As I have been writing and will continue to write that, as a matter of social justice, it’s inconceivable that Newton, in 2019, is planning to re-up single-family zoning for another generation or two or three. As a tool, the history of single-family zoning is inextricably linked to really awful housing segregation that has had profound and lasting negative impact on our country, particularly manifest as morally indefensible wealth discrepancy between African-American and white populations. We should want nothing to do with it. It should be toxic.
The story of legally designed and executed housing segregation is laid out beautifully in Richard Rothstein’s Color of Law. I don’t see how anybody who reads it can possibly advocate for or vote for zoning regulations that include single-family zoning.
With that in mind, I recently issued the following challenge on Twitter:
$100 campaign contributions to the first five #newtonma City Council candidates who read "The Color of Law" and write a 500-word essay on how it applies to our city.@Environista @BeckyWGrossman @JimCoteWard3 @JakeAuch @Deb_Crossley @AndreaeDowns @BillHumphreyMA @bryanbarash
— Sean Upzone Newton Roche (@seanroche) February 1, 2019
(I’m not going to post my replies to the tweet, in which I listed all the other potential 2019 candidates that I know are on Twitter.)
Who’s going to be the first candidate to get a check? Needless to say, we’ll publish the 500-word essays on V14.
Anybody else read the book? What did you think?