Remarks Prepared for Negro Election Day


It is a privilege to honor the dedication of Black people to democracy even through the trials of slavery to the challenges of today.

Doreen Wade and the members of Salem United, Inc. have helped to revive and strengthen this annual gathering, and in collaboration with our legislators, including Senator Joan Lovely and Representive Paul Tucker, have made Negro Election Day a state holiday.


Testimony on H4138 the Affordable Homes Act

To the Honorable Chairs and Members of the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets.


H4138 The Affordable Homes Act promises many benefits in housing. However, it fails to deal with the essential rights of tenants, suitable housing for all the homeless, and support for people who depend on personal care attendants. This is an appeal for the missing bills and on behalf of the invisible people.

The Nomads Need Accessible Housing

It is bitterly cold now as the nomads, women in their 70s and 80s, gather in their vans and cars in the department store parking lot on a bitterly cold night. The common thread in their stories is how they were forced out of their homes because their bodies could not tolerate smoking or other triggers of their asthma or multiple chemical sensitivity. Multiple chemical sensitivity is a condition in which the body’s immune and neurological systems cause symptoms similar to allergies, symptoms that can be disabling.

Report: Meeting with Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities

As leaders of the Stop Bullying Coalition advocating for the rights of tenants living in public and subsidized housing we have the honor of meeting and collaborating on policy with our legislators and high state officials in the Office of the Attorney General and with the new Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC).

Reflections on Advocacy

Politics is the art of the possible. Advocacy is the art of changing the possible.

After a decade of advocacy for the right of tenants to be free of bullying and harassment, we ask: Why has it taken so long? When will we get relief? Is it worth continuing our efforts?

It’s taken so long because the task is so challenging. We will get relief if all of us continue showing up and keep telling Beacon Hill our demand: We want our rights! When do we want them? Now!


Testimony on H3868, to establish a tenant advocate to protect tenant rights

Testimony of Jerry Halberstadt and others in favor of H3868, “An Act to create the office of the tenant advocate in the Office of the Attorney General,” prepared for the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, December 5, 2023 

To the Honorable Chairs James B. Eldridge and Michael S. Day, Vice Chairs Lydia Edwards and Christine P. Barber and members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.


Tenant Advocate: Resources

This article provides additional testimony to support passage of H3868, “An Act to create the office of the tenant advocate in the Office of the Attorney General.” The provider of housing must assure peaceful enjoyment of all tenants and it is unlawful not to prevent harassment or hostile environment harassment. The Fair Housing Law protects tenants in protected classes from hostile environment harassment. The proposed law under H3868 would extend protection to all tenants. Hostile environment harassment harms individual victims and the residential community. There is no current effective oversight; the tenant advocate will fill that need.