tangled webs. The August 16 issue of
AsianWeek carries a long feature article on Asian Pacific Islander
American home ownership — a salutary custom in the eyes of many
APIAs, and many other Americans as well.
It’s a booming market, says reporter Janet Ng.
“Asian Pacific Islander Americans are purchasing property in
record numbers. In fact, statistics in the 2000 Census reveal that
in the last 10 years, minority home-ownership has been on the rise.
Moreover, among minority groups, APIAs have the highest
home-ownership rates: 57.3 percent in the Bay Area (compared to 34
percent in the general population) and 55.1 percent statewide.”
The Bay Area is still a tight housing market,
notes Fremont real estate agent Steve Dillon, and prices in San
Francisco are still “damn expensive.”
No longer, if the ad placed smack dab in the
middle of the article can be believed: FOR SALE: Below-Market
Condos. “Win-win!” it adds, employing the favored phrase of the
Sarosh Kumana, founder of Home Ownership for Tenants (HOT). (Click
on the thumbnail at the beginning of this article to see the ad.)
An image springs to mind of hard-pressed APIA
families eagerly lining up to take advantage of the program.
There’s only one snag, which the ad omits: HOT
is a pipe dream, a gleam in Kumana’s eye.
Nor does the article set matters straight. The
closest it comes to mentioning HOT is a paragraph buried toward the
Amid the debate, a new approach to relieve the
housing situation might be included on the November ballot.
Legislation to create condominiums and bypass the lottery is being
promoted by Sarosh Kumana, president of the Affordable
Home-Ownership Alliance and a member of Home-Ownership for Tenants,
and Supervisor Tony Hall. The proposal includes a voluntary
agreement between landlords and at least 25 percent of their tenants
who wish to own their apartments.
Might be included on the November ballot.
Especially if the measure is impelled by hundreds
of APIAs who have heeded the call to “get info and sign up.”
By the way, if you’ve forgotten the allusion in
the heading to this item, no, it’s not from Shakespeare. Sir
Walter Scott, in a now happily forgotten poem called “Marmion, A
Tale of Flodden Field,” said, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave /
When first we practice to deceive.”
Back atchya, Dubya. Cyberspace
has been buzzing with do-good ways to spend your tax refund. I like
the logic of this one, proposed by the MoveOn Political Action
Committee, a group that raised more than $2 million in small
donations during the 2000 election. Here’s part of the spiel:
Bush and Cheney seem to goad us with a new outrage
But this time, they’re giving us an easy way to
fight back. We can commit our rebate checks to elect good
leadership in Congress. It takes just a second to make the
Certainly, many people will have to spend their
$300 to $600 to meet immediate, personal needs. Many will
donate theirs to social service agencies meeting the immediate needs
of others. Many will refuse their checks, returning them to
pay down the national debt. All of these are reasonable and
Yet I hope you’ll consider joining me in
responding in the strongest and most direct way — removing Bush’s
and Cheney’s allies from power, by pledging your rebate to the
MoveOn Political Action Committee.