New Jersey Tenants Organization -  -  Phone: 201-342-3775

NJTO Philosophy:

1. The goal of organizing is to win power for tenants.. It is essential that you have enough of it to make your opponent adopt the changes you want.  Without power your organization cannot accomplish its goals.

2. People are best organized around common problems that effect their self-interest. When people's quality of life or pocketbooks are threatened, they are more willing to organize.  In all your attempts to organize (meetings, newsletters, flyers, press releases, etc.) you should stress the practical value of organizing and the specific problems you hope to solve.

3.  Your major task as an organizer is to build a strong democratic organization that can channel its members' energy in effective ways.  There is strength in numbers. While your opponent may have more money than you, you have more people.  Collective action can only increase your power as tenants.  While an individual tenant may have success in fighting the landlord some of the time, tenants acting collectively through a strong organization can win more often and faster.

4.  Be creative and flexible in the methods that you use. Use tactics that work, throw out tactics that don't.  Tactics should be chosen wisely and abandoned when they no longer prove useful.  Tactics that drag the conflict on without end become a drag for the members and the organization.  You want to use tactics that work quickly.  Nothing helps to build your organization better than winning victories in the shortest time possible.  Quick victories build the membership's morale and give the organization the spark to raise the struggle to the next level.

5. Do not shy away from conflict. Your opponents will not just hand you what you want because it is the right thing to do. Their interests are different then yours and they act accordingly.  There will always be conflict before a solution is reached.  Conflict is normal in organizing for social change.  As an organizer working to better your living conditions, "social change" is your goal.