Tenants from across Brooklyn came together at the Central Brooklyn Library last Sunday, March 5th, to reflect on the organizing work, health and capability of Brooklyn Eviction Defense. We heard reflections and report back from our working groups — including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Caucus, Accountability and Accessibility — that informed their practice going forward. All these groups invited the tenants in attendance to join in their work which is often considered some of the strongest connective tissue of our org.

After a small break tenants gathered in small groups for a facilitated workshop to imagine what organizing against eviction would look like under a different context, different conditions, and different strategies. The facilitated portion was intended for us to reflect on & name the strategies we, as worker-tenants, already use and-or could use to take collective control over our housing. The discussion was lively and generative. Small groups were comprised of older tenants and younger tenants; native new yorkers and recent arrivals; parents and students; market rate and rent stabilized; white and non white; members and non members. What untied us all was our shared worker-tenant class character. We all envisioned paths towards a better world for us all, and saw glimpses of it in the Assembly. The creativity and resilience of tenants is limitless!

Breakout groups consisted of BED cadre members, tenants from unions various tenant associations across Brooklyn, and curious tenants who want to get organized!

After the discussions in the breakout groups, tenants would report back on some key takeaways.

As promised: masked were worn throughout and test were taken before hand (all of which was provided by BED’s tenant-funded “bank”), the Assembly was hybrid/zoom-able, and there was child-care.

General Assemblies take alot of planning and careful consideration. Members are encourged to volunteer for roles to help disperse the labor and steward this incredible event. Some roles include: greeter, contact tracer, tech/hybrid support, and childcare!

Join us next time, we have a world to win!