Announcing: Hearing on S604 to protect elderly and disabled citizens from bullying in subsidized housing

Submitted by Jerry on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 18:13

The Stop Bullying Coalition (SBC) announces a hearing on S604, An Act to protect residents of subsidized housing developments from bullying, including both elderly and those living with disability. The hearing will be held by the Joint Committee on Housing in Boston, MA. at the State House, Room B2 from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

Everyone concerned with bullying in subsidized residences is urged to attend. We plan to have representatives of organizations that advocate for residents of subsidized housing, elderly residents, people living with disability, professional caregivers, a Human Rights Committee, and more.

Goals for the hearing

As formulated by Jerry Halberstadt; other interested parties and members of the coalition may have different priorities and views.

To inform the committee that bullying is a serious problem in housing that lacks effective remedies, and to advocate for legislative protections comparable to those for schools.

Draft outline of presentations

  • To define bullying to include individual, group ("social" or "gang") bullying, and mobbing. Individual bullying is the effort of one person to gain inappropriate control over one or more victims by intentional, repeated, aggressive speech or action capable of causing physical or emotional harm. Group bullying consists of several persons acting in concert to bully one or more targets. Mobbing in subsidized housing is bullying that is enabled, permitted, or encouraged by landlords or management.
  • Provide evidence that bullying is harmful and deprives individuals of their rights.
  • Provide evidence that bullying takes place in subsidized housing.
  • Show that the remedies currently available to victims are lacking or ineffective; especially around group bullying and mobbing.

We therefore propose legislation to provide relief and remedies.

  • There are legal protections from harassment; there are protections from bullying afforded to children and youth in school. There are important similarities among bullying in schools, the workplace, and housing. We therefore seek to extend protections similar to those offered to children and youth to citizens in the context of subsidized housing.
  • By providing effective administrative and legal channels for oversight, protection, remediation, and prevention.
  • By a mandate that requires and holds accountable landlords and managers to have and to implement policies to prevent and protect against bullying and mobbing.
  • To encourage and support research into the causes for, and remedies, of bullying; including promoting and evaluating pilot and demonstration programs, and to develop evidence-based best practices.

Resources

Kindly contact us at StopBullyingCoalition@gmail.com if you have ideas to share, or would like to testify in person or in writing. We will try to answer questions about parking, transportation, and accessibility. Suggested: use http://maps.google.com for travel directions.

Text of S604

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/Senate/S604 An Act to protect residents of subsidized housing developments from bullying; bullying prevention policies and plans; research and demonstration programs. By Ms. Lovely (by request), a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 604) of Jerry Halberstadt for legislation to protect citizens living in subsidized housing developments from bullying.

Directions to State House; Parking info

With its instantly recognizable golden dome, the Charles Bulfinch-designed State House is centrally located in downtown Boston on Beacon Street at the top of Park Street. It is situated directly across the street from the Boston Common and is easily reached by public transportation or those navigating the city streets on foot. The Ashburton Park entrance of Bowdoin Street is wheelchair accessible. Parking rates can be expensive downtown but for those driving into the city, relatively affordable rates can be found at the underground Boston Common Garage (http://www.mccahome.com/bcg_rat.html). Its entrance is on Charles Street across from the Public Garden. For more info: https://malegislature.gov/Engage/Directions

State House @ 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108
https://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=24+Beacon+St,+Boston,+MA+02108&sll=4…

Accessibility at the State House

The Ashburton Park entrance of Bowdoin Street is wheelchair accessible.

Supportive communication modes

https://malegislature.gov/Engage/Accessibility/

ADA Coordinator

Carl Richardson
Carl.Richardson@state.ma.us
617.727.1100 x 35502

Background information, resources

http://photoluminations.com/drupal/?q=taxonomy/term/61

Mission of the Stop Bullying Coalition: http://photoluminations.com/drupal/?q=node/153

Contact your legislators on Beacon Hill: http://photoluminations.com/drupal/?q=node/120

Contact: StopBullyingCoalition@gmail.com