It’s been great fun advocating for Delaware’s homeowners and working so closely with the state legislature.
John was raised in Philadelphia, spent several years there as a seminary student, and went on to get his Master's in Education. He left the seminary because he wanted to get married. John spent over 30 years as a middle school teacher in Philadelphia and loved every one of them, except his first. "The first year is rugged for every teacher," says John, "but after that, it was a great joy." John's fellow teacher for 25 years, Carl Beck, will join him on the cruise.
John moved to Rehoboth Beach in 1997 after he retired and quickly got bored sitting on the porch. He joined the Delaware Homeowners' Association and became an advocate in the state legislature. "In Delaware you can usually speak with state representatives directly," says John. "In one instance when we were trying to get legislation passed, I went off the cloak room and drafted an amendment on the spot. The bill would not have passed without it. Sometimes this work is great fun."
John has been involved with manufactured housing where homes are built off premises and transported to the site for installation. These are considered "mobile homes" even though they can't be moved, which sometimes causes many problems. People rent the land for their homes and then land owners sometimes raise rentals to exorbitant levels. Homeowners have no recourse. Pay the price or else. Some simply abandon their homes. John worked with the state Homeowners' Association to redraft the laws on manufactured housing and prevent this type of predatory gouging, helping many people to remain in their homes.
As a volunteer advocate for AARP, John continues to work not only on housing but on health and financial issues as well. John is also a member of the League of Women Voters where he puts his legislative experience to use. He worked, for example, to get more transparency in state and local government meetings. This met with great resistance because some wanted to conduct official business behind closed doors. With John's help, the LWV finally got that turned around. "Sometimes it's one small step at a time," says John, "but with enough persistence, we can usually get things done."