The prejudice and racism affecting homeownership – The Denver Post


The prejudice and racism affecting homeownership

Re: “Locked out from generational wealth,” July 31 commentary

As I read Jo Ann Allen’s article about how Black Americans have been blocked from homeownership for generations resulting in a lack of generational wealth, I was reminded of a disturbing experience I had.

It was 1980. My husband and I were selling our house. We lived in a suburb of Denver in a middle-class neighborhood. Our neighbors were our friends. We played cards together, babysat for each other’s children and the Super Bowl was a neighborhood party, especially if the Broncos were playing.

This was an ideal place for our three children to grow up. It was an ideal place for any family’s children to grow up.

Then, one day, one of our closest neighbors telephoned. Like a bolt of lightning with barely a hello, our friend said to me in somewhat of a threatening tone, “You are not going to sell to a Black family, are you?” His question and tone struck me mute. I couldn’t believe that in 1980 someone I thought I knew well would ask such a question.

Blatant prejudice is shocking to me, whether it be found in a question by a neighbor intent on denying homeownership based on skin color or in the words of a law written with similar intent.

It left me speechless then, but I would like to say to Jo Ann Allen today that I do see from my experience how Black families were blocked from home ownership in ways white families were not simply because of the color of their skin.

Carol Ayars, Littleton

Don’t encourage illegal drug use in lieu of legalization

Re: “We don’t need another industry getting rich off of getting others high,” July 31 commentary

I don’t know about Krista Kafer, but in the 1980s and 90s, I was raising my daughters and working as a teacher. Not “scoring a joint” from “one call on the avocado green phone” in my kitchen to my local dealer.

Her spurious accusations about legalizing marijuana ring false to me. Some problems with marijuana legalization shouldn’t be a blanket accusation of the entire industry.

And since plant-based psychedelics do seem to help with the trauma of PTSD, depression and other mental illnesses, perhaps legalizing them is worthy of consideration.

Mary Jo Sobocinski, Lakewood

I have a few grievances with comments Krista Kafer made regarding Initiative 58, which would legalize certain hallucinogens in Colorado. I take issue with much of her arguments, but especially her comments deriding the fact that this initiative would allow for “state-licensed ‘healing centers’ where users could take drugs under the watch of trained ‘facilitators,’ ” and her second to last sentence stating that these “substances are already available on the down low to people who seek them.” The fact that she would rather have users of such drugs take them without trained personnel, who could ostensibly ensure they do so safely, and that she’s indirectly advocating that users break the law in order to take these drugs is shameful! She should think her arguments through more thoroughly. Maybe she’d see the moral failing of her ideas.

Richard Lehti, Louisville

Krista Kafer is pleading that we should not allow the medical use of psilocybin because of her assumptions about the marijuana industry. Unfortunately, her assumptions are not based on sound data. Kafer suggests that the legalization of marijuana has led to increased use and problems.

Does she have data that indicates that more people are using marijuana now than before legalization? How could she since “before” many people who used marijuana were careful to stay below the radar because of their jobs? The only data is based on who got caught. When I was in high school and college in the 1960s, I did not use marijuana, LSD or psilocybin. But plenty of my classmates were using.

In Fort Collins, the cool kids cut class on Fridays, got stoned and went skiing. When I moved to Denver in the ’70s, I knew more people who were using than people who weren’t. I knew teachers, school principals, policemen, and even a district attorney who used recreational drugs. These were basically middle-class people with jobs, not wild hippies and college students. Yes, I did encounter some young people who were trying PCPs and dangerous drugs. I knew professional people who got messed up with cocaine and alcohol. Legalizing marijuana has not changed that.

Allowing the medical use of psilocybin may mean that people will be using it under safer conditions, and people who are now suffering may get the help they need.

Lynn Buschhoff, Denver

Ganahl coverage highlights media’s failures

Re: “Ganahl shuns playbook,” July 31 news story

Despite the implications of your article about Republican gubernatorial candidate, Heidi Ganahl, and her running mate, Danny Moore, both have said explicitly that Joe Biden is president of the United States. Frustratingly, many Americans disagree. In a free country, trust in the accuracy and fairness in elections is as important as whether elections are, in fact, accurate and fair. Mistrust in elections, even if wrongly founded, is the stuff of chaos and revolution.

Donald Trump deserves much of the blame, but not all. The media refuses to report on things that give rational people pause about our election systems and what happened in 2020, in ways that have nothing to do with bogus documentaries and nonsensical allegations of widespread fraud. These include the media spiking of the Hunter Biden story, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court illegally changing election rules, and unaccountable Silicon Valley money funding state and county election processes. Nor, as Moore noted recently, do the media point out that the current Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, is running on a “stolen election” campaign herself.

If “news” outlets wonder why so many conservatives and Republicans (of which I am neither) mistrust institutions such as the media and our electoral system, they need only look in the mirror. Rather than writing Democratic propaganda thinly disguised as news, today’s “journalists” should recognize that they are a massive part of the problem they blame solely on folks like Heidi Ganahl and Danny Moore.

Ross Kaminsky, Denver

Editor’s note: Ross Kaminsky is the host of the “The Ross Kaminsky Show” on KOA NewsRadio weekdays 9 AM to noon.

A better title for the article: “Ganahl shuns truth.” During her primary campaign, Ganahl dodged the topics of election denial and the John Eastman debacle at CU (where she was a regent). Now it’s out, and she has a truth-denier running mate.

Colorado conservatives and true Republicans don’t have a gubernatorial candidate to represent them.

Dick Dunn, Longmont

Cheney for president?

Having evolved from being a lifetime Republican, through RINO, and now unaffiliated, I keep waiting for a leader to rise from the ashes that once was the Republican Party. The Government of the People — the GOP — is now the Government Of the Powerful.

Will the State of Wyoming, the first to give women the right to vote, be the first to put forth the first woman president of the United States? Someone with backbone and courage? Someone who will continue the Great American Experiment that began in 1776? Someone like Liz Cheney? A true conservative who will represent the people?

Robert A. Tallarico, Grand Junction

Yes we can, but will we lead way to conserve water?

Re: “Colorado can lead the way and conserve water,” July 31 editorial

I drive to the Central Park Station Park-n-Ride before 5 a.m. every weekday morning along Central Park Boulevard.

Surprisingly, it rained heavily a few evenings and overnight in east Denver recently, but every morning along Central Park, the water sprinklers for the esplanade along the middle of the boulevard were spraying water on the roadway. I never knew that concrete needed daily watering, but some days there was so much water on the street that cars in front of me were throwing up a backsplash.

First, with rain every other afternoon, sprinklers don’t need to be run daily, and second, sprinklers really should have a way to be adjusted to water the growing plants along the esplanade and not the concrete. As long as Colorado needs to conserve water, willful waste should be the first target.

Kelly Taylor, Denver

Protect students from private school vouchers

Re: “Supreme Court ruling fully opens the door for Colo. vouchers,” July 17 column

Now that the Supreme Court has torn apart the constitutional separation of church and state and ruled that tax dollars can go to religious schools, the word “voucher” once again has appeared in the press.

The push to provide Colorado children with vouchers to offset tuition at religious schools likely will happen sooner than later. Proponents of privatizing education through charters and vouchers like to use the verb “escape” to describe how parents can move their children from public to private schools.

When children “escape” their public school and go off to a religious school with voucher in hand, they leave more than their public school teachers and friends behind. They also leave many of the lawful rights that have been enacted over the years to protect children and provide them with important educational services and programs.

This may include access to special education programs and services, protections from corporal punishment, due process protection under the law, teaching by qualified teachers and staffers, and a professionally developed core curriculum, just to name a few.

Vouchers are part of the agenda of the privatizers to dismantle public education. We need to push back against vouchers and mobilize around the idea that public education matters.

Public schools — publicly funded, publicly owned and publicly accountable through democratic governance — are the institutions best able to serve the needs of all kinds of students and the only institutions that can protect their rights.

Rick Johnson, Castle Rock

Check for car insurance to reduce rates for all

With all the articles The Post regularly publishes regarding too many cars on the road, pollution from internal combustion engines, not enough riders on RTD, not enough space for bicycles, increased road maintenance, etc., there is a solution.

Ask our legislature and nonelected bureaucrats to enforce and strengthen the law where all motorists are required to have insurance. Not only would this eliminate many vehicles from the roads, it would save a good chunk of money from all law-abiding motorists who are paying for auto insurance.

Check the details of your auto premium, and you will be shocked that 20% to 30% of the premium is for uninsured motorist coverage. How is it, if auto insurance is required, that the cost for uninsured motorists is so high?

Urge your legislator to come up with better methods to enforce the law and protect law abiding motorists from paying to cover the scofflaws who continue to drive without auto insurance with no real enforcement mechanism.

Get insurance companies to agree to a reduction of this cost should an effective enforcement plan be put in place. This is an easy bipartisan problem to attack.

Ed Anderson, Bow Mar

Food trucks aren’t the problem

Re: “Denver bans food trucks near bars,” Aug. 3 news story

Blame it on the food trucks! If this isn’t the most myopic and fallacious reasoning exhibited by the city and county of Denver, I am not sure what else would qualify. A trip to Greece will find food trucks outside many nightclubs and their society is not degenerating into wanton anarchy. The problem is the enforcement of the law. Just what Denver needs, a new gastronomic police force.

Mark Boyko, Parker

Denver property owners’ rights are in danger

Re: “City Council to change landmark designation process,” Aug. 2 news story

The council members think they are making progress by changing the rules to now be granting “building owners ‘a reasonable opportunity to present their case regarding the proposed designation’ as part of the public hearing process,” and their “speaking slots are capped at three minutes each.”

The members complicate that more by making another measure to codify this measure into the City Council’s rules. Everyone is totally blind to the whole point.

A business or land owner should not be subjected to anyone’s outside choice to allow or prevent them from developing or changing their property as they see fit. Several high-profile cases over the past few years have had private citizens’ choices ripped away from them; this is outrageous.

The “rules” should be that any person, organization, or council should bid for purchase of said property from its current owner, like any other piece of real estate, purchase it, according to terms agreed upon by the seller and wannabe owner, and decide if they want to designate said property as a “Historic Landmark.”

Leave property and business owners alone. How would you like it if you worked a lifetime to develop your home or business as your livelihood and retirement investment, only to be told that you cannot sell it as it is currently zoned because someone who has nothing whatsoever to do with you says so? I didn’t think so!

Myra Louise Bender, Denver

Pay now or …

As an experienced and fiscally conservative businessman, I wish to express my strong support for the proposed climate and tax bill. The evidence of climate change is overwhelming, with the negative impacts becoming more obvious daily.

I have hunted the dried and cracking fields of our Eastern Plains, and I have hiked in our burned-out forests. I do not wish to leave this as a legacy for my family.

The time to spend money is now. If we wait 10 years, the cost will be 10 times higher — or more — and we may not be able to reverse the damage done. The inflationary risk is real but can be spread out, and I will take the risk of inflation over climate damage any day. We should all support this bill.

Glenn Tubb, Denver

Vote against sidewalk tax

Re: Shabby sidewalks to be on the ballot,” Aug. 3 news story

I am a retired fixed-income senior citizen of Denver.

I was one of the 1,100 residents who, under threat of a fine by the city, was forced to repair their sidewalks.

It was still completely passable and 7 feet wide.

I added my labor to that of a flagstone contractor.

Then I ground down the seams to be even smoother and filled them with silicone rubber caulking.

That sidewalk should last another 120 years, and I should not be taxed any further for it.

My property taxes have gone up by 30-some percent in the past few years. Where has all that money gone? Answer that.

Plus, now they want increased taxes, what they call fees, for trash collection as well.

I drive a 15-year-old car and motorcycle, but when I am out in public, all I see are brand-new city vehicles. The government of Denver is no longer run by the people for the people. So ”no” to another tax increase.

Peggy Sue Andre, Denver

The proposed initiative to move responsibility for sidewalk repair from property owners to the city places a double penalty on property owners.

Not only must a property owner pay to repair someone else’s sidewalk, but they also retain liability for injury caused by their defective sidewalk. The initiative specifically exempts the city from liability for these injuries. The property owner is faced with a double cost: paying the city maintenance fee and repairing their sidewalk to avoid injury to pedestrians, increased property insurance and litigation.

All property owners should vote “no.”

Marshall D. Brodsky, Denver

The Kansas choice

Re: “Kansas voters protect abortion rights,” Aug. 3 news story

What a night in Kansas!

The battle is not about abortion. The battle is about misogyny, and my money is on the ladies!

William Hagen, Dacono

Every so often — and despite polls, lots of yard signs and earnest door-to-door canvassing — there’s a shocker in an election.

Up until Tuesday, it appeared that the good people of Kansas would vote to modify their state’s constitution to allow the legislator to come down hard on abortions and then maybe to feel free to take up other matters like contraceptives and same-sex marriage.

It was going to be a slam-dunk election leading to happy hunting ahead for pro-life conservatives.

Well, the voters didn’t just say “No” but “Hell no!” It’s headline news across the nation that what we knew would happen didn’t.

It appears that revoking Roe vs. Wade opened the Green Door, and we may have more surprises awaiting.

Harry Puncec, Lakewood

Voting down vets health bill was nothing but petty revenge

I’ve never seen something so shameful in my life — what Senate Republicans did to U.S. veterans when they blocked a bill to help veterans dying from diseases contracted by exposure to burn pits.

They voted against it because they were angry. Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Chuck Schumer struck a deal on climate change. Republicans were so angry that President Joe Biden got a win. Someone must pay. It looks like it’s you, veterans. That’s how Republicans support the troops.

Republicans made innocent people suffer for petty revenge.

Alvin Miller, Greeley

Editor’s note: The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Applauding work by DAs

Re: “Black, Hispanic and homeless people face discrimination,” July 27 news story

We applaud the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office for their dedication to reviewing their data and identifying opportunities to ensure equitable treatment. We are proud to be working with Boulder and seven other DA offices across the state to develop data dashboards — an important step to support transparency, justice and fairness, and data-driven decision-making.

To support actionability, it is important to distinguish between disproportionality and disparity. As the study illustrates, disproportionality exists throughout Boulder’s criminal justice system, for example, with more people of color arrested than we should expect, given the population. However, the data provides limited evidence of people being treated differently by the Boulder County DA’s Office.

Disparity exists when people who should be treated the same are treated differently. Results show that the racial makeup of the defendant pool did not change much once a case was filed; once charged, Black, Hispanic and white defendants were treated similarly. While results do show differences in prison sentences, the data presented did not consider potential differences in cases, like the severity of charges or the defendant’s criminal history. Further exploration is needed to determine whether prosecutors’ decisions vary for similar types of cases.

The bottom line is that there has not been enough information presented to conclude that there are differences in how the Boulder County DA’s Office treats people. This should be acknowledged while still recognizing and working to eliminate the disproportionalities that exist in the criminal justice system.

Lauren Gase, Denver

Don Stemen, Chicago

Editor’s note: Gase is a senior researcher/project director at the University of Denver; Stemen is professor and director at the Center for Criminal Justice Research at Loyola University Chicago.

Biden’s promise of jobs

Re: “Let’s clear up some facts about the so-called ‘Keystone Pipeline’,” July 24 commentary

Ted Williams was very comprehensive in his article about the misunderstandings regarding the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. However, one thing he failed to include is what happened to all of the workers and their families whose income and livelihood were pulled out from under them overnight and where they are now.

They were promised that the jobs they lost would be replaced “with good-paying, union jobs” in the clean energy sector.

I would love to see interviews with those Americans and find out just how that worked out for them. Any takers?

Bob Lowry, Highlands Ranch

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