(en) housing vs. self-determination in Seattle, WA, USA (fwd)

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 4 Dec 1997 20:42:10 -0800 (PST)

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FWD Reply to sender, Pat Myers <mpwr@u.washington.edu>

I think one of the worst situations forced on the poor by unthinking and controlling bureaucracy is the choice between housing and loss of self-determination. The Seattle Housing Authority, determining it "must clean up the projects!" has instituted policies that will allow what is tantamount to the old dshs "bed checks"...for project residents...caseworkers may enter at any hour and "inspect" the premises. Without notice. At any time. For no just cause except "we must clean up the projects."

This sort of invasion of privacy was shamed out of DSHS in the early 70's in WA state, and here it is, back again, and rationalized as another "for 'their' own good" decision...*why are homeless, poor and marginalized *never assumed to be the most knowlegeable about our situatedness...the lives we live and the problems we encounter every_day_of_our_lives? Sure, in part, if *we were believed, an entire service industry would collapse in on itself...worse, the more probable agendas of the helping *institutions: the primary agenda being social control, would suddenly stand out in it's stark, quotidian heartlessness and greed.

And what a shame that would be...politicians, the less marginalized citizenry...even some of us, who have internalized hatred of those like us, might have to begin to think about and own, actions that support a social structure that is built on crass competition. Being better than...accumulating more than...knowing more than...to accomplish this...*someone...lots of someone's, must: be, have, and know...less.

Whether we do or not. There never seems to be an end to the human capacity to overlook or rationalize away injustice...if it's not aimed at "us!"

I want to make connections with people who believe they have my interest at heart...folks with the power to make real substantive change happen...including politicos, but, more and more, I find it very hard to swallow...because me and mine are never_quite_heard.

God what an infuriating policy...and of course, unless ACLU does class action work, there is nothing the individual can do...no recourse, no Fair Hearing...no fairness, period.

Sorry, needing to rant.

Pat Myers <mpwr@u.washington.edu>

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