Momentum Kept Up From October Housing March
As a follow-up to October’s “Housing is a Human Right” march organizers from Rochester’s Take Back the Land and Metro Justice hosted a group discussion series called the “Housing Justice Summit” Saturday November 3rd. The discussion which lasted several hours was divided into sub-topics to help better flesh out the housing problems that have faced Rochester for some time now. The Housing Summit was later rounded off by a communal dinner that was hosted by the local chapter of Food Not Bombs.
The first discussion that was held after the introduction was given by Metro Justice’s Colin O’Malley. At this time the group talked about what they thought will happen if the housing crisis continues to go unchecked by both the community and local government. Detroit was often referenced as a low point that Rochester could very realistically be heading towards.
“What is Our Vision of Housing Justice” was next on the agenda and featured a discussion on what those in attendance thought was fair when it came to housing rights. Questions were asked of the group like should housing be free and should housing be considered a human right. It was offered up by one participant that housing should be a basic part of the “Social Contract.” It seemed to be agreed upon that in the meantime activists should take more short term initiatives and start operations such as housing cooperatives.
The last conversation the group had as a whole was titled “What do movements look like that get us there.” This section focused on what activists could do to get involved in the housing crisis. It was suggested that something as simple as putting up lawn signs would help spread awareness.
After a short break the summit reconvened but split into two groups. Organizers from Metro Justice and Take Back the Land discussed how their organizations contribute to the housing movement. If you would like to be part of the discussion Take Back the Land has meetings at the Flying Squirrel every Wednesday at 6p.m. and you can contact Colin O’Malley for information regarding Metro Justice’s campaign.