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City marks housing milestone
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas signs a proclamation declaring April Fair Housing Month in Hinesville. With him, are, from left, seated, Dionne Motley and Debora Waiters of JC Vision and Associates; standing, Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director Kenneth Howard, interim grant administrator Donita Gaulden and Jimmie Ingram of JC Vision. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
April officially became Fair Housing Month in Hinesville Thursday when Mayor Jim Thomas signed a proclamation.
The city joins communities across the country in commemorating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act.
Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1968, just one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the selling, renting and financing of housing, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
It was the result of years of work and leadership from King and others in the civil rights movement who fought to outlaw unfair housing practices that kept minorities out of predominantly white neighborhoods.
"This important legislation was one of a series of civil rights laws that sought to secure the rights of individuals and extend the full blessings of liberty to all Americans," President Bush said in press release last week. "During National Fair Housing Month, we acknowledge our responsibility to ensure that all Americans enjoy the opportunities that this great land of liberty offers."
Prior to signing the proclamation during Thursday's city council meeting, Thomas noted the diversity of Hinesville's neighborhoods, which was aided by the Fair Housing Act, and the growing mixture of cultures coming to the city.
He asked that residents take time this month to rejoice in the city's diversity.
"We call upon all participate in ceremonies and activities supporting the federal fair housing law and the celebration of diversity and equal opportunity throughout the city," he said.
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