A Providence neighborhood at night

Realization of the progressive dream of banning single-family zoning would be devastating.

By Justin Katz | March 24, 2022 |

More frequently than I liked, during my years reading the thousands of bills submitted in the Rhode Island General Assembly each year, I’d come across one that made me wonder how anybody could submit such a thing.  Legislators couldn’t truly be representative of their constituents if they were expected to be the uber academics we…

A model house and key

Statistics come up short for charges of racism in housing.

By Justin Katz | March 11, 2022 |

A lack of housing is a problem, and racism is simply wrong, so we have powerful emotional incentive to join the two matters into the story we tell about our society.  In a more-specific way, advocates and researchers have even more-powerful economic incentive to do so.  In that space, as with “equity audits” in schools,…

An old house next to a graveyard

How can anybody upset with discriminatory housing oppose total school choice?

By Justin Katz | February 10, 2022 |

Judy Schwalbach makes that connection explicit in a report on school choice policies and history in Washington, D.C.: During the 20th century, federally sanctioned housing “redlining” influenced the composition of neighborhoods in large cities across the country, including Washington, D.C. The term “redlining” came from the color-coded maps developed by the Home Owners Loan Corporation…

Photo of a raised fist with BLM on the wrist.

The systemic racism calls are coming from inside the house.

By Justin Katz | January 28, 2022 |

Having recently fallen into an argument about the overlaps between history, housing, and racism, I couldn’t do otherwise than take note of a GoLocalProv article headlined, “Black Homeownership in RI Is as Low as It Was in the 1960s.” In Rhode Island, just 6% of homes are owned by Black households. And, becoming a new…

RI State House over caution tape

Take note of the socialist assumptions of AutoZone criticisms in Cranston.

By Justin Katz | January 26, 2022 |

Buzzwords flow through political and ideological debates — at the state level even more so than the federal — to the extent that one has to wonder whether the people using them really subscribe to the ideas that they represent. Consider Democrat Representative from Cranston Brandon Potter, tweeting about the city’s decision to permit construction…

A model house and key

UPDATED: Finding “Systemic Racism” in Net Worth Disparities

By Justin Katz | December 30, 2021 |

To understand racial differences in wealth, blaming “systemic racism” is a simplistic way to ignore the harm of radical policies.

An old house next to a graveyard

Sam Bell’s Havoc-Wreaking Plan to Capture a Federal Housing Coupon

By Justin Katz | December 23, 2021 |

Progressive Senator Sam Bell’s housing report is impressive as a sophomore’s research project, but it’d be nice if professional journalists would give readers some sense of what the academic exercise would look like in the real world.

The State House rotunda at Christmastime

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Campaign Season Starts Early!

By Justin Katz | December 7, 2021 |

John and Justin delve into the already-thick snow drifts of political campaign season.

Homeless man "seeking human kindness"

Progressives are never homeless at the State House.

By Justin Katz | December 3, 2021 |

An observer doesn’t have to be cynical to wonder why the Huffington Post published its extensive article warning of the RI Political Co-Op’s division of Ocean State progressives yesterday.  After all, the article was fueled in large part by “a left-wing Rhode Island activist who requested anonymity to protect professional relationships.”  Anonymous sourcing in a case…

A Providence neighborhood through a Statehouse window

Don’t trust politicians who don’t ask “why” about housing before they proclaim a solution.

By Justin Katz | November 24, 2021 |

Right from the beginning, an op-ed in the Boston Globe by RI Political Co-Op progressive candidate Lenny Cioe gives off warning signals: In many neighborhoods near colleges like Providence College, Johnson and Wales, and Brown University, predatory real estate companies are jacking up rents and forcing out families in favor of high-paying students. And that’s…