Member Statements on PCR1: MoCo Rent Stabilization

Priority application for MoCo Rent Stabilization.

Statement by Olivia D. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

I wanted to share some points that Max S. brought up in the Slack about why we urge your support for this campaign: -This campaign is an extremely hot potato in MoCo. We heard throughout the convention about how difficult it is to build counter-power to the landlord-developer power structure in all of our jurisdictions. This campaign, which is on the edge of succeeding, would represent an enormous blow to those interests in MoCo. I think every single comrade involved in this campaign is also supportive of social housing, AND, we understand that the next year or so is going to be very intense and we are going to have to be very responsive and strategic in countering class enemies - In many ways, the new PG Council is even more progressive than the new MoCo council. One of our hopes, as some were asking on this thread, is that a big stabilization success in MoCo will drastically increase the likelihood of similar success in PG. Full stabilization in both counties would represent a sea change in the balance of power between landlords and tenants for the 2 million people who live in these jurisdictions - Lastly for now, this campaign has been an excellent opportunity for MoCo DSA to strengthen our coalition and council relationships. Thanks to the hard work of our campaign team, we have been more than just one seat at the table – we are consistently leading in coalition spaces in both policy and organizing. We have powerful partners with working class bases and together we are putting forward a radical demand that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. I strongly urge the chapter to seize the moment and fund our campaign.

Statement by Nicole Z. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

I am one of the sponsors of the combined MoCo rent stabilization and DC social housing priority campaign application. For the MoCo rent stabilization part of the proposal, I want to repeat one of the points that I made during the convention. When discussing electoral endorsements, our chapter usually aims to endorse candidates where our volunteer hours and small-dollar donations could make a difference in helping that candidate win election. For the MoCo rent stabilization campaign, additional financial resources and buy-in from the whole chapter could genuinely make enough of a difference to swing the Montgomery County Council towards passing stabilization. We already have five votes in favor of stabilization, we just need one more vote to win a majority. We already have a strong record of organizing and we have held a rally, a canvass and marched in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade, leading to hundreds of letters the council in support of stabilization. Passing rent stabilization would make a huge material difference in the lives of thousands of tenants in Montgomery County, a jurisdiction of over a million people. Please vote for this priority campaign to make more affordable housing in our region a reality.

Statement by the motivators of the Social Housing Priority Campaign Resolution and MoCo Rent Stabilization Priority Campaign Resolution IN FAVOR of the resolution:

The motivators of the Social Housing Priority Campaign Resolution and MoCo Rent Stabilization Priority Campaign Resolution would like to thank all convention participants for their thoughtful discussion and feedback during the priority campaign section on Saturday, December 10th. All of us were moved by the feedback shared about how our campaigns to pass legislation for rent stabilization in Montgomery County and social housing in D.C. complement each other.

The motivators of both of the resolutions chatted on Slack after the convention discussion on Saturday, and came to a consensus to combine our work into one priority campaign. We conferred with Kurtis H, outgoing campaigns council chair, about the best procedure to combine our work since priority campaign resolutions can’t formally be amended per the convention rules. Kurtis let us know that it would be possible for one campaign to withdraw their resolution and submit member statements indicating that our work would be combined. As a result of those conversations, the social housing resolution motivators decided to withdraw their resolution and merge their work with the MoCo rent stabilization resolution. We would like to highlight some of the points shared in the convention discussion, both verbally on Zoom and in the Slack, to give context as to why we believe combining our campaigns is the best course of action to achieve our respective goals:

  • Both campaigns have a similar goal and similar tactics: sustained base building in order to do targeted outreach to and pressure council members to urge the passage of specific bills.
  • Both campaigns understand that the housing crisis we face is multifaceted and requires advocating for multiple solutions at once, as part of a larger goal to decommodify housing: stabilize rents to minimize displacement and gentrification, fund the construction of social housing to provide permanently affordable housing not controlled by the private market.
  • Both campaigns have similar needs for materials and funding: printed literature, design and artwork, tabling supplies, targeted ads and our campaigns could likely share and reuse materials or make orders together.

Neither campaign wants to miss out on the opportunity to have access to priority funds, and we believe that by combining, we would ensure that both campaigns have a chance to fund their needs. The MoCo rent stabilization campaign already acknowledges the desire and plan to work toward expanding social housing in Montgomery County Maryland if and when rent stabilization passes. We also want to work with PG branch leaders to pursue rent stabilization in PG county, so this campaign will truly be multi-jurisdictional.

We are excited to work together to combine our efforts and create a new vector for organizing to decommodify housing in the DMV. We encourage members to vote YES on PCR1, MoCo Rent Stabilization Priority Campaign Resolution, with the understanding that our campaign will be working to pass BOTH rent stabilization in Montgomery County and social housing in DC.

Will F., Social Housing Working Group
David P., Social Housing Working Group
James S., Social Housing Working Group
Olivia D., Montgomery County Branch Steering
Frankie F., Montgomery County Branch Steering
Krista L., Montgomery County Branch Steering
Susan R., Montgomery County Branch Steering
Max S., Montgomery County Branch Steering
Nicole Z., Montgomery County Branch Steering

Statement by Ingrid F. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

I am in favor of making MoCo Rent Stabilization a priority campaign for several reasons. First, this campaign is working on a specific and reachable goal (even the County council members see rent stabilization as inevitable at this point, and the fight will be over the details of implementation). Second, the goal of the campaign is highly impactful. MoCo is a large county with over a million residents, a significant portion of whom rent. Consequently, this will lend a good amount of visibility in the region and nationally to rent stabilization an important and achievable policy goal, and could provide model legislation and tactical approaches for other jurisdictions. Rent stabilization also has high impact in terms of the foundational importance of affordable and stable housing, and as a key solution to a dire national crisis. Third, the rent stabilization campaign is already and will continue to nurture MoCo’s organizing work (e.g. via renter canvasses) in addition to relationships with allied organizations and County politicians, which will bear fruit far beyond this campaign. Finally, this campaign is distinct in goals and scope from other housing related work undertaken by the chapter and will benefit from directed attention and resources.