OUR PROCESS

We believe that the people closest to the problems are closest to the solutions.

Our grassroots leaders are the experts of their own experience. The vision for a national Homes Guarantee comes straight from people who are impacted by the nation’s housing crisis, and builds from a long tradition of tenant organizing.

People’s Action has a long history of driving visionary housing policy. Our members, along with movement partners, have won landmark reforms like the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (1975), Community Reinvestment Act (1977), Dodd-Frank (2010), and much more at the state and local levels.

Grassroots leaders, as a part of the People’s Action housing justice cohort, developed the Homes Guarantee framework last year. Since then, we launched an intensive organizing process: building our base through popular education trainings on racial capitalism and housing policy, forging relationships with legislative champions, and drafting our proposal for a national Homes Guarantee.

Our grassroots team has picked the proposal apart and put it back together, making our vision bigger, bolder, and more responsive to community needs. Additionally, over 115 movement allies and institutions have reviewed the Homes Guarantee and contributed feedback.

We plan to engage a broad base of grassroots leaders, activists, advocates, candidates, and elected officials in the campaign to realize a Homes Guarantee.

We hope you join us.

GRASSROOTS TEAM

Vernell Robinson

Queens, NY

Vernell Robinson is a leader with Community Voices Heard in New York. Vernell and a public housing resident in Far Rockaway, Queens. When Superstorm Sandy hit, Vernell and many other public housing residents experienced undrinkable water, mold, and more impacts to the city’s already-crumbling public housing stock. Vernell knows the answer is not demolition; it’s reinvestment. She chaired a Homes Guarantee briefing in April 2019 to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

Tommie Lewis

Chicago, IL

Tommie Lewis is a leader with ONE Northside in Chicago. She was diagnosed with cancer for the first time at age 31. She couldn’t work and was faced with the choice between her life or her home. She chose to fight for her life, leaving her homeless while receiving cancer treatments. Now Tommie faces high application fees, unhealthy apartment conditions, and she lives in constant fear of a rent increase. In December, Tommie asked Members of Congress to protect renters and bank tenants by fighting for a Homes Guarantee, and specifically a National Tenants Bill of Rights and a $200 billion Community Control and Anti-Displacement Fund.

Linda Armitage

Chicago, IL

Linda Armitage is a leader at Jane Addams Senior Caucus in Chicago. Linda lost everything in 2008, and she had to change her retirement plans. She faced eviction a few years ago when her building was almost sold to a for-profit developer. Linda took the Homes Guarantee vision to Capitol Hill in 2018, contributed revisions to Senator Warren’s recent housing legislation, represented the Homes Guarantee campaign at People’s Action’s national convention, and has shaped the current Homes Guarantee vision since then.

Daisy Vega

Los angeles, Ca

Daisy Vega is a leader with POWER in Los Angeles. Formerly undocumented, Daisy now fears for her family and friends who live in mixed-immigration status families in public housing. She recently called for a rejection of Trump’s 2019 plan to evict immigrant families from public and subsidized housing, and for a Homes Guarantee for all, regardless of immigration status. 

Arelis Figeroa

New York City, NY

Arelis Figeroa is a leader with Community Voices Heard in New York. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, she built a life as an organizer and activist in NYC, while raising her daughter. She organizes around issues of housing, racial justice, and economic justice through CVH, the Poor People’s Campaign, and her church. Arelis represented the Homes Guarantee campaign at People’s Action’s national convention.

Tiana Caldwell

Kansas city, Mo

Tiana Caldwell is a leader with KC Tenants in Missouri. She is the descendant of slaves, the granddaughter and daughter of US Military veterans who did not benefit from the G.I. Bill, and someone who experienced homelessness for most of the last year. Tiana told her story at the April 2019 Homes Guarantee briefing.

Jermain Abdullah

New York City, NY

Jermain Abdullah is a leader with Picture the Homeless in New York City. After he got out of prison, Jermain lived for three years and a month in a homeless shelter in New York City. Jermain knows that we can and we must eradicate homelessness and commit to transformative ownership models like Community Land Trusts. He testified at the Homes Guarantee briefing. 

Ashley Bennett

Los Angeles, CA

Ashley Bennett is the co-founder of GroundGame LA and a leader with People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER) in Los Angeles. Ashley grew up experiencing homeless as she and her mother escaped domestic violence. Ashley’s brother has been in and out of prison and struggles to find housing. Ashley’s mother and sister are technically homeless to this day. Ashley testified to legislators on the need for a Homes Guarantee in December 2018.

David Zoltan

Chicago, IL

David Zoltan is a leader with ONE Northside in Chicago and the Lift the Ban Coalition in Illinois. He lost a leg after an injury on the job and discovered the near-impossibility of finding housing that is both affordable and accessible. At the Homes Guarantee briefing, David called for a national tenant bill of rights that includes universal rent control ensures accessibility for all. For the Homes Guarantee briefing book, David contributed feedback on accessible housing standards.

Debra Miller

Chicago, IL

Debra Miller is a leader with Jane Addams Senior Caucus in Chicago. She lives in senior housing, fighting dilapidation and neglect. On a fixed income, she relies on public housing but knows we could do better. Debra testified at the Homes Guarantee briefing, demanding reinvestment in existing units, and 12 million new social housing units. 

Rose Fernandez

New york City, NY

Rose Fernandez is a leader with Community Voices Heard in New York. She is a resident of public housing for more than 30 years, and has suffered from health issues that result from mold and lead in public housing. Rose fights for better conditions in NYCHA and to empower and ensure the dignity of all public housing residents.

ORGANIZING TEAM

Tara Raghuveer is the Housing Campaign Director at People’s Action. She is also the Founder/Director of KC Tenants, where she organizes poor and working class tenants in Kansas City, and the Kansas City Eviction Project, a multi-year research project on evictions in the Kansas City metro area.

Mo George

New York City, NY

Mo George was the Executive Director of Picture the Homeless, a community organization based in New York and dedicated to eradicating homelessness. Mo grew up in New York City public housing, and has spent years organizing New Yorkers around housing issues. Mo has also been a longtime leader of People’s Action’s national housing work.

Kelly Viselman is the Director of Organizing at Jane Addams Senior Caucus in Chicago. She has organized with tenants living in public and subsidized housing around issues of housing justice for over ten years.

Gabe Strachota is the Lead New York City Organizer at Community Voices Heard. He has organized with public housing residents in New York for the last five years, working alongside tenants and activists to secure greater investment & transparency in housing from the city and state. Gabe is the co-creator of the popular education training for the Homes Guarantee campaign.

John Washington is the Co-Director of Organizing at PUSH Buffalo. His work at PUSH has focused on housing and energy. John is the co-creator co-creator of the popular education training for the Homes Guarantee campaign.

Afua Atta-Mensah is the Executive Director at Community Voices Heard, the largest Black and brown-led organization in New York State. From her work in Ghana, West Africa to the urban centers across America, Afua has worked to improve the quality and quantity of fair and equitable housing, defend racial and social justice initiatives, and galvanize support for programs benefiting low-income families.

Bill Pryzlucki

@BillPrzylucki

Bill Pryzlucki is the Executive Director at People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER) in Los Angeles, which organizes mostly public housing and Section 8 residents. Bill is a member of People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee campaign.

Kevin Simowitz is a political and legislative consultant. He has previously organized with Virginia Organizing, Maine People’s Alliance, and the Caring Across Generations campaign.

Tammer Ibrahim

Philadelphia, PA

Tammer Ibrahim is the co-chair of the housing committee and the Treasurer at Reclaim Philadelphia. He is a member of the Homes Guarantee campaign.

Ben Chin

@BChinME

Ben Chin is the Deputy Director of Maine People’s Alliance. He is a member of the Homes Guarantee campaign.

Divya Sundaram is the Policy & Civic Engagement Coordinator with Community Voices Heard. She joined CVH in 2018 to help put Black and brown folks in the driver’s seat of creating policy that directly impacts them.

Briceida Castro

Las Vegas, NV

Briceida Castro is a community organization with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). She is a member of the Homes Guarantee campaign.

Erin Fenner is the Communications Director at Washington Citizen Action Network. She is a member of the Homes Guarantee campaign.

POLICY TEAM

Sofia Lopez

San antonio, TX

Sofia Lopez is a Senior Research Analyst at the Action Center for Race and the Economy (ACRE). She has a background in community asset building. Sofia led the reparations section of the Homes Guarantee.

Cea Weaver is the Coordinator of Housing Justice for All NY, a coalition of upstate and downstate tenant and housing organizations that recently won the strongest tenant protections in New York history. Cea led the tenant protections piece of the Homes Guarantee.

Mark  Paul  is an Assistant Professor at New College of Florida and a Fellow with the Roosevelt Institute. He was the lead author of the Roosevelt Institute’s landmark study, Decarbonizing the US Economy: Pathways Toward a Green New Deal. Mark contributed economic analysis for the Homes Guarantee.

Maurice Weeks is the Co-Executive Director at the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE). He has led strategic campaigns on housing justice and Wall Street accountability. Maurice led the components of the Homes Guarantee on ending real estate and land speculation.

Peter Gowan is a Policy Associate with the Democracy Collaborative. He wrote a widely-circulated paper on Social Housing for the People’s Policy Project and led the social and public housing sections of the Homes Guarantee.

Daniel Aldana Cohen is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. He’s also a Senior Fellow at Data for Progress, and the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso 2019). Daniel led the decarbonization and resiliency portions of the Homes Guarantee.

Thomas Silverstein is Counsel in the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law. Thomas contributed legal and historic analysis for the Homes Guarantee and led the portions on zoning for social housing and fair housing.

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