FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/21/2015
Movement for Rent Control Scores a Victory
Mass Pressure Forces Establishment to Concede
SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant released the following statement after Council President Tim Burgess’ announcement that he will move a resolution in City Council today that asks Olympia to lift the ban on rent regulation:
“If this resolution passes, it will be a major victory for our affordable housing movement. It is an essential step forward in lifting the ban on rent regulations and bringing an end to economic evictions in this city.
“This move from a big developer representative is testament to how much pressure we have brought to bear. We have had town hall meetings where hundreds of working people have demanded that the City Council take bold steps to address the affordable housing crisis. The debate on rent control has been going for months and residents have packed numerous public meetings to share their stories of skyrocketing rents.
“We must be clear about why this is happening now, at the last minute. This resolution – and it appears a majority of the council will pass it – is a direct result of the pressure from the growing mobilization for rent control.
“However, the Rental Housing Association and the Chamber of Commerce will fight tooth and nail to block this in Olympia. If President Burgess is serious about seeing the undemocratic ban on rent control lifted, not just posturing, then the strategy can’t be to just to pass this resolution and say we’ve done our job. Instead, passing this resolution needs to be a step towards building the maximum pressure on Olympia. That’s why I’ve called for a rally on October 5th to pack Council Chambers.
“I urge President Burgess and the Council to vote on this resolution on October 5th when the public can be there to celebrate the victory and send a powerful message to Olympia that the whole of Seattle wants to see the ban removed.
“We will use our victory here today to continue building the movement for affordable housing and rent control.”
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