‘Occupants must be white: no Negroes, Mexicans, Hindus, Filipinos’ | Opinion

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Reversing home discrimination

At last, after decades of silence, the California Association of Realtors is apologizing for its role in promoting our state’s racist housing policies. Leaders of several California real estate organizations gathered at a press conference Oct. 21, 2022, to focus on next steps to correct years of discriminatory acts that segregated our cities, reduced the ability to build affordable housing and promoted redlining. In 1964, the association attempted to prevent the passage of the Rumford Fair Housing Act that removed discriminatory practices in housing.

Evidence of racism in housing is reflected in the Modesto area. Over half of the subdivisions in our area contained restrictions on their deeds that prevented people of color, especially Black people, from purchasing homes. Many restrictions read as follows: “Occupants must be white or Caucasian: no Negroes, Mexicans, Hindus, Filipinos.” Thanks to the Fair Housing Act of 1968 discriminatory practices became illegal.

Past discriminatory practices have prevented people of color, primarily Black people, from home ownership. As a result, Black people have only 10% of the wealth of white people.

Before I applaud the California Association of Realtors’ apology, I will await its next steps.

Sharon Yosiph Froba, NAACP Housing Chair, Modesto

Making the best of storms

Re “Restore floodplains money in CA budget, Gov. Newsom” (Page 6A, Jan. 26): I cheer Adam Gray’s recent opinion piece. Capturing water from storm runoff, especially the storms we’ve seen recently in California, and allowing that water to percolate into the aquifer is a sensible and economical way to provide water for agriculture and cities. We have spent years overdrafting our aquifers in the Valley at a great cost to the environment by pumping out more than is naturally replaced. With flow restrictions on our reservoirs and voluntary reduction of pumping from wells, we’ll need to find reliable ways to satisfy our need for water. Hydrologists know the best locations for capturing storm runoff with minimum damage to farms. The Bee highlighted two recently: one on a farm in Ballico and another at the Gemperle farm. Dos Rios Ranch is a prime example of a system that works.

With climate change, it looks like the double-edged sword of megastorms followed by serious drought is the climate of the future of the Valley. Floodplains can be established at a fraction of the cost of building new dams and will put the water where we need it, right back into the aquifer.

Anita Young, Modesto

Thanks, Ellen Junn

Re “Stanislaus State president plans June retirement” (Front Page, Jan. 20-21): I’ve had the great honor to serve as a member of the CSU Stanislaus and city of Turlock Joint Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion (JTDI) since 2018. Our taskforce thrived under the leadership of Ellen Junn and former city of Turlock Interim City Manager Michael Cooke. Their peaceful leadership styles complemented each other and created a safe space for developing team synergy among our taskforce members. The JTDI and local student leaders organized a number of multi-generation education events. These successful outreach events raised awareness about the social justice issues impacting Stanislaus students and neighbors.

President Junn took care of CSUS students during the pandemic and facilitated their safe return to in-person studies on campus. She took great care to facilitate graduation ceremonies and honor the students who had missed out on in-person graduation ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ellen Junn has been a wonderful mentor and team leader. She leads with grace and generosity. I will truly miss her servant’s heart, kindness and friendship.

My grandson began his studies at CSU Stanislaus this semester. I’m happy he will have the opportunity to experience Ellen Junn’s kindness and inclusive leadership before her retirement in June.

Diana Lynn Kaysen, Turlock

What will he say next?

Hard to understand why Congressional Trumpublicans are having such difficulty finding committee assignments for NY Rep. George Santos. Should be a shoo-in for Ethics Committee chair. Play to your strength.

Jack Heinsius, Modesto

Try working as a team

In the spirit of the NFL playoffs, let’s see if we can help our politicians out a bit.

In football, you have offense, defense and special teams. All three doing different things, with different philosophies, but all working toward a common goal: a win for the team.

In politics, you have Democrats, Republicans and independents. All three doing different things, with different philosophies, but these three don’t seem to be working toward a common goal, do they? Instead of trying to get a win for the country, they look like they just want to say the right thing to the right camera so they get a win for themselves.

We didn’t hire (elect) you to continually audition for Real Housewives of Modesto; we hired you to get wins for the team, for us, for America. Please start working together and knock it off with the showboating. Be team players, all of you. Pretty please, with sugar on top.

Tim de Lorimier, Modesto