What's your union doing in July? Lots!
We're over a hundred members strong now!
If you haven't officially signed up as a member or supporter of BTU yet (different from just being on our mailing list). Now's a good time to join the union!
Tenant unions and movements have a track record of success. We're still a new union, but we've already played a key role in securing some victories for tenants: we banned discrimination against our neighbors with housing assistance, secured a 60-day increased notice for large rent hikes, and legalized backyard cottages, a more affordable home type.
These wins are good - but to move on to bigger and bolder solutions to the housing challenge, we're going to need to grow our union's power and membership as well. Becoming a member or supporter means we'll be more representative of Bellingham and the union will benefit from diversity and your voice.
If you're a tenant, join the union as a member here!
If you're a homeowner, join the union as a supporter here!
I hope you join! Now, here's what our union is up to and ways to plug in. More information on all of this further below.
- Getting our Work Groups up and going!
- Holding Steward and Organizing trainings
- Planning our next big event
- Join us this Sunday at Bellingham Pride, July 15th!
- Joining with other tenant groups across the state to protest the landlord lobby on July 18th
Our union's strength depends on the involvement of our members. Please consider joining a Work Group or attending a Steward / Organizing training. Or both! Scroll below for more information and all our upcoming events/actions.
I look forward to growing a strong and inclusive union with all of you!
Get involved! Join a Work Group
Work Groups are how BTU organizes itself into areas of interest. They are absolutely critical for our union to function and grow. We have six Work Groups right now.
- Communications & Art
- Law, Policy & Research
- Community Solidarity & Coalition Building
- Outreach & Direct Tenant Organizing
- Steward & Membership
Click here to join a Work Group! On that same page, you'll also find helpful descriptions and more information about each group.
Also—every Work Group needs a Coordinator, someone who can keep the group organized and moving forward.
We have two Coordinator spots open still for Equity and Community Solidarity & Coalition Building. Being a Coordinator is a great leadership opportunity and we will definitely support and mentor you for success! Being a Coordinator is a commitment and requires being a good communicator. If you're interested, please reach out to us.
Are we missing a Work Group? You can create one! Reach out to us at the link above.
Organizing/Steward Trainings in August
Learn and practice basic organizing skills for our union! Organizing is how we bring the talents, resources, and skills of our community together to increase our collective power to transform ourselves and our community and make social change. This union is about tenants helping each other make changes we couldn't accomplish alone.
This training is required if you want to be an Organizer or a Steward in the union. We will have three trainings in early August:
- August 5th, Sunday, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- August 6th, Monday, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- August 7th, Tuesday, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Please RSVP here so we can plan our materials, snacks and beverages. Locations TBD. We'll send out more details as we get closer. Mark your calendars!
If none of these times work for you, please reach out to us with what general times work for you and we’ll try to schedule future trainings that work for you.
Planning our next big event!
What's our next big event? We're in the process of planning it and we encourage you to jump in and help. This is one of the first things our Steward & Membership Work Group will do.
If this is where your passion is and you have ideas, please help organize the next event! We need you. You can join the Steward & Membership Work Group here.
Join us this Sunday at Bellingham Pride!
Pride is this weekend on Sunday! It's a great opportunity to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and do outreach for BTU.
Here are the details you need to know in order to participate. April McCabe is coordinating our efforts - thank you April!
If you want to table, Hill and April will be meeting at the Depot Market Square at 11:00 AM to join the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force table.
Others that have expressed interest in marching in the parade will meet at Habitat for Humanity at 11:00 AM (1825 Cornwall Ave). Bring any pride or BTU banners/decor! We will have the big BTU banner. April will table until the event ends, Renata has volunteered to table after the parade is over.
Please contact April with any questions or concerns! (360) 930-2754.
Also, if this type of outreach and community building excites you, this is exactly the type of work our Community Solidarity & Coalition Building Work Group will be doing. Join here! :)
Join with Hundreds of Tenants from all over Washington to Protest the Landlord Lobby and their Attorneys!
Wednesday, July 18 at 6 PM - 9 PM
Carpools available! RSVP on Facebook!
The Rental Housing Association of Washington has fought any and all efforts to strengthen tenant rights. They lobby, launch lawsuits, and organize landlords. We need to stand up to these efforts!
On July 18th, RHA will have a legal forum in Seattle at the Frye Art Museum with a panel of landlord attorneys. Landlord-tenant law is heavily weighted in favor of landlords. You can be evicted in as little as three weeks - and these landlord attorneys make that happen.
Evictions are one of the leading causes of homelessness. We need to make our voices heard at this event. We will be coming together with tenant organizations from around the state - join us!
Reach out to me (Galen) for carpool information! 360-728-6543.
Our Law, Policy, and Research Work Group will be following legislation at the state-wide level, keeping track of lawsuits, and engaging in solidarity actions like this. If you're passionate about the law being used for good, join here!