Thank you for your ongoing support of New Virginia Majority. Here are some updates from our organization this month.
Health Concerns for Richmond Tenants
Our housing justice organizers have been working with tenants at the Southwood Apartment Complex in Richmond, Virginia to advocate for safe housing in light of health concerns. “They just give rat traps,” translated Sofia Vega, one of our organizers. “She’s exhausted from having to constantly go and ask maintenance to help fix the issue and then they just tell her they don’t have the staff or they’re too busy or they will check in later but they never do. These are horrendous living conditions and nobody who pays rent deserves to be living in a situation like this.”
Recently, Republican Governor, Glenn Youngkin, vetoed a bipartisan bill that would make a difference to empower localities to force repairs and allow them to take action against an entire apartment complex more swiftly than a private attorney could. The sponsor of the bill, Marcia Price of Newport News said, “This is really about the landlord having to live up to their side of the contract and that’s just what’s not happening.
Housing Justice Organizers Call for Federal Funding for Affordable Housing
As the Norfolk City Council decides on how to spend $154 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, our organizers from New Virginia Majority want more funds for low income community members in public housing. Over the past few years, Norfolk City has cut funds for public housing and has plans to demolish public housing in the St. Paul neighborhood. Monét Johnson, an organizer with NVM said, “These are families, these are people, like these are people with something to lose so make them a priority.” Organizers are requesting that $5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act go towards public housing to rehabilitate units, set up software for public housing residents to easily be able to submit maintenance requests, and invest in maintenance supplies.
HUB Organization Spotlight: Virginia Student Power Network
One of New Virginia Majority’s Hub organizations, the Virginia Student Power Network traveled to Washington, DC to demand President Biden cancel all student loan debt. They rallied outside of the Department of Education with several youth based organizations, including the Alliance for Youth and The Debt Collective. President Biden needs to listen to young people and address the student debt crisis. We need more than another payment pause; we need bold action like canceling student debt. Over 44 million Americans hold student loan debt that amounts to $1.7 trillion and climbing. Some Virginia colleges and universities are planning to increase tuition costs as much as 6% this year while Virginia students are already struggling to make current tuition payments.
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Together, we can lead the way toward a progressive Virginia for all of us.
The Development Team
New Virginia Majority