Waiting for Gautreaux

Waiting for Gautreaux

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Winner, 2006 The American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award On his thirty-ninth birthday in 1966, Alexander Polikoff, a volunteer ACLU attorney and partner in a Chicago law firm, met some friends to discuss a pro bono case. Over lunch, the four talked about the Chicago Housing Authority construction program. All the new public housing, it seemed, was going into black neighborhoods. If discrimination was prohibited in public schools, wasn't it also prohibited in public housing? And so began Gautreaux v. CHA and HUD, a case that from its rocky beginnings would roll on year after year, decade after decade, carrying Polikoff and his colleagues to the nation's Supreme Court (to face then-solicitor general Robert Bork); establishing precedents for suits against the discriminatory policies of local housing authorities, often abetted by HUD; and setting the stage for a nationwide experiment aimed at ending the concentration--and racialization--of poverty through public housing. Sometimes Kafkaesque, sometimes simply inspiring, and never less than absorbing, the story of Gautreaux, told by its principal lawyer, moves with ease through local and national civil rights history, legal details, political matters, and the personal costs--and rewards--of a commitment to fairness, equality, and justice. Both the memoir of a dedicated lawyer, and the narrative of a tenacious pursuit of equality, this story--itself a critical, still-unfolding chapter in recent American history--urges us to take an essential step in ending the racial inequality that Alexis de Toqueville prophetically named America's qmost formidable evil.qwith good contacts in the real estate industry), both devoted much time and energy to getting the new program underway. ... Williams and Zuba hired a public relations firm to prepare materials for landlordsa€”a manual about how Section 8 worked and a brochure about ... of the Institute of Real Estate Management, after which the chapter mailed the councila#39;s brochure with a cover letter to its 400 members.

Title:Waiting for Gautreaux
Author:Alexander Polikoff, Clarence Page
Publisher:Northwestern University Press - 2007-05-11


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