship under capitalism. All these relationships are sites of exploitation—and sites where class consciousness can be developed. This episode’s guest, John Washington, is an expert on the landlord-tenant relationship. John brings vast experience from his work as a housing organizer with the Homes Guarantee program and as co-director of PUSH Buffalo. Together, he and William explore ways tenants are organizing for their rights across the country and the pros and cons of “affordable housing” initiatives popular amongst more center-left activists, and dig into the importance of housing guarantees for all people.

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