TENANTS AND WORKERS UNITED - INQUILINOS Y TRABAJADORES UNIDOS

Since 1986

We organize communities, build power, win changes, and advance social justice across northern Virginia.

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For over 30 years, Tenants and Workers United (TWU) has been organizing low-income communities of color -- low-wage workers, immigrants, women, and youth -- to build power so people can become change agents in their own lives by addressing the issues they care about. We advance racial, economic, and social justice by fighting for education, housing, and immigrants' rights. We build community-led campaigns to win change for our community.

Our goal is to secure sustainable systemic changes that advance equity through base-building & leadership development. With a vast base in the directly-impacted community, and with community leaders at the front and center of our work, we build community power to advance justice. Our member-led, member-centered approach ensures our demands reflect what our community really needs to thrive.

We continue to expand our work and grow our power throughout NOVA! To help sustain our vital work, consider making a monthly donation, or contribute just once.

 


TWU’s Statement on Police-Free Schools in ACPS:

On behalf of our community, Tenants and Workers United wants to make clear that we stand by the original decision to reallocate funding from the School Resource Officer program to school-based mental health resources. We do not believe that armed police officers belong on school grounds. The presence of armed police at schools disproportionately pushes out and criminalizes students of color. There is data to support this, and we believe and trust our youth when they share their personal experiences.

The vote that the Alexandria City Council took last night (October 12, 2021) is simply another example of how power and privilege run this city. Alexandria has yet to live up to its verbal commitment to racial equity and social justice.

It’s deeply disappointing that the communities most impacted by violence and injustice, who know what solutions are needed to best support their communities, are ignored during decision making processes. This is an issue of democracy, racial justice, White Supremacy, and power and privilege. Once again, Alexandria City finds itself on the wrong side of history.

Many low income students of color have been through a year and a half of severely interrupted schooling, loss and grief, severe poverty, lack of adequate food and resources, housing instability, stress, and even trauma. For these reasons, we have long anticipated a difficult return to school this year, but police are not the answer.

We must focus on moving forward, and better. Removing police from ACPS was a good decision. It is still the right decision. 

We need a holistic approach to education and a clear focus on the root causes of the issues our youth face. We need community circles and restorative practices now more than ever; if implemented with fidelity, they can drastically change our school culture and climate for the better. We know this; there is data to support this.

We, too, want schools that are safe and welcoming for all students all the time. This can be accomplished without armed police officers. Unarmed security guards, a video security system, well-trained staff, and a community-focused school are the best ways to provide safety without fueling the school-to-prison pipeline and further traumatizing students, especially students of color.

It’s difficult for us to understand how it’s acceptable to spend nearly $1 million on armed police instead of spending that money on holistic approaches, supportive programs, and community-building initiatives in our schools. That doesn’t make any sense; we cannot go back to an unaccountable system that has failed students of color for over 20 years.

Alexandria City and ACPS are not putting its resources where they need to be. We cannot fund punitive responses; we must fund restorative solutions. We must prioritize building community among students, teachers, administrators, and staff, and we must prioritize addressing social inequities and racial disparities in our schools, communities, and institutions. This is how we will resolve the issues ACPS is facing.

 


COVID-19 UPDATE FROM TENANTS AND WORKERS UNITED

UNA RESPUESTA AL COVID-19 DE INQUILINOS Y TRABAJADORES UNIDOS

(Español abajo) 

We at TWU are wishing you and your loved ones health and comfort during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff is working remotely, but our campaigns for working class communities, people of color, immigrants, youth, and women continue. We are communicating with our members via Facebook, Whatsapp, video calls, phone calls, and text messages. 

Now more than ever before, we must ramp up our demands for justice --  healthcare, fair wages, childcare, rent cancellation, jobs, and more -- for our communities.

We call on local and state leaders to:

  • urge property owners to suspend rent, eviction proceedings, & late fees
  • allocate funding for rent assistance
  • improve access to healthcare for everyone
  • make COVID-19 communications accessible to speakers of other languages

As we fight for these demands, we have started a fund to help directly impacted members purchase basic essentials. 

If you have the means, please donate here. If you would like to volunteer from home, please contact Mia Taylor at [email protected]

In solidarity,
Evelin Urrutia
Executive Director
Tenants and Workers United
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En Español:

Nosotros en ITU les deseamos a ustedes y a sus seres queridos la salud y el consuelo durante esta pandemia de COVID-19. Nuestro equipo esta trabajando de lejos, pero nuestras campañas siguen luchando por la clase trabajadora, gente de color, inmigrantes, jovenes, y mujeres. Estamos comunicando con nuestros miembros a través de Facebook, WhatsApp, llamadas de video, llamadas telefónicas, y mensajes de texto.

Ahora más que nunca, debemos elevar nuestras demandas para la justicia -- cuidado de salud, pagos justos, cuidado de niños, suspensión de la renta, y más -- para nuestra comunidad.

Llamamos a nuestros líderes locales y estatales a:

  • instar que los dueños de propiedades suspendan la renta, las evicciones, y los cargos por pagos atrasados
  • alocar fondos para la asistencia de renta
  • expandir acceso al cuidado de salud para todxs
  • publicar actualizaciones del COVID-19 en idiomas distintos al inglés

Mientras luchamos para estas demandas, hemos empezado un fondo para ayudar a personas directamente impactadas con sus necesidades básicas. 

Si puedes, dona aquí. Si te gustaría voluntarear desde casa, por favor contácta a Mia Taylor: [email protected].

En Solidaridad,
Evelin Urrutia
Directora Ejecutiva
Inquilinos Trabajadores Unidos