Norton Pitches Memorial to Monumental Act

Norton: Let's Commemorate Civil Rights Fair Housing

By Nancy Norman
|  Thursday, Feb 25, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 PM EDT
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Norton Pitches Memorial to Monumental Act

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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has a vision for a new monument in the nation's capital, a monument to something she holds dear: the Fair Housing Act of 1968 -- the last of three historic civil rights acts.

The idea may be a little abstract. We are used to more tangible concepts, like memorials to presidents Jefferson and Lincoln. But the outcome could be very interesting.

"Fair housing and the movement to bring equal opportunity to the real estate market is intertwined with our nation's history," Norton said.

She laid out her initial plans at a Congressional hearing and noted the memorial would be built by the real estate industry. She said this bill may mark the first time a sector of our economy has decided to honor the statute that regulates some of its practices.

The Fair Housing Commemorative Foundation, established by the National Association of Realtors, is already raising the necessary funds and is working with the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission to create the plan of  what it would look like.

The "Sculpture of Freedom" on the Capitol dome is an example of an abstract idea realized -- everyone recognizes the statue of Lady Freedom holding a sword and a star.

The concept for a Fair Housing Act monument should be very interesting.

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