I watched the Florida Open Debate last Monday, 4-25-2016. Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) debated congressman David Jolly (R-FL) for the Florida senate seat vacated by Marco Rubio. You may have seen congressman David Jolly on 60 Minutes last Sunday. He's sponsoring the Stop Act so members of congress aren't spending 30 hours a week calling citizens for campaign contributions. You can watch the debate on YouTube if you missed the live broadcast. Grayson's web site is SenatorWithGuts.com. I was very impressed with his debate performance as well as with his web site. He nailed all the issues as far as I'm concerned. So yeah, I sent him an email encouraging him to support an end to exclusionary zoning. If he can crack that nut then he'll get national attention and eventually be president. Our country desperately needs him now. Anyway, here's the email that I sent:
As an exclusionary zoning refugee I've been writing about the need to end the unconstitutional practice of exclusionary zoning at http://jamesrherman.newsvine.com/ since 2010. No one, not even Bernie Sanders, has the guts to take on this issue. Here's the commentary I recently had on the web about a news article. I used it to respond to the Democratic National Committee. I'm not holding my breath. I saw the open debate live and watched it again on YouTube. Thanks for your service in congress and hopefully in the senate. Run for president as soon as possible.
I watched the NBC interview with Sanders this morning, 4-24-2016. He admitted 80% of the poor people don't vote. Sanders just talks about the middle class. I've written his campaign many, many times and told him to support an end to exclusionary zoning. One third of Americans are not home owners. One third of Americans don't have access to the internet and/or can't afford it. He should do this TV commercial. He's standing in front of a singlewide and he says this: "We need to end the unconstitutional practice of exclusionary zoning in this country. A home that is not a threat to anyone's health or safety should not be prohibited. Some people think freedom means the freedom to take away your freedom. That is not my definition of freedom." And no one will have to ask him "how are you going to pay for it?" Being tolerant doesn't cost anything. Being intolerant costs us everything. As FDR said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Allowing people to be happy in a home of their own choosing is not something to fear. It is something we all should embrace. It would maximize the probability that people could just take care of themselves and minimize the nanny state.
Having a bit of a tiff with the local zoning authorities, hey? - Perhaps you should revisit your preference for decrepit cardboard-and-aluminum-foil-walled1950s-vintage single-wide-on-concrete-blocks rental housing... Most people are unwilling to try to continue "living" in rat-and-roach-ridden firetraps, no matter how low of a rent the landlord may be willing to accept. Besides, doesn't it get tiresome for you to have to keep finding new "hot-spots" in the trailer siding to hook up the rabbit-ears on your old Zenith 19-inch, just to get See-B.-S.?...No one - not even Socialist/Marxist Sanders - is going to help you continue that kind of "Lifestyle Of The Pee-Poor And Proud Of It" - and no one, including your neighbors, is really worried about your "freedom" to continue existing in a hovel; their only concern is over having to try to dig you out of the heap after it crashes on top of you, or having to hose the inferno down to try to keep from having the blaze spread next-door when it goes up in smoke and down into ashes.
J.s. Bridges I'll just refer you to http://jamesrherman.newsvine.com/ where I've been writing about the need to end exclusionary zoning since 2010. I own this 1991 14 x 52 foot home and the lot but only because the homeowner's association didn't enforce their exclusionary zoning that said a home had to have at least 1,200 square feet, excluding open porches and garages. Their restriction violates the golden rule because what if the restriction was that a home could not exceed 1,200 square feet? Someone might want a larger home. The point is there should not be such restrictions. We each should be able to decide for ourselves what kind of a home we'd like to live in and can afford. Rents in this area are $500/mo. That's $6000/yr. My property taxes were $662 the first year, went up to $705/yr and are now way less because I'm old enough to get the homestead property tax credit. Check out amishcabincompany.com. They make a 14 ft x 28 ft that can be delivered on your foundation ready to live in on day one for $29,454. It's a nice little home at 392 square feet. That's 92 square feet more than the apartment I lived in for 12 years in Ypsilanti, MI. I lived in a mobile home park near Detroit for 18 years. That last year I was there the lot rent was $3,720/yr. And the lot rent just keeps going up, up, up. It went up 95% over the 18 years that I lived there. I spent over $55,000 in lot rent over that 18 year period. I estimate that I could've saved about $45,000 over that 18 year period if I just could've placed the singlewide on a residential lot and just paid property taxes. But Farmington Hills, MI said a home has to be at least 24 feet wide and conform to existing housing. I bought the home new and paid it off in less than 2 years. So I didn't flush a lot of money down the 30 year mortgage toilet. Just look at the numbers. If I had borrowed $100,000 at 5% and paid it back over 30 years then I would've had to pay back $193,000. My lifetime income was $699,133.00. Plus I would've had to pay for property insurance and property taxes on a more expensive home. You shouldn't have to sign up for 30 years of debt slavery just to get shelter. I wasn't able to save for retirement until my last job and that last job only lasted 22 years. So I was not one of the many people who got foreclosed on and lost their expensive home. They thought they owned their home when in actuality that home owned them. Every last dime they had went into that financial black hole. That's not my idea of freedom. It's easy to see how exclusionary zoning creates poverty, perpetuates poverty and concentrates poverty. Our constitution says we all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Shelter is a necessity of life. So we all should be free to be happy in a home of our own choosing and not someone else's choosing. We should be able to spend our money as we see fit and not as someone else sees fit. It's called FREEDOM. As long as a home is not a threat to anyone's health or safety then it should not be prohibited. 240,000 people left Detroit between 2000 and 2010. They left but the houses didn't. They've been tearing those houses down. Detroit has over 10,000 acres of empty lots. Detroit still has exclusionary zoning. That's how ingrained this unconstitutional abomination is in our country. And it's spreading like cancer. It's the difference between a financially secure retirement, living a life of dignity and being homeless. America is stronger when all the citizens are financially secure and happy. Every politician takes an oath to protect and defend the constitution. As I've said, we all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Shelter is a necessity of life. Again, I'd like to maximize the probability that people can just take care of themselves. Please don't begrudge people a little happiness in life. Sanders’ own mother always wanted to get out of their little 3 and a half room rent controlled Brooklyn apartment. It's too late for her but it's not too late for the one third of Americans who are not homeowners. I don't think Bernie would've told his mom that it was OK for her to live in a small apartment but not OK for her to live in a small home.
(The following is my response to the Democratic National Committee. I put a stamp on their yellow prepaid envelope. But no contribution. After all, we need to get money out of politics. Just give every candidate a free web site. The candidate can post whatever he/she wants, answer questions and people can make up their mind. We just need to make sure people have internet access and treat the internet as a utility.)
That was the exchange I had recently in the comment section of a web article on MSN. The first reason of the 5 reasons to join the Democratic National Committee was 1. GET OUR DEMOCRATIC MESSAGE OUT. “It is critical that Democrats effectively communicate our values and vision to voters by directly addressing the hopes and dreams of the American people."
I am supporting Bernie Sanders but it looks like Hillary will be the nominee. I’m writing this on Tuesday, 4-26-2016, at 11:21 AM. So I am urging Hillary to support ending exclusionary zoning. Do the TV commercial that I’ve urged Bernie Sanders to do. He’s standing in front of a singlewide mobile home and he says “As long as a home is not a threat to anyone’s health or safety then that home should not be prohibited. The unconstitutional practice of exclusionary zoning needs to end in this country. Some people think freedom means the freedom to take away your freedom. That is not my definition of freedom.”