Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
Why would anyone oppose the
by David Stanowski
16 December 2013
The question that the GCDN should have asked, when reporting on the GOGP lawsuit, is why would anyone be against a lawsuit that seeks to end segregation and expand opportunities for public housing residents.
One of the fundamental components of "civil rights" is the right not to be segregated. Contrary to recent statements in the GCDN, segregation is not defined by anyone's opinion or belief; it is determined by census data. Since Heber Taylor called on us to be "sophisticated enough to handle numerical data", here is the U.S. Census data that determines the degree of segregation in the Cedar Terrace and Magnolia Homes neighborhoods. 97.5% of the people who live in the Cedar Terrace neighborhood are minorities and 54.2 % of those who live in the Magnolia Homes neighborhood are minorities. When minorities become the majority; segregation exists. Period.
The demand that Public Housing be built in these segregated neighborhoods reveals the desire to maintain segregation in these locations. This fact is not open to debate any more than the fact that the City of Galveston is located on an island is open to debate. The City’s location can be confirmed by simply inspecting any reliable map, and the fact that building in these neighborhoods will maintain and expand segregation can be confirmed by inspection of U.S. Census records. No analysis or debate is necessary; there is no opinion or belief involved.
You can't get much more segregated than Cedar Terrace!
Building public housing that is meant to house additional impoverished minorities, in these neighborhoods, will violate their civil rights, so a lawsuit seeking to stop the government from doing this is hardly "masquerading as a civil rights suit". The only deception involved here is the pretense that building mixed-income developments in these segregated neighborhoods will produce real integration.
Since Island "advocacy groups" are the ones demanding that public housing be rebuilt in these locations, it should come as no surprise that they do not support our lawsuit. Their support of the GHA plan is what created the need to file.
These "advocacy groups" never explain why they are opposed to our lawsuit, that seeks to end segregation and increase opportunities for public housing residents; they just question our motive for filing it. The real question is what is their motive for opposing it?
The "advocates" support for the GHA plan CANNOT be based on the desire of most of the 569 displaced families to return to their original locations, because GHA surveys of these families consistently show that only about one third may want to return. One of the GHA's consultants even predicted that only 15% would actually return.
These surveys show that a universal desire to return does not exist. Many former residents have already discovered what the experts have told us; that there is far more opportunity for them to create a better life in other locations. Our lawsuit supports those who belong to this group. Those who want to return have already done so using vouchers.