“Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice…Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family will live in a decent, sanitary home.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, 1967
On Thursday, December 9th, the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service will honor three individuals who have upheld civil rights in housing: the “fair housing” promise of housing opportunities for all, regardless of race, income, family status or disability.
These honorees are: Michael Daniel (Daniel & Beshara, P.C.), Michael Gerber (Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs), and Jean Langendorf (Easter Seals of Central Texas).
We are celebrating these Housers with a barbecue luncheon at Saengerrunde Hall in Austin, adjacent to the Scholz Garden (1607 San Jacinto St.) from noon to 1:30 pm. Tickets are $35 each. A contribution of $125 or more provides donors two seats and a listing in the program, while a sponsorship of over $1,000 or more gives you a table for six at the event, and prominent program listing. To reserve a seat or make a donation, contact Karen Paup at 512-477-8910 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TxLIHIS believes that the broader pursuit of housing justice will fail unless this pursuit incorporates the principles of fair housing. This is why we chose this year to honor those who are not afraid of this difficult, and often intense issue. In over 20 years of housing advocacy, we have seen one common factor underlying the disparities in education, employment, income and public services: residential segregation. Hurricane devastation in recent years, and patterns of rebuilding on the Texas Gulf Coast and South Texas have revealed these disparities as so stark, and so extreme, that the public and policymakers can no longer ignore the widespread failure to enforce fair housing law.
It is time to recognize those who have not ignored the fair housing challenge, but have worked to protect the civil rights of Texans to live in a decent home, in a high-opportunity neighborhood, and to replace inequality, discrimination and segregation with genuine inclusion. These Housers are to thank for progress toward fair housing for racial and ethnic minorities in the inner city, for low-income disaster survivors, and for people with disabilities.
Please join us Thursday, December 9th as we celebrate their work and challenge ourselves to live by the words of Martin Luther King and break the “tragic walls” that separate “wealth and comfort” from “poverty and despair.”