Below is a statement from MHAction on the Shootings at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones in last week’s horrific shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Although none of us knew the nine people that lost their lives, it is important for us to name and always remember them: Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Daniel L. Simmons, Ethel Lee Lance, Myra Thompson, Reverend Depayne Middleton Doctor, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Suzie Jackson and Cythia Hurd. May they rest in peace.
We remember the victims as we look back to the November 2014 Leadership Retreat in Orlando, Florida when 32 community leaders from manufactured home communities from 9 states came together and held conversations regarding the core values that will be central to the work of MHAction moving forward. We came to an agreement that MHAction’s values rested firmly in ‘compassion for our neighbors and love of our communities.’
We stand at the ready to use those core values as community leaders and take on systems of oppression that affects the lives of our families and our communities. We know first-hand that oppression takes many forms, and it is our duty as community leaders to engage in deep conversations and joint action that leads to a more just and equitable world. MHAction’s goal is to shine a light on large corporate manufactured housing community owners extracting outrageous rents from our families, on elected officials using myths and scare tactics to promote cuts to vital public programs like Social Security and on those responsible for propagating hate crimes and racially motivated killings.
Those that lost their lives last week were moms and dads, workers, uncles, brothers, aunts, sisters, children, grandparents, teachers and friends….we owe it to them and to our communities to never forget them and continue to fight on for a more just and equitable world.
MHAction Core Team
Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) is a special project of the Center for Community Change. MHActionis a growing national movement of manufactured home owners who engage in public policy issues that address their interests and concerns as homeowners on the local and state levels, as well as larger issues of retirement and economic security on the national level. MHAction is led by a core team of community leaders that live and reside in manufactured home communities. To follow along on Facebook, please ‘Like’ us at: https://www.facebook.com/MHaction
ELS Board of Directors: June 14th, 2015
We would like to offer sincere thanks for the opportunity to discuss our concerns with Members of the Board of Directors as both homeowners and shareholders. We were pleased to take some time to speak to several board members prior to and after the meeting. Also, it was reassuring that the seated board members turned to listen as each of us shared some thoughts during the allotted time.
We feel it is vitally important to share our concerns involving reputational risks to the company and potential impact on customer loyalty. We’ve heard from thousands of homeowners who have expressed confusion and displeasure in terms of the ongoing escalation of company ground rents, lack of clarity regarding community capital improvement programs and unclear processes when raising concerns.
We also remain puzzled by Sam Zell’s continued absence at ELS’ shareholders meeting year after year. This is the one annual meeting Mr. Zell should be attending each year to hear directly from shareholders. We would hope that Mr. Zell would prioritize attending this meeting in the future.
After the shareholders meeting, we were informed that two regional Vice Presidents of Operations were asked by the Board of Directors to provide an opportunity to vet company processes related to these items. One level of agreement that was made was developing a short and simple ‘communication map’ involving proper methods and chain of command for homeowners to raise issues and concerns. Posting this information at each community will go a long way in confirming that the door is always open for communication and that an avenue for appealing the decisions made will be available without the fear of reprisal.
We also took away from the meetings that the two of the four Vice Presidents would continue to make themselves available throughout the coming year and follow up on major issues in several markets.
On Behalf of Community Leadership Team of MHAction
Shareholder / Resident ELS