What a tough week. I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one who felt a dark cloud over my head most of the week as I tried to process the Las Vegas tragedy. These shooting events are happening far too often to be able to fully process. And I think they have a dehumanizing effect that a deep, inner, part of myself cries out to be aware of, to fight against.
We can’t allow ourselves to not care. Not only for others, but also for ourselves. My instincts tell me that we must continually be vigilant about maintaining our own humanity. It’s a precious thing.
As Bernie says, “Giving up is not an option.” Here he is from 2010, and yes, it’s still “tough stuff”.
With that in mind, let’s allow ourselves to enjoy this victory in Boston.
Boston City Council approved the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act Wednesday, a policy that aims to inform tenants facing evictions of their rights and further their protections under state law.
The act, meant to protect and inform tenants and homeowners, was first filed for City Council by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in Dec. 2016, and will be signed in approval by the mayor Friday, according to a press release from Walsh’s office.
The petition requires landlords to notify the City of Boston’s Office of Housing Stability with a copy of any lease non-renewal letter within two days of serving the notice to the tenant, according to a release from the City of Boston in 2016. Failure to provide the city with notice would cancel a landlord’s right to proceed with the eviction.
Here is Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaking today before signing the act. There are also a couple of others who talk about the importance of this hard-fought battle for basic human rights:
It’s a bit long, but it’s pretty good actually, very positive, and even uplifting.
The act would authorize Boston, ranked America’s number one most economically unequal city in a 2016 [Brookings Institution] study, to track the number of evictions occurring in the city by requiring landlords to report “notice to quit” letters to tenants, Johnson said. This would give homeowners a chance to understand the resources available to them.
It sounds like the sort of thing that would be good everywhere. A small, but potentially very important, tool for everyday people to help them stay afloat.
The man who the act is named after, “determined crusader for social justice” Jim Brooks, spent his final days last year surrounded by friends and with jazz, his favorite music, playing in the background.
Interested as much in raising awareness as he was in specific protests, Mr. Brooks was “very soft-spoken and a very gentle person, but he had very strong opinions about political issues,” said Karen Schneiderman, an activist and friend who was the health proxy for Mr. Brooks.
“Sure, we all went to marches and yelled and all that, but conversations were more Jim’s style – trying to educate people and learn himself,” she said. “Generations will remember him because of his dignified and yet passionate style about the rights of all people.”
Mr. Brooks “had that rare combination of charisma and humility,” Meacham said. “He never sought the limelight for himself in any way, and yet he often had the limelight.”
Meacham added that “in addition to his nitty-gritty work, trying to stop evictions and build the movement, he was also a political strategist and a radical theoretician.
Thank you Mr. Brooks, for the inspiration you obviously gave to so many to do good things.
As we celebrate this achievement today, I’d like to remind us all of the vision that our citywide coalition is ultimately working toward:
We envision a Boston where there is equal access to quality education, affordable housing, economic opportunities, accessible transportation, a healthy environment and public resources for all. We envision a Boston where we preserve the best aspects of the character of our neighborhoods.
We envision a Boston where we celebrate the diverse backgrounds, languages, and cultures of our residents. We envision a Boston where young people have the resources to thrive, where working class families are stable, where immigrants are welcomed, and where community needs come before profit. We envision a city, state, and nation that all invest in the public good and not private greed.
Please add anything you like below!!
I’m thinking of adding some more music I heard today. It is Friday night after all. 😉