“Hello! My name is Travis, and I’m with Down Home. We’re currently working to hold landlords accountable for the care and maintenance of the properties they place on the rental market. How are you doing today?”
That’s how a deep canvass conversation this week started up in the High Country. Our member continues: “We’ve been talking to our community for a while now and we hear stories about renters living with toxic mold, holes in their floors and ceilings, leaking pipes, and so on. So, we’ve decided to push the county commissioners to hold landlords accountable for maintaining the conditions of the properties they rent to people like you and me. We plan to do this by asking the county commissioners to adopt a minimum housing code, or a list of basic guidelines that ensures all renters have safe, suitable housing in exchange for their rent.”
All across North Carolina, Down Home local chapters are gaining support for their local issue campaign through deep canvassing– the art of using long, empathetic conversations to help shift someone’s belief. Down Home has long believed that this earnest and honest relational technique is the key to unlocking and building working class power in rural Southern communities. You can read more about our New Southern Strategy focusing on deep canvassing here.
While our members in the High Country are focusing on housing safety and quality, our members across the state are deep canvassing around other local issues, including evictions, budgetary support for school supplies, and for improvements to a local park.
If you are a Down Home member and want to get involved in deep canvassing for a local issue campaign, contact your local organizer. Our skilled Deep Canvass team is busy helping provide training and support so that you can skill build to hold these important and transformative conversations in your community– and we would love you to take part!