Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB)
September-October, 2001 / Vol. 7, No. 5
FAIR HOUSING NEWS - A newsletter about
fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life
Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned
article, a free subscription to Fair Housing News, to suggest a topic, or to
post a notice in Fair Housing News: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / firstname.lastname@example.org. More info, resources,
& links are at our web site: http://www.gbchrb.org.
IN THE NEWS
- Troubled U. N.
Conference on Racism a "Partial Success." It was the
first time a world-wide gathering admitted the existence of the problem of
racism and the "pernicious legacy" of slavery. The final
statement condemned modern slavery as a "crime against
humanity," as well as expressed concern for migrants' rights,
indigenous people, and Afro-Latinos; it also called on all nations to
establish commissions to protect minority rights with the U. N.
monitoring. Several regional issues (e.g., racial discrimination in the U.
S. judicial system in the death penalty), were dropped because of time
consumed - finally ending when Israel and the U. S. walked out protesting
proposals by Arab states condemning Israel as a racist state. Tense
delegates loudly applauded when the slavery condemnation was announced.
"This topic will be on the world stage, and the fight will
continue," said a Sierra Leone delegate. (Washington Post, September
9, 2001:A20; Baltimore Sun, September 9, 2001:16A)
- The September 11th
Terrorist Attacks on New York and Washington Have Stirred Racist Rhetoric,
Discrimination, and Debates Over Rights. The U. S. Commission on
Civil Rights Urged Arab- and Muslim-Americans to Report Instances of
Harassment & Bigotry. Numerous incidents have occurred. For example,
Arizona police are investigating whether a September 15th murder in Mesa
was motivated by the attacks. A wide range of rights advocates from
conservative Paul Weyrich, the ACLU, and the libertarian Cato Institute
have urged Congress and the White House not to impinge on citizen rights.
However, most observers expect some erosion in civil liberties. (Baltimore
Sun, September 14, 2001:sunspot.net; National Fair Housing Advocate
- U. S. Supreme Court
to Decide ADA Case on the Definition of Disability. On November
7, 2001, the Court will hear oral arguments in Toyota Manufacturing
Kentucky Inc. v. Williams, a case involving disputation over who exactly
is and is not protected by the ADA. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health
Law's amicus brief on the case - which could have significant impact on
disability rights - is available at: www.bazelon.org/williams.html. (See
their website for additional information.)
Bias Protection Now Part of Montgomery County's Human Rights
Law. Genetic discrimination - prohibiting employers from hiring,
firing, or other personnel actions based on a person's genetic makeup - is
now included as a discrimination basis, along with sex, race, sexual
orientation, and the others. The ban took effect on August 13th, and was
the first real revision of the County's anti-discrimination statute since
1962. (Baltimore Sun, August 14, 2001:2B)
- Dedication to be in
October of the Affordable Housing Ordered by the Momentous Mount Laurel
Court Decision. The Mount Laurel rulings, one in 1975 and the second
in 1983, led to the state's Fair Housing Act in 1985, which requires
communities throughout the state to provide low- and moderate-income
housing. The Ethel R. Lawrence Homes - named after the woman who brought
the original lawsuit - will be completed in 2002 and have 140 units. So
far, 50 families live there. About 80 of the units are earmarked for low-
and moderate-income families, who will pay $147 to $522 a month plus
utilities. The others will be rented at market prices. Julian Bond, NAACP
National Chairman, will be the speaker at the dedication. (National Fair
Housing Advocate online, www.fairhousing.com)
- The Brookings Institution
Releases Study of Metro Housing Movement & Public Policy. Entitled
"Moving Up, Filtering Down: Metropolitan Housing Dynamics and Public
Policy," the study (released in September, 2001) looks at the
cycle of housing movement in metros, the role of public policy, and the
effect on urban core communities. As households and businesses are
successful and move, real estate changes affect the old and new locations.
Included in the study are policy alternatives for improving metro growth
and strengthening urban neighborhoods. The full Brookings report is
available in PDF format online
- The NYC "Asian
Americans for Equality" Organization is a Model for Expanding Asian
American Homeownership. AAFE utilizes outreach methods, including
housing fairs, neighborhood publications; education & counseling in
many languages and settings; gets housing subsidies and develops
affordable housing; and educates lenders about Asian's employment and
credit practices. (Housing Policy Debate, vol. 12, no. 1, 2001:47-75)
- The GBCHRB Continues
State-Wide Fair Housing Education Campaign. Funded by the Maryland
Department of Housing & Community Development & targeted at the
Eastern Shore as well as southern & western Maryland, the campaign
includes distribution of free Fair Housing brochures, self-help guides,
posters, and other information; curriculum development; training; and
advocacy. Please contact us at 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 for free Fair
Housing informational materials, information, and training. Let's work
FAIR HOUSING RESOURCES
- Bazelon Center for Mental
Health Law has an Excellent Website:www.bazelon.org. The site has breaking news, legislative
alerts, publications, and various issues discussions/guides (Fair Housing,
Children, Mental Health, etc.).
- Another Excellent
Website is the Maryland Commission for Women:www.dhr.state.md.us/mcw. It has a calendar, resource directory, a list
of pending legislation available during the Session, and various
publications in PDF format.
- TV Worth Watching!?! Local! Community, Improvements, Housing,
Neighborhoods, Living, People, Rights! The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat is
on various cable-TV stations. The 30-minute interview show runs on Channel
5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 71 in Baltimore County, 3
in Carroll, and 3 & 7 in Harford! Call us at 410-453-9500 or the
stations for days and times!
Still the Big News: Racial Oppression in America. Bob Blauner, Temple University, 2001. Rev. 288 pp.
$22.95 pbk. Blauner argues that race and racism still permeate every aspect of
the American experience today. Blauner's concept of internal colonialism dates
from the 1960s, a period in which many Americans worried that racial conflicts
would propel the country into another civil war. The notion that the systematic
oppression of people of color in the United States resembles the situation of
colonized populations in Third World countries still informs much of the
academic research on race as well as public discourse. Today's critical race and whiteness studies
are indebted to Blauner's work on internal colonialism and the pervasiveness of
white privilege. Blauner argues that we ignore the persistence of oppression
and our continuing failure to achieve equality "at our own peril."
Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America's Poor. Kenneth J. Neubeck & Noel A. Cazenave,
Routledge, 2001. 288 pp. $19.95 pbk. Arguing that "racism shapes public
assistance policies and practices," the authors review the role of racism
in welfare public policy. They find that race-based attitudes, policy making,
and policies have long had a negative impact on public assistance programs.
They identify the 1996 abolition of Aid to Families with Dependent Children and
the subsequent welfare-to-work program as a "race-control function."
October 5th Dinner Dance & Silent Auction to Benefit Earl's Place
Transitional Housing Program.
Entitled "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" the event will be held at the
Belvedere Hotel from 7-11 pm. Tickers are $50. Info: United Ministries,
The Interfaith Dialogue of the Baltimore Jewish Council Examines
Christian, Muslim, & Jewish Perspectives on Religious Extremism on October
11th. The meeting will be
held from 12-2 pm at 5750 Park Heights Avenue. Reservations are required.
CPHA's Citizen Action Workshops for Fall, 2001, are on October 13th. The all-day workshops feature regionalism issues,
housing, transportation, neighborhood marketing & organizing. Info:
The "Baltimore Zoning Reform: Conference on Comprehensive
Rezoning" will be Held on October 25th from 8 am-3 pm. The conference, to be held at the University of
Maryland School of Nursing Auditorium, stems from the work of the American
Institute of Architects' work with the Baltimore City Department of Planning.
The Community Assistance Network's 2nd Annual "Together, We
Make a Difference" Breakfast will be on November 16th. Held from 8-10 am at the Sheraton Baltimore North
in Towson, the event's program topic is "Workforce Development - Facing
the Challenges Now and Beyond." Info: 410-285-4674.
The Baltimore County League of Women Voters is Presenting a Lecture
Series on Contemporary Issues.
Upcoming are Ted Venetoulis on politics & the media on October 29th, and D.
A. Henderson on Bioterrorism on November 26th. The series will be held at the
Sheppard Pratt Conference Center from 6-7:15 pm. Info: 410-464-1902.
REST IN PEACE
The Reverend Sidney Daniels, Civil Rights Advocate, 78. From his Emmanuel Church pulpit, Rev. Daniels
strongly advocated for his Lafayette Square & Harlem Park neighborhoods and
was a powerful activist fighting injustice. A founder of BUILD, Rev. Daniels
fought against discrimination in the police department, and worked against
employment discrimination in the banking industry. He was very active in
various other interfaith efforts, including being president of the
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and a member of the Central Maryland
Ecumenical Council. (Baltimore Sun, Aug. 29, 2001:5B)
Jim Drake, Key Aide to Cesar Chavez & Advocate, 63. An ordained minister, Drake was working for the
California Migrant Ministries when he began helping Chavez organize workers.
Drake also founded the Mississippi Pulpwood Cutters Association and the Greater
Boston Interfaith Organization, working to provide affordable housing, improve
schools, and organize immigrants to protect their civil rights. (Washington
Post, September 9, 2001:C08)
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