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.
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.
Partnering with Salem United at the Salem Willows Black Festival
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.
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.
Whereas: why we need a law to stop bullying
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
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.
A bill protecting elderly and persons with disability from bullying, mobbing, and hostile environment harassment in multifamily subsidized and public housing. This bill mandates and empowers the trained abuse investigators of the Department of Elder Affairs and the Disabled Persons Protection Commission to investigate complaints of bullying, and to refer as appropriate situations of hostile environment harassment and mobbing for prosecution of the landlord by the Attorney General or the District Attorneys. The Stop Bullying Coalition is advocating for this legislation, and the draft text can be reviewed here. We seek your input and support.
Letter to Attorney General Maura Healey, revised for publication: I write to seek your advice and help to resolve the problem of bullying in multifamily public and subsidized housing, the home to 92,000 residents, including elderly and people with disability.