Tenant management of Boston's huge Bromley-Heath housing project began in the mid-seventies, when the project was in very bad shape and the BHA (Boston Housing Authority) was riddled with corruption and either unable or unwilling to help. Led by tenant leader Mildred Hailey, the Bromley-Heath TMC (Tenant Management Corporation) turned the project into the relatively liveable community that it is today. Meanwhile the BHA hit bottom (federal receivership in the late 'seventies) and then began to pull itself together. Today it is under the leadership of Sandra Henriquez, generally described as a fair, compassionate Director with zero tolerance for corruption and racism. The week before I did this cartoon, in response to allegations of corrupt practices (including lax enforcement of drug measures), the BHA invaded TMC offices while Hailey and the rest of the leadership were out of town, changed the locks, fired the staff, and took over. Many public housing tenants and advocates believe the BHA had to do it, that the allegations were true, that Hailey and company had been in charge for too long, etc. Nevertheless I thought it was worthwhile mourning the abrupt end of an effort that had been so democratic and had done tenants so much good.

View the November 8, 1998 cartoon.

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