Dear Governor S.,
My name is David Lee Frater. I am a disabled 55 year old man who has been disabled for the last 6 years. I used to be a principal systems analyst, the rank above a senior systems analyst, for all of my adult life after college before I became disabled. I worked, and worked very hard for nearly 30 years before becoming disabled.
When I first became disabled, I was very, very ill, and spent nearly three years dozing on the couch from all the medications I had to take. I have slowly regained much of my former physical strength, but am still unable to ever hold down a full time job ever again. That part of my life is over, taken from me, something I lament very, very much, for I had labored so very long, so very hard, to become competent at what I did, and just when I was rising to my full potential, my full income capacity, I was struck down. Everything I had worked for was taken from me. My home, my cars, my nice things, my nice income, my credit standing, even my own self respect was lost. All because I became ill for no fault of my own.
I currently no longer enjoy the luxury of a private home; it is something I had to give up, I no longer own a car, because I have seizures now, and it is not safe for me to drive, but, I do not let that stop me. I have overcome my personal losses at an emotional level, and am now active in many projects, many concerns, trying to help other persons even less fortunate than me.
I currently live in an older brick tenement building near the downtown section of Los Angeles. It is a modest, older one-bedroom, perfectly adequate for my needs, however, very expensive for what it is. This building is officially listed as "Rent Controlled," but even then, I must pay $850.00/month plus all of my utilities on the meager amount I receive from Social Security Disability. Because the cost of housing is so very high in the greater Los Angeles area, I have taken in two young working roommates, two young lads--Manuel, 24, and Anthony, 20--who do not earn enough to pay for a place of their own, however small that place might be. They are good lads, hard working, just low income; there is nothing wrong with their character or their minds or souls at all. They are very fine persons. They would have no home at all, if I did not offer them mine. They sleep on a very nice bunk bed I purchased for them on time. I sleep on the couch in the living room. Yes, our home is crowded, Yes, we have little privacy, but, at least we all have a place to call home, a place to make meals, a place to receive our mail, and a place to bath. This is all we need really, nothing fancy, just a place that is warm, safe, and decent.
We are not alone in how we live; many disabled, elderly, and low income persons live in this way. We have so very little to begin with, and we are not complaining or asking for any special favors. However, giving a rebate to persons who have already paid their property taxes through their rent, to low income persons who really need a little break here and there, is not a gift really; it is actually a tax refund. Although in the case of California it is not called a tax refund, it actually is; this is money we paid into property taxes: our money, not yours.
You have no right to take away something from us that was legally enacted into law by the State Of California. This action will be challenged in the courts, I assure you. I am sure many will join us, such as the ACLU, the AARP, NAACP, and many, many, many others.
Beyond this action being challenged, you personally may be cited for violation of Constitutional Law. The very issue of what you did does not sound very legal to me, or many others. If you are found to be in error in your judgement, you sir may be facing criminal charges of your own, in court.
Please re-consider in the interests of the low income, disabled, and elderly citizens of your State, and indeed, in your own interests as well.
Reconsider, and reconsider WELL.
Love First, Love Only, Love Always