January Newsletter, Legislation & COVID

Truck with open loading door, sign says "Eviction Mover"


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Two topics today. Legislation & COVID

Two bills on bullying are in the Joint Committee on Housing, as well as two bills to create a right to counsel.

We need to make sure the Committee votes all of them out with a favorable recommendation so the bills will be able to move along the path to becoming law.

Now we have a final chance to push for legislation to protect us from bullying in public and subsidized housing for elderly and disabled. And to have legal help to protect us from unfair eviction.

We need your help to succeed.

We only have ONE week!

How each of us can protect ourselves from COVID.


All the best,



Stop Bullying and Mobbing, the ombuds office bill S1084

Do you want to stop bullying and mobbing in your housing? Use your power to influence legislators. They do listen when we speak up. We are making a push to support S1084 to create an ombuds office to protect elderly and disabled tenants in public and subsidized housing.

And S900/H1407 will help landlords do a better job. S900 & S1084, are complementary, each provides a part of the solution.

Right to Counsel (RTC)

Two identical bills,S.874/H.1436, Senate and House, are designed to establish a pilot program to provide legal counsel to persons facing eviction. Having an attorney will level the playing field.

S.874/H.1436, An Act promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention in Massachusetts, are currently in the Joint Committee on Housing. RTC will cover all tenants who are 80% of Area Median Income or less as determined by HUD for the region. Most elderly and disabled tenants in subsidized housing will meet this requirement. For example in Boston for a single person 80% = $70,750. In Berkshire County 80% = $49,700.

Let’s pass a bill for a strong ombuds office to protect tenants of elderly and disabled housing

We are working with Senator Joan B. Lovely, Representative Tom Walsh, and other legislators to amend and strengthen the ombuds bill. If you want to get involved in the details of policy and legislation, we will be glad to include you.

Write to: Coordinator@StopBullyingCoalition.org

Write to Beacon Hill

Please send an email, including your personal reasons for seeking protection from bullying, to your state senator and state representative. You can use the letter below, or write your own.


Guide to making calls

Find your legislator; go to https://malegislature.gov and look for "find my legislator."
State senator:__________________________

State representative: ____________________

Call or write an email.

Identify yourself, state where you live. Tell them,

I am calling to ask the (Senator or Representative) to please help us and advance the bills on bullying: S1084 and S900/H1407 and S874/H1436 to keep tenants from unfair evictions by providing legal counsel.”

S1084 is “An Act relative to bullying in public housing” to establish a statewide tenant protective services ombuds program.

S900 is “An Act to prevent and respond to bullying of elderly and disabled residents.” This bill will create a program to enable landlords to better protect tenants from hostile environments and the loss of their rights.

S.874/H.1436, “An Act promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention in Massachusetts,” to level the playing field and provide legal help to protect our rights in eviction proceedings.

Please tell the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing that you support each of these bills to protect us from bullying and mobbing where we live; create a healthy community life; and can protect us from unfair eviction.”

You can add a short personal story to explain why the legislation is needed. You can also reach out directly to the Chairs and Senator Lovely.

Be sure to thank them for their time and support.

John F. Keenan, Chair, John.Keenan@masenate.gov (617) 722-1494

James Arciero, Chair, James.Arciero@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2012

Senator Joan Lovely, Joan.Lovely@masenate.gov presenter of the bills S1084 and S900. (617) 722-1410

Representative Tom Walsh, Thomas.Walsh@mahouse.gov Supporter of S1084 (617) 722-2960


I follow developments in understanding COVID, track the rate of disease in my city, and share what I learn by updating at The New "How to Avoid COVID."

COVID is an infectious disease spread by the air we share with others. The best way to control disease and protect people from infection is to use public health measures, rather than only to depend on small groups or individuals to protect themselves. I present ideas that an individual or a housing community can use to reduce the chance of infection.

For news, follow me at twitter @coordinatingnow and check the article, The New "How to Avoid COVID," for updates. For medical advice, ask your doctor.

For a key resource to know how much COVID is in your municipality, see Mass Public Health.

How can I keep safe from COVID?

  • vaccination

  • booster

  • masking

  • clean hands

  • avoid indoor gatherings

  • to keep others safe and know my status, rapid tests


COVID spreads from an infectious individual through every breath they exhale, full droplets and tiny virus particles in an invisible cloud, or aerosol.

The key to staying safe and avoiding infection, or if I am infected, for protecting others, is to avoid breathing the COVID aerosol in the air from another person.

How can I keep from breathing infected air?

  • Evaluate the risk and danger in every situation.

  • Ventilation from open windows, fans, filters can dilute the aerosols.

  • Distance from others: 6 feet is not enough; anyplace in a room where there is even one infected person is risky. The more people in the room, the higher the chance that someone is infectious; we have no fully reliable test system that can guide us in our daily lives.

  • Outside is safer than indoors.

  • Indoors, fewer people is safer than a crowd mainly because there is an increased chance of there being an infectious person, and because more people are exposed to potential infection.

  • Indoors, good quality masks, fitted to have no leaks, worn by everyone.

  • Avoid spending time indoors with others, less time is safer.

  • The more forcefully people breathe, as in shouting, singing, or during heavy exercise, the more aerosols will be present.

  • The more ventilation and filtration there is, the aerosols will be diluted.

  • Continue hand washing, sanitizer.

  • Rapid tests by everyone help to prevent spread. If you have COVID, 5 days may not be long enough to stay in seclusion, some people are infectious for 10 days or more. Rapid tests are the best way to know if you are clear. Ask your doctor!

    I write based on available evidence and statements by epidemiologists and researchers, even when that evidence is not conclusive or has not been peer-reviewed. I have read a lot of experts' research, but I am not an expert on this topic. I do ask experts to review these writings. This writing is not medical advice.
Signs on entrance door advising all to wear masks
Signs on the entrance door at Fairweather Apartments in Peabody, advising all to wear masks

The picture hasn't changed! The landlord, Preservation of Affordable Housing, agreed to recognize and implement my request for a reasonable accommodation to protect me from COVID by enforcing their own policy for everyone to mask in the public areas.

But they did nothing new or effective.

The latest report on January 20, 2022, showed the positivity rate at 20.48%.