TENAC is a non-profit, public service organization dedicated exclusively to tenant interests, tenant rights, and support for rent control in the District of Columbia. We are the only city-wide tenants organization, and we represent all tenants in the District of Columbia.

As a legal successor to the Tenants' Organizations Political Action Committee (TOPAC), we have been serving tenants for almost 15 years. TENAC's mission is to assist tenants through education, legal information, and lobbying for tenant legislation- especially affordable housing and tenants' rights. TENAC prepares legislative proposals on behalf of tenants, and testifies frequently before the City Council on matters of vital interest to tenants. Of critical importance is TENAC's HOTLINE (202) 288-1921, which answers landlord/tenant questions, and TENAC's role in helping tenants to form tenant associations throughout the city.

TENAC believes that tenants in unorganized rental buildings are open for abuse by landlords, rental agents, and owners. We will not rest until we see a tenants' association in every rental building in the city.

TENAC ENDORSES CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE FOR 2012! (Click to see list of candidates TENAC recommends)

TENAC's (D.C. Tenants' Advocacy Coaltion) Board of Directors met on October 7 and voted to endorse candidates citywide for the general election this November.  We debated the merits of each candidate, and then made our decision, based on which candidates we think would best represent tenants' interests. There is much to do in the next two years.  Most important, TENAC and others are focusing on repeal of the costly new rent control increases landlords are allowed, CPI plus two (2) percent.  Though it seems like a small amount annually, when compounded, it will double and triple rents in the span of a few years. We urge you to support returning rent control to its former rent hikes of only CPI percent increases, and we strongly urge you to support the TENAC-endorsed slate.

TENAC'S ELECTION YEAR CANDIDATES FORUM - WED., SEPT. 12 at SUMNER SCHOOL, 17th & M Streets, NW

Care about:

Rent Control? Skyrocketing Rents? Evictions?

Affordable Housing? Tenants’ Rights?

CPI Plus 2 Percent Rent Increases = Too Much!

Exodus of Poor, Low and Fixed Income People from DC?

TENAC Chairman will undergo major surgery

TENAC Chairman Jim McGrath will undergo major spinal surgery on July 24, 2012, to be followed by extensive rehabilitation. He will be in Sibley Memorial Hospital for at least two weeks, followed by extensive convalescence at home.  In the interim, all TENAC matters will be diverted to my attention. Many thanks to all.  Best wishes,    Rob TENAC Research

A Little Thaw in “Ice-Land”

Martin Luther King’s joyous cry, “Free at Last,” at the historic 1963 March rang out for a whole nation and a whole people. Echoing an immortal old Negro Spiritual, his thunderous words rang loud and clear and galvanized the hopes and dreams of millions. Recently that cry rang true for a single soul as well. He is Jai Shankar, an Indian National – cruelly detained and hobbled by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities, for several years, as are countless Latinos and other immigrants today – never mind their extraordinary number of good works as model immigrants, performed for American society in general, and for the betterment of DC as well. As a TENAC volunteer, Jai has helped the disabled, done chores for the elderly, helped those facing eviction, and collected and given free food to the homeless.  

Jai Shankar Free at Last! Free at Last! Thank God Almighty -- Free at Last!

 

 

The joy that Martin Luther King rang out for a whole nation and a whole people, with his “Free At Last” cry, echoing the old Negro spiritual, in the historic 1963 March, rang true for a single soul as well. He is Jai Shankar, an Indian National -- cruelly detained and hobbled by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities, for several years, as are countless Latinos today - - never mind the extraordinary number of Jai’s and Latino good works as model immigrants in American society in general, and for the betterment of DC as well. Jai has worked his heart out in this city. As a TENAC volunteer, Jai has helped disabled tenants, done chores for elderly tenants, helped those facing eviction, and collected and given free food to the homeless, and all without any compensation whatsoever.

TENAC Chairman Endorses Tom Brown

Since TENAC could not schedule a candidates' forum for this election, we are making no organizational endorsements.

A great many of you, however, have asked me which candidates have my personal endorsement, and I am glad to comply with that. My list is very short.

For Ward 7, I strongly endorse Tom Brown. He is an outstanding candidate against Yvette Alexander, who has turned out to be a great disappointment, notably on her derailment of the nomination of Betty Noel, the people's choice, to the District Public Service Commission (PSC).

We are also very disappointed in Ward 4's Muriel Bowser for the same reason, but I do not know her opposition well enough to personally decide.

We are also lobbying the Mayor to resubmit Betty Noel's name for the PSC in light of Councilmember Phil Mendelson's vote against her, which was a clear conflict of interest in light of his ownership of significant PEPCO stock. He clearly should have recused himself on that vote. We kindly ask and strongly urge you to assist in this lobbying effort by contacting the Mayor's office on Betty Noel's behalf.

Free Betty Noel IV

Democracy, decency, and integrity all took body blows on March 15, when a Council Committee voted down Betty Noel’s nomination to the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC). This carefully rehearsed synchronized ploy became a legislative steamroller run by Committee Chair Alexander, who brooked no dissent, including the democratic process itself. Surely a nominee of such extraordinary distinction should at least have had an up or down vote by the full Council. Ms. Alexander would have none of it, however, waving off Councilmember Cheh’s motion with dismissive disdain. What on earth were they afraid of? Democracy in action? What followed was even worse – a stream of venomous condescension from all three Noel opponents, reaching its apex in Councilmember Mendelson’s vitriol against this outstanding nominee. Mr. Mendelson attempted to mask his broadside against Ms. Noel, as some kind of painful “vote of conscience.” What came through of course was “personal pique and pre-arrangement” with Ms. Alexander. What also came through was the crushing of affordable housing and tenant rights mashed by that same Alexander-driven steamroller.

Again We Say Free Betty Noel

The D.C. Council seems to be setting a world’s record deliberating on one of the finest candidates ever nominated for a high Executive Branch position by any mayor of this city: Mayor Vincent Gray’s nomination of Elizabeth Noel for a seat on the D.C. Public Service Commission.

One rumor circulated on the Council is that Ms. Noel is “unfriendly” to consumer interests. That is not only a total red herring, probably circulated by PEPCO, but ludicrous on its face. In fact, Ms. Noel is a consumer rights champion, and because she has valiantly fought utility-rate gouging, the only reason housing costs here – rental and other – have not gone through the roof. That is the ultimate in consumer support. She is a regulator who knows how important affordable housing is in this city. A vote against Betty Noel is a vote for the entrenched status quo – rapacious housing cost increases – rapidly making the city unaffordable and driving the poor out. Every tenant in this city has a vital interest in having Betty Noel named to the D.C. Public Service Commission. We urge you to make that view known to the Council at once.

Free Betty Noel! Council Stop Dithering

The D.C. Council seems to be setting a world’s record deliberating on one of the finest candidates ever nominated for a high Executive Branch position by any mayor of this city: Mayor Vincent Gray’s nomination of Elizabeth Noel for a seat on the D.C. Public Service Commission.

Christmas Is Over, But the Spirit of Noel Continues!

The “Noel Spirit” of course refers to Elizabeth Noel, Mayor Grey’s outstanding nominee for a seat on the District Public Service Commission (PSC). The merits of that appointment are so compelling and overwhelming, TENAC finds it difficult to understand why it is still pending. Support for Betty Noel among tenants in this city, the overwhelming majority of its residents (66%), is overwhelming. We believe she is the best nominee for executive branch service nominated by any mayor in many years.

Nothing attests to that fact more than her personal and professional qualities – a brilliant legal intelligence married to ethics, honesty and decency of the highest order, and all of it demonstrated in commitment and dedication to public service – exemplified best in her illustrious 25-year career as People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia.

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