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Right to counsel for tenants: Learning from those who made it happen

Right to Counsel for Tenants: Learning from those who made it happen

Webinar series ~ February 9 – April 6, 2021

Over the last four years, seven cities (large and small) have enacted a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction as a tool to fight mass eviction and displacement while building tenant power.  These victories have inspired an ever-growing number of cities and states to pursue right to counsel in their own backyards. Already in 2021, five states have introduced right to counsel legislation, and more state and city legislation is expected soon.

The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC) and Right to Counsel Coalition NYC Coalition (RTCNYC) have provided and continue to provide support to these campaigns.  In doing this work, we’ve come to recognize that many people have the same questions about building local buy-in, organizing, bill language, scope of the right, cost/benefit analyses, data gathering, key stakeholders, and so on.

To help answer these questions, the NCCRC and RTCNYC are partnering on a webinar series from February to April that will spotlight jurisdictions that have enacted the right to counsel. Each session will feature speakers (organizers and lawyers) from a particular jurisdiction that has achieved a right to counsel, highlighting how they made it happen and teasing out which tools, tactics, and methods they found effective. At each session, there will be dedicated time for questions and answers. No matter where you are in your fight to establish a right to counsel for tenants, join us to ask your questions, mine for ideas, and begin building a stronger, more collaborative movement!

SCHEDULE

Session 1: An Introduction to the Tenant RTC Movement
FEB 9 | 3 pm ET

The initial session is an overview of the eviction right to counsel movement from an organizing and lawyering perspective and what the movement looks like today. In later sessions, we will spotlight four cities that have enacted the right to counsel to look closely at their campaigns, identify their successes and struggles, and highlight the tools, strategies, and tactics they used to pass the right to counsel in their jurisdiction. We strongly encourage those interested in the series to watch the recording of this overview session, as it will cover some material that the later sessions will not.

Session 2: Baltimore
FEB 16 | 3 pm ET

This session focused on the latest right to counsel success story! In December 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Baltimore became the seventh city in the nation to provide a right to counsel for tenants in eviction cases. This was a huge win for Baltimore Renters United, which organized the campaign behind the bill, as well as the many organizations that supported it. Webinar participants learned about how the right to counsel campaign got started, wins and losses along the way, and thoughts and ideas about implementation.

Session 3: San Francisco
MARCH 2 | 3 pm ET

San Francisco was the second city to establish a right to counsel. Unlike Baltimore, this was accomplished via ballot initiative in 2018 as the result of a campaign supported by Tenants Together, the San Francisco Tenants Union, and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Webinar participants learned about how the right to counsel campaign got started, wins and losses along the way, and thoughts and ideas about implementation.

Session 4: New York City
MARCH 16 | 3 pm ET
Register – New York City

This conversation will feature the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, which led to New York City becoming the first city in the nation to pass Right to Counsel! RTCNYC was founded by CASA (Community Action for Safe Apartments) in 2014. RTCNYC is a tenant-led, broad-based coalition that formed in 2014 to disrupt Housing Court as a center of displacement and stop the eviction crisis that has threatened our homes for too long. The Coalition is made up of tenants, organizers, advocates, legal services organizations and more! Join us to learn more about how the right to counsel campaign got started, wins and losses along the way, thoughts and ideas about implementation, and where organizers plan to go from here. To learn more about the right and current campaign work to expand RTC statewide, visit the Right to Counsel Coalition of NYC’s website at www.righttocounselnyc.org.

Session 5: Cleveland
APRIL 6 | 3 pm ET
Register – Cleveland

We hope you can join us!

If you require Spanish translation, please contact Susanna at least one week ahead of the event.