AIDS Healthcare Foundation will address housing justice issues at the Sanders Institute’s The Gathering this week. The progressive think-tank was co-founded by Jane Sanders, the wife of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Healthy Housing Foundation, AHF’s subsidiary, is a major sponsor of the event.
Held in Burlington, Vermont, from November 29 through December 1, The Gathering will bring together top activists, political leaders, and experts from around the world to discuss key social justice issues of the day.
As a way to urgently address California’s devastating housing affordability and homeless crises, AHF played a vital role in seeking to repeal statewide restrictions on rent control through Proposition 10. The November ballot measure was not approved, but a broad housing coalition of 527 organizations, labor unions, and elected officials was born.
AHF and its subsidiaries, Healthy Housing Foundation and Housing Is A Human Right, will continue to fight for more fair, affordable housing in 2019.
At The Gathering, AHF President and Co-Founder Michael Weinstein will be a panelist for a discussion on the housing crisis in America.
“The Sanders Institute Gathering is an important opportunity for progressives to discuss, debate, compare notes and strategize,” said Weinstein in a press statement. “We are grateful to Jane Sanders for creating this very special opportunity for AHF, and its new subsidiary Healthy Housing Foundation, to present our ideas on housing justice.”
He added, “The Sanders Institute understands that affordable housing has become the number one economic inequality issue in many American cities and it must be addressed.”
In 2017, AHF launched Healthy Housing Foundation, part of a community-based effort to address the exploding housing affordability and homelessness crises in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the U.S. Since then, Healthy Housing Foundation has purchased three underutilized single-room-occupancy hotels (SROs) on Skid Row in Los Angeles and a motel in Hollywood, adaptively reusing and repurposing the buildings as nearly 600 housing units for homeless and/or extremely low-income individuals.
HHF is also well underway with the planning of a newly built 680-unit affordable housing tower in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Jane Sanders, co-founder and fellow at the Sanders Institute, said: “The selection of topics and speakers will ensure that the conference is insightful and relevant, as we discuss some of our nation’s most pressing issues and share innovative solutions. Medicare for All, the climate crisis, housing issues, criminal justice, workers’ rights, international cooperation, civil rights, and austerity in Puerto Rico are some of the issues that will be addressed.”
David Driscoll, co-founder and executive director of the Sanders Institute, said: “Social justice, economic justice, and human dignity will be focuses threaded throughout the conference. The core intent of the Sanders Institute Gathering is to share replicable policies, develop actionable steps, establish ongoing networks and articulate a progressive vision.”
Mayors Carmen Yulin Cruz (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Bill deBlasio (New York, NY), Ada Colau (Barcelona, Spain), and Michael Tubbs (Stockton, CA) will be on a Mayors’ Roundtable. Labor leaders such as UE President Peter Knowlton, APWU President Mark Dimondstein, NNU Co-President Jean Ross, and former NNU Executive Director RoseAnn Demoro will be speaking.
Yanis Varoufakis (former Finance Minister of Greece), Nikki Ashton (Member of Canadian Parliament), Bernie Sanders (Vermont Senator), David McWilliams (Irish author/economist), and others will discuss international cooperation and the need for a Progressive International movement.
Other speakers include Danny Glover, Stephanie Kelton, Shaun King, Naomi Klein, Ben Jealous, Tulsi Gabbard, Winona LaDuke, Bill McKibben, Nina Turner, Simon Sinek, Cenk Uygar and James Zogby. Top researchers and policy developers such as Jane Kim, Robert Pollin, Chirlane McCray, Michael Weinstein, Radhika Balakrishnan, Matt Nelson, Brenda Torpy, Joseph Geevargese, Karin Ryan, Jo Beardsmore, Diane Archer, Ron Goldfarb, and John Davis and many more will be part of the program – which includes fifteen of the Institute’s eighteen fellows.
More information on the conference and speakers can be found at www.sandersinstitutegathering.org.