Hello two urban girls,
Thank you for your articles on Rex Richardson and his work with Crown Castle.
Thanks to lobbying by Long Beach City Council (9th District, also Vice Mayor) Representative Rex Richardson for Telecommunications, and the unanimous vote of Long Beach City Councils in 2019 to add a telecommunications chapter to the city code which appears to have been written by and for the telecommunications industry I have to move from home, for 21 years.
I am a 65 year old artist and retired college professor with partial deafness, family history of brain cancer, medically diagnosed electromagnetic sensitivity (EHS), and chronic migraine. When my husband and I discovered (it was not clearly disclosed) that a public right of way in our front yard had been targeted for a 4G/5G cell tower, 25 feet from a bedroom in our home, we filed an appeal with the (already approved by the city) claim AT&T and its subcontractor, Synergy Inc. had filed.
As part of our appeal, my doctor had written a letter advising the city that my illnesses, specifically proven EHS, were a valid ADA condition that she was required to support. He said the accommodation should be that the cell tower should be no closer than 1,000 feet from our house. The city refused and did not suggest or offer us alternative accommodation. He arranged a hearing with an employee (lawyer) he had hired specifically to arbitrate in favor of the city. Unsurprisingly, we lost.
So now at this age with 2 bad shoulders and 5 local real estate agents telling us we will lose 20 to 35% on the value of our homes due to the cell tower (city code makes it clear that the loss is exclusively on us), we must leave our “forever home” in which we have spent all our money to maintain and improve it, and move to a much smaller house far inland. Which will aggravate my migraines and force me to throw away a third of my stuff, but at least we won’t have to be guinea pigs for untested short range microwave radiation in combination with a 24h 4G radio transmitter /24 and 7/7,365, 25 minutes from us.
Due to well-documented brain damage from close-range exposure in the early 2000s, California firefighters have mandatory protection from cell towers within 200 feet of a station.
Ordinary citizens, however, those of us without powerful lobbies, have no protection.
The hearing officer admitted in his findings that the operation of this tower is very likely to harm my health, that there is currently no accepted federal standard for the safe operation of a 4G cell tower/ 5G and the city abruptly cut off any discussion of accommodation options. . The city said at the hearing that “wheelchair access” was the only ADA issue it considered valid. There are many ADA-qualified health conditions that an adjacent cell tower is likely to aggravate that do not require/encompass wheelchair access.
When the city refused to help me, I wrote to the president of AT&T, who responded to my request by telling me outright that AT&T would not accommodate my disability.
Thanks for reading this.