(II.) How to host a meeting
Hosting a meeting can be a daunting and/or difficult task, but trust us, it doesn’t have to be if you follow these simple and easy steps.
(1.) Talk with the participants about when to have the meeting AND where
If you’re going to organize and take action, you gotta have the maximum involvement of people. Check-in with EVERY person about coming to the meeting. If you have more than 20 apartment units involved, start with a group text but try to make sure you are chatting with at least half of all the units via text, phone, and preferably, in person.
(2.) Safe and neutral location
Sometimes, another tenant’s house or apartment may not be a neutral location. We all have baggage in our relationships that can be hard to place in the past. Avoid this by choosing an outdoor location or a local venue/space outside of the complex such as a church, school, etc. If you’re having difficulty, please contact the Renters Rights Assembly and we can help you secure a space in your neighborhood/community or we can give you advice (we have access to pop-up tents, chairs, and even tables if you want to meet outside!!!).
(3.) Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
Remind everyone that your meeting location is set! Let folks know the time and day. If it’s happening off-site, see if folks can give rides to tenants without cars if the location is too far away.
(4.) Food and beverages
Folks are hungry! What’s your plan for food? We recommend asking everyone to “potluck” or bring a dish to share. It doesn’t have to be complicated, you could assign dishes. Also, the RRA occasionally has some money for purchasing pizza and cold drinks for first meetings depending on the size. Let us know far in advance and we can help you!
(5.) Outside speaker
Sometimes folks like to hear from us or a lawyer. If your group needs reassurance of their rights, reach out to us.
(6.) Next steps (tell people to bring their calendars)
Believe it or not, but planning for the next meeting starts at the meeting you’re at! Before folks leave, ask them about when a good time would be to meet next. Get general consensus or collective approval on when to meet.
Don’t forget at the meeting to have a sign-in list to capture everyone’s contact information to create a phone tree or email list so that y’all can all stay in contact.
You may want to create various committees. Think about what may need be needed in advance