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Episode 02 — #CancelRent: Digital Organizing and Collective Struggle in a Global Pandemic          

Brady Collins

Episode Transcript

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in hundreds of thousands of lives lost and has caused an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression. In response to this crisis, a network of more than 320 advocacy organizations came together to form the “Healthy LA” coalition. Since March 2020, Healthy LA has been organizing residents and pushing Los Angeles city and county officials to pass policies that only protect residents’ health and address the fundamental racial and economic inequities impacting vulnerable Angelenas. However, because public meetings of government bodies have turned remote, Healthy LA has been forced to channel its advocacy through a call-in public comment system plagued with technical difficulties and populated by hundreds of angry voices. How does community organizing work through these remote and impersonal formats? Is collective struggle possible when we are physically separate, our voices controlled and curated by a centralized bureaucracy?


Brady Collins received his Ph.D in Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MA in Political Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Having spent several years as a policy advocate in the housing and labor movement in Los Angeles, much of his teaching and research is focused on Los Angeles, though he has also studied neighborhoods in Barcelona, Tokyo, and Shanghai. His areas of expertise are in community and economic development, civic engagement, ethnic enclaves, urban governance, and social capital. More generally, Brady’s research lies at the intersection of the spatial, sociocultural, and political aspects of urbanism, and seeks to forge new relationships between the built environment and local politics. He teaches courses on public administration, public policy, qualitative methods, and urban governance in Los Angeles.


ShadyDave. The Sonata Piano Loop. The Collective Struggle to Cancel Rent. Podcast Audio,

Collins, Brady. Interview with Carla de Paz. The Collective Struggle to Cancel Rent. Podcast Audio.