ACCE Oakland Trains Youth Organizers

OAKLAND - The ACCE Youth Leadership Academy was a 5 week pilot program to explore ACCE's ability to train up youth organizers in our organizing model. 8 Oakland youth (from ACCE's membership base; several were children of current ACCE members), worked with ACCE 3 days each week for 5 weeks. Due to COVID, we were unable to engage the youth in our typical day-to-day community outreach/door-knocking work, but we did interactive trainings on topics like 1) Why We Organize (power in numbers, direct action & why elections actually matter); 2) Housing Justice (What is a commodity? What is real estate speculation? What is a land trust? How are housing justice and racial justice connected?) 3) Housing Rights (Rent Control, Costa Hawkins, Eviction Moratorium) 4) Power Mapping; 5) Strikes & Direct Action, etc. Each training included a skills and community engagement component, where youth learned and refined their version of an organizing rap, recruited tenants to attend trainings about their legal right to withhold rent during the pandemic, lobbied local and state legislatures, worked with ACCE tenant leaders to plan and execute direct actions, and created a video for the Cancel Rent campaign.