updated January 30, 2016 updates in red
Even before the first national primaries, the RHINO votes are in and members have made decisions for the coming year. There was a three-way-tie for the quote of the year. Each will run for four months. For Jan-April, you'll be seeing “Focus on our goals, not on our enemies.” And, RHINO has some new goals to focus our work in 2016.
You will be reading more about each of these in rhino!Up in coming weeks. Your local stories can help explain these issues. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the year end survey, RHINO members said they want more "how to" publications and more group training, so the next steps for the RHINO Community Manager (RCM) are to develop plans for webinars/conference calls, printed materials, and advocacy training for RHINO members. Spoiler alert. Later this month, the RCM will be asking members to set priorities around specific rental rights topics to be developed. RCM will also be contacting members who indicated an interest and willingness to become RHINO contributors. You know who you are! Watch your inboxes for more details.
Does it seem strange to you that experts say that the Great Recession has been over for six and a half years? The fact that things don't feel better is a sign that the economic reality of America has changed forever. 2016 presents a unique opportunity for rental housing advocates to push for changes for tenants. The affordability problem has become the affordability crisis as even middle class households and the children of decision makers are facing a new housing reality of low wages, stringent mortgage requirements and high debt that makes house purchase unattainable for many.
Whether families are renters by choice or renters by circumstance, more and more "non poor" (LINK) and "new poor" (LINK) renters are conscious of the need for a change. They are suburban, working, and accustomed to being politically active...but they lack leadership. They are attracted to the "angry" voices on both ends of the political spectrum (Trump and Sanders), and they could become active in efforts to expand renter rights. Without ideas about what changes are needed and opportunity to work for change, they could sour from frustration and choose to blame "outsiders" for their misery. Think about the post World War I generation in Germany that turned to Nazism because progressives couldn't offer an alternative. There are plenty of ideas in the new RHINO Objectives. Every local action contributes to the movement!
What does it mean for advocates to give leadership to this unrest? Advocates can help these renters to:
Here's some examples:
Notes and Links