I attended a meeting Wednesday (9-11-19), at the Orange County Commission Chambers. A talk was given in relations to the ‘Affordable Housing for All’ by, Dr. Tiffany Manuel Author of Building Justice: How to Talk about Racial Equity in a Way That Gets it Done. She addressed the perception of affordable housing. Dr. Manuel is an expert on building inclusive communities. Dr. Manuel gave a tremendous talk and when she was done, we were given the opportunity to ask questions. She fumbled the answers.
In an social media comment, Commissioner Regina Hill Discusses the lack of affordable housing and what is being done. Here are my comments on Commissioner Hill and the article. A link to that article appears at the end of this piece.
We already know that no cavalry on horseback is riding down the hill to save us, right? Our politicians are fighting the good fight, but we are still losing. We are losing the fight for fair housing. We lose when we try to fight for justice. We are not receiving equal income for equal abilities and we are losing badly in our pursuit of happiness.
As a pastor in our community, you know this better than most, don’t you? Maybe, if we build our own economic system, we could start to win, right?
I attended a town hall meeting last week to specifically ask one question: ‘Is there a plan to address the low income issue that is driving the affordable housing crisis in Central Florida?’ Jessica Frye, AICP, Planner III, who gave a phenomenal presentation about housing, responded to the question by repeating it, explaining why it is a near impossible situation, and then finally saying, “No, there is no plan.” State Representative Anna V. Eskamani immediately spoke up and said that she had a plan, effectively hushing Jessica Frye and keeping her from explaining why there is no plan. I said nothing else during that meeting.
When I talk to the average Black business owner about money, they usually tell me that money is needed to grow their businesses but money is hard to find. When I ask them how much they need and what would they use the money for, that amount is about $5,000 to $10,000 and the bulk of that money will be used to get more customers in the door.
By Lawrence A Robinson As Black people we already know what is holding us back, it’s mostly us. The America society and justice system is designed in such a way that makes it hard, sometimes impossible, to break free enough to actually pursue life’s pleasures.
Some call it ‘systemic racism.’ Even now, we are forced to make our way through the gauntlet of life’s traps, designed to lead us to failure or to maintain the status-quo.
Not long ago, I was asked to be part of a panel to discuss, ‘What will it take to earn the Black vote in 2020.’ This panel discussion was organized by local Republican leaders in hopes of understanding what Black people wanted and what should be offered to gain their vote.