Navigating these Unprecedented Times
GSMOL is a statewide organization with leaders and members spread across the 700-mile length and 250-mile breadth of California. We are accustomed to communicating remotely across large distances. Therefore, we are, in part, prepared for working in the context of social distancing brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. We already have in place the infrastructure to handle workload and distance communications via teleconferencing, video, email, website, FaceBook and online communication channels. Currently the Board of Directors and all Committees routinely and effectively meet via the FreeConferenceCalling telephone app.
A significant challenge for GSMOL during this time is how we might continue our critical face-to-face outreach with our members, such as visiting aggrieved residents in their mobilehome parks or attending Regional Conferences. We are accelerating our transition to teleconferencing and video media and educating residents how to participate in this style of communication. At our regional conference in Orange last year, David Loop, GSMOL VP, our featured speaker, made an effective live presentation via Zoom video, followed by an energetic Q&A that was so seamless, it was as if he were standing in front of us. Our planned Regional Conference in Ventura was cancelled due to the uncertainty and confusion of social distancing restrictions. In order not to disappoint the 100+ registrants, we are organizing a substitute telephonic Townhall meeting that will provide a forum for each of the invited expert speakers to make their presentation and allow “attendees” to remotely listen in and ask their questions while sipping coffee in their recliners at home.
In lieu of speaking in person before City and County Councils and/or Boards of Supervisors, GSMOL will continue to advocate our point of view via letter and email. Past exchanges with their local legislators means many of our leaders are well known to them, so we expect this communication to be just as effective.
In Sacramento, we have adapted our legislative efforts to address the crisis. We are responsibly postponing those bills that would have a fiscal impact on California’s budget in order to preserve the state’s Emergency Fund that will be urgently needed in this crisis. The bills we are proposing will seek to codify emergency relief and protections for vulnerable mobilehome seniors, veterans and low-income families who will be financially, and otherwise, impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This includes protection from termination of tenancy or eviction for residents whose income has been affected by the pandemic.
The uncertainty due to COVID-19 is threatening our everyday lives and our financial security, but GSMOL has long experience operating in crisis mode and we will adapt and innovate as needed to continue our commitment to preserve and protect mobilehome residents. We are with you, and we remain dedicated to working for you! Our prayers and well wishes go out to mobilehome residents everywhere to stay safe, healthy and well, as we survive this turbulent time together.