Picture caption: JITU BROWN, CHAIRMAN of the Kenwood-Oakland Group Group (KOCO) introduced efforts in Chicago and 38 different cities, to push for passage of a Senior Invoice of Rights. The invoice is a part of KOCO’s High quality of Life agenda. (Picture by Chinta Strausberg)
The 58-year-old Kenwood-Oakland Group Group (KOCO) has revved up its struggle for fairness for Black and brown communities, introducing a High quality of Life agenda that features a Senior Invoice of Rights in Chicago’s Metropolis Council, and in 38 different cities the place KOCO associates are situated.
Jitu Brown, nationwide govt director for the Journey 4 Justice Alliance and chair of KOCO, mentioned the transfer to get this agenda in place started just lately in Chicago. He made the announcement on April 22, in the course of the group’s first post-pandemic conference, held at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Faculty Preparatory Excessive Faculty, 4445 S. Drexel Blvd.
Brown defined that the group’s High quality of Life Agenda entails robust proposed payments on senior rights and Inexpensive Housing 101 that features the ‘Elevate the Ban’ statewide lease management marketing campaign.
The agenda addresses, as effectively, well being care, meals manufacturing and supply techniques, youth funding, financial improvement, immigrant rights and an academic invoice calling for a faculty system with fairness, serving all college students.
The theme of this 12 months’s KOCO conference was, “Our Energy-Organized Folks.”
On the conclusion of KOCO’s conference, Brown instructed the Chicago Crusader that Alderman Jeanette B. Taylor (twentieth), Alderwoman-elect Angela Clay (forty sixth) and Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (twenty fifth) are sponsoring KOCO’s High quality of Life agenda and plan to introduce a invoice within the Metropolis Council.
“We’re doing this in over 30 cities throughout the nation, and we’re going to move a decision on the nationwide degree as effectively.” Brown mentioned to strengthen KOCO’s agenda, Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has agreed to introduce and move the decision within the fall.
Brown defined that as Saturday’s conference was underway, comparable KOCO city corridor conferences had been concurrently being held in Houston, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Camden, New Jersey, Chicago and different cities. “We’re constructing a motion. We are attempting to construct native energy to win high quality of life change in our communities.”
“The entire establishments in most of white America take as a right (their rights), however we now have to struggle, wrestle and claw for ours,” Brown mentioned.
That’s the reason Brown is pushing for passage of this High quality of Life decision. “It’s essential as a result of the way in which you construct communities is by constructing the standard of life establishments that prepare folks how they need to be taught. Establishments are a mirrored image of a worth, perception system.
“In case your establishments are developed with respect for peoples’ full humanity, then they function and are structured a sure approach,” he defined. “If establishments are structured with white supremacy, then you definitely get liquor shops as an alternative of grocery shops.
“You get policing faculties as an alternative of artwork, music and culturally related curriculum. You get slum landlords as an alternative of first rate reasonably priced housing and a pathway to homeownership. It isn’t a problem that we’re at battle with, moderately it’s a perception system that we’re at battle with,” Brown acknowledged.
A giant a part of KOCO’s High quality of Life Agenda is its Senior Invoice of Rights, which requires all seniors to be “valued, revered, handled pretty and with dignity.” It calls for the appropriate of all seniors dwelling in public housing to have the ability to obtain visits from family and pals “beneath any circumstance” by eliminating the bar (restrict) rule. It additionally consists of having a month-to-month evaluate of random seniors to make sure that wants are being met.
The Senior Invoice of Rights additionally requires seniors to have the appropriate to evaluate their property administration’s efficiency. “These with at the very least one 12 months of tenancy in any senior public housing ought to have the appropriate to judge and select the administration firm that manages the constructing they dwell in and the resident service coordinator for that constructing.
“Tenants have a proper to be part of the choice committee that can consider administration’s efficiency yearly and each 4 years for contract renewal or non-renewal,” the proposed invoice states.
The invoice additionally calls for that seniors ought to have entry to administration inside a interval of 12 hours or, in an emergency, speedy administration entry. If a piece order for repairs is required, this must be honored with a turnaround of 4/72 hours.
The invoice requires tenants to be aware about details about the possession of the property together with the title, handle, telephone quantity the place they are often reached in case of an emergency or their representatives’ information with out worry of intimidation or retaliation.
A compulsory safety escort is to be supplied to and from parking heaps when requested. Transportation points additionally must be supplied for seniors to buy groceries a minimal of as soon as a month.
Every senior constructing is to have assets obtainable for tenants with substance/alcohol abuse and psychological well being points to allow them to request and search care with privateness and confidentiality.
KOCO’s senior rights are clear that all of them have a proper to a protected and clear setting to dwell in. “When the standard and integrity of the setting come into query, seniors are aware about request testing of the standard of air, water, infrastructure, elevators…by licensed professionals.
“Regarding turnaround occasions, the outcomes of this testing must be reported again to the person and the constructing inside one month. At a baseline, the town or a contracted marketing consultant should examine elevators inside senior housing at a minimal of semi-annually.”
Within the KOCO workshop, some members dwelling in senior buildings complained that their senior housing managers have demanded to get a replica of their debit playing cards, which KOCO officers mentioned is towards the legislation.
The Senior Invoice of Rights opposes that motion saying, “seniors have a proper to privateness concerning their funds and that Protected Private Info (PPI), Private Well being Info (PHI) and private property are simply that, personal. The invoice requires a 30-day removing of medical data from the seniors’ recordsdata.
When important repairs are wanted that go away the dwelling amenities uninhabitable, administration is liable for all relocation providers together with the prices and help with packing. In case of eviction, tenants have the appropriate to authorized counsel on the proprietor’s expense.
As soon as accepted, a replica of this ordinance is to be given to all senior public housing tenants, and so they additionally all have a proper to “actually reasonably priced housing.”
Throughout the conference, Brown launched Leopa Johnson, who employed Reverend Jesse Jackson because the group’s first govt director, and Reverend Al Sampson, who was ordained by Dr. King. Joined by Deotis Taylor, Johnson introduced a replica of the Authentic African Heritage Bible to Consultant Jonathan Jackson, and earlier copies to Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson and Reverend Jackson.