I'm John Henneberger. And I'm here today with David Wheaton advocacy director at Texas Housers and Geoffrey Okolo who is an activist on tenant rights in San Antonio.
Thanks, John. Like John said, my name is David Wheaton I've been the advocacy director at Texas Housers for almost a year now. where I help grassroots coalitions and, and I help, advocacy efforts for affordable housing here in the state of Texas
... Hello. My name is Geoffrey Okola I've been, member of TOP for like a year and a half. And primarily I organize with the TOP with their housing justice organizers, and we have been pushing to make housing prioritized by the city of San Antonio.
Geoffrey you want to tell us, our listeners a little bit about who TOP is?
Texas Organizing Project or as we're known TOP. we are a community oriented, organization that's trying to build, political power for a marginalized communities throughout Texas. Using, I guess a two pronged approach, one for political power, one for people, power political power, i.e. Getting people we elect into office to be very, very responsive to the needs of the people on the ground and people, power empowering everyday people.
Allowing them to use the most of their agency. So rather than relying solely on electoralism, you can be a better neighbor and there's power with that.
Got it. So you and David have been cooking up, a tenant bill of rights for San Antonio. How did you get interested?
This, started as, an idea that we had, after the 2021 legislative session, there was some effort to put tenant rights at the forefront, but we didn't have. like Geoffery just said the political and the people power to do that.
What we had is some good advocacy and some good policy, but we just didn't have the people to push that policy to the finish line. And so what we wanted to do in the interim before the 2023 session, was to enact locally, some reform. for tenants and we thought, what is going on in San Antonio is a progressive push.
and we kind of saw TOP as that perfect partner, to kind of help Texas Housers do some really great things locally in San Antonio when it comes to tenants rights. and that's where I met Geoffrey and Marco and some of the other organizers at TOP