ACTivities update

MONDAY, AUGUST 6— Although ACT does not hold City Wide or Board meetings during July and August the Officers and other members continue to work. In April and May ACT participated in the Affordable Housing Week of Action which was coordinated by the Community Development Department of the City of Cambridge. The Week of Action is an annual initiative of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). ACT is a member of NLIHC.

Michael Gross and Duane Callendar at Rindge & Latin April 28

On-going ACT Strategic Planning: In October 2018 ACT celebrates the 10th anniversary of its founding in 2008. It’s time to evaluate what has worked in the past and plan ahead. The ACT Board established an ad hoc committee that has been meeting over the summer.  The ad hoc committee will propose a two-and-five-year plan to the ACT Board in September. 

On April 21 the ACT Board endorsed the Raise Up Massachusetts 3-point statewide campaign for the "Millionaire Tax," $15 minimum wage and paid medical leave for workers. On July 18 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided that Raise Up’s Fair Share Amendment or “Millionaire Tax” could not appear on the November State ballot. Raise Up specified that tax revenues go to education and infrastructure; the court said that voters could not decide how to spend tax money. Raise Up decided not to go ahead with plans to put the minimum wage and paid medical leave on the ballot, after the Governor signed legislation to cover those issues.

The Act Board also endorsed the UPGRADE Cambridge petition for a City-owned Municipal Broadband System. The UPGRADE petitioners empahsize the need for a citywide system to address underserved low-income residents, the so-called the “digital divide.” Some have suggested that this could be done cheaply by limiting the broadband access effort to CHA's RAD/Public Housing sites. But that plan would not reach voucher holders and other low-income residents who live throughout most Cambridge neighborhoods.

Upcoming C.H.A. Trainings for Conference Panel and Grievance Panel: Sheila Simmons will conduct the annual training for tenants who want to serve as panelists. DATE AND TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED, not August 30 as previously posted. If interested email <tenants@earthlink.net>  or leave a message for ACT at 617-499-7031.

DRAFT of C.H.A. MTW (Moving to Work) ANNUAL PLAN for 2019/2020 - will be ready for public comment. ACT usually collaborates with CASLS (Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services) to present comments.  The MTW draft will be available to read on line or you can pick up a copy at C.H.A. on or after August 17. The public hearing is at CHA headquarters on Wednesday, September 5 between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. The deadline for comments on the MTW draft is September 20.

Formation of AMIKO GROUP: This is an informal group set up for non-C.H.A. residents who are volunteers willing to help ACT in different ways so our organization continues to thrive.

The Mel King Institute has selected ACT Board member Sonia Andujar to be part of the 2018 Peer Trainer-in-Training Public Housing  Program that provides coaching to tenants supporting  their full participation in the oversight of their housing authorities.

ACT Officers continue meeting regularly with CHA senior staff:  Kevin Braga, Director of Public Housing Operations, Hannah Lodi, Director of Leased Housing, and ExecutiveDirector Michael Johnston.  

On-going office hours - advocacy assistance is offered to tenants with housing issues that need intervention. Regular hours Tuesday 9 to 12 a.m. and Thursday 12 to 3 p.m. The planning committee hopes to train volunteers for expanded office hours beginning in October.