To encourage state policymakers to be more responsive to the housing needs of Californians with modest budgets, advocates throughout the state have launched a new initiative known as the Residents United Network (RUN). Housing California, an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, and the Housing Trust Fund Project of the Center for Community Change facilitate RUN. Resident leaders, developers, service providers, advocates, organizers, and community allies representing more than 35 organizations currently participate in RUN, and the network continues to grow.
The effort was launched in April, and has since been holding meetings in six regions of California. In its first months, RUN led a Twitter action in conjunction with Housing California’s annual lobby day, and produced a recruitment video to promote its vision and mission. RUN established working committees dedicated to developing a curriculum and training tools for leadership development.
“Advocates from across the state realized that in order to win victories in Sacramento for affordable homes, they needed to build more power,” said Katy Heins, Senior Organizer with the Center for Community Change. “California has a sophisticated housing community including developers of all sizes, as well as state, regional, and local associations, and a number of community and service groups all advocating for affordable homes. How could they build more power? By organizing the residents of affordable homes to tell their stories of the positive impact an affordable home has had on their lives, and lives of those they love. The goal is for residents to become leaders and spokespeople for a movement that makes homes for all a budget priority.”
RUN is in the midst of an effort to ensure that the roughly one million Californians living in affordable homes are registered to vote. This effort to expand resident voter turnout involves six regional trainings on voter engagement. RUN hopes to tap into a significant political force, and is working to make sure that residents get to the polls in November.
“In order to make policymakers in Sacramento more responsive to our legislative priorities, we need them to know that residents are voting and that they care about the issues,” said Housing California Executive Director Shamus Roller. “Just a few more supportive legislators can make the difference in our efforts to pass future initiatives, including one that creates a dedicated revenue source for California's state housing trust fund.”
For more information about Housing California’s work with the Residents United Network, contact Constance Slider Pierre at firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about RUN is available on Housing California’s website at http://bit.ly/1th4Byf.
The Housing Trust Fund Project website is at http://housingtrustfundproject.org