This March, our rent control referendum will be on the ballot in six precincts in the 33rd ward and more than 100 across the city.
Now we need to make sure that we win the thing! Come help us kick off our get out the vote efforts. We'll do a quick canvassing training, then head out in pairs to talk to residents.
Our goal is to show state legislators that Chicago voters want Illinois' ban on rent control lifted, and to talk to neighbors facing displacement about how we can fight back.
This is a great opportunity to help win something tangible, build long-term power in the ward and gripe about your landlord, all at once!
Between now and March 20, we'll be doing several Saturday community canvasses, as well as shorter canvassing shifts throughout the week. If you can't make it to this one, message us to get involved!
Answers to some FAQ:
*What is rent control?*
Rent control helps prevent large-scale displacement by setting reasonable limits on how much rent can be increased over time. Cities in New York, California, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. all have some form of rent control.
*Why do we need it?*
Rents are rising rapidly across Chicago, forcing working-class people out of their communities. In the 33rd ward, half of residents spend at least 50% of their income on rent. Rent control is one way to loosen the market's vice grip on a basic human need.
*Why doesn't Chicago have rent control?*
One reason is that in 1997, realtors pushed successfully for passage of an Illinois state law banning cities from regulating rents. Earlier this year, State Rep. Will Guzzardi introduced a state bill that would "lift the ban" on rent control, allowing Chicago to decide for itself whether this measure is right for our city. See this Chicago Reader article for more info: https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/illinois-rent-control-prohibition-history/Content?oid=26517042
*Would the ballot initiative establish rent control?*
No. But we can use it to show state legislators that we want them to vote for state legislation to "lift the ban," and City Council that it's time to start talking about rent control and real affordable housing.
*Can rent control stop gentrification and displacement?*
Not by itself, but it's one important tool. 33rd Ward Working families is also fighting to expand affordable (preferably, public!) housing in the ward, pushing back on developers' plans to gentrify our community, and standing alongside groups like the Autonomous Tenants' Union to support tenant organizing and ensure that everyone has safe and dignified housing.
Our first general meeting of the year is this Saturday, and we've got plenty to get this year off to a good start.
We'll consider support for United Working Families-backed candidates including Delia Ramirez (Ill. State Representative, D4) and Brandon Johnson (Cook Co. Commissioner, D1), and talk about our plan for helping our rent control referendum win big in March.
All are welcome to attend. Only members in good standing may vote on endorsement.
33rd Ward Working Families
January Members Meeting
Saturday, January 27
11 am - 12:30 pm
Grace United Methodist Church
3253 W Wilson Avenue
Location change: Instead of holding our regular, third-Saturday meeting at the church, we invite members to meet instead at the Templestowe Pub, 3135 W Montrose, to wrap up our last meeting of the year with a toast to 2017's successes and recognize the work that 33rd Ward Working Families members have put in over the course of this year.
December Members Meeting
Templestowe Pub, 3135 W Montrose (Note location change)
Saturday, December 16 at 2:30 pm
From pushing to #LiftTheBan on rent control, to supporting public education through Local School Councils, preventing deportations with Know Your Rights education, standing with residents facing eviction, and knocking on thousands of doors to engage on conversations with our neighbors, our members have been champions of progressive values in our community.
We also know 2018 will be an eventful year, with the next round of elections coming in March and the opportunities to present progressive challenges to Rahm Emanuel and Deb Mell getting underway shortly thereafter.
This Saturday's meeting will include a vote to establish our 2018-2019 endorsement process, and updates on our ongoing projects.
We hope to see you there!
33rd Ward Working Families is an affiliate member of the city-wide organization United Working Families.
From United Working Families:
Are you tired of the rich getting richer while the rest of us struggle with violence, unemployment, and cuts to our schools and services?
re you fed up with politics as usual, dominated by the ultra-rich and leaving everyone else behind?
Are you ready to fight for our right to the city and state we call home?
Then join us at the United Working Families annual membership convention! On Saturday, November 4, members will:
- Vote on party delegates and the future leadership of our organization
- Vote on key issues and electoral strategies to win in 2018 and 2019
- Make a plan for building the people-powered political organization we need!
The time is right to build a people-powered, independent political force that can reclaim politics from the wealthy few. Join us in winning a progressive future for our communities!
Join 33rd Ward Working Families and the Autonomous Tenants Union in hosting the Lift the Ban coalition for a community conversation on rent control.
Learn what rent control is, what it isn't, and how we can win it for the city of Chicago.
The meeting will take place in the church's downstairs meeting room; please enter on the Spaulding Ave.-side door.
From United Working Families:
The political status quo is unacceptable. Billionaire ideologue Bruce Rauner has spent hundreds of millions to destroy organized labor and slash public services. Meanwhile, Rahm Emanuel, who shares a donor base with Rauner, tours Europe and woos tech companies while children are shot in the street. Nationally, Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos want to cut $10 billion from our public schools.
If we want to change course, we have to have real conversations with our neighbors--not about the least-bad candidate in any given election, but about the concerns we all share, and how we work together to win a different future.
Join us on Saturday, July 29 for our first-ever community-labor canvass. Together with members from progressive labor and community groups, we'll be hitting the doors in locations around the city: Albany Park, Humboldt Park, and Roseland. (DM us if you want to host your own!)
RSVP here: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/july-29-community-labor-canvass
Is "affordable housing" actually affordable? What will new condos mean for my rent? How do I keep an eye on big developers?
33rd Ward Working Families will break down the complex world of development in our June meeting group educational.
Find out what's coming in, what the alderman is doing (and not doing), and how to join the fight for the kind of ward we want.
Join Working Families 33 for the first of an informal discussion series on the need to build a left-leaning political alternative.
In the past couple years, Working Families 33 been busy kicking charter schools out of the ward, successfully electing several members to Local School Council, and forcing our Alderman to vote the right way when it comes to budget issues, but we rarely get to sit down and talk about the broader importance of our political project - building the much-needed alternative.
Starting this month, we will kick off an informal discussion series meant to talk through the importance of building a political alternative to the Democratic Party as a means of fighting back against right-wing authoratarianism and the corporate take-over of the Democratic Party.
Each month we will provide free short readings to focus the discussion. This Thursday, we'll be be talking about two pieces from Jacobin Magazine on the barriers to changing the Democratic Party from within:
Labor activist Kim Moody on structural barriers to transorfming the Democratic Party.
Paul Heidman on the socialist and civil rights strategy to move the party left.
Want to fight Trump's anti-immigrant agenda in Albany Park? Join us this Saturday for our second community canvas to invite Albany Park to an immigration Know Your Rights workshop on March 18th.
33rd Ward Working Families is joining forces with Organized Communities Against Deportations, the Autonomous Tenants Union and Christ Lutheran Church to make our neighborhood an ICE-free zone.
Where: Christ Lutheran Church on Wilson
When: March 11th, 2017 1 pm
Why: Canvass the neighborhood about Know Your Rights event
President Trump's unhinged attacks on immigrants and refugees have made clear that building an organized community resistence, particularly in immigrant-rich neighborhoods like Albany Park, is both necessary and urgent.
Join us this Saturday for a community canvass to distribute Know Your Rights information and talk to neighbors about efforts to build a 33rd Ward rapid-response network against raids and deportations.
Information about WF33's Know Your Rights - Immigration 101 workshop, scheduled for March 18, will also be available.
Meet-up for supplies and instructions for canvassers will be at 1 pm at the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3253 W WIlson Avenue (near Kedzie Brown Line).
Building immigration defense and the sanctuary movement in the 33rd Ward. Featuring a presentation by the Chicago Religious Leaders Network
33rd Working Families October meeting comes at a critical time for public schools.
Tuesday, October 11, will be the first day of a CTU strike, should a contract not be reached before then.
Join us this weekend for an update from local school members on the progress of the strike and opportunities for community support.
Following the meeting, members will be canvassing to call for a NO vote on our ward's charter school referendum. WF33 won this ballot question through a summer-long petitioning drive that collected more than 1,000 signatures. We now have just a few weeks left to win the referendum. Canvassing materials will be provided.