Educate Yourself – Books, Articles & Videos

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein.

Rothstein’s The Color of   Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods.

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining’s end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners.

Catherine Blakespear: The perils, pitfalls and opportunities of housing in Encinitas

A  one hour YouTube video of the 2020 discussion with Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear on the housing situation in Encinitas.
From Mayor Blakespear: Thank you to the Encinitas4Equality group for recently inviting me to speak and answer questions in their excellent Zoom session, “The perils, pitfalls and opportunities of housing in Encinitas.” Housing is *the* hot-button issue in Encinitas, and its layers of complexity, combined with passionate opinions and the social justice ramifications, make it a very daunting topic to tackle. We gave it our best shot; I hope you find it useful!

Potholes, Parks and Politics, by Lisa Shaffer

What would you like to change in your community? Where to begin? Politics, Parks, and Potholes is a guidebook to getting what you want from your local government. It is aimed at everyday residents who, until a problem arises, pay little or no attention to their city council or county board of supervisors. Written by two former elected officials in a mid-sized city in southern California, the book takes a nonpartisan approach to helping residents who do not want to run for office or organize large protest movements. They just want to be heard in their own community and feel like they have a voice.

Laying the Foundation: California’s Housing Crisis – Institute for Local Government

When housing production falls short where people live, work and play,  the quality of life for all residents in our communities is diminished. The lack of quality, affordable housing can exacerbate social issues such as homelessness, poor educational attainment and mental and physical health conditions. Home prices and rents have skyrocketed, in many cases locking even middle-income families out of the housing market. For low-income families, the implications are even more severe, as they may be forced to forgo necessities or live in substandard or overcrowded conditions in order to afford shelter. The lack of housing supply is also one of the leading causes of homelessness across the state, as vulnerable populations struggle to compete for housing at the low end of the market.

California  Housing Element Manaual – Law, Advocacy and Litigation, Public Interest Law Project

This manual provides affordable housing advocates and attorneys with the tools for analyzing, advocating, and litigating around California’s law mandating comprehensive planning for housing needs by local governments. Why focus on housing element advocacy? Quite simply, unless communities plan for production and preservation of affordable housing, new housing will not be built, and we risk losing what we have worked so hard to produce.

Housing: How we built a foundation for white supremacy and the fight for housing as a human right

Where we live determines the education we receive, how we’re policed and our access to stability across generations. Through real estate contracts, government laws, predatory practices, NIMBY’s and more, housing has been intentionally designed to cultivate white supremacist culture and power. People of color, especially Black women, have withstood the dehumanizing process of evictions and patronizing demands for personal responsibility. Their resistance calls us to fight for housing as a human right and to end white domination over where Black, Indigenous and nonwhite bodies gather and live.

America’s racist housing rules really can be fixed, by Jerusalem Demsas, Vox

“Ending residential segregation would allow Americans to move from poor neighborhoods or cities to richer ones and allow lower-skilled workers to find better-paying jobs. To put a number on it, exclusionary zoning has artificially inflated the price of housing so much that one paper estimated that from 1964 to 2009, it lowered aggregate growth by more than 50 percent.”

An introduction to Missing Middle housing

The “missing middle” is an incredibly important concept in housing. This is the section of the housing market that has been virtually ignored in housing development over the past 30 years. This video provides an excellent introduction to this concept and why it’s so important. For the full range of information on this critical subject, take a look at

Poway, affordable housing, and our quality of life, by Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, Ph.D

This study, by UCSD professor Mirle Rabinowitz, is from 2010 and is based on Poway, but it remains an excellent model for the type of study we need for Encinitas, since Poway has many of the same characteristics as Encinitas.

Inclusive Economic Development: Good for Growth and Good for Communitiesby Alison Schmitt, Ana Gutierrez and Sarah Hooker

JFF’s research and our experiences in the field from our place-based projects indicate that
inclusive economic development is about both process and outcome: When inclusive processes
mobilize cross-sector collaboration and focus on approaches to shared prosperity that are
customized and place-based, the outcomes from economic growth can be greater and more
mutually beneficial to businesses, communities, and workers, including those in historically
underinvested groups.