Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - January 2021

We are in a moment, but not a moment for mediocrity and half measures.  As we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the midst of a global health pandemic, attacks on our democracy, and a critical time for racial reckoning, we must be frank about the role that race has played in shaping the past and our responsibility to confront this history as we work to transform the future of the nation, and Connecticut.

The stark racial disparities permeating our lives have been crystalized by the toll Coronavirus has taken on Black and Latino communities and individuals and the stunning and senseless killing of George Floyd, and so many other Black and Brown people. But our racial divides have also been weaponized by forces working to undermine our democratic form of government and sow chaos, many from a foundation of racial hatred and white supremacy.

This year, the Connecticut legislature will face choices about whether to work around the edges of our racial and economic divide or take concrete meaningful steps to get our state on track. Two transformative proposals from Open Communities Alliance will be on the table this year. The first, Fair Share Zoning, gives each town the power – and responsibility – to plan and zone to meet its fair allocation of the regional need for affordable housing.  In New Jersey, a similar policy is on pace to generate over 100,000 units of affordable housing. The second, Expanded Housing Authority Jurisdiction, allows our housing authorities to play a more central role in meeting the need for affordable housing while still being subject to municipal zoning requirements. These are important, carefully developed proposals that honor local control while opening housing choice across regions and contributing to economic revitalization.

Now is a moment for bold measures that will form a bridge between races, repair the horrific policies of the past, and vault Connecticut into a strong position with an economy that generates opportunity for all of its citizens.  Going big on reforms that address racial and economic disparities is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for the economic sustainability of Connecticut.


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Martin Luther King Jr., Moral Philiosopher -Lion's Roar




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