As tweeted by us earlier this week, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho publicly recommitted to his Miami role during an emergency school board session, just one day after privately committing to move to NYC for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top educational post. NYC’s pursuit of him had been well-known, but at this point the public did not believe he had made his decision. However, Carvalho had personally accepted the job with de Blasio the night before, and agreed to make the NYC announcement public.
The superintendent’s change of heart was allegedly due to appeals by students, especially undocumented immigrants who feared the loss of his protection.
Digging into South Florida and turning down the superintendent role of the largest school system in the nation only stoked rumors of a future run for political office by Carvalho– perhaps for the congressional seat that is soon to be vacated by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.
Was the dramatic switch heartfelt, or an unseemly reach for attention and power?
MC thinks the latter. Would you want to hire someone who was okay publicly rejecting you, when a more delicate, private hand-off could have easily satisfied all parties? Would you respect someone who put spectacle over integrity behind closed doors?
Or, perhaps there was no good way to handle turning down the job. And it was important to regain the faith of Miamians with a public commitment to staying.
In other words, Miami, FL is free to pursue the banks for damages to its tax base. The precedent will likely reverberate for years to come.
The city was finally vindicated in its 2013 move to sue Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. Miami claims the banks violated the 1968 Fair Housing Act (which prohibits racial discrimination in real estate transactions) by intentionally issuing high-risk loans to African Americans and Hispanics. Later, there was a surge of foreclosures and lost property value.
It is unclear whether other cities around the country will now follow suit.
What did remain in doubt was the claim that the banks could know the future damage; the court did not believe the city sufficiently proved this.
From a conservative standpoint, the broadening of the scope of victimhood is troubling. It feeds the litigious society that is eroding American values of personal responsibility. Any individuals who are allegedly discriminated against ought to be the sole agents and benefactors of justice–not governments.
On Tuesday, November 8th, there was other news besides the shocking election of Donald Trump as President.
The US Supreme Court reviewed a lawsuit brought by the city of Miami, FL against banks Wells Fargo and Bank of America, claiming that, under the Fair Housing Act (part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968), the banks’ negligence and prejudice was responsible for the area’s 2008 housing market collapse.
Specifically, the suit claims that subprime mortgages given to minorities contributed to falling property values, lost property tax revenue, and foreclosures and the crimes those vacant properties can bring.
A successful case like this has the potential to set a precedent of municipalities using laws intended only for individuals.
The justices’ discussion was wide-ranging, from questioning if the effects were too remote, to acknowledging the cumulative effects of bank actions on the city and public.
“The statute doesn’t prohibit decreasing property tax values, ” said Justice Kennedy.
However within days, the city offered to allow those who had their locks taken (including LIR) to come to City Hall to reclaim. A lock company is even going to replace locks for free for those affected!