Democracy Happened

In Governor's office, Edward A. Palleschi administers oath to Jerry Halberstadt

When we as citizens get together with our representatives, democracy happpens. Thank you for your support and partnership in the effort to develop a legislative study of the problem of bullying. Your phone calls and letters were a significant factor in convincing legislative leaders to support our bill, S1984. Together we have helped to create national landmark legislation, establishing the Massachusetts Commission to Study Ways to Prevent Bullying of Tenants in Public and Subsidized Multi-Family Housing, pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Resolves of 2016.

For A Healthy Community:Prevent Bullying

American flag and MIA banner

Bullying is a contagious social disease that flourishes in the absence of a legitimate social order, creates a toxic environment and an unhealthy community life, all while causing psychological and physical harm to victims. I attempt to answer: What is bullying? How does it arise? How can we prevent bullying? And how can we create healthy community in multifamily housing?

Pride overcomes bullying

Fall foliage, golden leaves against red sky

If we are to eliminate bullying in multifamily housing communities, and heal the community, we need to change attitudes and increase the level of mutual understanding and cooperation. We need to have pride in our community, and earn the respect of the wider community. Therefore, we need to change ourselves (managers and residents alike) and how we relate to each other. We won't achieve our goals by trying to kick out tenants or trying to fire the managers.

The Bully in the Workplace

Cover art for The Bully's Trap by Andrew Faas

Faas writes, “Why do bullies bully?” The simple answer is because they work in an environment where it is allowed, condoned, encouraged, and even expected....but where bullying is not allowed or condoned it will stop.

Andrew Faas was a senior executive in retail for three decades, and during that time demonstrated how to lead and manage a business, not from fear and bullying, but through establishing cultural dynamics that are based on values, motivation, and positive leadership to create a strong organization and a safe place to work. His ideas are relevant to bullying in multifamily residential situations.

Governor Baker creates landmark commission on bullying

Woman dancing

August 10, 2016. Governor Baker has signed resolve S1984, thus creating a landmark commission to protect elderly and disabled victims from harassing and bullying. Passage of this resolve demonstrates again the leadership and compassion of our legislators and of Governor Baker and their responsive concern for the well-being and rights of all citizens. It is a victory for citizen activism and democracy.

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How to create a healthy residential community

Pear tree in bloom

Impact of bullying on elderly and disabled

Bullying is a contagious social disease that flourishes in the absence of a legitimate social order, creates a toxic environment and an unhealthy community life, all while causing psychological and physical harm to victims.

About one quarter of elderly people living independently are the victims of bullying. Bullying targets elderly and disabled people, including those living in public or subsidized multifamily apartment housing, but it is also a problem in many upscale residential settings.

The Business Case for Action

Courthouse entrance

Preventing Harassment & Bullying is a Leadership Challenge

Preventing and remedying harassment, a form of bullying, may not seem like the legal responsibility of the housing provider—but it is, according to state and federal authorities. On October 21, 2015, HUD proposed a rule that would formalise and define harassment under the Fair Housing Act. This rule would recognize and protect important rights of persons covered by the Fair Housing Act in their home. And the rule would impose clear responsibility on the housing provider for any acts of harassment. In reaction to the proposed rule, many providers of housing—public, private, subsidized, affordable, or market rate—rushed to decry government intervention, reject any responsibility for tenant relations, and set their legal teams to work. (1) But while there may be risk of legal exposure sufficient to motivate action by landlords, there are other excellent business reasons to prevent bullying and harassment.

Pride overcomes bullying

If we are to eliminate bullying in multifamily housing communities, and heal the community, we need to change attitudes and increase the level of mutual understanding and cooperation. We need to have pride in our community, and earn the respect of the wider community. Therefore, we need to change ourselves (managers and residents alike) and how we relate to each other. We won't achieve our goals by trying to kick out tenants or trying to fire the managers.

Seeking a safe home? Beware of bullying!

Fall flowers

When we buy a car, we read objective reports and compare prices, when we buy a house, we have a professional inspect to be sure it is safe and sound. But when we choose what may be our last home, if we do not use care, we may move into a terrible, unsafe situation and then find ourselves with no way out.