Thursday, July 12, 2007

After Supreme Court decision Making it harder to Integrate Schools

Talk shows have been buzzing. John Rothman expressed outrage about the ruling on his KGO show. I often feel like talking back to the radio, but I'm not very articulate on the phone.

Really, the best way to create racial balance in the schools is to better integrate the neighborhoods.

I've never been a big fan of busing, or other "band aid" solutions that attempt to integrate society on the backs of the children. We really need to mix the neighborhoods more.

Restrictive "single family" zoning can be a problem. Maybe racial integration would be easier, if we attempted "income integration."

Allow more of a mix in housing types in residential neighborhoods. Single family homes, apartments, low income housing, mother-in-law units. If there was more of a mix of housing types in each neighborhood, society would be less stratified by class. This would also lead to more racial integration because there is still an income disparity between races.

Rather than taking kids away from neighborhood schools, so they can't stay for after school activities, it's better to create a mix in the neighborhoods around the schools. Also complies with the current mood of Supreme Court which seems to be nixing the idea of using race as a criteria for determining school enrollment.

I'm not a fan of the conservative Supreme Court, but I do think there is a better way to integrate our society, than just tossing the entire burden on the schools, or trying to do this solely on the backs of the children.

Saves energy if there is less "busing" also.

There are environmental reasons for more mixed use zoning as well.

Pedestrian advocates talk a lot about this. Being able to walk to destinations.

If there is nothing but "single family homes" as far as the eye can see, it doesn't make for an interesting walk. How about having a small business, where one can stop for refreshments along the way? How about being able to walk to one's job, rather than having to drive?

Allowing more of a mix of densities and uses, with-in residential neighborhoods, creates options for affordable housing.

With houses starting at 1 million dollars in many neighborhoods that were considered "average middle class" not that long ago, something needs to change.

If the cleaning lady can live in the neighborhood where she works, she can trust the "upper class" more. Also she saves time in commuting.

Who knows, she can participate in your community, take classes and even be on your board of directors. She just has to be able to afford living in your community.

No comments: