The movement for rent control is catching fire

It’s clear that the rent control movement has powerful momentum:

  • Last week, Bernie Sanders released a platform for affordable housing which includes a call for national rent control.
  • That same week, California renters won a major victory with the passing of a statewide rent control law.
  • New Yorkers recently won important protections to extend and strengthen rent control — a clear indication that people with rent control want more of it, not less.
  • Earlier this year, Oregon renters made history by making their state the first to pass a statewide rent control bill.

Now, Washington is the only state on the West Coast without rent control. We must change that, starting here in Seattle. 

That’s why Councilmember Kshama Sawant is using her seat to support tenants’ rights organizations, housing justice activists, and community members in the fight for rent control.

We need to pack City Hall this Monday night, 6-8pm, as Councilmember Kshama Sawant introduces draft legislation for universal rent control, free from corporate loopholes. Join us!

Seattle is the most expensive city for renters outside of California. We urgently need rent control as an emergency measure to stop the economic eviction of so many working people and small businesses. This will require building a powerful movement to stand up to the landlord lobby and wealthy real-estate developers and investors.

When Kshama first ran for office in 2013 calling for a $15 minimum wage, the corporate establishment first said that it was impossible. As $15 gained overwhelming support amongst working people, big business used every argument possible to delay and dilute our movement. They said: won’t $15/hr in Seattle will hurt workers and the economy? Why not try a lower number? And don’t make Seattle an island — why not wait until $15 is passed in Olympia?

But we built a movement which stood up to the Chamber of Commerce’s attacks and fear mongering, and we won the first $15 minimum wage of any major city in the country. Now, $15 has passed in dozens of cities and seven states, and it has become a benchmark for progressive candidates.

If Seattle leads with a landmark rent control policy, citywide and free from corporate loopholes, we can set a powerful example to renters and activists across the country, just like with $15. 

Renters, small businesses, and working people can’t afford to wait. And we can’t afford to let big luxury developers like Vulcan — one of the top funders of the CASE corporate PAC which is bankrolling our opponent — buy this election.

The stronger our movement, the better position we’ll be in to defeat the kinds of rent control loopholes inserted by the real estate lobby in other cities and states.

Please join us and help build the movement for rent control by coming to Monday’s important rally where Kshama Sawant’s draft rent control ordinance will be introduced. And donate today to re-elect the Councilmember money can’t buy.

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  • Eva Metz