For a Safe Community, We Need Laws
The goal of all our efforts is not to create a utopian community where everyone loves each other and there is no strife. No, it is make it possible for people to live together despite their differences and to create a social environment that is, at least, not toxic and harmful.
This is possible through a common understanding of the limits of behavior and having a way for people to resolve differences without resorting to aggression---physical, emotional, bullying, or mobbing.
In housing, the landlord has the sole ability, subject to court action, to include or exclude individuals. Landlords can sometimes wrongly appropriate control over the actions and rights of tenants They sometimes assert they have no obligations for the well-being of tenants, because the housing is for "independent living." This, of course, is a fiction. Elderly and disabled people living in poverty are not truly independent. And their human and basic rights can readily be taken from them. At present, they have no way to assure their safety and their rights.
People are more likely to comply with masking and other protocols designed to keep everyone safe, if they are part of a community that cares for each other. The policies and the inaction of some landlords can prevent the development of a healthy, mutually supportive community. We see the same dynamics in bullying and mobbing as in the challenge of COVID-19. When landlords ignore their responsibilities under the law and the lease, we need to hold them to account.
We have focused on three areas affecting our health and our rights, and will propose legislation to advance our goals on each.
Public health. Protecting tenants from COVID-19; including the need for open and transparent reporting on COVID in specific housing developments; we will propose amending Chapter 93 of the Acts of 2020. We have written extensively on this issue, use the search function on this site to find "Chapter 93";
Ombuds office. Protecting tenants from bullying, group bullying, and mobbing: creation of an ombuds office; we will revise and file our original proposal. We have written extensively on this issue, use the search function on this site to find "ombuds";
Accountability. Holding landlords accountable for their action or non-action regarding bullying and COVID-19 protections; enforcement of protective protocols. The underlying issues in public health are comparable to the issues in bullying, and we may propose that the ombuds office handle a broad range of essential rights of tenants and obligations of landlords.
Now is the time for you to step forward with your ideas on these issues, and for you to suggest different issues.
Write to Coordinator (at "Contact")
I will be glad to share drafts of the proposed legislation for comment and approvals. I wish we had more time for this process, but we can do a lot in a short time if we work together.
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