Community organisers from Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Italy, as well as London and Edinburgh have joined us in Bristol this week to share experiences, ideas and stories, and give us a helping hand building our Easton community union!
ACORN International is the global umbrella groups for campaigning community groups and unions that has supported us to get our own community union up and running.
This week, organisers from around the world have been meeting in Bristol, sharing some stories and ideas. The last two days, they've been out and about doorknocking with us in Easton, meeting Easton ACORN members and helping get signatures to support our campaign to end local letting agent fees and insecure tenancies.
Thanks to all of you for giving our friends such a warm reception - with their help we've had new members join in Easton and gained 100 signatures on our petition to end tenancy fees in just two days!
We've also talked to local residents about concerns like parking issues, speeding cars on Chelsea Road and low wages, as well as great ideas to make the neighbourhood nicer like planting flowers at the base of trees on the streets - all of which (and more) are things ACORN can work on here if members want to help make it happen.
Easton ACORN members will be out doorknocking again tonight and all of us will be out again tomorrow. If you want to join us and get involved meeting neighbours and discussing issues please feel free! Contact us here to come out door knocking.
As well as that, yesterday was day 1 of our meeting and we've heard some amazing stories from community organising including:
- The ACORN family now includes community groups and unions numbering nearly 80,000 people!
- In Italy, members have used a law, which was designed to force landlords to register for tax purposes, so that tenants can register unlisted landlords and get a 90% discount on their rent!
- Across Canada, community groups have been campaigning for good landlord licensing to force landlords to maintain healthy homes and fix appliances. Tactics included running a cockroach derby race!
We also discussed international campaigns to win rental improvement, drop the rip-off fees for remitances (where migrants send money to their families) and win cheaper, faster internet in low income communities.
Today is day 2 and this afternoon we're hearing from community groups in Asia, Africa and Latin America so we'll have more exciting stories soon!
If you havent signed yet please support our petition here to force local letting agents to end extortionate tenancy fees and insecure rolling tenancy contracts.