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).
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!
It’s now up to every one of us to tell Beacon Hill, We want our rights now!
Everyone needs other people, we are social. Despite the chaos and the selfish and callous mood in the world today, we are built to be altruistic, to take satisfaction from being a contributing member of a community.
“Phoebe,” an elderly woman with disability, had lived comfortably in public housing, surrounded by her family photographs and heirlooms, inherited furniture, favorite books and records, with her clothing in closets, and with her parakeets for company. Today, she is homeless with her few possessions in paper bags.
The root cause of Phoebe’s homelessness is the failure of her landlord, the local housing authority, and the lack of any protections for a tenant who is the victim of mobbing.
Update on our legislative advocacy
Our legislative partners, including Representative Tom Walsh and Senator Joan Lovely, have determined that the first step is to bring our concerns to the newly formed Joint Standing Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management. That body will be tasked with oversight of the state’s pandemic response and take on an advisory role for the Legislature. It will also weigh broader issues of disaster preparedness, emergency management and communication.
To the Stop Bullying Coalition
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This is a time of great danger for all of us who are elderly and disabled and live in public and privately owned subsidized housing. We are all at exceptional risk of getting COVID, becoming severely ill, and of death.
Now I have COVID-19, or more precisely, COVID has me; I am 84 and have health conditions so that my risk is great. I have access to excellent medical care, although the health system is under stress and I am working long hours to assure my care.