Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) February, 2005 / Vol. 11, No. 1
FAIR HOUSING NEWS
A newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH GREETINGS!
In celebration of African-American History Month, this issues features an expanded section on the recent passing of many civil rights advocates and personalities. Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned article or a free subscription to Fair Housing News: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / firstname.lastname@example.org. More info/resources: http://www.gbchrb.org.
IN THE NATIONAL NEWS
HUD Report "Why Not in Our Community?" Questions Current Approach to Affordable Housing Development. The report, released on February 14th, examines recent regulatory trends, actions to reduce barriers, and remaining problem areas. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson commented, "This report is a call to action for government at every level to rethink its approach to affordable housing and begin asking, 'Why not?'" Identified obstacles included NIMBYism in the suburbs, impact fee expansion, misuse of Smart Growth, complex environmental regulation, and building codes. The PDF file is: http://www.huduser.org/publications/affhsg/whynotourcomm.html (HUDUSER.org, February 18, 2005)
The State of Illinois Outlaws Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians by Landlords, Realtors, Employers, and Lenders. While it is the 15th state to bar discrimination in housing and employment (including Maryland), Illinois became only the 5th state to outlaw discrimination against transgendered people, whose gender identity is not "traditionally associated with their designated sex at birth." Illinois' new law exempts churches from the requirements of other employers, and this will not force, for example, a church finding homosexuality sinful to hire a gay choir director. (Baltimore Sun, January 12, 2005:11A)
Interactive Online Course Offered on Fair Housing Accessibility. Via a grant from HUD, the International Code Council is providing an interactive online course on fair housing accessibility for housing professionals free of charge. A certificate will be awarded for successful completion of this course. Check it out at: http://fairhousing.iccsafe.org/
New Study Finds Percentage of Homelessness Among People with Severe Mental Illness at 15%. Published in the February, 2005 American Journal of Psychiatry, the study examined 10,340 treated by the San Diego County Adult Mental Health Services. The percentage is significantly higher than previously thought. Homelessness was most associated with those diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, substance abusers, and who had no public- funded healthcare. African-Americans had higher rates than Latinos or Asian Americans. (Mental Health Weekly Digest, February 18, 2005)
IN THE LOCAL NEWS
Federal Judge Finds Fair Housing Law Violated by U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in Baltimore. U. S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis found on January 6th that HUD violated the Law by not taking a regional approach to the desegregation of Baltimore's public housing; the City was absolved of wrongdoing. The Judge said HUD had been "effectively wearing blinders" in not approaching the problem in a regional manner. To find a better remedy, the Judge appointed a Housing Settlement Advisory Panel to help develop a settlement to the 1995 lawsuit originally brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland on behalf of public housing residents. A 1996 partial settlement of the case mandated the City and HUD to assist 2,000 families to move to neighborhoods not dominated by poverty and assisted units; 600 have moved to date. The Panel will consult with area jurisdictions in crafting a resolution to the remaining issues. Reaction to the finding by area jurisdictions has been mostly critical. (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 7, 2005; Jan. 15, 2005:2B, Jan.19, 2005:3B)
Annapolis Bill Proposes Renaming BWI Airport as Thurgood Marshall Airport. House Bill 189, introduced on January 21st, has 37 sponsors. Justice Marshall, born in Baltimore in 1908, served on the Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991. (Towson Times, Jan. 26, 2005:9)
The National League of Cities Congressional City Conference Will Be March 11-15, 2005 in Washington, D. C. For cities, it will be "a important opportunity to present a strong and unified municipal voice in Congress, to develop and strengthen relationships with members of Congress, and to advocate the cities' position on the must-pass transportation and welfare reauthorization bills of Congress." The event's web site at: http://www.nlc.org/Conferences Events/Congressional_City_Conference/
Interfaith Dialogue Series of the Baltimore Jewish Council Continues with March 1st Forum. The Jewish-Muslim-Christian interfaith dialogue "Raising Religious Children in a Secular World" will be on March 1, 2005, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Park Heights Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore. Reservation only. For information, call or email Jenine Cullum at 410-542-4850 or email@example.com.
DID YOU KNOW?
Contact the GBCHRB for FREE Fair Housing Info Brochures & Posters in English, Spanish, Korean, and Russian: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat TV Show Is on Cable Stations Throughout Maryland! Hosted by Dr. Bill Kladky, the 30-minute interview show runs in Baltimore City, and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Calvert, St. Mary's, and Montgomery! Call us at 410-453-9500 / email@example.com for days and times!
REST IN PEACE
A large number of notable persons in human and civil rights passed in the last few months. Fair Housing News presents this expanded section to commemorate their work and lives.
James Forman, Civil Rights Pioneer, 76. Forman was a primary organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and the Freedom Rides in which Blacks rode buses across the South to promote real integration. While executive secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (1961-66), he supported civil rights protesters. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) said Forman was "the glue that held the young people together during the most abrupt time of the civil rights movement." In 1969, Forman became one of the first Black leaders to demand slavery reparations. (CNN.com Jan. 12, 2005; Baltimore Sun, Jan.16, 2005:15B)
Jack Newfield, Muckraking Reporter & Civil Rights Activist, 66. Newfield was arrested at a sit-in in 1963, and spent two days in jail with Michael Schwerner, one of the civil rights workers killed in Mississippi in 1964. His first book A Prophetic Minority (New American Library, 1966) concerned his civil rights work. (Baltimore Sun, December 23, 2004:6B)
Samuel T. Daniels, Local Civil Rights Leader, 82. Among his many positions, Daniels served as executive secretary of the Baltimore Community Relations Commission. He personally paid the travel expenses so young civil rights advocates could attend the 1065 marches in Selma, Alabama. As head of the Prince Hall Masons, Daniels was one of the leaders welcoming the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Baltimore on October 31, 1964. He also worked tirelessly for black economic development (serving as head of the Council for Black Economic Opportunity for 25 years) and voter mobilization. (Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2005:6B)
Joanne Grant, Civil Rights Journalist, 74. A former assistant to W. E. B. DuBois, Grant's award-winning writings and documentary films chronicled the civil rights movement. Grant wrote one of the first books on the movement's history, Black Protest, which traced Black resistance from 1619 through 1968. Her documentary The Story of Ella Baker (1981) about the unsung civil rights movement worker was broadcast on PBS. (Baltimore Sun, Jan.17, 2005:6B)
Ossie Davis, Actor & Civil Rights Activist, 87. A defender of Paul Robeson an other black activists, Davis and his wife Ruby Dee were at the forefront of the 1963 March on Washington, and sued in federal court for black voting rights. Davis wrote Purlie Victorious in 1961, a send-up of racial stereotypes that became the musical Purlie in 1970. Emerging unscathed from the anti-communist furor in the 1950s, Davis commented, "We've never been, to our knowledge, guilty of anything - other than being black - that might upset anybody." Davis delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X in 1965, and also spoke at the funeral of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (CNN.com, Feb. 4, 2005)
Donald Lee Hollowell, Civil Rights Lawyer, 87. Hollowell represented the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes, Jr., in the desegregation of the University of Georgia. Hollowell's firm helped desegregate Atlanta's schools, buses, and medical system. He also defended hundreds of civil rights protesters and mentored young black lawyers, such as Vernon Jordan, an adviser to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In 1966, Hollowell was named the first director of the southeastern office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (which monitors workplace discrimination) by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Hollowell also was president of the Voter Education Project, which helped significantly increase the number of black voters. For his various work and achievements, Emory University named a professorship in his name, and Atlanta named a street for him. (blogofdeath.com, Feb. 18, 2005)