Tenant Advocacy Board

Last updated: November 6, 2009 – 11:32 AM

MTO’s Tenants Advocacy Board

Making Housing a Human Right

A vision for Change

MTO’s Advocacy Board regularly hosts leadership development workshops and seminars, organizes local and citywide planning meetings, and engages tenants in public policy forums with public and elected officialsWe are tenants and rely on tenants to lead the organization. We do this by developing the leadership skills and capacity of tenants to participate in and lead social change campaigns. Organizing is the life blood of MTO.  MTO was born with picket sign and megaphone in hand.  We organized and won the Tenants Bill of Rights.  To this day our reason for being remains to make the lives of tenants whole and prosperous.  We recognize that the only way to succeed is through building organization, confronting power and winning back our human rights to housing, health, education, jobs and the ability to organize.  All these rights are essential and interconnected.

MTO’s Advocacy Board will focus on housing and making housing a human right.  Housing as a Human Right means the housing is affordable and that you will still be able to purchase sufficient food, clothing and other necessities.  Housing as a human right means the housing meets basic quality and health standards.  No one should live in slums, not have heat, live with pests or lead paint hazards, etc.  Housing as Human Right means housing must be stable.  Everyone should have choice where they live and no one should be able to force another to move simply because they have more money or power.

MTO’s Advocacy Board will promote and build campaigns and a movement for big ideas like rent stabilization/rent control, just cause eviction, proactive inspection programs, and doubling or tripling the investment in quality affordable housing and more.  Small corrections to a system that is not working will not change the underlying unfairness.  We seek fundamental change.

We need people for the board who are: rooted in their communities, spokespeople, bridge builders, strategists, conveners, visionaries, trained in organizing, able to roll up their sleeves and share in the work.  We want people who understand the many ugly faces of oppression.  We want people who believe we together can win.

Duties and Responsibilities include:

  • Setting short, intermediate and long term campaign goals
  • Building a membership base
  • Developing campaign resources
  • Identifying and recruiting allies
  • Organize and participate in public engagement events, including forums, panels, rallies, trainings, public hearings, and other public presentations.
  • Recruit volunteers to work on campaigns
  • Lobby state, local and federal policy makers
  • Devise and implement campaign strategies and tactics
  • Serve as spokespeople for media at public hearings and other public events


  • Support MTO mission
  • Be a member of MTO
  • Completed MTO leadership development training or any other similar training
  • Good communication skills
  • Familiarity with Chicago political scene
  • Ability to motivate and engage others
  • Sense of Humor

For more information, contact Anita Lewis at (773) 292-4980 ext. 228 or by email at anital@tenants-rights.org.