May 2019 Newsletter

Lots to report! Check out a packed May newsletter from UNE here.


Rent stabilization rally!

UNE members joined with 9to5 Colorado and Colorado Homes For All coalition members in a rally to support the Local Rent Stabilization/Repeal State Preemption bill!

Couldn't make it? Join us next time - follow us on facebook, twitter and insta for latest news & happenings!

 


March 2019 Newsletter

Looking for our March news, views and events? Click here for the latest!


United for A New Economy - Affordable Housing Is A Human Right - Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day!

State Interference in Local Rent Costs in the News - Colorado Public Radio

UNE, in partnership with 9to5 Colorado and Colorado Homes for All, are working with Senator Julie Gonzales on repealing the statewide ban on rent control - so our local communities can create their own solutions!

United for A New Economy - Affordable Housing Is A Human Right - Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day!

In 1981, Colorado passed a law that prohibited local governments from having the authority to regulate the cost of rent. Allowing for local governments to be the decision makers around the cost of rent would allow for Colorado for significantly decrease the current disparities for cost of living.
The proposed Local Control of Rents legislation would repeal the current state statute which prohibits Colorado from regulating rent, and grant authority to local governments to determine how regulated according to the local cost of living.

Past efforts at the legislature have proposed modifying the rent control ban to allow affordable housing policies with more teeth. But with the cost of living outpacing wages in Colorado, housing advocates say more is needed to help renters. [...]
“Whatever the policy, a city could tailor its approach to its specific housing market. Denver could craft laws to slow gentrification and Telluride could work to preserve worker housing,” shared Andrea Chiriboga-Flor of 9to5 Colorado.

 

United for A New Economy Colorado - Living in Denver: Can Working People Afford it? - Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day - Affordable Housing is a human right

 

CPR’s coverage, Jan 15, 2019: [Sam Brasch]

An analysis by Apartment List, a rental listing site, found that half of tenants in Denver spend more than 30 percent of their paycheck on housing. Rates are similar in Grand Junction and Pueblo. It’s even worse north of the metro. Numbers rise to 60 percent in Boulder and 61 percent in Fort Collins.

One potential way to tackle the high costs has been off the table for more than 30 years in Colorado: rent control.

State law bans cities from regulating the rental market. The restriction has forced Colorado communities to find creative ways to add affordable rental units, all while staying on the right side of the law.

Now, State Sen. Julie Gonzales, part of a new class of Democratic lawmakers at the Capitol, hopes to scrap the ban entirely. While the exact language is still in the works, the plan is to introduce a bill to let cities regulate their rental markets.

“I think that municipalities should have a full set of policy options to decide what makes the most sense for them,” she said.

Most states have similar rent control bans. Gonzales’ bill would bring a national debate over those policies to Colorado. A California ballot measure to end limitations failed last November. In Illinois, parts of Chicago have voted to lift the state ban on rent control, as part of a nonbinding effort to pressure state lawmakers.

Depending on who you ask, doing away with Colorado’s prohibition is either the first step to reining in out-of-control housing costs or economic insanity that could actually make housing even less accessible. The proposal will also likely become the left goalpost in a broader debate about Colorado’s cost of living during the 2019 legislative session.

Read the full story and hear Andrea’s interview with Sam Brasch on CPR here. >>

 



United for a New Economy (UNE) envisions vibrant, strong communities where ALL community members have a voice in the decisions that impact them, access to affordable, dignified housing, thriving neighborhoods, and a voice in building an economy that works for everyone.
Join us in uplifting our neighbors and families in the ongoing effort towards housing justice for all.

Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day - click here!

United for A New Economy - become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day

 


The beginning of a new era: UNE Colorado

The beginning of a new era: UNE Action

It’s with great excitement that I announce that FRESC is transforming our approach to winning by building grassroots people power and developing members to lead the fight.

Where We’ve Been

For over a decade — 15 years — FRESC has been a strong and consistent voice on issues affecting low wage workers and their families. Focused on creating good jobs and strong communities for all people in metro-Denver, FRESC quickly established itself as an invaluable resource for public policy elevating working families, by advocating for living wage jobs, paid sick days and affordable housing.

FRESC has made important strides over the years, including:

  • Playing a key partner role in the successful state minimum wage increase ballot initiative
  • Advocating for RTD’s targeted hiring goals for the I-225 light rail construction jobs
  • Passing Denver’s $150 million inclusionary housing ordinance to create affordable housing
  • Passing of the 2014 Colorado wage theft bill

During the last three years, FRESC started investing in organizing and we found, that people power was the missing powerful ingredient that we needed to win. We started to engage the community in ways we hadn’t done before — not only did we knock on doors and ask people to get involved but also started asking them what they wanted rather than assuming the kind of change they wanted. This spurred us to change our organizational model to put community members at the helm.

Where We Are

Currently, in Colorado we have what seems to be a booming economy. We see our skyline decorated with cranes that indicate growth and ever increasing population. However for many of our neighbors, those cranes indicate ever rising rents, getting pushed out of their homes/communities and wages that haven’t kept up with the cost of living.

We see our neighbors getting deported and many have experienced police brutality. We see racial profiling killing our black and brown brothers, sisters and siblings and our faith communities harassed.

Despite these setbacks, we see our neighbors still envisioning strong, vibrant and thriving communities. They even commit to late night organizing meetings to fight for their vision. We see our neighbors sharing their stories and holding big corporations, elected officials and decision makers accountable. We see our neighbors who have everything to lose and still take the streets to rally for unity and dignity, because we see that our destinies are intertwined.

In a time when so many families struggle just to make ends meet and face open racial discrimination, the movement needs to focus more on organizing and developing leaders to build grassroots people power we need to build a new economy that works for everyone. We need to be truly United for a New Economy — UNE.

Where We’re Going

United for a New Economy Action (UNE Action) is a grassroots organization of everyday people working together to advance our values of respect, equity, human rights, people power and democracy as we advocate for local, state and national laws and policies that builds a new economy that works for everyone. Organizing families, youth, workers, seniors, unions, immigrants, communities of color, refugees and faith leaders, UNE Action will build power in their communities in a way that not only delivers important wins but transforms the entire future.

All of us at UNE Action are energized by our new direction and renewed commitment to building a member-led. If you share our vision, please join us and become a member to build the people power we need to build a new economy.

— Felicia Griffin, Executive Director