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Tenant Organizer

The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) of Washington, DC, a non-profit community development organization, seeks multiple full-time Tenant Organizers to join an expanding team.

Tenant Organizers work with low-income tenants in Washington DC to exercise and protect their rights when their building is for sale, fight for better conditions in their building, and collaborate with city wide campaigns to preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement.

DC has unique housing protections that allow tenants to stay and decide what happens to their building when it is for sale, but they must act quickly as a group to exercise and protect those rights. Organizers support tenants in learning about and deciding between two main options: purchase the building themselves and convert it to an affordable housing cooperative or decide who purchases the building and negotiate a contract ensuring benefits to the tenants, such as improved conditions or rent protections.

When advocating for better building housing conditions, the organizing team assists tenants in collectively voicing their demands and asserting their rights. We work with various city and legal aid agencies to pressure landlords to complete needed improvements and repairs. If that does not work, we support tenants in organizing rent strikes and withholding rent until conditions improve and tenants’ demands are met.

Some of the essential duties of the tenant organizer position are listed below.

  • Outreach to tenants through door knocking, flyering, texts and phone calls
  • Plan and facilitate tenant association meetings
  • Lead trainings on tenant rights and resources
  • Organize tenants to form and strengthen tenant associations to purchase their building, to improve conditions, or to negotiate with the building owner and/or policymakers
  • Provide translation and interpretation during tenant meetings
  • Complete the necessary paperwork to ensure tenants can exercise their rights when their building is for sale, and coordinate with attorneys, potential buyers and/or investors
  • Develop tenant leadership, including recruiting, identifying and supporting tenants to lead in their buildings, join city-wide campaigns, and build tenant power throughout the city
  • Organize campaign activities including planning events and actions, mobilizing tenants, preparing spokespeople, creating materials, coordinating communication with the press
  • Advocate with DC government to improve or create programs benefiting low-income tenants, i.e., to strengthen existing rent control laws, prevent eviction, cancel rent, and forgive all housing-related pandemic debt

This is a full-time, 40-hour/week position that requires evening and occasional weekend hours. Our typical work week is 12-8 pm, Monday – Friday and we flex our schedules if we work weekends or significant hours outside our regular schedule, with the idea of keeping the work sustainable. Due to the pandemic, the position is currently a mix of remote and in-person work, including remote and in-person outreach and tenant meetings, and one day in the office each week. As the pandemic winds down, we anticipate this position will eventually return to a mix of work in the office and in the field.

Compensation: $48,000+ with a competitive benefits package

Required Qualifications: Strong writing, public speaking, and computer skills. Highly organized and able to work with limited supervision. Culturally sensitive and respectful of people from various economic and social statuses. Grounded in anti-oppression values and practice. Outstanding interpersonal communication and the willingness to develop working relationships with a wide variety of people. A college degree is not required for this position. Candidates must be based in or willing to relocate to Washington, DC.

Preferred Qualifications: Bilingual in Spanish or Amharic. Strong general knowledge of DC communities and related housing issues. At least one year of volunteer and/or paid experience with community organizing, popular education, or providing direct services to low-income people of color. Experience with grant writing or reporting is a plus.

DC residents, immigrants, tenants, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and LGBTQI+ people are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]

LEDC is an EEO employer committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees. In accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, LEDC takes affirmative action to ensure that applicants and employees covered are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (gender), age, disability, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by applicable law. For more information about your equal employment opportunity rights, please view this poster: EEO is the Law. LEDC also participates in E-Verify.