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Housing discrimination suit settled
     (MIAMI, Fla., Dec. 17, 2014) -- Elite Riverview Apartments, the Miami rental complex that was sued for discrimination in May after it allegedly denied Blacks to view rental units, has settled the case out of court, according to legal documents obtained by The Miami Times.
     The complaint that was originally filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida, was dismissed Nov. 17 after Elite went into mediation talks with the plaintiff, the Housing Opportunities for Project Excellence (HOPE).
     According to the legal documents signed by both parties Nov. 5, HOPE and Elite entered into a settlement agreement whose terms will be enforced by the court. The terms and monetary awards of the agreement were undisclosed.
     Because of a confidentiality clause in the settlement, neither party can comment on the agreement. FULL STORY at miamitimesonline.com

Opinion: Combating neighborhood divisions along racial lines
     (LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 15, 2014) -- Perhaps as a historical accident, many years ending with the number 4 have a remarkable civil rights significance. For example, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1964. Ten years before that, another civil rights milestone was reached. The 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education began the long process of desegregation in public schools.
     Integration didn’t happen overnight, however. In the 1950s and 1960s, children attended schools which reflected the demographic makeup of their neighborhoods. In the “integrated” Seneca High School Class of 1962 , for example, there were fewer than 20 African-Americans out of a total of 250 students. Not coincidentally, the Bon Air neighborhood in which Seneca is located was nearly 100 percent white at the time.
     By the 1970s, decades of racist housing policies – both private and public – had carved the city of Louisville into racial enclaves. African-Americans were pushed out of downtown into the West End by urban renewal, and whites had fled south and east, insulated by banks and home builders who refused to sell suburbia to anyone else. As a result, schools in Louisville remained “de facto” segregated long after Brown. FULL STORY at insiderlouisville.com

Bill would boost domestic violence victims seeking NYCHA housing
     (NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2014) -- A state pol announced legislation Monday to give domestic violence victims the same chance to get into NYCHA housing that homeless families have.
     The city launched a plan earlier this year to give 750 homeless families a fast track to NYCHA apartments - but it also let them jump ahead of domestic violence victims on the housing authority’s huge waiting list, as the Daily News revealed.
     The bill to be introduced by state Sen. Jeff Klein would give victims exiting domestic violence shelters equal priority with homeless families. FULL STORY at nydailynews.com

LGBT Americans still face wide-spread inequality
     (WASHINGTON, Dec. 09, 2014) -- Despite growing support for equality, the stakes are high for the estimated almost nine million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans whose daily lives are limited by a lack of state and federal protections. According to a new publication released today, LGBT Americans live in a two-tier system where they must navigate vastly differing state laws coupled with an ongoing lack of protections under federal law. For example, same-sex couples can now marry in 35 states, but a lack of widespread nondiscrimination protections means wearing a wedding ring to work can result in a gay worker being legally fired in 29 states. In most states, LGBT people can also still be refused service and denied housing, and there are no laws protecting LGBT students against bullying in schools.
     Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Americans is a primer introducing the major areas in which LGBT Americans face legal barriers to fully participating in life and provides a summary of what advocates are doing to work for change. The resource was developed by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Center for American Progress (CAP), GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The report is available at www.lgbtmap.org/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-americans. FULL STORY at therainbowtimesmass.com

Editorial | Our racial divide
     (LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 09, 2014) -- The racial divide continues in America, particularly over the two recent, high-profile cases of deaths of African-American men at the hands of white police officers.
     A recent study by the Pew Research Center found attitudes about the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York broke sharply along racial lines, with African Americans far more likely than white Americans to object to the decision of grand juries in both cases not to indict the police officers involved.
     Eighty percent of blacks dispute the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer in the Brown case, compared to 64 percent of whites who thought the grand jury was right. In the Garner case, 90 percent of blacks and 47 percent of whites disagreed with the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer.
     In Louisville, a persistent racial divide carries over into segregation by race and income. FULL STORY at courier-journal.com

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