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05/31/2019 | Organizing for Housing Justice & A Home to Thrive, Local Progress: A National Network of Progressive Local Elected Officials

Local Progress NY: Fighting for Tenants’ Rights Across New York

In partnership with the Upstate/Downstate Housing Alliance and other housing activists, Local Progress NY has been fighting for increased tenant protections and an end to evictions in the state of New York. Since February, members have written op-eds, joined a sign-on letter to the state legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, held town hall meetings , and passed resolutions in several jurisdictions intended to defend and expand renters’ rights.

This month, Local Progress NY participated in several actions to address New York’s ongoing housing crisis. On May 2, Local Progress member and Dutchess County legislator Francena Amparo partnered with the Upstate/Downstate Housing Alliance and local activists to host the first Renters’ Town Hall in Wappinger, NY, where dozens of concerned residents attended to discuss the conditions facing renters in Dutchess County.

On May 14, Local Progress NY members joined the Upstate/Downstate Housing Alliance and nearly 2,000 renters from all over the Empire State at the New York State Capitol to advocate for expansion of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) and the “Good Cause” Eviction bill. Local Progress members participated in a rally on the steps of the State Museum, then marched across the Empire State Plaza to the Capitol, where activists occupied state legislative offices and delivered petitions and postcards to state legislators and Governor Cuomo.

At the rally, Marion Porterfield, Schenectady city council member and co-vice chair of Local Progress NY, spoke on behalf of its membership and highlighted the work that our network has done in support of both bills. Also in attendance were Francena Amparo, who spoke about the Dutchess County Renters’ Town Hall; New York City council members Brad Lander, Ben Kallos, Carlina Rivera, Mark Levine, Speaker Corey Johnson, and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer spoke in support of all nine tenants’ rights bills currently in front of the state legislature; and Ossining Village Trustees Quantel Bazemore and Omar Herrera led lobby visits with their constituents to their State Assembly members and senators.

Renter protection legislation is part of CPD’s Local Progress State Legislative Toolkit for 2019 and has generated more member engagement this year than any other campaign associated with the toolkit. As gentrification, rising rents, and evictions displace an increasing number of New Yorkers from their homes, Local Progress NY will continue to serve as an integral part of the coalition fighting for stronger renters’ protections statewide. Learn more about Local Progress NY and CPD’s housing justice work.