Our Media Team is collecting stories from local tenants and organizers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to be used to create videos and graphics. We’re looking for content that expresses what life is like right now; what difficulties and threats you are facing (joblessness, financial crises, eviction), and if you are rent-striking and why. We are calling for submissions of all kinds, from “day in the life” videos, to audio recordings, to written accounts, to screenshots of retaliatory letters from landlords and text exchanges – however you are most comfortable sharing your story!
We will use the resultant content to pressure our legislators via strategic social media blasts. We’re also working with a reporter from the BBC to get this content published. Our legislators must face the devastation this crisis is causing and act on our demands!
Please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org following these guidelines:
Please film yourself on your phone “selfie style” in landscape mode, holding or leaning your phone against something. Wearing headphones with a microphone will improve sound quality. Here’s a video with some filming tips. We encourage you to send multiple videos (instead of one big file); one video answering the questions below, and multiple shorter videos of what you are seeing.
You can record a “voice memo” answering the questions below, and send it to us via email, or you can call 267-255-3689 and leave a voicemail.
To send a written account and/or images:
Please accompany forwarded emails, screenshots, and/or jpegs with as much or little writing about your situation, using the questions below for guidance. We will edit out any names and personal information for your protection before sharing anything publicly.
Please answer these questions:
- Please introduce yourself
- What has this month been like for you? How are you feeling?
- When did you realize that you will not be able to pay your rent? How did you lose your income?
- If you could go back in time and give yourself advice a month ago, what would you say?
- What do you want the government to do?
- I know it’s hard and you’re taking it day by day, but what are your thoughts about the future?
- Are you striking? If so, why did you decide to participate in the rent strike?
- What do you hope will come out of the rent strike?
- How long have you lived in your current residence? Tell us what makes it home to you and about your neighborhood and home.
- What happens after the rent strike? What happens to you next month and the following month if the economy does not recover?
- How has your landlord reacted to efforts to negotiate? Would you read to us from any email, letter or text exchange you feel comfortable sharing?
- Record what you see. If you are organizing with other tenants on the phone or online or putting up posters etc in the neighborhood please film that too. Even if that just means showing us how you’re talking on the phone, on your laptop, out shopping, or what’s going on in your house. We really just want to get a sense of what life is like for you now.
Thank you for your submissions! Together we will win the relief we need and support each other through this crisis!
Philadelphia Tenants Union Press & Media Team