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Letter published 12.14.11 in the Wilmette Beacon and Winnetka Current (*unedited version*) by Eva Sorock

For several years, the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs, led by executive director Gail Schechter – a longtime Wilmette liberal community activist with every appearance of being schooled in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – has been campaigning to bring Winnetka into compliance with Illinois Affordable Housing legislation. In fact, Winnetka residents voted in Home Rule specifically to allow the village to be exempted from this legislation.

Many Winnetka residents were disappointed when U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-10) took sides in this local issue, issuing a press release congratulating Gail Schechter, executive director of the Interfaith Housing Center of the North Shore, for a grant of $235,874 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to publicity from the IHCNS, the funds will be used to enforce the federal Fair Housing Act, promoting diverse, integrated and non-discriminatory communities, and counseling homeowners facing foreclosure and mortgage rescue scams. The IHCNS released a media statement reporting that Rep. Dold was joined by 9th District Rep. Jan Schakowsky in supporting the Federal grant; Dold, however denies any connection to Schakowsky and apologizes for his statement of congratulations; he was unaware of the background of the Affordable Housing issue in Winnetka.

Assessing the grant, Schechter remarked, “One person’s nefarious manipulation is another’s sound public policy. In short, we interfere with the market to promote a concept of the common good.”

She continued, “This record amount of funding into Chicago’s northern suburbs represents a strong statement from the federal government that every individual and family must be treated equally in our housing market,” Schechter continued. “Now we have the resources to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act, educate consumers, municipalities and the real estate community, and bring about welcoming and diverse suburbs. We are also enormously pleased that homeowners in danger of foreclosure can turn to the Interfaith Housing Center for help. We owe enormous thanks to Congressman Bob Dold for his support of fair housing and the work of the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs.”

Schechter’s statement is interesting in its broader implications for the movement currently afoot throughout the nation which seems aimed at the kind of change that will affect the entire system of government, replacing self-government with more and more authoritarianism – moving power from the individual to the collectivist elite.

Affordable housing plans have been a cornerstone of the liberal agenda for decades, seeking to undermine the private property rights that are the underpinning of representative democracy. When government interferes with these rights by dictating where and why and how property can be bought or sold, it represents a first step towards statist control of property. In President George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address, he admonished the American people to remain vigilant for their Constitution, to “watch for its preservation with jealous anxiety.” The message is clear, and the work set out for citizens in 2011 has only just begun.

One Response

  1. Hugh Iglarsh

    Dear Editor:

    I would like to thank Winnetka native Eva Sorock for setting us all straight on the issues of affordable housing, fairness, creeping collectivism and justice itself, Winnetka style. How quickly we forget that “private property rights are the underpinning of democracy,” as Ms. Sorock so splendidly puts it.

    As a committed one-percenter with vast holdings and a deep and abiding hatred of any change whatsoever, it makes my blood boil to hear this liberal cant about democracy meaning rule by the majority and equality before the law. We are human beings too, and it hurts us deeply when others who are not members of our much-maligned minority imply that a community’s unwillingness to abide by fair housing rules suggests some sort of reluctance on its part to share the good things in life. In fact, we are generous and giving, and love to experience the gratitude of the little people, as long as it’s expressed at a reasonable distance from our own well-tended lawns. Goodness gracious, next thing you know we’ll have schoolteachers, social workers, nurses and other such riffraff living right next door to the respectable elements, indulging night and day in all manner of liberalism and indecency, and undermining our freedom and way of life.

    How one longs for the old days, when property rights truly were king, and restrictive covenants kept the village as finely sifted as good white flour. Now there was representative democracy in action, when property and wealth were fully represented, untrammeled by law, public opinion or nosy activists — and free of the sanctimonious elitism that so dogs us today. It is clear as the bulge of my wallet that this so-called Interfaith Housing Center gets its orders straight from the Kremlin, and I hope Mr. Hoover and his gallant G-men are keeping close tabs on these impulses of fairness and decency and diversity that pose such grave threat to our property values and sense of entitlement.

    Yours “sincerely” —

    Mr. Potter
    Bedford Falls, NY

    (a/k/a Hugh Iglarsh, Skokie IL)

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