Democrats on the brink of canceling suburbia

A Wall Street Journal editorial from July 26 began like this:

The Trump Administration on Thursday [July 22] rolled back an Obama regulation that federalized local zoning and land-use policies[.] ... The 1968 Fair Housing Act requires recipients of federal block grants to certify that they "affirmatively further fair housing [AFFH]."  In 1996 the Clinton Administration issued 170 pages of guidance interpreting those four words, and lawsuits proliferated.

This sounds like good news, and it certainly is, but if Joe Biden is elected, he will resurrect and seek to finish off the assault on our suburbs that President Obama initiated in 2009.

This past Sunday on FOX TV's Life, Liberty & Levin, Mark Levin made an invaluable contribution to the political landscape by interviewing Stanley Kurtz and raising awareness of this issue, which has been lying dormant in the weeds since President Trump assumed office.

Writing for National Review recently, Mr. Kurtz said:

Obama's radical AFFH regulation puts every part of progressives' "abolish the suburbs" strategy into effect (as I explain in detail here).  Once Biden starts to enforce AFFH the way Obama's administration originally meant it to work, it will be as if America's suburbs had been swallowed up by the cities they surround.  They will lose control of their own zoning and development, they will be pressured into a kind of de facto regional-revenue redistribution, and they will even be forced to start building high-density low-income housing.  The latter, of course, will require the elimination of single-family zoning.  With that, the basic character of the suburbs will disappear.  At the very moment when the pandemic has made people rethink the advantages of dense urban living, the choice of an alternative will be taken away.

That's all bad enough. But on top of AFFH, Biden now plans to use Cory Booker's strategy for attacking suburban zoning.  AFFH works by holding HUD's Community Development Block Grants hostage to federal-planning demands[.] ... AFFH also forces HUD-grant recipients to sign pledges to "affirmatively further fair housing."  Those pledges could get suburbs sued by civil-rights groups, or by the feds, if they don't get rid of single-family zoning.  The only defense suburbs have against this two-pronged attack is to refuse HUD grants[.] ...

The Booker approach — now endorsed by Biden — may block even this way out.  Booker wants to hold suburban zoning hostage not only to HUD grants, but to the federal transportation grants used by states to build and repair highways.  It may be next to impossible for suburbs to opt out of those state-run highway repairs.  Otherwise, suburban roads will deteriorate and suburban access to major arteries will be blocked[.]

There is a lesser known corollary to "defund the police", which is to "eliminate incarceration."  That raises the question of what to do with formerly incarcerated individuals.  Vincent Carroll, writing for the Denver Post, says this:

At a city council meeting in June, for example, Councilwoman Robin Kniech told the audience that if "you want to end incarceration, you can't just talk about policing.  We have to talk about the other systems that co-reinforce that racism," one of which she identified as the zoning code.  That code, she complained, says community corrections facilities — halfway houses in popular parlance — "are not welcome, and in particular in single-family neighborhoods."  

The Democrats most certainly want the female suburban vote, thus their desire to keep this issue out of the media.  If media attention increases to the point where the Democrats can no longer ignore it, Mark Levin predicts they will 1) lie about it, 2) accuse the critics of racism, and/or 3) ignore it.  The moral of the story is that as critical as it is to defeat Joe Biden, Democrat candidates up and down the line, from mayors to district attorneys to city council members, etc. must be defeated.  Even those Democrats who may not agree with these progressive polices cannot be counted on to push back.  They will likely say and do nothing, and the political effect of such silence is assent.

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