Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bob Turner turned his attention fully onto President Barack Obama this morning, calling on the president to cease with a federal lawsuit designed to desegregate mostly white communities in Westchester County.
“Westchester County is not racist; it’s expensive,” said Rep. Turner. “This severe government intrusion that the Obama Administration is calling its ‘grand experiment’ is divisive and probably unconstitutional. The housing challenges in Westchester are economic, not racial, and the Obama Administration would be better served trying to fix the economy and create jobs for all New Yorkers, rather than attempting to socially engineer communities block by block.”
The lawsuit would force the county build multi-family public housing on upscale residential streets – despite what Mr. Turner says are local zoning laws preventing such building. In 2009, Westchester agree with the Obama’s administration’s plan to enforce fair-housing laws, but a lawsuit last year claimed that the county was reneging on its commitment.
Mr. Turner is locked in a tight three-way GOP primary with lawyer Wendy Long and Nassau County comptroller George Maragos, and he tried to the Democratic incumbent, Kirsten Gillibrand, to the president’s policies.
“What’s happening in Westchester is another frightening example of this President’s goal to drastically expand the federal government beyond its Constitutional powers,” he said. “Despite the fact that Westchester is the fourth most diverse county in the state and HUD has admitted that its demands go beyond what the 2009 settlement required, it continues to show a shocking and bold disregard for individual rights and property rights. It’s just as egregious that our U.S. Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is yet again silent when it comes to protecting nearly one million people she’s supposed to represent.”
According to Mr. Turner, In 2009, the federal government entered into an affordable housing settlement with then-county executive Andy Spano that required the county to build 750 units of affordable housing in “mostly white” communities, based off the 2000 census. Since then, new census data revealed that the county’s Hispanic and African American population has increased by 56 percent in the white communities through natural market forces.
But according to Mr. Turner’s office, “Mr. Obama’s HUD continued its attempt at social engineering by coming forward with new demands that admittedly ‘go beyond the four corners of the agreement,’ including mandating that local municipalities dismantle their local zoning-notwithstanding the fact that the county has no authority to do so in a home rule state like New York.”
“New Yorkers all over the state from different ethnic and racial backgrounds are struggling under this Administration’s harmful economic policies, ” Mr. Turner added. “Usurping individual rights and freedoms and replacing it with a Big Brother federal government will only drive this country into further decline. President Obama needs to change course and refocus his priorities on getting New Yorkers back to work.”