Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for April 13

Go Fund Me account for Inslee

As a taxpayer, I resent the fact that our governor is using taxpayer money to fund his bid for president.

May I suggest, governor, that you start a Go Fund Me page and this should give you an idea of your support? I don’t know if you venture to downtown - you know, the state capital - but it seems to be in sorry shape. I would think you would want to show us how you can make the capital and the state a great place before you take on another job that just might end up like Washington.

Carol Leerkamp, Olympia

Zoning’s negative effects

As an advocate for free markets and civil liberties, it is nice to see that the issue of zoning’s impact is coming up for discussion in Olympia.

The roots of zoning are firmly planted in the nation’s racist history. Christopher Silver, author of “The Racial Origins of Zoning In American Cities,” quotes the mayor of Baltimore when he signed Baltimore’s zoning ordinance in 1910 as saying, “Blacks should be quarantined in isolated slums in order to reduce the incidents of civil disturbance, to prevent the spread of communicable disease into the nearby white neighborhoods, and to protect property values among the white majority.”

City planner Harland Bartholomew, whose comments on using zoning to separate the races are well known in the planning profession, was referred to as the Dean of Comprehensive City Planning in the United States. He developed Seattle’s urban plans as well as the plans for over 500 cities. One of his favorite tools to separate the races was the single-family lot and much of the land in Washington state’s cities is designated for single-family lots.

Zoning is a barrier to prosperity. It leads to higher housing costs. It also has been linked to higher crime, homelessness, poor schools, and higher rates of foreclosure, which have been linked to high rates of suicide and numerous other social problems by researchers.

Maybe zoning is no longer used to separate the races, but it does segregate people by class which has plenty of negative effects.

Michael H. Wilson, Lacey
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