Progress through Organizing

Working together works. Just ask Meeka and Christina -- they worked together to get the city of Renton to respond to their campaign for good housing and good jobs for their community, Sunset Terrace.While Meeka Gadson wouldn’t consider herself an activist, she is someone who deeply cares for the welfare of her neighbors. So when she learned that her neighbors will soon be forced to leave their homes as part of an area development plan, Ms. Meeka knew she had to act. Together with her friend Christina Fleming and a dozen neighbors, they started organizing the other residents of their complex and worked to get the details of the relocation plan for the residents whose homes would be demolished.

Along with Working Washington, Meeka and Fleming educated residents about what was going to happen and let them know they had options to ensure that those making the decisions would hear their concerns.

They started a petition drive, collecting of signatures of almost 70% of the complex’s residents to show the city council just how worried they were. Their petition called for:

  • Clarity about relocation,
  • The least disruptive relocation options,
  • Meetings with the Housing Authority, and
  • First access for the community to jobs from commercial space creation.

“It’s unbelievable that the Mayor’s office even called me personally” said Meeka after she led a group of 19 residents presenting the signatures to City Council.

The presentation went very well. They are now becoming collaborating partners in bringing good jobs to residents and the city of Renton.

“This just shows what organizing can do,” said Christina.