Since his retirement in 2013, Spencer volunteers as the Community
Manager of the Rental Housing Information Network in Ohio. RHINO is
an on line community of activists (service providers, public
policy/program managers, tenant leaders and rental housing advocates)
working on rental housing issues in Ohio. During his professional
career, Spencer was a VISTA volunteer, a community worker at Garden
Valley Neighborhood House, lead organizer and executive director of
the Cleveland Tenants Organization, and tenant outreach director of
the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO). Spencer
served as a volunteer on several successful political campaigns in
Ohio and on many non profit Boards of Trustees. In addition to
managing RHINO network, Spencer has a big garden and small woodlot
where he lives with his wife Janet and two spoiled cats.
Mayor Bill Peduto’s call for elite nonprofits in Pittsburgh to combat inequality will require more than social work or education or technological innovation. The “eds and meds” can’t think their way out of the dilemma of two societies, separate and unequal.
Subsidizing legal representation in housing court is only one of a series of strategies being used to protect low-income renters in New York. Other regions should pay attention, because the problems of “renter nation” are coming to a neighborhood near you.
Amazon is intent upon using economic power to extract political concessions without the messiness of actually engaging with citizens. Why negotiate a deal when you can make the HQ a prize among municipalities eager to win the lottery?
Crafting a piece of legislation is an art form. While most legislative bodies have staff specialists who can write a bill so as to “fit in” with existing laws, many advocacy organizations are turning to hired guns to help.
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