Tenants and Workers United, a nonprofit grassroots community organization, is successful thanks to our hundreds of donors.  Read more to learn about us and make your donation.

Who We Are
Tenants and Workers United builds the power of the low-income community of color – primarily immigrants – to create changes that positively impact the quality of their (our!) lives in Northern Virginia. We organize and support people to be agents of change in their own lives, addressing the issues of most importance to them. What do we address?
  • Lack of quality, affordable healthcare
  • Inequities in public education
  • Immigrant rights
  • Affordable housing
  • The rights of low-wage workers

Just a Bit of History

TWU was organized in 1986 in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria to fight for the rights of tenants from a local affordable housing development who were about to be evicted. It took ten years, but we eventually won and set up the Arlandria/Chirilagua Housing Cooperative. This limited equity cooperative is the only home-ownership opportunity available to low-income residents in Northern Virginia.

From those beginnings in one neighborhood fighting for affordable housing, TWU expanded to city-wide issues such as access to healthcare and excellent public education, and has now grown into a regional organization that is fighting anti-immigrant policies in Prince William County and supporting day laborers in Fairfax County.

In addition to establishing the Arlandria/Chirilagua Housing Cooperative, TWU has:
  • Launched Alexandria Union Cab, a worker-owned and -operated business with more than 230 drivers and a market value of $2 million
  • Successfully pressured Inova Health Systems to provide a 35% discount to low-income patients
  • Successfully demanded that Alexandria Public Schools hire bilingual (Spanish/English) parent liaisons to help parents communicate with teachers and to orient immigrant parents
  • Co-founded the national Right to the City Alliance, which unites more than 40 organizations across the U.S. to collectively struggle for urban rights: affordable housing, inclusive democracy, immigrant rights, environmental justice, and so on
In total, we’ve won more than $100 million in living wage jobs, affordable housing, health care, public education resources, and other community benefits!

And Some Financial Information
TWU’s budget has grown to approximately $1.5 million since starting as an all-volunteer organization. Our administrative and fundraising costs are about 22%, and include a significant part of the expenses associated with the building we own, the Arlandria Community Center. Our funding comes from individual donors, foundation, local governments, and member dues.

What Does Your Donation Support?
The most valuable donations are unrestricted -- they let us put your money toward the programs that need it the most.  We use it to support our healthcare organizing, to help us win our campaign for equitable education in Alexandria City Public Schools, and to fight racist anti-immigrant legislation.  It pays to keep the lights on, and for our staff salaries.  You are also welcome to direct your donation toward a specific project or campaign (full descriptions are available on other pages of the website), and we'll make sure it gets where it needs to.

Summarized financial information is available to the public.  Contact TWU at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it