Los Angeles, CA

Fox drops 'Charlie Chan' film festival

July 01, 2003
Charlie Chan is off the case for the Fox Movie Channel.
     The channel, citing respect for contemporary racial attitudes, has dropped a summer festival of movies featuring the character of the Chinese detective.
     The films have been condemned by Asian-American activists as presenting ethnic stereotypes and because white actors played the part of Chan in the films first produced in the 1930s.

Court upholds Nestle age discrimination verdict

June 13, 2003
A California appellate court has upheld a $5 million damages award to a former employee of Nestle U.S.A., Inc. who said the American branch of the Swiss company repeatedly passed him over for promotion because he was over 40.
     The Los Angeles appeals court also validated an injunction requiring the American subsidiary to inform its 20,000 workers that it had repudiated a 1993 policy that favored young people as managers.
     The Second District Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday that what happened to former Nestle auditor Richard Herr was "just one more violation of Nestle's discriminatory policy of denying promotion to employees in their 40s or older."

Rental web site, fair housing groups raise awareness

April 02, 2003
The Housing Rights Center (HRC), The Tennessee Fair Housing Council and Apartments.com of Classified Ventures, LLC announced the launch of a joint fair housing education advertising campaign on the Internet.
     The goal of the “Live Free From Discrimination” campaign is to make tenants of and applicants for rental housing and their landlords aware of federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination in housing based on race, religion, gender sexual orientation, familial status physical or mental disability and other personal characteristics.
     In a series of display banners prepared by Apartments.com, viewers will be informed that April is Fair Housing Month and will have the opportunity to link to the National Fair Housing Advocate Online, a comprehensive national fair housing web site developed and maintained by the Tennessee Fair Housing Council.

Blacks and Hispanics express mutual mistrust

February 25, 2003
South Central, once a nationally known black ghetto, is now predominantly Hispanic. In many ways, this insurgence means more of the same: crime all the time.
     In the mile radius circling Western and Slauson avenues, the Hispanic population jumped 68 percent between 1990 and 2000 as the black population plummeted 21 percent. Similar contrasting shifts, likely understated by the census, hold true throughout this beleaguered area.
     Many Hispanics here will tell you that black is no good. They will tell you that thugs scared them and attacked them, singling them out for crime even as many lower-income blacks took flight or, in some cases, died from crack and its attendant lifestyle.
     Blacks, many hardworking and long established on this turf, will tell you that the Mexicans came in and took the jobs, pretty much invading the place. And Mexican gangs, they say, are running and ruining some neighborhoods that "regular Joe" blacks once enjoyed.

Real estate magnate sued for housing discrimination

February 07, 2003
A federal lawsuit filed Friday alleges that Southern California real estate magnate Donald Sterling ordered staff to rent his apartments at two complexes only to Korean tenants.
     The lawsuit alleges that Sterling told his staff that he did not like blacks and Hispanics and that "Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building."
     The suit, which seeks at least $750,000 in damages and fair-housing training for staff, was filed by the Housing Rights Center, a nonprofit organization.

Color lines are fading in city's neighborhoods

January 11, 2003
Early last month, the Los Angeles Times flew a reporter here to research a story about the high rate of segregation in Milwaukee.
     The newspaper would have been better off covering its own metro area, considering the results of a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute. Metro Milwaukee ranks 43rd on the UWM study in the level of black-white integration - far ahead of Los Angeles, which ranks 89th out of 100.
     Still, you can't blame the paper for thinking the worst of us. This city has been called a bastion of segregation by publications around the English-speaking world. 

Landlord pays $100,000 to settle national origin claim

December 20, 2002
The Housing Rights Center and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles announced that the owner of a rental house has paid $100,000 to her tenants under a Consent Decree to settle claims of national origin discrimination.
      A family of Bulgarian political asylees living in Granada Hills, California sued their landlord and property manager in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging their property manager put Nazi symbols on their bills, their money, and on large signs posted around their property. The complaint also stated that the property manager put a sign outside their window stating, “F--- Off, Rat,” and signed it “American SS.”
      This sign appeared just after the manager learned the family reported his previous “SS” markings to the landlord. The manager himself lived next door to the family in the only other rental unit owned by the landlord.

Newspaper, center launch fair housing campaign

December 12, 2002
The Housing Rights Center (HRC) and the Los Angeles Times announced today that they will join together in a fair housing education advertising campaign that will include a series of public interest advertisements. The goal of the campaign is to make tenants of rental housing and their landlords as well as homebuyers, realtors, borrowers, and lenders aware of federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, or physical or mental disability.
      In a series of display advertisements prepared by the Times, readers will be informed of the broad sweep of the fair housing laws, and reminded that it is unlawful to place advertisements that discourage particular classes of tenants, such as tenants with children.
      The public interest advertisements will be published in the Times and on latimes.com throughout November 2002, and in April 2003 and April 2004 in recognition of Fair Housing Month. The Times also will publish daily notices throughout the year in the Classifieds summarizing the fair housing laws and providing telephone numbers for local fair housing organizations, including HRC.

Familial status bias suit yields $40,000 and training

November 01, 2002
The Southern California Housing Rights Center announced that the owner and the management company of a Redondo Beach, California apartment complex have paid $40,000 under a settlement agreement and will participate in a fair housing training program to settle claims of familial status discrimination.
     Greg and Gia Dubney sued Denise Delurgio in federal court, alleging that the defendant discriminated against plaintiffs on the basis of familial status in the operation of the apartment complex. Specifically, the complaint alleged that defendant increased the Dubneys’ rent by $150 upon the birth of their first child. The family had multiple disputes with the defendant over the collection of the extra rent, and then experienced the eventual termination of their tenancy.
     Along with the payment of $40,000, under the settlement agreement brokered by Judge Ralph Zarefsky on October 11, 2002, the defendants must also participate in a training program. The plaintiffs were represented by Felicia Yearwood and Gary Rhoades of the Housing Rights Center and Cliff Dover of the Law Offices of Cliff Dover. 

$9.5M to Hispanic-serving educational institutions 

October 17, 2002
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today announced more than $9.5 million in grants to 19 Hispanic-serving colleges and universities to help rehabilitate low-income neighborhoods near their campuses and bring new opportunities to students and working families living there.
     Martinez announced the grants in Los Angeles during the Fourth Annual U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Town Hall Meeting.
     "The Bush Administration is committed to helping these higher learning institutions build partnerships with neighborhoods and invest in Hispanic communities," said HUD Secretary Martinez. "These grants will help the colleges address revitalization and economic development needs in their communities." 

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