Victoria Tenant Action Group: Bring Out the Vote

By: 

Madyson Powell and Emily Rogers

There’s a municipal election coming up on October 20, and those of us who are renters in Victoria have a chance to get our voices heard and have our values represented in municipal office.

In 2017, the TAPS Tenancy Project got together with local tenants who had been displaced from their homes to create the Victoria Tenant Action Group (VTAG). The goal of VTAG is to provide support and education, as well as a forum for activism, for people who do not own their homes in the Greater Victoria region. VTAG has grown significantly over the past 18 months and is now a formal non-profit society. Most recently, VTAG launched the Municipal Election Renters Mobilization campaign (MERM).

In light of the upcoming municipal election, VTAG is working to ensure that renters, who make up 60 percent of Victoria’s inhabitants, have their values represented in municipal office. We want municipal governments to protect the quality and quantity of existing rental stock and increase the stock of genuinely affordable rental housing, thereby fostering the dignity and quality of life of renters and all members of our community who do not own their home.

Because it can be hard to comb through each candidate’s platform, we at VTAG are working to make relevant information accessible to voters. We have sent a survey to the 2018 municipal candidates asking them to present their positions on the ever-present housing crisis, and will be packaging the results into a fact sheet designed to help renters determine which candidates reflect their values and prioritize their needs. The fact sheet will be available at www.victoriatenants.com and in pamphlet form at VTAG events.

Interested in getting involved? Here’s how:

  • Pledge to cast an informed vote on election day: www.tinyurl.com/rentersvote
  • Become a member:  join the Victoria Tenant Action Group at www.victoriatenants.com and be a part of a community of care and action
  • Volunteer with VTAG to help engage other community members, write your candidates, or organize in your neighbourhood.