Fair Housing Month

Engage PortalCategory: OtherFair Housing Month
Glen Moss asked 2 months ago

April is Fair Housing Month, and for me, it’s personal.
Currently, I serve as Director for Texas Realtors®, and when meeting someone, they often ask, “how long have you been at this”?
I have a choice of several answers.  I could tell them when I originally earned my license fifteen years ago or talk of when I built my first house thirty years back.
However, to be precise, my acknowledgment in Fair Housing began when I was thirteen years old, as I joined a protest march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in my hometown of Chicago. At the time, both Red-Lining and Block-Busting were standard practices in my neighborhood and throughout the City.  Many agents would knock on our door and insert paranoia in the hope of getting a listing.
Dr. King moved to Chicago and rented a rat-infested unit in January of 1966 and led several Equal Housing marches throughout the year.  One of those marches was to be in an area called Marquette Park, and it was very close to where I lived.
 So, on my bike, I went.
I remember the pace along Kedzie Ave.; the Fair Housing supporters on the East side of the street, the angry neighborhood dissenters on the West side, and the Chicago Police in the middle of the road.
It was an event where you would not seek parental permission.  Although my mother supported the cause, she would have said NO due to her worrying about my safety.  She may have been right.  A riot broke out; rocks and bottles were thrown; heads were busted, and people got arrested.
Many photos are available on the Internet for what is now called the Marquette Park Riot of 1966.  Before the protest march began, a picture was taken of men kneeling alongside Dr. King. Unbeknownst to me, one of the men next to Dr. King was to be my American History high school teacher the following year. We both later said of the protest march, “we started on the East Side of Kedzie and ended up on the Right Side of History.
With the passage of time, I might be one of a few Realtors® in the country who had the opportunity to have marched with Dr. King.  However, Fair Housing is more important than ever; It only works if you do your part. Yes, both Red-Lining and Block-Busting are now illegal, yet the fight continues.
These days, I probably have built and rented more Section 8 housing than any Realtor® in Austin, Texas.  I have never sold a million-dollar listing, nor intend to.  I will continue to serve the working class and Fair Housing to the best of my ability.  
Glen Moss
Director-Texas Realtors®

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