The Lea & Claude Knight Community Organizing Initiative advances our commitment to build the power of communities to take collective action. Community organizing is a powerful tool, alongside litigation, advocacy and community education, that helps communities address discrimination and other systemic barriers. Today, our community organizing team is working with low-income renters to build an organization in Frankford that will help these renters come together to solve key their housing priorities, as part of our housing justice work.
In this space, we will share updates from our community organizing work and our use of the principles of community organizing–self-determination, building sustainable power for community members, and working towards a better future–in our cases and projects.
Renters United / Inquilinxs en la Lucha Philadelphia
Renters United / Inquilinxs en la Lucha Philadelphia (RUP) is a new organization launched in 2019 by the Law Center to organize and educate renters to fight for their rights to quality housing in the streets, in the courts, and in City Hall. It is a citywide organization comprised of organized renters who share a building, a landlord, or a neighborhood. RUP helps tenants organize to build the collective power needed to solve their particular housing concerns. using a variety of tactics–including direct action, and when it strengthens the organizing work, litigation.
RUP is led by tenant organizer Ariel Morales and community lawyer Mary Beth Schluckebier. They work with tenants to help them build their capacity to address housing quality problems together, develop effective strategies to do so, and protect tenants against possible retaliation from their landlords.
This project envisions a Philadelphia where renters have access to healthy, affordable, and stable housing, and where Philadelphians continuously organize to defend and preserve this fundamental human need. We will occasionally share updates on the progress of this organizing work in this space, including perspectives from staff.