Letter from the Executive Director for July 2020: MassLandlords Strategy

In June everything moved forward consistent with our strategy and member wishes, as fast as resources allow. We are responding to the eviction moratorium by working towards a Fair and Equal Housing Guarantee via Surety Bonds.

It bears repeating that MassLandlords staff operate under the elected Board of Directors, who together operate according to the policy priorities survey and other democratic forms of member input. Our goal in governance is consensus. We are always looking to take into account all sides of the argument. This goal stands in stark contrast to Massachusetts and national politics, which require swinging out to the left and right for primaries, and back to the center only to eke out a win in the general.

Consistent with our goal of consensus from the get-go, we supported and were thanked for our contributions to the Voter Choice for Massachusetts campaign. Voter Choice obtained over 25,000 uncertified signatures, which after certification should be enough to put Ranked Choice Voting on the fall 2020 ballot. This will help us change the way we elect Representatives and Senators in Massachusetts. Those who refuse to participate in consensus-oriented policy discussions, for instance, by endorsing destructive and partisan rent control against all data and experience to the contrary, will have to go. That is our long-term goal.

Short-term, we are behind the eight ball on both politics and fundraising. We are only just beginning to get high profile attention for our work on surety. This would extend the eviction moratorium with funding, and it would reform zoning. It is a truly unifying proposal. We are a small organization punching above our weight. Our 2019 tax return will show $270,000 in revenue. True, this has grown exponentially since we started with $8,509 in annual revenue in 2011, but we are still a far cry from the millions of dollars annually given to each of dozens of renter advocacy groups.

For those of you who believe our fastest path to redress lies with the courts, know that a lawsuit is pending from third parties, and that MassLandlords’ work to date on legislation in no way precludes us from initiating our own different lawsuit in the future. The order of operations we have followed is consistent with member wishes and leaves open all options. Legislative remedy first, and lawsuit second if necessary.

We have added 70 weekly staff hours in the past two months. Help us double this number by giving us at least 1% of your gross rent on a monthly basis. Become a Property Rights Supporter and we will be better prepared to deal with the eviction moratorium, the likely return of rent control, and a host of other challenges. Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing in Massachusetts.

Stay safe,
Douglas Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.

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