The Oracle Speaks: Jack & Jill in Erehwon Village

Lucy, the manager of Erehwon Village, a multifamily public housing facility for elderly and disabled, has received complaints about the couple, Jack and Jill, from Thomasina, Dick, and Hariette, the "Guardians," The "Guardians" are self-appointed overseers of life in the village and no one dares stand up to them. What should Lucy, the manager, do? The Oracle is silent on this problem, but the Oracle has received several responses.

Bullies and Fascists

"Every age has its own Fascism." Madeleine Albright, a refugee from Nazi Germany and Communist Czechoslovakia, opens her book, Fascism: A Warning, with this quote from Primo Levi, himself a survivor of the Holocaust. What is the difference between fascism in a country, and mobbing and bullying in housing?

Ask the Oracle

In this new Ask the Oracle series, we pose a problem situation typical of life in multifamily public and subsidized housing and will present the best answers in the next newsletter. This time, the case of the unwanted tenants.

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Ups and downs in tenant-management relations

Pamela Goodwin at Salem Willows

Free at Last

Pamela Goodwin has decided that living in a tent is preferable to seeking peaceful enjoyment in Upton public housing where she experienced bullying and hostile environment harassment.

Goodwin is an advocate for tenants' rights who has also been fighting for her own rights in the public housing in Upton, Mass.  She is a bright, energetic person whose knowledge of rules and regulations often exceeds that of the government officials and experts.

The Salem Willows Black Festival: Parade! Picnic!

Black Festival by the sea at Salem Willows

Partnering with Salem United at the Salem Willows Black Festival

Jerry Halberstadt

The Salem Willows Black Festival began in 1741 as "Negro Election Day," when black people of Massachusetts were able to elect their own Governor. The march and festival were organized this year by Doreen Wade, President of Salem United. http://www.salemunitedinc.org/ We were honored to be included in the parade and festival and proud to support recognition of the historical and continuing contributions of the black community to our society.

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America, America, the bell tolls for thee

Statue of Liberty

When we enable our leaders to dehumanize any person or group, we lose our humanity. John Donne wrote, "...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." When our leaders dehumanize a class of people, we allow waves of hatred, like the incoming tide on the beach, to wash away the sandy ramparts that protect our fragile humanity.

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Boston Senior Civic Academy, A Springboard for Advocacy

Carol Leary
I recently had the great pleasure of participating in The Senior Civic Academy, sponsored by the City of Boston's Elderly Commission. It was a pilot project over the course of five Fridays, focusing on advocacy by and for seniors, with presentations by panels of experts from a wide range of programs.—A report from Carol Leary

Legislators Meet with Coalition

Senator Lovely and Representative Walsh meet with Coalition
The Stop Bullying Coalition recently had the honor to meet with our elected representatives, Senator Joan Lovely (2nd Essex) and Representative Thomas Walsh (Peabody), to advocate for consideration of our proposed legislation designed to address two critical needs of tenants who are elderly or living with disability, and reside in public or subsidized housing, and are victims of bullying.