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Marin County’s Minority Problem (Updated)

HUD busts the liberal bastion (Barbara Boxer's former district!) for insufficient minority population. (Update: Also, read Howard Nemerov at the Tatler: Marin County Shows Its True Colors)

by
John Rosenberg

Bio

January 14, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Did you see the hilarious spoof in The Onion the other day — “Marin Agrees to Seek Out Minorities”? “Marin County,” the post begins, “has agreed to research why it has so few minority residents relative to the rest of the Bay Area and to take specific actions to attract more low-income people and ethnic minorities to the affluent county, which is more than 80 percent white.” This agreement, the post continued in the same vein, was not really voluntary; it was forced upon the affluent suburban county, across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, by the federal diversity police.

How funny is that?

Way too funny, it happens, for The Onion to dream up — or anyone else. No, “Marin Agrees to Seek Out Minorities” was not an Onion spoof but an actual article in The New York Times about an actual agreement that HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for Region IX foisted on Marin.

The agreement, signed last month with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, came more than a year after the agency found that the county failed to comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and two other antidiscrimination statutes.

The review found that Marin County’s federally financed affordable-housing programs failed to reach out adequately to minorities and people with disabilities, failed to adequately track which ethnic groups were benefiting from those programs, and failed to take steps to ensure that low-income and minority residents were not pushed out.

“The jurisdiction has an obligation to take actions that affirm housing is fair and that there’s choice,” Charles E. Hauptman, regional director for fair housing and equal opportunity at HUD, said in an interview.

HUD obliged Marin County, represented for five terms by legendary liberal “Call Me” Senator Barbara Boxer, to expatiate its guilt for discriminating against minorities who weren’t there by recruiting and housing more of them.

If you want to see real, actual humor, take a look at that “Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA),” or more accurately the:

AGREEMENT FOR

VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE

WITH

SECTION 109 OF THE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1974, AS AMENDED

AND

TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED

AND

SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973, AS AMENDED

BETWEEN THE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

OFFICE OF FAIR HOUSING AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

AND THE

COUNTY OF MARIN

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM

3501 CIVIC CENTER DRIVE

SAN RAFAEL, CA 94903


Lawyers, of course, are famous for their humor, and they don’t disappoint in this VCA, noting as they do that even though “the Department found that the County was in preliminary non-compliance” with a number (all listed) of “non-discrimination” provisions (including 24 CFR §§ 1.4 and 6.4, “affirmatively furthering fair housing”), the parties nevertheless

agree that nothing contained in the Agreement shall be construed to be a final finding or determination by the Department that the Recipient or any of its agents or employees intentionally engaged in unlawful practices that may have had the effect of illegally discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or disability. The parties agree that nothing contained in this document shall be construed as an admission of liability or an admission of having acted in violation with respect to the Department’s preliminary findings by the Recipient or any of its agents or employees.

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