We just won a major victory for Poughkeepsie renters like me. We passed our SECOND Good Cause Eviction law this month to protect renters from absurd rent hikes, unfair evictions, and retaliation for demanding safer living conditions.
When I first moved into my apartment, my landlord promised he’d fix the hole in my ceiling. That was three years ago. It still leaks when it snows or rains too hard. We’ve had rats in our kitchen and squirrels in our walls. And yet, when I look around to see where else my mom and I could go — affordable apartments are impossible to find.
So, we’ve stayed. And we’ve stayed quiet. We try not to bother our landlord too much about fixing the home, just in case he decides we’re not worth the trouble. In case he decides to jack up the rents or put us out.
But what we just won last night means that my mom and I can speak up for the healthy housing we deserve without the fear of retaliation — and so can every renter in Poughkeepsie. We’re not going to stop until every single person in the Hudson Valley, New York State, and the country has a safe place to call home.
When we come together, we can change life as we know it. This victory is the result of thousands of conversations, petition signatures, calls and emails to lawmakers, and public comments in spite of the fear so many of us felt to speak out. And you can keep the momentum going by emailing Kingston’s Common Council to be the next city to pass this law.
Let’s keep making history together.