By Patricia Bowles-Simmonds
My name is Patricia Bowles-Simmonds, and I am a tenant leader with Goddard Riverside Community Center. I am writing today to ask you to sign our petition to Mayor DeBlasio to support tenant organizing in New York City.
We know that landlords will stop at nothing to get us out of our apartments. We pay our rent, and they will lose our rent checks. They don’t provide us with basic services like hot water and working toilets, despite the fact that we pay our rent. Many times, they’ll take us to court.
Luckily, Right to Counsel has helped me win the fight with my landlord when he has taken me to court. Plus, with Goddard Riverside, I had a team of organizers to support me. Goddard Riverside comes in with sheeps’ clothing, but they are wolves in the courtroom. Their services have been invaluable for tenants like myself who have been taken to housing court.
Everyone needs to know about and use their Right to Counsel! Organizations like Goddard Riverside make sure that tenants know about their rights, including their Right to Counsel, and give them tools to build power! Intro 1529 would expand Right to Counsel by mandating the city work with neighborhood-based organizing groups to do this work. Stand with tenants and sign our petition to pass Intro 1529!