A Benefit For Winchester Tenants

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A Benefit For Winchester Tenants

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Residents of the Winchester building at 48th and Chester have been fighting with members of Philly Socialists since October for the decent housing that is their right. Come on out on March 6th to dance to some punk/funk/soul/rap, watch some sweet choreography, and support the Winchester tenants’ newly formed association. Your support will help tenants who lost furniture or suffered other damage as a result of landlord neglect restore their homes. The show will feature friends of Philly Socialists and the Winchester Tenants Association and will include music by: *Mel Hsu- http://www.melaniehsu.com/music/ *Haldol- http://bandcamp.haldol.com *Paulette Branson-https://www.facebook.com/MixedPeople *The Locksmith Boys dance by: *Kathanghah Dance Company-https://www.facebook.com/KathanghahDanceCompany *James Marshall Masquerade plus home-cooked food, tenant made garments, and an all around good time! $10 donation SUGGESTED (no one will be turned away and any contribution is welcome!) When the finances of the nonprofit that owns the Winchester went south after 2008, its working-class residents watched as the regular maintenance of their homes vanished and their building descended into squalor. A profound bed bug infestation, roaches, mice, hot water that would shut off for days on end, heat so inadequate many turned to their ovens for warmth, leaks that produced molds or caved ceilings—life at the Winchester went from comfortable to miserable. Then in late 2014, a senior citizen named Felix got in touch with Philly Socialists. Felix was tired of the way things were, seeing their living conditions as just the latest in a lifetime of discrimination they had faced for being African-American and trans*. So together, we, along with more and more Winchester tenants, launched an escalating pressure campaign directed at the landlord. We organized a group delivery of demands, a call-in day, and flyering runs. We organized building meetings--grievances were aired, strategy was debated, an association was formed, and leaders were elected. The landlord's property manager initially retaliated with threats of eviction targeted at Felix and another association leader, but backed down following a delegation to the nonprofit’s office. Since then, the landlord has agreed to meet each of the Tenants Association’s major demands. This is a huge victory for ordinary, organized working people. But the losses tenants suffered due to the neglect they lived under for years won’t be restored by improvements to the building. For that, we’ll need your support. Hope to see you on the 6th!
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