April 28

Bail Out the People - Cancel Rent

The Sunrise DC Hub, DC Tenants Union, and the Shutdown DC Coalition are teaming up to disrupt business as usual for the DC City Council on Tuesday, April 28 by flooding their phones with our demand to CANCEL RENT!

 

We'll also be doing a banner drop and amplifying our campaign on social media.  

4/28 Action Guide: 

Bail Out Renters!

This guide covers the calls you will make to the DC City Council and the follow-up steps you’ll take on social media. What makes this action powerful is knowing that we’re all doing it together, so share this guide and your action and we will amplify it on our channels!

 

If you’re a DC resident or student at a DC University, start with the phone script. If you’re reading this after 4/28, go ahead and call them anyway! 

 

If NOT a DC resident or student at a DC University, we ask that you refrain from calling City Council but would still love your help with digital outreach! (See below). 

 

 

PHONE SCRIPT: 

see a short video walk-through here 

 

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a DC resident with the Sunrise Movement and DC Tenants Union. Today we’re calling to demand that you bail out renters during this crisis. 

 

We’re asking The Council to provide direct relief to the people of DC by taking drastic action to: 

 

  1. Cancel rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the state of emergency plus one month

  2. Impose a two-year freeze on rent increases while the city recovers 

  3. And enact into law the Reclaim Rent Control platform in its entirety

 

We need the Mayor and Council to take unprecedented steps to protect DC residents against the long-term effects of this crisis, and the sooner you act, the safer our residents will be. We can't afford half-measures now. Can we count on [Councilmember _____ OR Mayor Bowser] to support these measures?
 

  • [if negative reaction] I hope you reconsider. Washingtonians need secure housing. I am not willing to vote for a representative who would prioritize landlord profit over tenant safety during a public health crisis. [End call]

 

  • [if positive reaction] Thank you for listening, and I hope that you'll make an announcement soon about how you plan to keep renters and our communities safe.

LEAVE A VOICEMAIL:

  • If it goes to voicemail (which is likely since lots of us will be calling) start your message by saying you are a constituent.

  • Clearly state the 3 demands above: “I’m calling to ask The Council to provide direct relief to the people of DC by taking drastic action to: 

  1. Cancel rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the state of emergency plus one month

  2. Impose a two-year freeze on rent increases while the city recovers 

  3. And enact into law the Reclaim Rent Control platform in its entirety”

  • Tell them this is a voting issue for you (if you don’t do it, I won’t vote for you) 

 

PHONE NUMBERS

You will make 8 calls: 7 for the BOLD elected officials below, who represent all wards and 1 more for the councilmember from your ward, who is one of the unbolded names below.

 

Muriel Bowser -Mayor - (202) 727-2643

Phil Mendelson - Chairman, DC Council - (202) 724-8032

Kenyan McDuffie - Chair Pro Tempore and Ward 5 Councilmember - (202) 724-8028

Anita Bonds - At-Large Councilmember - (202) 724-8064

David Grosso - At-Large Councilmember - (202) 724-8105

Elissa Silverman - At-Large Councilmember - (202) 724-7772

Robert White - At-Large Councilmember - (202)-724-8174

Brianne Nadeau - Ward 1 Councilmember - (202) 724-8181

Mary Cheh - Ward 3 Councilmember- (202) 724-8062

Brandon Todd - Ward 4 Councilmember - (202) 724-8052

Charles Allen - Ward 6 Councilmember - (202) 724-8072

Vincent Gray - Ward 7 Councilmember - (202) 724-8068

Trayon White - Ward 8 Councilmember - (202)724-8045

That’s it! Call your 8 elected officials using the script above. 

We’re uplifting the campaigns of our housing justice allies at the DC Tenants Union if you want to read more, and you can find the Reclaim Rent Control platform here.  


 

Social Media follow-up steps

After you take action, help us spread our message far and wide! Be sure you’re following Sunrise DC on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and see below for a quick and easy social media guide:


 

POST A 1-MIN VIDEO TO HELP US RECRUIT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

Post a 1-minute selfie video on Instagram or Twitter explaining why you took action and call on others to do the same! Personal stories are the strongest tool we have to inspire them to join us. Your video story can be about a personal experience with housing, a brief statement about who or what you’re fighting for, or simply why you think it matters. End with a call to action: “That’s why we need you to join us, call the mayor and DC city council, and demand that they bail out renters and cancel rent!” 

 

Keep your video to 1 minute (Instagram’s max video length), and TAG US @SunriseMvmtDC! You don’t need to tell a perfectly worded story; just speak from the heart.  Don’t forget to tag us and hashtag it #CancelRent #BailOutRenters #PeoplesBailout

 

You can see an example on Naeem’s Instagram here

 

TWEET:

  • Click to tweet: We need a #PeoplesBailout because a $1,200 one-time payment won’t help the millions of us who already lost our jobs, healthcare, or income. @CouncilofDC and @MayorBowser we need you to #BailOutRenters and #CancelRent 

  • Click to tweet: Housing Justice is Climate Justice! Sunrise DC is calling on @CouncilofDC and @MayorBowser to #BailOutRenters and #CancelRent. Script here: https://bit.ly/428action

  • Click to tweet: We need @CouncilofDC and @MayorBowser to Bail Out Renters by canceling rent during this crisis and providing longer-term relief to residents. #cancelrent #bailoutrenters #peoplesbailout  

  • Click to tweet: The sooner @CouncilofDC and @MayorBowser acts to protect tenants from COVID-19 and long-term effects, the safer we will be. Join us in calling for more protections now: https://bit.ly/428action #cancelrent #bailoutrenters #peoplesbailout

  • Click to tweet: Tenants can't pay rent if they're sick or can't work during this crisis! Call @CouncilofDC and @MayorBowser today and demand that they #CancelRent and improve rent controls for tenants. Script here: https://bit.ly/428action #bailoutrenters #peoplesbailout

 

Thank you for taking action with us today! Stay tuned!