Tenants living in substandard conditions demand Seattle's inspections office take action

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After a group of tenants and Washington CAN advocates delivered a letter to the Geoff Tallent, the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance Program manager, to demand his office respond to tenants living in unhealthy units, his office immediately sent inspectors to a unit in substandard conditions.

The tenants in the J&E Apartments on Rainier Ave. South had issued multiple complaints, and the units have failed city inspections multiple times. Unfortunately, six months after the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection issued notices of violation, the conditions for tenants have not improved  

After CAN and the tenants delivered the letter, Tallent immediately sent an inspector to the unit to see whether the tenants were eligible for relocation assistance. The office also confirmed they would respond to CAN's questions by March 2. 

 

Read the full letter Washington CAN delivered to the SDCI below. The address of the apartment building is redacted to respect the privacy of the tenants. 

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Help us raise the funds for our new van

You may have met the Silver Bullet before. Our canvassing van is an old gal with more than 208,000 miles on her that she racked up over her 14 years of helping organizers achieve social justice wins for our community. 

Her job, is as straightforward as it is critical: She gets our organizers out into the community so we can identify the issues we need to make change on and rally the people who can help make that change. When policy-makers create policies without listening to constituents who will be impacted, or when we need a policy-maker to support our agenda, we send our field canvass team to their district in order to build a base of members that policy-makers should hear out.

She's never slacked on the job. Just in the last year, the van carried organizers into the community, helping us gain more than 8,500 new members. 

Of course, she's also been the main transport for our organizers when they get out the vote. We focus on underrepresented communities, to empower folks from often-disenfranchised communities to have a voice in the system. 

The thing is, 14 years is a long time for a van, and she's ready for retirement. So we're giving her a send off by raising money for her replacement. When we roll out the new canvassing van, we'll host a ribbon cutting ceremony and give the new gal a name, chosen by the person who submitted the highest donation. 

Help us raise the money so we can get out into the community, get residents involved, and make meaningful change for everyone in our state. 

Tell Legislators to Repeal the Ban on Rent Regulation

Washington's housing crisis is getting worse: rents are increasing while workers' wages stagnate and more people are becoming homeless. Unfortunately, because of the state ban on rent regulation, cities and counties are hampered from fully addressing the housing emergency our communities face. 

Luckily, there will be legislation to repeal the ban on rent regulation introduced during the upcoming state legislative session! 

This legislation allows cities and counties the freedom to address the housing crisis however they see fit, whether that is some form of rent regulation or another policy. Because the statue is so broad, many cities are hampered from considering new policy ideas. For example, in late 2016, the City of Seattle passed legislation requiring landlords to accept payment plans for move-in costs (many landlords were asking for first & last month's rent, security deposit, and fees upfront - sometimes upwards of $6,000 - preventing tenants from accessing housing). Unfortunately, the City is being sued over this law and the ban on rent regulation is the basis of the lawsuit (although not all landlords agree with the lawsuit). 

The ban on rent regulation is used to undermine policies that protect tenants. That's why we are pushing to end the state's ban on rent regulation. 

Together, we can make this change happen, and it starts with us make our demands clear to our lawmakers. Reach out to your lawmaker today and let them know you want to end the ban on rent regulation to support tenants!

We will be in Olympia calling on our legislators to support this bill. Our Lobby Day is on January 18th at 10AM. We will meet at 906 Columbia St. SW #330, Olympia WA. We will have childcare, transportation if necessary, and lunch. Register today! 

 

Join us as we lobby lawmakers in Olymipa

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We made significant progress in 2017, even while under national leadership that pushed a regressive agenda. 

But, 2018 is a new year, with a new set of goals and a new political make-up in our state Legislature. We have a real opportunity to make just change in our statewide policy. We're starting off the year right with our annual Lobby Day.  

Our goals in the year ahead is to enact a universal healthcare system for residents, to lift the ban on rent regulation, put an end racist deportations, end mass incarceration, and to expand reproductive justice to all.

We know that together, we can make these changes and help build a more just society. 

Join us! We will transport you to Olympia, provide a sack lunch, train you and make sure your voice is heard.