Dallas May Have Issues with Segregation, but at Least We Don't Have Poor Doors Yet

Categories: Schutze

This really happened, right? The civil rights movement?

How can I devote so many words here to housing discrimination in Dallas and not even mention poor doors in Manhattan? I can't, even though I'm still not sure exactly what New York poor doors teach us. Maybe the lesson is just that pompous posturing assholes with thinly defended egos are not a regional phenomenon.

The New York Post reported last month that the city had approved plans for a residential tower on Manhattan's Upper West Side to include a separate "poor door" for people living in subsidized "affordable" apartments in the building, so they wouldn't be walking in and out with the rich people. The New York Times chased the story a couple days ago with a longer and more nuanced report.

Apparently poor doors have been around in New York for a while, but the building at 40 Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River (if you're a rich tenant) happened to have the bad luck of catching some reporter's eye. In fact poor doors are not unique to New York. Some cities think they're OK, some do not. This month the plan commission in West Hollywood, California, shot down a project that was to include a separate door for poor people, because ... well, to paraphrase, they thought it was gross. Or, as one West Hollywood resident told a reporter, "Wow, New York is bad."

Before I ride around on my high horse too much, I should mention again that Dallas right now is the target of what some parties are calling the biggest racial segregation complaint in the history of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (climbing off horse as we speak). The HUD complaint against Dallas includes a charge that the Atmos project at the east end of downtown doesn't just include a poor door, it includes a separate racially and economically segregated building (shooting horse now).

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Somebody Wake Up Dallas City Council and Tell Them to Get to Work

Categories: Schutze

The tail wags the dog at City Hall, and the dog just wants to keep sleeping.

Ran into a retired city department head on a parking lot in the afternoon heat yesterday, thought I was gonna die. This guy had an entire career's worth of anger and frustration to unload, and there I was in the sun with my head uncovered. I think I lost a couple IQ points just listening. Lucky I had a surplus.

His biggest bitch was about the sheer laziness of City Council members unwilling to do the intellectual work required to challenge the city manager on issues that ought to be the council members' responsibility. Like the budget.

The case that came to mind most immediately for both of us was council member Scott Griggs and his proposal to cut $3.8 million from the manager's proposed office budget in order to beef up libraries and animal control.

Griggs produced a spreadsheet showing where the cuts could be made. City staff, acting with uncharacteristic dispatch, fired back its own spreadsheet listing the dire consequences each cut would have. Oh my God! It was like Griggs was trying to kill Dallas!

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HUD's Coming Settlement with Dallas over Segregation Caps a Trail of Lies

Categories: Schutze

Alvaro Diaz-Rubio
This is the week something should happen in the now 5-year-old dispute between the city of Dallas and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over HUD's landmark segregation complaint against Dallas. HUD and the city have been jaw-boning each other for several weeks now over what Dallas must do to get clear of this mess.

The controversy has been painted too simply, by me as well as others, as an accusation of racial segregation. It is. It isn't really. It's complicated.

An easier way to get a handle on what HUD says Dallas did with its money over a 10-year period is to think of it as misappropriation of funds. HUD says Dallas has taken hundreds of millions of dollars in federal housing aid, pausing once a year to formally swear (or "certify," to be exact) that it is spending the money on what the money is for. And then Dallas has been spending it on the opposite. It's called "false claims."

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People Move to Texas Because Texas Is Weird, Not (Just) Because Texas Has Jobs

Categories: Schutze

If my brother's Bay Area condo were that top one with the plants still intact and I called him, he would say, "No, everything's great here, why?"

Sunday it was 7 a.m. California time when I called my brother in the Bay Area to ask if he had died in the quake. He said no. I thought he sounded sleepy, but he could have been serene. It's hard to tell with those people.

I asked if he would be moving out of California soon. He said serenely that if he does move he will time his departure less by the threat of earthquakes than by rising sea-levels. When that surf is beating on the lobby door of his high-rise condo tower in Emeryville, he'll start tossing stuff in a duffel bag.

He'll never leave California. Not on two feet. He asked me what the weather has been like lately in Dallas. Triple digits, I said. As usual my wife and I saved several big outdoor chores for August. To my brother, that's like saying you have been staying busy in hell.

"Keeps you hoppin', eh?"

"Pretty much."

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Dallas Pushing HUD to Withdraw Letter Accusing City of Misusing Housing Funds

Categories: Schutze

Oh, no! The crow is eating Rudy Bush! I never wanted that!

Yesterday I said I would eat crow if Dallas Morning News editorial writer Rudy Bush turns out to be right and I turn out to be wrong about the outcome of the HUD racial discrimination complaint against the city of Dallas. Today after much more snooping around, I would offer this as my opening position in negotiations with Bush:

I will eat one crow wing, if you, Mr. Bush, will agree to eat a foot. Or it could be me foot, you wing. But I'm not eating crow alone.

See also: When HUD Releases Its Segregation Settlement With Dallas, Someone Is Going to Get Smoked

Here's the real deal. Reliable sources tell me Dallas wants the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to engage in a massive cover-up of its own evidence in order to help Dallas. If and when that happens, I will eat the whole crow, shortly before moving to damn Canada.

One question, the "public interest" question, is whether Dallas will agree to major changes in its housing policies and laws in order to hang on to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies after HUD concluded Dallas colluded to increase racial segregation in the city between years 2000 and 2010.

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When HUD Releases Its Segregation Settlement With Dallas, Someone Is Going to Get Smoked

Categories: Schutze

It's me or Rudy, people. One or the other of us gonna get smoked.

Oh, man, I shouldn't even tell you about this. I guess it's me and Rudy Bush, "High Noon," "OK Corral," all those old movies. One of us has got to wind up on his back in the horseshit with his toes in the air. I promise I'll let you know which one it is, if I still can.

Bush is a former City Hall reporter at The Dallas Morning News, now on the editorial board, meaning he writes editorials. A very solid hand. Couple days ago apparently he motored out to the mayor's house where the mayor was recovering from a hip operation. They had a one-on-one about the big HUD racial segregation case against Dallas that's just now coming to the final showdown.

Bush wrote an editorial based on that interview. I told you about it yesterday. He implied broadly that Mayor Mike Rawlings had jaw-boned HUD into submission.

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In Fight Over Dallas' Racist Housing Policies, HUD Threw the Whistleblowers Under the Bus

Categories: Schutze

Wait. How do you know when you have the right Castro?
If the editorial in The Dallas Morning News this morning has any credibility, and I am sure it does, HUD has agreed to throw the whistleblowers under the bus in the Lockey/MacKenzie racial segregation complaint against the city of Dallas.

It's not a surprising outcome, because paying off the two developers who first accused Dallas five years ago of having a secret racist housing policy has always been the city's sticking point.

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Rick Perry, Second Coming or Poker-Cheating Cannibal? Who the Hell Knows?

Categories: Schutze

Governor Rick Perry, demonstrating the number of minutes it'll take to beat the indictment against him.
This is a first. In an editorial this morning The New York Times is defending Rick Perry. Sort of.

They offer major caveats, calling him, "one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America, having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office."

But then they say, "bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony," leading them to conclude that, "given the facts so far," Perry's recent indictment on criminal charges, "appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution."

They're actually willing to give the Perry indictment a little more credibility than I have been. Based on reporting I have been doing on an unrelated Austin story, the impeachment of Texas university system regent Wallace Hall, I figure it's not possible to come to any conclusion at all about the legitimacy of anything that happens in Austin, good, bad or interplanetary.

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The Story in Ferguson, Missouri, Hits Close to Home

Categories: Schutze

Somewhere between Neighborhood Gardens and Ferguson, Missouri, chapters are missing.

Something in the Ferguson, Missouri, story I keep looking for, waiting. My dad's family is from St. Louis. Sorta. So anyway today I found an op-ed piece in The New York Times that maybe gets to part of it or somewhere in that general direction.

Jeff Smith, a professor of urban policy at The New School in New York and a former Missouri state senator, begins to weave the story of Ferguson back into the longer narrative of St. Louis. That's what I wanted to know.

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While Dallas Leaders Talk about Paying Back HUD, the Feds' Real Payback Is on its Way

Categories: Schutze

Scott Griggs wants to know when Dallas owes HUD money. Vonciel Hill, not so much.
The other day, I was talking here and Rudy Bush was talking in The Dallas Morning News and Scott Griggs and Philip Kingston were talking on the city council about the $810,000 the city had to pay back to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). I just want to point out before the moment passes that the $810,000 pay-back story is not jack. It is a joke, in fact, next to the real story.

The real story about Dallas and HUD, the real drama, is the "voluntary compliance agreement" that Dallas is negotiating with HUD right now behind closed doors. That may be hundreds of millions of dollars but, worse than the money, a deal with HUD may require Dallas to concede it has been practicing deliberate racial segregation as a secret City Hall policy for more than a decade.

You think Ferguson, Missouri looks bad? What about an official policy of racial segregation in one of the nation's largest cities? Try that hat on for size in the 21st century.

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