On Saturday, December 11th, nearly 70 MAHT tenants and allies gathered on Zoom to celebrate a year of successful tenant organizing despite continually difficult pandemic circumstances.
The night began with some holiday tunes led by Boston-based musician Helena Ruffen, followed by an attempted Zoom sing-along. We then moved on to the award ceremony! Award recipients included:
- The Forbes Building Tenant Association, for tirelessly working to save their homes from market rate conversion and re-file the Boston Home Rule Petition.
- Georgetowne Tenants United, for helping to end mass evictions at Georgetown and open a dialogue with the Beacon property management company for non-punitive alternatives to eviction for tenants who fell behind on rent.
- The Babcock Towers Tenants Association, for securing 56 Housing Choice Voucher from the Boston Housing authority and challenging illegal evictions in their building.
- The Marcus Garvey Tenants Association, for hosting a successful rally with Representative Ayanna Pressley to publicize and gain support for the national Tenant Empowerment Act.
- The East Canton Street Preservation Association, for working to hold luxury housing developers accountable to community promises and prioritize the development of low-income housing in Boston.
- The City Rent Subsidy Coalition, for winning $5 million for low-income renters and prioritizing seniors and families with children.
MAHT also honored long time housing advocates Beverly Estes-Smargiassi and Katie Forde of the Boston Department of Neighborhood Development, as well as elected officials including City Councilor Matt O’Malley, Mayor Michelle Wu, and Representative Ayanna Pressley. We then heard remarks from Mayor Wu and Representative Pressley, expressing their commitment to continuing the fight for housing justice in the new year. Finally, we wrapped up the night with a piano performance by none other than MAHT Executive Director Michael Kane!
A huge thank you to all who joined us to celebrate a remarkable year of tenant organizing. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!