Hi, my name is Mamadou Bah. Working at the Cooper Square Committee, I served in the Lower East Side for the last ten months as a tenant counselor and organizer. I strongly believe that educating and empowering tenants who face harassment contributes to the preservation and sustainability of this neighborhood. Many low-income and rent-stabilized tenants in the Lower East Side face displacement pressure from bad-acting landlords. The forms of harassment that tenants face include gas outages, illegal construction, and continuous buyout offers. The challenge is to organize tenants in a building before these tactics have reached full effect. My biggest learning moment was learning how to effectively search a building’s financial records on a program known as ACRIS (Automated City Register Information System) for the purpose of finding out a building’s financial records. I noticed that many of the buildings where tenants face tenant harassment have overleveraged bank loans. It shows how systemic and strategic major landlords are when it comes to displacing rent control and rent-stabilized tenants. I also learned how widespread tenant harassment is throughout NYC by working with other tenant neighborhood organizations. The organizing team at Cooper Square is truly a core of hard-working, dedicated individuals that are extremely committed to helping the tenants in the community. The spirit and optimism of the tenants that we’ve worked with has been all the more inspiring about aiding in the fight against tenant displacement and harassment. As of now, my next step would be to go to graduate school for a Master’s in Public Policy. I am still not sure on whether I want to work at the local, national, or international level in terms of policy reform.