The Alhambra Tenants Union (ATU) is a tenant-led membership organization that fights for a human right to housing.
By Brandon Tran
As wages have declined and housing is commoditized and speculated on by landlords and real-estate capital, tenants—which include all who do not have control over their housing—face displacement, eviction, rising rents, encampment sweeps, and landlord and police harassment. ATU was formed to support Alhambra tenants, buildings, and neighborhoods to resist the destruction of homes. Its goal is to put the housing needs of the average person over the profits of wealthier owners.
So far, ATU has held monthly meetings to communicate with members, discuss housing policies, and share information about tenants’ rights. The members have also held outreach events where they met with residents in Alhambra to provide flyers about their rights as tenants, learn about the issues they are facing, and find potential solutions. Through this, they have aided many tenants who may be facing issues with rent, household repairs, evictions, and more. In addition, ATU has also advocated for policy changes in the city to support tenants, including speaking with mayor Sasha Renee Perez regarding potential actions that could be taken.
Now, ATU plans to continue reaching out to tenants in Alhambra providing mutual aid to those with housing-related issues, encouraging people to organize within their buildings, holding workshops on tenants’ rights, organizing, and new laws. It plans to connect with clubs in high schools in the area to promote the organization and engage students in the process in the future. it also plans to hold protests following the COVID-19 pandemic and create an interactive map of the city showing details of the residents and owners in every building.
ATU’s goals primarily include solidarity-based work to aid tenants in need as well as digital outreach through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, posting flyers throughout the community to raise awareness of tenants’ rights, and fundraising for resources including lawyers and external counseling for tenants.
To get involved and learn more about the organization, prospective members can attend general meetings of the ATU every third Thursday of the month through their Facebook page. They can call 626-709-5666, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. ATU can also aid those who may be seeking to organize within their building and provide advice on how to do so.
Brandon Tran is a political writer in the San Gabriel Valley.
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