After a comment poster from "the silly place" made a socially and politically ignorant comment about "government handouts" and the endorsement of Mary Kay Sigaty, the African Americans in Howard County group issued the following press release:
Note: The following Letter-to-the-Editor hopefully expands understanding of AAIHC's recent PRIMARY endorsements . . . . . . . . Thanks again for your patience. . .
Columbia Flier/Howard County Times
September 3, 2010
In its Primary endorsements this past week, African Americans in Howard County (AAIHC) pointed to affordable and full spectrum housing as a key reason for endorsing Mary Kay Sigaty for the Howard County Council. AAIHC’s focus on affordable housing generated the following response from a reader of this paper: “Gee, I wonder what issues the black community is concerned about, could it be government handouts???.” Quite the contrary.
The traditional way of creating affordable housing for working families is through Federal Government low-income housing tax credits. In contrast, the full-spectrum approach advocated by AAIHC and supported by Sigaty, won’t cost tax payers one dime. Under AAIHC’s proposal, the cost of full-spectrum housing in downtown Columbia will be paid by those who live there and companies that relocate there. It’s a new and innovative approach, involving an approximately $50 million plus fund—built by assessing a fee on people and companies relocating there. This will be a creative way to begin to implement a county-wide affordable housing policy and a model for all of Howard County, thereby making possible redirecting existing taxes for enhanced education programs and greater tax relief for senior citizens. Also it facilitates economic integration and meeting Jim Rouse’s dream of diversity within Columbia. With the full spectrum approach to funding, the developer can, as is being done in New York City, house the affluent in the same building as the “blue-collar” worker. Economically integrated housing enables the affluent to learn from the less affluent and vice versa. Moreover, the full-spectrum approach can help the less affluent create housing equity and pass wealth on to the next generation.
We thank Mary Kay Sigaty for her commitment and dedication in working with us on this innovative approach to funding affordable housing. Further, we hope the person who submitted the negative quote cited above is now better educated on the basis for AAIHC’s endorsements.
Rev./Dr. Robert A. Turner, President
African Americans in Howard County (AAIHC)
Rev. Turner (Contact information deleted)