A Constitutional Barrier To Public Housing Approvals In California

California State Capitol with tree in foreground
California State Capitol Sacramento photo by Udo S is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The California State Capitol, where efforts to undo measures that effectively block public housing have failed three times.

Institutional racism at the highest level is not at all distant in America’s past. Earlier this month (February 2019) Virginia’s governor admitted to a youthful yearbook appearance in blackface. The outcry and calls for his resignation have been deafening, even from his own political party.

As the country censures a racist governor, how far distant is the country from racist legislation? Not all that far, unfortunately. California, it turns out, blocks affordable housing in its constitution — a weapon against undesirable classes of citizen from gaining access to neighbourhoods of California cities.

Take a little history lesson from the LATimes: A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build