VIDEO: Adam Gordon on Fighting (and Winning) the Fair Housing Fight

A video from Next City’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, featuring a story by the young lawyer (and co-founder of Next City) who took on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and won the fight for fair housing.

Credit: Desiree Navarro

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Last month Next City hosted its 10-year anniversary with a first-person storytelling event in New York City, during which seven notable urban changemakers shared their reflections on life and work in cities around the world.

Adam Gordon was one of the seven storytellers. Gordon co-founded Next City in 2003 and served as its initial editor-in-chief and board chair. In 2006, he was hired as a staff attorney at the Fair Share Housing Center, where he has litigated before the New Jersey Supreme Court and worked on state and federal policy issues, advocating for more economically diverse neighborhoods. Gordon is also a non-resident fellow at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy where he has worked on several initiatives.

Back in 2010, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order within days of taking office to shut down the state’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). Gordon humbly tells the inspiring story of how he, in the midst of one of the worst blizzards in New Jersey history, successfully blocked the republican governor. “We couldn’t just let him shut down forty years of fair housing history to say that towns could exclude people with lower incomes — Latinos, African Americans, people with disabilities — just because they didn’t want them as their neighbors,” Gordon explains. Hear more of his story in the video below.

Below is a podcast of the presentation:

We’ll be posting videos of our storytellers until the end of the year. In case you missed it, watch Dekonti Mends-Cole on the power of memory and Toby Barlow on what made him fall in love with the Motor City.

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Tags: affordable housinggovernancenew jerseyurbanismchris christie

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