It’s been a while since I had something good to say about a Republican official, but California State Assemblyman Roger Niello earned a few points by introducing Assembly Bill 394 during the 2005-2006 session. According to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, this law will make it easier for homeowners to strike discriminatory language from their CC&R‘s.
Assemblyman Niello’s interest was caught by a January 2005 article in the Sacramento Bee. (I can’t find the original article on the Bee’s website, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reprinted the Bee article and still has it available online.)
(From the Bee article:)
Gregg Fishman and his wife moved into Sacramento’s upscale Arden Park neighborhood in 2001, enchanted by the shady Modesto ash, lush parks, large lots and friendly atmosphere.
They didn’t realize that, along with their 1950s-era California ranch-style home, they were buying a piece of America’s racist past.
Tucked into their property records, in tiny type, is the “Racial Occupancy” clause:
“No persons of any race other than White Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot except . . . by domestic servants of a different race domiciled with an owner or tenant . . .”
AB 394 was passed unanimously by both the California Senate and Assembly. It was signed into law by the Governor on 22 September 2005. (The full text of the Bill is available on the Official California Legislative Information website.)
When we moved into Arden Park earlier this year, I had noticed that we have a similar clause in our CC&R’s. There is another clause which allows for the CC&R’s to be revised or amended every decade, so I was planning on getting the discriminatory clause stricken when the CC&R’s were up for renewal in 2010. But the current situation is preferable because, a) it applies to the whole state, not just my neighborhood, and b) it frees up my time and energy for other causes!