We recently celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. In the 1960s, King inspired the nation to stand up to injustice. How is justice playing out in our own backyard?
Three recent events catch my attention — a lawsuit, a bonus, and a facelift.
A lawsuit: In 2014, after two years of Marin Housing Authority’s failure to respond to residents of Golden Gate Village, the U.S District Court ruled in the residents’ favor.
It took Bay Area Legal Aid’s lawsuit filed in 2012 on behalf of the Golden Gate Village Resident Council to re-establish the legitimacy of the council as the voice of the residents.
The housing authority board includes the five-member Board of Supervisors and two public housing residents. Its stated mission is to provide decent and safe housing for low-income people.
It oversees six affordable housing complexes with nearly 500 units of public housing. Golden Gate Village has two-thirds of the authority’s total population. It houses 700, mostly people of color, in 294 units.
It is Marin’s only public housing for families with children.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Royce McLemore, a Golden Gate Village community leader, reached out to Supervisor Kate Sears 11 times in an attempt to find a solution. She got no response.
A bonus: The Board of Supervisors hired Lewis Jordan, former housing authority chief in Chicago, as director of Marin Housing Authority in 2012 with a salary of $169,500.
In December 2015, it gave him a $20,000 bonus, equivalent to an annual salary for a Marin City resident working full-time at minimum wage.
True, Jordan inherited a tough situation. Under his direction, authority staff submitted updated five-year agency plans for 2014-18 to HUD. The plan is practically identical to the one Jordan’s predecessor submitted for 2010-14.
Read the full article in the Marin IJ HERE