PRRAC Update  

November 1, 2012   




Welcome to the PRRAC Update!  Every other Thursday, PRRAC sends out a brief digest of news, recent publications, and other points of interest related to our work in housing, education, and health. We welcome feedback and encourage you to forward to others. To join the PRRAC email list, click here.  



"View from the Gallery": a reflection on the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in the Fisher v. Texas affirmative action case from Seton Hall Law Professor Rachel Godsil, from next month's Poverty & Race....."Hotly contested cases are a form of political theater.  The primary actors are the lawyers for the parties and the Justices themselves.  However, truly significant cases elicit broader participation akin to a Greek chorus in the form of amici curiae...Read More


"Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law": This investigative article by reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones in the non-profit news service "ProPublica" does a great job of tracing the history of the Fair Housing Act's "affirmatively furthering fair housing" obligation and the federal government's continuing reluctance to aggressively promote integration. PRRAC offered a number of background resources to ProPublica, and PRRAC Board member Betsy Julian and former PRRAC board member Florence Roisman are both quoted in the story.  Read the full article here.


Save the date:  A post-election reception for DC-area friends of PRRAC, the night before our fall Board meeting.  At the Tabard Inn, 1739 N Street NW, Thursday, November 15, 5:30-7:30.  Please RSVP to Ebony Gayles if you'd like to join us!      



Other news and resources

Mount Laurel 4 The morning after the presidential election, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the appeal of a broad challenge to the state's longstanding "Mount Laurel" state constitutional rule, which requires higher opportunity towns to allocate a fair share of affordable housing for low income families in their region.  A group of wealthy suburbs, supported by Governor Christie, is seeking to replace the current system (which has created over 60,000 affordable housing units statewide) with a new "growth share" approach that has no enforcement provisions, and permits towns to avoid their fair share obligation with a modest financial payment to a state fund.  An unusual alliance of civil rights organizations, special needs providers, for-profit and non-profit developers, business groups, religious groups, and more diverse municipalities are asking the Court to affirm the holdings below that require each town to allow for its fair share of low- and moderate-income homes.  Fair Share Housing New Jersey is arguing the appeal - you can listen to the oral argument on at 10:00 am on Nov. 7 here, and read more about the case here.


"Race and Poverty" - check out this new website and blog and networking tool from the Chicago Lawyers Committee at  




Philip Tegeler

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, DC