This week tenant leaders from multiple apartment complexes came together to learn how to organize tenant associations across the Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, and Summerhill communities. We were excited to the room absolutely packed with residents ready to organize against what some see as the coming displacement that often comes with big development or low income communities and build strong tenant associations that have the power to improve their living conditions. It's not only exciting that tenant associations are emerging in these communities, they're emerging together as a rising tide.
The room was absolutely packed and clear next steps were made for each complex represented. AFSC has partnered with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta over the last two years to a listening project designed to launch organizing work that's informed and led by residents. The tenant organizing project is one of the results. By the end of the year we hope to see seven new tenant associations in the three neighborhoods, two have already formed!
Issues raised by tenants included black mold, deplorable conditions, poor treatment by property management, retaliation for individual attempts to organize from property managers, and displacement of long term residents. Despite that fact that there is still a degree of fear of retaliation from property management, it was exciting to hear that when residents act as a collective , as was the case recently with Boynton Village, they win!
AFSC is exciting to continue to support this important work as the eye of development becomes more and more fixated on the Turner Field neighborhoods.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Several weeks ago we asked you to sign the petition to stop WRI from evicting Vaniyah and her eight beautiful children and you signed! We asked your to call the private equity group and demand they give the family time to relocate on their terms and you did!
When Vaniyah reached out she was so upset with WRI that she had no interest in working out a deal that kept her family in the house, she just needed a fair amount of time to find acquit safe housing for her and the family.
We quickly organized a press conference, launched an online petition, organized a call in day, and delivered the petition directly to WRI's Atlanta office.
Because of your calls and your signatures, which we hand delivered to WRI's Atlanta office, Vaniyah has been given 60 days to find a new home and the housing authority has agreed to make finding a home a priority. This simply would not have been possible without EVERY one of ya'll!
Thank you all for your signatures, for sharing, for calling! Together we stopped an amazing family from being put on the street! Please consider making this important work possible by investing what you can into it. We operate on a shoe string so every dollar counts!
When we fight, we win!!
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
American Friends Service Committee has been excited to be a part of the Turner Field Benefits Coalition. Our belief that communities should be controlled by those that live in them has informed and guided our participation in the communities around Turner Field over the last four years.
Last night we were excited to team up with Rise-Up Georgia to facilitate a social media training that focused on how to use social media to build public pressure and win campaigns. Building a movement takes time and lots of training when you're in it to win it. We're super excited to have partners like Rise-Up Georgia stepping up to make dynamic trainings like this happen. We look forward to supporting more trainings for residents in the coalition over the summer.
In the spirit of the training we encourage all of you to like the Turner Field Benefits Coalition on facebook and Twitter!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
|We were well represented at the launch of the coalition|
|Canvassing Team Gets Ready to Knock on Doors|
|Residents Participate in Free Tenant Rights Legal Clinic|
|Residents Stand Outside Boynton Village Demanding Fair Treatment|
|Tommy Moore Trains a New Generation of Gardeners in Pittsburgh|
Responding to the lack of good food in the community we have been working with Pittsburgh(right next door to Peoplestown) resident Tommy Moore to help him raise funds to develop community gardens. Tommy is a miracle worker in the garden and has used the resources to develop multiple gardens sights, teach young people to grow food, and feed the neighborhood free of charge. We're so excited to to able to work with Tommy are currently working with him to break ground on a new garden this month.
|Spellman Students Help Facilitate Community Clean-up|
We have organized to big trash clean up days with college students focusing on the peoples town community.
|During Housing Justice 101 Training|
Friday, April 3, 2015
Today American Friemds Service Committee is excited to provide support to Atlanta-based grassroots organization, The CommUNITY, as they lead a march from Atlanta, GA to Valdosta, GA, to raise awareness in the case of Kendrick Johnson. Johnson was found dead on January 11, 2013 in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, amidst now notoriously questionable circumstances. Johnson, 17 at the time, was a junior at Lowndes High.
Marchers will be walking 17 miles per day, to symbolize Kendrick Johnson’s age when he passed, with shuttles assisting progress by night, and seek to arrive in Valdosta early on the afternoon of Monday, April 6th.
Organizers from The CommUNITY will be delivering a letter to authorities at Lowndes High School, requesting a moment of silence for Johnson (something which has not occurred to date), at the school’s graduation on May 23rd, as well as an honorary diploma for Johnson, who would have graduated this year. They are asking this diploma be given to his sister, Kenyetta Johnson, who was denied the opportunity to walk the stage at her graduation last spring, due to the controversy surrounding her brother’s case.
Representatives from a variety of activist groups and churches will be in attendance at the march’s launch, and have offered financial and logistical support to marchers.
Many of the supporting groups, and The CommUNITY, have been involved in recent activism around civil rights and police shootings in Georgia, and see a direct tie-in to the Johnson case: “We march 17 miles a day, marking the years he lived. We march in remembrance of ALL lives lost, and all lives we advocate to save. We march to protect those that fight every day to live,” said Queen K, of The CommUNITY.