By Ellie Lambert, 2021 GTR President
In April of 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, thereinafter almost universally referred to as the Fair Housing Act. The keystone of the Johnson administration was a package of legislative actions known around the world as the “Great Society.” The Fair Housing Bill was one of the last major pieces of the Great Society legislation to be passed by Congress. Initially rejected twice by Congress, its passage was ultimately credited, to a great extent, to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Upon signing the act into law, President Johnson remarked that few in the country “believed that fair housing would, in our time, become the unchallenged law of this land.’
President Johnson’s comments turned out to be an accurate prophecy. Over the past 53 years across the country and in the Tampa Bay area itself education, monitoring and enforcement regarding the Fair Housing Act has involved and engaged the passions, energies and resources of innumerable dedicated individuals and organizations all of whom believe strongly in the values and ethics espoused by the Fair Housing Act. The Tampa Bay Realtors (now known as Greater Tampa REALTORS® or GTR) are proud to be counted among the most active of these groups. Through its leadership, communications, professional standards and professional development programs GTR has followed through on its commitments to the principles of fair housing. As evidenced by its activities during the most recent Black History Month, GTR’s efforts with respect to Fair Housing remain vital and relevant in 2021.
Moving forward, the entire Tampa Bay community, including its REALTORS®, must recommit to ensuring that Fair Housing is indeed “the unchallenged law” of our land and our community.
ELLIE LAMBERT 2021 President Greater Tampa REALTORS®