Stephen Lerner & Christina Livingston

Stephen Lerner, a veteran organizer, was the architect of Justice for Janitors. Christina Livingston is executive director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

Recent Articles

Why Unions Must Bargain for Affordable Housing—and How

With housing costs gobbling up wage increases for union members and almost everyone else, labor must prioritize housing affordability.

For many millions of Americans, winning decent, safe, and affordable housing is an urgent necessity. Housing costs are putting the squeeze on working families in urban and suburban settings alike, especially in communities of color that have long been targeted by predatory housing schemes. Since the financial crisis, housing affordability has grown even worse for workers, as gentrification, rising rents, and the corporatization of rental properties—both multifamily and single-family homes—displace communities of color and increase homelessness. It’s time for the American union movement to put the issue of affordable housing at the center of its quest to better the lives of American workers. In much of the country, the wage gains that its members may win in their contracts lag far behind the increasing costs they confront when they rent or try to purchase a home. By expanding the scope of the issues they bargain for, by making common cause with the many community...