Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) June, 2003 / Vol. 9, No. 3

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

A newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life


GREETINGS FROM THE GBCHRB!

Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned article, a free subscription to Fair Housing News, or to post a notice in Fair Housing News: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org. Info, resources, & links are at our website: www.gbchrb.org. Our next issue is August, 2003.

IN THE NEWS

Report Says Housing Discrimination is Rampant. The annual study Fair Housing Trends Report by the National Fair Housing Alliance reported that the Federal Government received 25,246 Fair Housing complaints in 2002 - 72% filed by blacks, people with disabilities, or families with children. In a fall-out from the 9-11 terrorist attacks and response, discrimination complaints based on country of origin increased from 10% of the total in 2001 to 12% in 2002. "This number is less than one percent of the estimated incidence of illegal housing discrimination that occurs each year in the United States," commented Shanna Smith, President/CEO of the Alliance. (Baltimore Sun, April 17, 2003:8A; National Fair Housing Advocate, April/May, 2003:3)

Bipartisan Group of U. S. Senators Urged Passage of a Hate Crimes Bill. The legislation, the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2003, would add tools for local and federal officials to prosecute crimes because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or disability. It also would up federal penalties for the crimes, and provide grants to help prosecute. The Senate twice has passed a hate crimes bill but without House approval. This legislation was pushed partly because of the recent negative comments by Sen. Rick Santorum about homosexuality. Among the co-sponsors were Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Gordon Smith (R-Oregon), and Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). (cnn.com, May 2, 2003)


Illinois Landlord Pays $45,000 to Settle Lawsuit For Quoting Higher Rents to African Americans. The complaint brought by the HOPE Fair Housing Center of Chicago found the southern Chicago suburban townhome rental development also was noncooperative with African American applicants, putting them off, refusing to set up appointments, charging much higher deposits and up-front costs. (National Fair Housing Advocate, April/May, 2003:1)

Rabbi Floyd Herman and Rabbi Joel H. Zaiman to Retire June 30th. Rabbi Herman of Har Sinai and Rabbi Zaiman of Chizuk Amuno have been long-time community leaders, frequently reaching out to other faiths to build and heal community. Both also have worked to help the less fortunate. Herman joined James Meredith's historic "march against fear" to encourage voting by black residents of Jackson, Mississippi. Our community owes each a debt of gratitude. (Baltimore Sun, June 8, 2003:1B)

On June 12, 2003, Harford County Held a Fair Housing Training Seminar. Co-sponsored by Harford County Housing Agency and the Harford County Association of Realtors, the event at the Richlin Ballroom in Edgewood featured workshops on Fair Housing law and enforcement, accessibility, hate crimes, tenant-landlord law, and Fair Housing resources in Harford County. Harold Young, manager of the HUD Baltimore Field Office greeted attendees; and officials from HUD, the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, the Harford County Commission on Disabilities, FBI, Legal Aid Bureau, and the GBCHRB spoke.

The GBCHRB's State-Wide Fair Housing Education Campaign Continues. Funded by the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development & targeted at the Eastern Shore, southern & western Maryland, the campaign distributes Fair Housing brochures & posters; Fair Housing curricula; training; and advocacy. Info: 800-895-6302.

DID YOU KNOW?

MCIL Making Choices for Independent Living, Inc. has a very informative newsletter. Contact MCIL at 410-444-1400, email mcil@mcil-md.org, or check their web site www.mcil-md.org for a copy.

Efforts Fighting Predatory Lending Are Highlighted in the March/April Issue of HUD's FieldWorks. Productive approaches being utilized in New York, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh are detailed. Best of all: FieldWorks is free from HUD USER at 800-245-2691, helpdesk@huduser.org, or web site www.huduser.org.

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., Has Published a History of BNI and Housing Integration in the Region. The book, But Not Next Door: The First Forty Years, by Michael L. Mark, can be purchased by contacting BNI at 410-243-4468, email tthomas@bni-maryland.org, or website www.bni-maryland.org.

Contact the GBCHRB for FREE Fair Housing Informational Brochures & Posters. Telephone 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 or mail@gbchrb.org for free copies.

The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat Is on Various Cable-TV Stations. The 30-minute interview show runs on Cable Channels 2 & 5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 71 in Baltimore County, 3 in Carroll, 3 & 7 in Harford, 71 in Howard, and several others! Telephone 410-453-9500 or the stations for the show's days and times.

INTERESTING BOOKS

Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy. by Paul Hendrickson. Knopf, 2003. 368 pp. $26.00 hardcover. Interesting study of seven Mississippi sheriffs, including the retelling of the Emmett Till lynching and James Meredith's 1962 admission to Ole Miss.

Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation. by Derald Wing Sue. John Wiley & Sons, 2003. 320 pp. $22.95 hardcover. Useful, intriguing psychological analysis of the attitudes and patterns that foster racism, and some tools to escape biased thinking and behavior. While centered on whiteness and racism, the book also examines the biases of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other prejudices.

REST IN PEACE

Virna Canson, NAACP Leader & Activist, 81. Canson, a tireless leader, headed the NAACP on the West Coast, and played a role in many important events - such as voting to seat the black Mississippi delegates during the 1964 Democratic National Convention, and helping in the reconstruction of the Watts part of Los Angeles after the 1965 riots. (Baltimore Sun, April 19, 2003:6B)

Russell G. Clark, Judge, 77. The U. S. District Court Judge ordered the state of Missouri to desegregate its public schools. In 1984, he declared that the Kansas City school district's "discriminatory and state-fostered dual school system for black and white students must be eliminated." He ordered a system of magnet schools and other improvements, still being fought by the City in 2003. (Baltimore Sun, April 19, 2003:6B)

Burke Marshall, Government Legal Strategist, 80. As Assistant Attorney General in charge of civil rights during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (picture left), Marshall helped arrange the admission of the University of Mississippi's first black student James Meredith; and helped draft and get passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During a White House ceremony to present the 1999 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards (picture right), President Clinton applauded the work of Burke Marshall. (Time, June 20, 2003:23)

William H. Murphy, Sr., Judge, 86. Murphy was the second black elected to Baltimore's Municipal Court, now the District Court, and served longer than any in history. When he applied to Maryland Law School in 1939, the officials - to circumvent a 1935 desegregation order - offered him a full scholarship to Harvard Law School, which he declined. Murphy also represented whites and blacks in 1949 in an unsuccessful challenge to the constitutionality of segregated public athletic facilities. (sunspot.net, June 1, 2003)