case study in FMTA style of outreach.

This incident happened a few years ago. This was written down shortly after it happened. It illustrates the character of typical FMTA sycophant and their methods of doing 'outreach' to tenant groups. Also, the vulnerability of people with no means and no status in society to this kind of bully methods.

There is a group made up entirely of low-incomed people that meets at a large social housing complex every other week. One member of this group was a member of the FMTA board at the time, and Housing Action Group. At one time she had been the secretary of this group and sometimes did not seem to understand that she no longer was. Recently she had been sharply brought up by the members of this group for taking the group's mail out of it's mailbox.

At a previous general meeting of this group, this person A had announced that she wanted to bring some friends to the next meeting to discuss the merger of two social housing providers and possible consequences for tenants. A was told that the established procedure was to bring the request to the executive which met on alternate weeks and allow the executive to decide if they wanted these people to address the general meeting. There are other members of this group who attended most tenant meetings related to integration of the two social housing providers and kept the group up to date on it.

A did not attend the intervening executive meeting but at the next meeting two people came in through the front door, B and C, after the formal part of the meeting was over and people had begun to organize a distribution of food to the group's members. B stood up at the front of the room and started trying to talk to the meeting. He was told to leave. A began harrying the woman organizing the food distribution, who was also secretary of the group at the time, D. D refused to give in, the rest of the group shouted their disapproval of A's behavior, and finally A,B, and C left through the back door.

A male member of this group, E, followed by F, watched out the back door to see where they went. E had never seen C before, but knew B as a board member of FMTA and a member of housing action group. The three talked to a fourth figure, G, who was known to him as either an employee or very dedicated volunteer of the Federation of Metro Tenant's Associations. G soon walked to the back door and tried to go down the stairs to the meeting room. E confronted her and told her she had no business there and that entry was barred during food distribution as a policy. F witnessed this confrontation from out of sight of G. G tried to push past E, then claimed she was being assaulted and that she was going to call the police. She claimed she was a relative of D. Then she said she was an Aunt of D.

F advised E to give way, and then went to find the person in charge of the community center. G confronted D and demanded to speak with her. D was forced to leave off supervising the distribution and follow G out to the front door vestibule. G claimed she had been assaulted by E and she was going to press charges. D told her to get out or she would throw her out. D left. She went around to the back of the building and met with ABC again. They spoke briefly, then began to move away from the community center.

D compared notes about this incident with E and F. D was very angry to learn that G had claimed to be her relative in order to bluff her way into the building. D knew B from several years previously, when he had organized a rummage sale to fund some supposed community project and then pocketed the proceeds.

The food distribution resumed. Some time later the director of the community center was located. He was concerned about the incident and promised to bar these people from the building, and to intervene if these people pressed charges against anyone.

As far as I know, none of these people have ever returned to the community center, except A. She comes to avail herself of the food handout, but keeps quiet and does not participate with the group.