By Alyssa Floyd
Whether or not what has happened at Bayside Village is illegal (that is debatable and we will be debating it), what is occuring in our place of residence is tantamount to betrayal according to a statement by Alyssa Floyd, the leader of the newly formed tenant association at Bayside Village.
We were brought into these leases under the assumption that we could renew another year and another if we so chose. Unbenowset to us, while we were signing our leases, the sale of the building was moving forward and the planning board decision to approve the zoning change to permit this change had been made.
Some of the people signing leases this year are new to this country and were made promises in coming to Maine, compounding the unkept promise made by the city to us, which we received in good faith but which were evidently only made for the sale of appearances and capital.
What is happening with the city of Portland as a whole and ourselves, is a systematic purging of innocent people who are deemed unworthy existing in the same space as those privileged, legitimate and results-oriented people such as Jon Jennings, Tom Watson and people like them. We are “the undesirables.”
At our second Tenants Meeting last week, the overwhelming feeling from the group of residents of Bayside Village, is that we have been betrayed and that someone is responsible, some people are responsible, no matter how inconvenient it is for these people to live up their promises. We have been promised “help finding affordable housing” also. These promises keep adding up. There are many.
For example, Tom Watson cited the uncleanliness of the building of Bayside Village as grounds to summarily end our tenancy there (ten months from now) because it caused degeneracy and unsafe conditions. Not true. We were safe. Now, since a security guard we loved has been fired and there is not someone at all times, at critical times, watching out for our safety and guarding who gets in the building, NOW we are unsafe, due to Tom Watson’s policy.
I think it is clear whose safety Tom Watson is concerned about. Not ours. The safety he expressed concern for was people he sees like him, the desirables.
For those of you who are in solidarity with Bayside Village, you are fighting for the soul of this city where profit is not pursued simply for more profit, where power is not pursued only to beget more power, where our humanity is not for sale. We need all of you. Thank you.
Please see previous post herein on renters matters in Portland as well.
(note: Where is the outrage at city hall on this? Where is the “Republican Press Herald” on this – up in Farmington still?)