After November and December were strongly marked by our fight against Heimstaden, our initiative has now started the new year a bit more quietly. In this article we want to give you an overview of what has been going on with us in the last weeks.
We continue to support the Heimstaden tenants in building long-term structures. We also want to reflect on the heated early days of this struggle, when important decisions often had to be made within hours, and combine our practical experience with theoretical understanding.
We support the initiative Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen in their plan to socialize the housing stock of the largest real estate companies in Berlin through a referendum. Since February 26, you can sign for the referendum to be voted on in the elections in September. A total of 175,000 signatures are needed, so get to it! You can find out where to sign near you here👈.
We will also form a block at the #Mietenwahnsinn demo on March 27. You can find our call for this here. Bring your neighbors and join the Wählt Selbstorganisierung block!
Overall we had more time to build up our internal union structures. We are working on professionalizing our way of working and have founded new working groups and task forces.
The WG Strategy is currently working on the development of our organizational chart. How should our union be organized? How can we create effective and flexible structures that meet our demands for transparency and grassroots democracy? To this end, we are also looking at the models of other grassroots unions such as Unterbau (Frankfurt University) or the FAU and are in exchange with them. As a first practical step, we have further developed the mandate principle in our union: All WGs and AKs now have bindingly defined and transparent areas of responsibility as well as fixed contact persons. At a union conference in April, we want to make further decisions about our organizational structures.
AG Membership Management
Here we have a milestone to celebrate: Since the beginning of the year you can officially become a member of the Initiative Mieter:innengewerkschaft Berlin! 🥳 With our own account and first paying members, we are taking a first step towards financial independence. In addition, the AG is currently working on the development of a membership management software. For new members and interested people, there will be a new member workshop on the first Monday of each month, replacing the old “welcome round” before our plenums. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to participate!
The AG IT has been newly founded to build up and administrate the digital infrastructure of the MGB. This includes not only the administration of domain and server, but also the development of concepts for IT security. Furthermore, it is their task to make the various services accessible – not only on a technical level, but also by providing support, advice and imparting relevant knowledge, e.g. through how-tos. An important question that the WG faces in this context is how to deal with the concentration of power through the administrator position.
The WG Law is currently mainly concerned with the search for legal strategies for upcoming fights. The German tenancy law does not offer the same possibilities for collective actions as the labor law. Therefore, it is necessary to become creative here, which is why the AG is exchanging ideas with various lawyers and building up a corresponding network of contacts.
Working Group for Women, Lesbians, Intersexuals, Non-Binary People, Trans and Asexual Persons – AK FLINTA*
Also newly founded is the working group (“Arbeitskreis”) FLINTA*, which wants to create visibility and spaces for people who are affected by patriarchal structures. In the housing market, they are disadvantaged by wage inequities (gender pay gap) and discrimination, among other things. To counteract this, a first networking meeting has already taken place. The next meeting, to which persons outside of the MGB are expressly invited, will take place on 17.03. at 10:00. If you are interested, please contact email@example.com.
In addition, of course, our fight against Heimstaden continues. Tenants all over the city are having bad experiences with water being turned off for months, irregularities with the deposit, or garbage not being picked up. To counter this, we are setting up a deficiency reporting system that will soon be launched. At the same time, Heimstaden is buying up more houses, in part through share deals, in order to circumvent the districts’ right of first refusal. We support the tenants in Treptow-Köpenick, Neukölln, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Spandau and Pankow, whose houses have been bought.
That’s it from us. We hope you found this report interesting, informative or entertaining. If you have any suggestions or feedback, or would like to join us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.