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Posted On:
October 14, 2012
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Location:
United States

Our housing authority has effectively banned air conditioning as of next year in our housing project for seniors and persons with disabilities. Unless each of us can come up with the funds to buy expensive and ineffective wheeled portable air conditioners (and pay hundreds of dollars every year in addition to use them) -- money the housing authority knows we don't have and can't find -- we, all 150+ of us who are at extreme risk of heat injury and many of whom have respiratory problems,


This is an aging public housing high rise with substandard airflow and an 11 story wall of west-facing windows which act like a giant greenhouse. Even if tenants realize they are becoming overheated and want to go somewhere to cool off, many of us would be unable to do so, as it requires 24 hours notice to arrange a trip in a wheelchair van. The bedridden, who are considered at highest risk of heat injury (and there are a number of us in this building who are bedridden) would not be able to get out of the heat. It's impossible for most of us to move out of this building, as there simply isn't enough inexpensive, accessible housing in town. But even if it were possible for most of us to move, the housing authority would simply fill the vacancies with more people exactly like us, people who are at the greatest risk of dying in the heat. And people will die here, next year.


Our local Agency on Aging, as well as other agencies serving the physically and mentally disabled, has written a letter expressing grave concern over this new policy. The housing authority has refused even to respond to them.


People don't have to die. We can organize, and get the support of the community, to force the housing authority to return to a policy allowing tenants to use inexpensive window air conditioners during the summer.


We here live on tiny social security checks that barely cover basic necessities. We need help buying paper for leaflets, cardstock for door hangers, and buttons to help alert our community to the issue. 


Here's our wish list:


2 cases 8 1/2x11" paper (we intend to leaflet the city) ...................................................................... ...................... $110.00


Printer Ink  (ditto)...................................................................... ...................................................................... ....................$50.00


Door hanger stock (for going door to door, in this building and in the surrounding neighborhood) .........................$60.00


Postcard stock (to distribute to residents to send to their city councilmembers)...........................................................$60.00


Stickers (like bumper stickers, but half-sized)...................................................................... ..............................................$40.00


Also on the wishlist is something (a camera, a tablet with a camera, anything, really) of sufficient quality that it would let us videotape meetings and protests and upload them to the net. Used is fine, and so we're not listing this in the budget, but are instead asking for an in-kind donation.


In our dreams, we'll get all of this, but in the real world, anything will help.


Apologies for not publishing where we're located, but we don't want to give the housing authority a heads-up that we're organizing. We'll add that information to this listing after we've done our first leafletting. If you want to know where we are, and more details about what is happening before we post additional information, PM me, and I'll let you know.

laylah
Oak2004: Though I cannot, unfortunately, support you financially, I certainly am sending a lot of good thoughts and prayers your way. I will also share this far and wide, if that is okay with you? Please let me know.
  • November 11, 2012
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Oak2004
Our website will be up in the next day or so, at http://keepuscool.theprojectserver.org. Look for it there. I'm running leaflets off as I type this, and I will be trying to get a leafleting team at our city's First Night events.
  • December 30, 2012
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wishadoo
Thanks for the update!
  • December 30, 2012
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laylah
Oak2004, have you been in touch with my niece?
  • December 30, 2012
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