Agenda 21 and A Republican Approach to Fair Housing
By Attorney Michael Peroutka –
I have been a Republican elected official in Anne Arundel County now for about eight months. This has been an exciting time and a learning experience. Some things that I had hoped to accomplish I am happy to say have come to pass. These include the successful elimination of “emergency legislation” that doesn’t comply with the definition of “emergency” contained in the county charter, and our attempted repeal of the rain tax.
Also, one of the first measures passed by the County Council this term limited the spread of what is called “workforce housing” in the County. I was happy to co-sponsor this measure (Bill 82-14) because this type of housing is part of a scheme known as Agenda 21 which represents an attempt by our national government, through unelected commissions and boards, to socially engineer our neighborhoods and, indeed, almost every aspect of our lives. You may also have heard about the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Initiative”. This is another Agenda 21 scheme by which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is ostensibly attempting to promote “diverse, inclusive communities” all across America.
In rules published last month, HUD declared that its mission is not just to promote these so-called diverse communities but to “enforce compliance” with rules that are designed to socially and economically adjust neighborhoods in a way that satisfies what they call their “geospatial tool”. This “geospatial tool” is reportedly designed to identify neighborhoods where there is racial or economic “segregation” and force people to live where HUD wants them to.
Regulations that cite the Fair Housing Act as authority, define “segregation” as a “high concentration of persons of a particular race”. But, this seems inherently flawed to me. My Biblical understanding is that there is only one “race”. It is called the “human race”. This is also the American legal view. Remember, the Declaration of Independence (which the US Code refers to as the organic law in America) declares and confirms the tenet that “all men are created equal”.
Moreover, the HUD rule treats communities as segregated if they lack racially “balanced living patterns”. This seems to fly in the face of the Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas (2013) which held that “racial balancing” is “patently unconstitutional”.
Some commentators have questioned how more affirmative action can possibly benefit anyone when the history of affirmative action is so dismal. Don’t we have very recent memories of bankruptcies and foreclosures on folks who tried to buy a house before they were financially stable enough to do so? And wasn’t this because the banks were following government requirements to make loans to those who could not afford the house they were buying?
Have you noticed that government interference in the culture or the economy inevitably makes things worse? Why, then, would we conclude that more and more government programs (interference?) will have the effect of making things better?
What can (or should) a Republican elected official do?
Well, how about going back to the Constitution of our Republic?
If you just take a few moments and read Article One, Section Eight, you will see for yourself that the list of powers granted to Congress does not include any authority over “Housing” or over “Urban Development” (whatever that is). So, constitutionally – legally — there is no authority for the Fair Housing Act, or the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Initiative”, or any of the Orwellian rules promulgated pursuant thereto. In other words, it is all null and void. And any attempt by federal officials to enforce it should be denied and resisted.
As your Councilman, I promise to do all I can to resist Agenda 21 and all of its local manifestations, which include “workforce housing” and “cluster housing” projects. Like you, I don’t want to live in a neighborhood that has been federally engineered.
(To learn more about AGENDA 21, visit www.AmericanPolicy.org.)
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