Back to Blog
Earlier this week, the New York Times published "The Landlord’s Worst Nightmare Is a Basic Human Right." The headline sums it all up: why are landlords so terrified of ensuring the bare minimum for their tenants? Shouldn't it be immoral and illegal to remove someone from their home if they've done nothing wrong?
The video, inspired by the classic Schoolhouse Rock song "I'm Just A Bill," was created in support of Good Cause for Eviction, a statewide proposal currently being discussed in the state of New York. While the specifics of the bill are slightly different than what we're fighting for with Just Cause in Chicago, the basic principles remain the same: landlords shouldn't be able to remove tenants just because they want to. Renters deserve to know that the place they call home will still be theirs as long as they want to live there and are current on their rent. Anything less is a betrayal of the basic right to shelter that we know that every human being deserves.
Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in today. As the video shows, the real estate lobby has spent millions of dollars lobbying elected officials to preserve a status quo (or even revoke previously-enacted pro-tenant policies) that leaves millions of Americans struggling to afford shelter every month. It's only through people power, and the dedicated efforts of organizers and everyday people demanding real change, that will win policies like Just (or Good) Cause in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere. That's exactly what the video suggests: as it stands, most people don't even realize how vulnerable renters are to losing their shelter despite doing nothing wrong. To get Just Cause passed in 2022, we need everyone concerned about this issue to tell their friends, families, and neighbors about why this issue is so important, as we build the kind of public awareness that will make our elected officials feel real pressure to sign on in support of the bill. Even after nearly two years of living through the pandemic, when having secure shelter is in many cases a life-or-death situation for millions of people, we still have lots of work to make our voices heard in support of Just Cause.
If you think Just Cause is important, please consider sending our petition to others who you think would support the bill. In the coming weeks, we'll be announcing more opportunities to learn more and engage with the bill, including an event happening in February debunking the myth of the "mom and pop" landlord that the real estate lobby has used to make it impossible to pass pro-tenant policies. We are also preparing to host more phone banking in the near future, so if you have any interest in participating in that, please respond to this email and let us know. As always, thank you for your support and interest in Just Cause! There's no way we would be able to get the bill passed without the support of people like yourself.