Researcher notes start of tenant management initiative in Regent Park

rom: Sean Purdy Sent: January 16, 2002 5:30 AM
To: simon@web.net
Subject: RE: Regent Park

Simon: This is more or less what happened as far as I know, but I haven’t talked to the actual players so there could be some more information. This will written up more clearly in the thesis.

Two OHC staffers sympathetic to tenant organizing, Brenda Gorman, a Community Relations Officer in Regent Park, and Michael Audain (who later joined the Canadian Council on Social Development) encouraged the group of tenants around Jerome Murray which would become the RPCIA to apply for the grant through CMHC and (without my documents at hand) National Health and Welfare. They did this without any official RP or OHC knowledge, I suspect since they knew that these guys would not approve. Anyways, they were awarded the grant and when OHC bosses found out there was a flurry of letters sent to CMHC and internally in OHC wondering what the hell was going on. Audain was reprimanded and soon left OHC although I don’t know if he was fired or left on his own. OHC changed their tune after this, at least rhetorically, but from the start OHC was reticent to support tenant organizing. Your predecessor, Norma Penner, told me that when tenant management was first broached with OHC officials, they literally thought it was a joke.

When I write this up formally with sources etc. I’ll send you a copy.

I would still like your assessment of the RPCIA’s activities during your period. What you think were successes and failures. etc. How did it compare with your experiences in the US?

Sean

Sent: January 16, 2002 9:25 AM
To: ‘Sean Purdy’
Subject: RE: Regent Park
do you know what became of Brenda Gorman?
By the time I’d arrived, Jerome Murray was perceived by the then current leadership as an opponent of both tenant-management and their leadership. I vaguely recall some public criticisms and a failed attempt to stop tenant management for which he at least managed to get the ears of John Sewall, the local councillor, future mayor. Certainly remember it as one of those internal community politic situations that stressed many, including myself.
on your other larger question, will take more time than I currently have,
simon

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About mielniczuk

Community, systems, design, collaboration, change, evidence, Intelligent Accountability(c)
This entry was posted in Organizer's Notebook, Regent Park. Bookmark the permalink.

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