Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Tenants and Workers United

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Tenants and Workers United
Tenants and Workers United is working with the community to create a more inclusive Alexandria by taking a grassroots approach. (Photo/Tenants and Workers Union)

Historic Alexandria celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Tenants and Workers United is dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income communities of color across Northern Virginia, and is working with the community to create a more inclusive Alexandria. TWU takes a grassroots approach to its work by knocking on doors, listening to people’s concerns, hosting community meetings, providing civic education, conducting leadership trainings and launching issue campaigns to ensure that all people have a seat at the table where decisions that impact their lives are made.

TWU’s work is grounded in three core values. First, all people have a right to community, housing, health and education. Second, all communities have the right to control their own resources.Third, power is in collective action. TWU envisions a society that authentically values every human being and pro- vides the structures, institutions and systems that make it possible for each person, family and community to thrive.

This work is tedious and time consuming, but it is the only thing that will fundamentally change systems and secure sustainable solutions to the problems that disproportionately impact low-income communities of color.

TWU’s ongoing work builds on a long history of wins, including establishing the Arlandria-Chirilagua Housing Cooperative, which remains affordable with rent prices frozen at 1990s rates; launching the Alexandria Union Cab; winning living wage laws in Alexandria City and Arlington County; establishing College Prep for All and Restorative Practices in Alexandria City Public Schools; winning changes to local policies around collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and helping to win driver privilege cards for undocumented folks at the state level.

Today, TWU’s multifaceted and interconnected campaigns are led by community members and focus on the needs they identify, including securing deeply affordable and dignified housing; advancing tenants’ rights and pushing back against discriminatory management companies; ending the school-to-prison pipeline; securing immigrants’ rights; and ensuring an equitable recovery from the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis.

To make a donation or connect with TWU’s work, visit www.tenantsandworkers.org.

Out of the Attic is provided by The Office of Historic Alexandria.