Justin Alley

Justin Alley

In recent months, newspaper and television reports have repeatedly carried messages of guilty admission from the California Association of Realtors. In an effort to come clean about a dark and nefarious history, CAR has been apologizing for the Realtors’ role in promoting policies of discrimination and racial exclusion.

The full extent to which Realtors were the primary bad actors in this history is little known. To elevate awareness of this, Gene Slater, an urban planner who has served as senior advisor for federal, state and local agencies for more than 40 years, released a book in 2021 entitled “Freedom to Discriminate.” This impressive work of research meticulously documents the history of the real estate industry’s involvement in racial exclusion, laying bare the fact that Realtors were not only promoters of exclusionary policies but, in many instances, were the very architects of them.

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(4) comments


Thank you Justin. This history should be taught in our local schools


"Freedom to Discriminate" is the title of the book. You mean there was a time when you had the right to be stupid without government and media commissars sending you to Siberia?

Terence Y

Mr. Alley, you’re attempting to lay a lot of blame on Realtors but wouldn’t just as much, if not more blame, fall on folks enacting legislation, or not? Can you blame Realtors for looking after their own interests, just as public education unions, and worker’s unions, and other special interest groups look after their interests? What about local and state governments piling on massive amounts of development fees and pages upon pages of regulations, some with mandatory requirements, such as no gas, must have car chargers (even though the buyer may never buy an electric car)? What about numerous fees and assessments tacked onto property tax bills? Developer fees and regulations and property tax bills (should someone actually afford a home) work against home buyers, and even more so against those folks you say are being discriminated against. Perhaps if we found a way to reduce the cost of home building along with reducing property tax add-ons, more folks, of any stripe, would be able to afford them. I can’t imagine Realtors being adverse to the idea – more homes to sell and more commissions.


An excellent recitation of the facts and of the continued bad acts of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors, n organization that prides itself on ethics and being a positive influence in the community. In fact SAMCAR has harmed innumerable renters by opposing even the mildest of policies. Check out who puts the most money into local campaigns and you'll see it's the realtors.

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