Late last month, the Autonomous Tenants Union Network—a collaboration of tenant unions from cities across North America—held its first-ever in-person convention in Los Angeles. ATUN formed in 2018 to consolidate the energies of a movement that has exploded in scope in response to a deepening crisis for tenants. Over the course of the weekend, members of 20 tenant unions from Eugene, Oregon to Houston, Texas held strategy sessions on everything from organizing around climate disaster to mutual aid to political education. On this episode, senior editor Ari Brostoff—who attended the conference as a member of the Crown Heights Tenants Union in Brooklyn—spoke with Kenia Alcocer, of the Los Angeles Tenants Union; Claire Spiehler, of the Houston Tenants Union; and Danya Martinez-Spider, of the West River Tenants Union in South Dakota.
Thanks to Sophia Steinert-Evoy for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”