Just yesterday, I wrote that suburban communities get addicted to federal funds and, once having done that, they are stuck with federal policies that require those same communities to commit slow suicide. Today, with perfect timing, there’s a news article making my point.
As readers of Cyra McFadden’s classic novel, The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County, know, Marin County, which had once been a Republican bastion, started trending Left in the early 1970s. The transformation was complete by the early 1980s. Marin County is now one of the bluest of blue counties in America. Also, in neighborhoods such as mine, the people buying in were children or weren’t even born yet during Marin’s conservative past.
The only barrier to moving to Marin is money: If you have unlimited amounts of money, you move to Tiburon, Ross, Greenbrae, or Belvedere. If you’re rich, you move to certain neighborhoods in San Rafael, Greenbrae, Larkspur, Sausalito, Novato, and Mill Valley. If you’re the “working rich” (meaning that you work damn hard to move to a mid-level house in an affluent community), you move to Corte Madera, Novato, Greenbrae, Fairfax, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Larkspur, Sausalito, and Mill Valley. If you’re low-income Hispanic (and, often, here illegally), you move to San Rafael’s Canal District. If you’re low-income black, you move to Marin City (which shares affluent Sausalito’s K-8 school districts and results in one of the highest funded, lowest performing school districts in America).
In Marin, there are no government ukases and there are no CC&Rs limiting people from moving into communities based upon race, religion, country of origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, etc. All of those limitations became illegal in 1964, when the Civil Rights Act passed. Instead, you move where your savings and income take you. The only racial dividing line in Marin is an unspoken one that keeps poor Hispanics in San Rafael and poor blacks in Marin City. This racial line gets enforced by gangs within the community. The blacks and Hispanics are not friends.
Fair Housing of Marin (“FHM”), which is a local iteration of Obama’s Housing and Urban Development agency, is unimpressed by the facts on the ground. As far as it’s concerned, Marin County is still a seething cauldron of deliberate racism; and infected pustule with a toxin in it stretching back decades, to the beginning of the Roosevelt administration. That’s how it came about that FHM held a recent forum explaining that current Marin residents must make reparations for past wrongs: