Tenants Speak, Legislators Listen event
On February 4, the Community Alliance of Tenants and Urban League of Portland hosted Tenants Speak, Legislators Listen, a unique event where tenants told their stories directly to their legislators. Renters courageously shared their devastating experiences of losing their homes for no reason due to no-cause evictions and outrageous rent increases. In addition to tenant storytelling, this innovative event featured live music and dance to convey the power of home--and how this is being threatened. The timing was particularly urgent; in the month of January alone, tenants at the Normandy Apartments saw their rents more than doubled, and every family at Titan Manor received no-cause evictions.
Renter issues are taking their rightful place front and center as tenants continue to struggle in our housing crisis. The room was packed with tenants clustered around tables speaking directly to their legislators. The event saw a large turnout of legislators and their staff, including House Speaker Tina Kotek, Rep. Janelle Bynum, Rep. Chris Gorsek, Rep. Diego Hernandez, Rep. Alissa Keny Guyer, Rep. Ann Lininger, Rep. Rob Nosse, Rep. Carla Piluso, Rep. Karin Power, Rep. Tawna Sanchez, Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Sen. Michael Dembrow, Sen. Lew Frederick, Sen. James Manning, Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, and Sen. Kathleen Taylor. Thank you as well to all of the organizations who volunteered, and most of all, to the tenants who bravely shared their stories.