Like many of you, we have watched as the events of the last few days have unfolded in the wake of the tragic, unacceptable and unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. What happened there has happened too many times in countless cities across America, and change must happen to right the wrongs of racism and discrimination. Protests have spread all across the United States, including right here in Marin County and the Bay Area. Speaking up on behalf of what is right and just is one of our most important rights as Americans, and we support those exercising their first amendment rights.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is a REALTOR® association commenting on racism and injustice?”
While it may not be obvious to some, housing policies, housing and discrimination and politics have played a role in perpetuating systemic racism. The real estate industry, sadly, has a checkered history in, in turn, promoting these harmful policies and not doing enough to combat them in the past. This topic has been covered, in-depth, by Richard Rothstein in his book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. REALTOR® Association leaders across California are reading or have read this book - and we encourage anyone interested in this topic to read it and understand its lessons.
REALTORS® at all levels - Marin County, the state of California and at the national level, are working hard to right these wrongs by being vigorous advocates of Fair Housing policies, advocating for more housing opportunities for all and being a voice for homeownership and all the benefits that come with it. Article 10 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics deals specifically with issues of discrimination, calling all REALTORS® to treat all clients fairly and offer each the highest level of service they can offer. Recent events have only redoubled our efforts to work for equality, justice and opportunity in housing.
Please take the time to learn more about fair housing, and what you can do to help. C.A.R. has resources from the 50th anniversary of Fair Housing available here, and NAR has extensive resources on this topic including a comprehensive Fair Housing Action Plan, and printable declaration for your office. We highly recommend taking the informative “At Home With Diversity” class.
The Marin REALTORS® association is committed to working with local organizations that have housing, education and our communities at the core of their mission. If you know of or work with any organizations working in this area, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help.
Fair Housing Resources: