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Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, CA
Home country: USA
Current location: AZ
Member since: Wed Feb 1, 2017, 03:51 AM
Number of posts: 25,608

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You know ... the CA Bay Area's 'Liberal' History ... can be a real trip sometimes ...

Came across this just now, randomly reading articles as I'm wont to do ... and as a proud native of the iconic SF Bay Area and fierce liberal and environmentalist ... and someone who's seen about a 10,000 'Mason-McDuffie' signs in my day ... I found it pretty damn ... jarring, let's just say?


As chairman of the then-powerful Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, McDuffie was politically formidable. He later helped establish both the California state parks and the East Bay regional parks systems and served as president of the Sierra Club and chair of the Save the Redwoods League. In 1913, he convened a meeting at the Claremont Hotel to discuss the creation of zoning laws in Berkeley that would exclude people of color. It was one of the first meetings of its kind in the nation. A flier for the meeting read, “The location of one laundry near Dwight Way … deteriorated that neighborhood until only negroes and Orientals would rent nearby buildings.”

In 1916, McDuffie convinced the Berkeley City Council to approve an exclusionary zoning ordinance, arguing that it was needed for “protection against the disastrous effects of uncontrolled development,” according to a 2013 historical report in The Concord Review. The city expedited the ordinance “to prevent a prominent negro dance hall from locating on a prominent corner” in the Elmwood, according to the report.

A year later, in 1917, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed city zoning rules based on race, but in the decades afterward, Berkeley and Oakland adapted by banning apartment buildings in neighborhoods like Rockridge, Elmwood, and areas of Temescal and only allowing single-family homes, under the assumption that low-income people would not be able to afford to buy a house in an upscale area. Real estate agents and banks then kept the neighborhoods white for years through red-lining practices—refusing to sell homes or offer mortgage loans to people of color in traditionally white areas.

In the 1950s, ’60s, and early ’70s, Oakland and Berkeley finished walling off white neighborhoods from development through the implementation of strict building-height limits and parking mandates that effectively made apartment buildings impossible to build.

Today, there is no evidence that racism still plays a role in opposing new dense housing in Rockridge, parts of Temescal, and in neighborhoods like Elmwood and Claremont. Instead, residents of those areas cite concerns about parking and traffic, “greedy developers,” and “shadows” cast by tall buildings as reasons to oppose new housing.

As an aside, I was married in 2011 at the Beachhouse at Lake Temescal, Oakland ... on the day Al Davis passed away, strangely enough, given I'm a life-long Raider fan ... and my divorce papers were signed by the judge ... today. Agonizing on whether to sell my (fairly large yet affordable, 2 minutes from freeway) house and flee AZ (my ex-wife's home state, hence my being here ... i'm really not a fan other than the cheap housing, esp. not here in mormonville) back home where my elderly folks and brothers and sisters-in-law and niece and nephew are ... but I'd have no hope of buying a home unless my parents pass and leave me one of theirs ...

Believe me I'm not insinuating the checkered history of politics in the Bay is part of my decision-making, I was just considering ... Alameda ... cause I love that place ... and that's why I found the article.

For the Love of My Life ...

For Floyd Fans ... an in-progress version of Young Lust w. Dave and Roger both singing

With a slowed-down, sleazier groove and a whole different set of lyrics (apart from the Chorus) ... pretty cool shite ...
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