Tom DeWeese is the president of American Policy Center. Tom is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education, American sovereignty and independence and protecting our constitutionally-guaranteed rights. He’s a former newspaper editor and the author of ‘Sustainable: The War on Free Enterprise, Private Property and Individuals’ and ‘Erase’ a political novel.
Now there’s another attack that society is having to deal with and it concerns the concept of single family home ownership and neighborhoods comprised of such homes. Perhaps you weren’t aware that those who are in favor of the idea popularly known as ‘sustainable development’ are calling zoning for single family neighborhoods, ‘racist.’
So how can this be? Tom indicated that according to the mayor of Minneapolis, those who are living in single family home neighborhoods are self-segregating themselves from people they don’t want to live near and therefore it’s racist.
Tom described how Minneapolis is one of the first to move in this direction but the movement as a whole goes beyond that city to places such as Los Angeles and Baltimore.
On the state level, Oregon is making huge strides in this area. House Speaker Tina Kotek wrote a bill that has been passed by the Oregon legislature that would eliminate single family zoning. As of broadcast time, Tom wasn’t sure if the governor had signed it yet but he’s poised to do so and Tom feels he will.
One point that Representative Kotek made was that they have a housing crisis. It’s not surprising they have a crisis when you consider what they’ve done in Portland. They’ve established urban growth boundaries around the city. This means that everything outside the city will be open space. In other words, the city can’t expand because that would be ‘urban sprawl.’ This has been going on for 20 years. The population has grown by 80% so some people have asked for them to extend the urban growth boundary and they refused to do so by no more than 6%. So now they claim to have a housing crisis.
Why does this seem to be happening simultaneously in different parts of the nation? Tom explained that your local development planners would claim that this is all local in origin and that the citizens want this. What’s happening is that President Obama created a program called ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Through HUD.’ Ben Carson has tried to push back against this. He hasn’t been successful because 90% of those who are still in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are leftovers and are ignoring such orders. In addition, he’s seen added pressure from NGO’s like the American Planning Association, the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy.
Within the ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Through HUD’ act was that single family homes were not fair and that people need to move into high-rise apartments. This type of scenario sets things up for the smart-growth programs. In other words, critics of single family homes believe there’s no room for that. As Tom put it, they say, ‘If we could build an apartment building there, we could put 100 families in that space instead of you with just your kids playing in the back yard. That’s just not fair. We have a crisis.’
So for Tom, everything that comes together under sustainable development is based upon the idea of ‘crisis’: housing crisis, food crisis, environmental crisis, etc. It’s this crisis mentality and the private agendas of NGO’s and what they want to see put in place that drives a lot of this as they bring grants into various communities in the hope of getting city councilmen and county commissioners to sign onto them.
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