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The Legal Geography of Housing, Land Use and the Construction of Denver’s Racial Fault Lines Tom I. Romero, II

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Presentation on theme: "The Legal Geography of Housing, Land Use and the Construction of Denver’s Racial Fault Lines Tom I. Romero, II"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Legal Geography of Housing, Land Use and the Construction of Denver’s Racial Fault Lines Tom I. Romero, II

2 Racial Population City and County of Denver

3 Racial Population Metropolitan Denver

4 YearAdamsArapahoeBoulderDenverDouglasJefferson Metro Denver Total ,48132,15037,438322,4123,49630,725448, ,23452,12548,296415,7863,50755,687615, ,296113,42674,254493,8874,816127,520934, ,789162,142131,889514,6788,407235,3681,238, ,944293,292189,625492,69425,153371,7531,618, ,038391,511225,339467,61060,391438,4301,848, ,618487,967269,814554,636175,766525,5072,400, ,443584,948299,378619,968292,167539,8842,787,788 Population Denver Metropolitan Area Source: US Census Bureau

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7 Racial Segregation Through Real Property Restrictions It is the public policy of the State of Colorado to recognize that “a person who owns a tract of land... may prefer to have as neighbors persons of the [W]hite, or Caucasian race.” -Chandler v. Ziegler et al, 291 P. 822 (Colo. 1930)

8 McCulloch, Clayton, Berger and Ashley, Crestmoor, Bonnie Brae, Chaffe Park, Illiff’s University Additions, Regis Heights, Clingers Gardens, Burns Brentwood in Harvey Park as late as the early 1950s

9 Only persons of the Caucasian race shall own, use, or occupy any dwelling or residence erected upon said lots or tracts, provided, however, that occupancy by persons of another race who are employed as domestic servants by the occupying owner or occupying tenant shall not constitute a violation of the protective covenant. -Burns Brentwood Subdivision Filing No. 2, 1949

10 Neighborhoods with highest concentration of African Americans, Mexican Americans, Japanese Americans, and American Indians

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12 City and County of Denver

13 “We are unable to rid ourselves of a strong impression that this writ of error is being prosecuted in the interest of title examiners, rather than in that of the property owners in Block 6 Ashley’s addition to Denver…. Because the United States Supreme Court has extracted any teeth which such a covenant was supposed to have, no rights, duties or obligations can be based thereon” -Colorado Federal Savings and Loan Association v. Smith, 136 Colo. 265 (1957) The Breakdown of Private Racial Restriction and the Rise of the Color(blind) Metropolis

14 THE DENVER WATER BOARD “BLUE” AND “BROWN” LINE CIRCA 1950 Denver Planning Commission (1953). The Denver Water Board “Blue” and “Brown” Line Circa 1950

15 City and County of Denver

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17 The Poundstone “Amendment” & the Racial Geo-Politics of Annexation Law An act to amend Articles XIV and XX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the annexation of property by a County or City and County, and prohibiting the striking off of any territory from a County without first submitting the question to a vote of the qualified electors of the County and without an affirmative vote of the majority of those electors. The proposed amendment to the State Constitution: – Deleted from the constitution the present requirement that annexation proceedings of the City and County of Denver be conducted under the general annexation laws applicable to all municipalities in the state ("The Municipal Annexation Act of 1965"). – Required that annexation proceedings of the City and County of Denver be conducted under the general annexation and consolidation statutes applicable to the other 62 counties in the state. – Permit the General Assembly, by law, to revise procedures for changing all county boundaries, including those of the City and County of Denver, and thereby eliminate the constitutional requirement of a vote by the qualified electors of those counties from which territory is proposed to be stricken.

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19 -John Bromley, Denver Post, November 18, 1974 “It is, I think, right to suppose that the primary reason for the easy passage of the Poundstone Amendment was the suburbs fear of busing. If, in other words, there is to be a ghetto, and busing is to relieve the pressures and injustice of the ghetto, let it all be within the City and County—and school district—of Denver.”

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22 DENVER AND THE METROPOLITAN WEST AS INCOMPARABLE COLOR(BLIND) SPACE YearAdamsArapahoeBoulderDenverDouglasJefferson Metro Denver Total ,48132,15037,438322,4123,49630,725448, ,23452,12548,296415,7863,50755,687615, ,296113,42674,254493,8874,816127,520934, ,789162,142131,889514,6788,407235,3681,238, ,944293,292189,625492,69425,153371,7531,618, ,038391,511225,339467,61060,391438,4301,848, ,618487,967269,814554,636175,766525,5072,400, ,443584,948299,378619,968292,167539,8842,787,788 Population Denver Metropolitan Area Source: US Census Bureau

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25 2011 City and County of Denver Mayoral Election

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28 Racial Population Metropolitan Denver

29 Denver Metropolitan Area School Districts. Denver Council of Regional Government


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