In Recognition of Mildred Haileyby Representative Michael E. Capuano
Posted on 2015-12-09
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mildred Hailey,
tenant activist and community leader, who passed away on November 18,
Mrs Hailey was born in Jackson, Mississippi eighty-two years ago. As a child, her family moved to Boston. At the time, Boston was not as open to diversity as it is today. Mrs. Hailey's family, being among the first African-American families in their neighborhood, suffered from discrimination and were treated by some of their neighbors with antipathy. Mildred approached this as a challenge to become a community leader.
By the 1960s, Mrs. Hailey had taken a leadership role at the Bromley- Heath housing development and, with co-founder Anna Mae Cole, incorporated the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation (TMC). The TMC was the nation's first tenant-run public housing development.
Initially, TMC, under Mrs. Hailey's leadership, tackled basic quality of life issues on behalf of Bromley-Heath residents: fixing broken windows, making sure basic utilities were in working order, ensuring trash pickup. Eventually TMC moved on to residents' greater needs, such as creating a day care program, developing a health center on the Bromley-Heath campus and running its own security force. Finally, Mrs. Hailey and TMC became instrumental in guiding development around Bromley-Heath, partnering to bring a supermarket to the neighborhood, protesting to successfully halt a planned highway close by and lending an outspoken voice in planning the Southwest Corridor Park. Through it all, Mrs. Hailey always had time and energy to bring together the members of her beloved Bromley-Heath community to work out disagreements and support one another. She was truly an indispensable leader.
In closing, I salute Mildred Hailey for her leadership, selflessness and passion for her community.