SPLC fighting against housing proposal

Updated: Oct. 10, 2019 at 9:10 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The disparate impact provision of the Fair Housing Act has helped protect victims of domestic violence, immigrants, families with children, individuals with disabilities, communities of color and the LGBT+ community from housing discrimination. Now the Trump administration wants to remove this long-standing provision.

In response to that, staff members of the Civil Rights Memorial Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center hosted a comment writing party Thursday where participants were encouraged to write comments, tweets and Facebook posts that address the impact the proposal will have on local communities.

“We are going to fight back against the rollback of civil rights legislation like disparate impact,” said Director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center Tafeni English.

The comments will be part of the federal rule making process, which allows members of the public to express their opinions about proposed changes to federal regulations.

“Housing discrimination has been a pervasive problem in this country ever since its inception really if you look at it, and nothing has changed since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, there’s still massive amount of discrimination. There are many people of all races that feel that this rule is extremely important and necessary,” said National Coalition for Civil Rights Council Coordinator John Pollick.

“If we don’t then we’ll keep losing rights little by little. It seems like something small now but they are major to people who it affects,” said Southern Poverty Law Center Outreach Paralegal Sakeena White. “Even if it’s not you, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, injustice to one is injustice to all. Today it might be me, tomorrow it might be you. That’s why it’s important that we always show up, not just sometimes not if it affects us.”

Organizers say that their ultimate goal is to reach 100,000 comments before Oct. 18.

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