All In Alliances Join Forces at Emerson Tenants Union Rally

April 13, 2024 - NEW HAVEN - Leaders of multiple All In Alliance chapters joined forces with Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP), union organizers, and housing advocates at New Haven City Hall at a rally in support of the Emerson Tenants Union. The Emerson Tenants Union officially registered with the city's Fair Rent Commission in February 2024, becoming the city's fifth tenants union and the first to form against a landlord other than mega-landlord Ocean Management.

Union founders Alex Kolokotronis and James Blau began their organizing effort after a burst pipe forced them out of their apartments and their landlord, Trinity Lutheran Church, attempted to continue charging rent. Upon speaking with neighbors in their building, Kolokotronis and Blau learned of multiple health and safety violations which they have reported to city officials, including the Livable City Initiative. The rally was the latest escalation after multiple measures including phone calls, letters, and discussions with city officials failed to bring Trinity Lutheran to the bargaining table.

As a grassroots organizing effort committed to ensuring all community members have a safe and affordable place to live, access to nutritious food, and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, the plight of the Emerson residents not only falls within the mission of All In, but also feels deeply personal.

Many leaders of the All In Alliance have been directly impacted by the skyrocketing rent prices and poor maintenance practices that have been rampant in New Haven and the rest of the state. In a time when the housing crisis continues to show evidence of worsening, fair rent commissions and tenant unions offer a way for residents to have their concerns addressed. Beyond that, Kolokotronis, who is also the director of NVP and a long time union organizer, is also a key leader in the All In movement.

Related Stories:

WWJD? Church Tenants Form City's 5th Union  

Feb 26, 2024 - New Haven Independent - The city's fifth tenants union has formed, marking the first time New Haven residents have organized formally to bargain with a property owner that isn't megalandlord Ocean Management. Representative residents of the Emerson Apartments at 284 Orange St. met with the city's department of fair rent Friday to formalize that union — in hopes of improving communications with their landlord while avoiding the possibility of more absentee management moving in ...

WWJD II: Tenants Tell Church, "Start Work!"  

March 14, 2024 - New Haven Independent - At least 30 community members rallied outside Trinity Lutheran Church, the next-door neighbor and owner of those apartments at 284 Orange St., to protest substandard living conditions at the apartment building after two residents were displaced due to slow-going plumbing repairs — and after the landlords received a stop work order from the city for failing to get building permits to patch up the bathroom pipes...

May 2, 2024- Fox 61 - Emerson Apartments tenants in New Haven believe they are being wrongfully evicted for organizing tenants' union. Watch full newsclip here.

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