Equity Partners Manifesto

EquityCoin
6 min readJul 8, 2024

--

Equity Partners is a coalition of Community Developers and influential advocates who are dedicated to building a more equitable tomorrow through grassroots policy shaping.

There are lobbying forces throughout the United States that have worked tirelessly for the past 248 years to ensure inequality within the nation’s most prominent institutions. The country needs balance.

Equity Partners was created by Equity Platforms, Inc. to play a role in the fight for equality in all forms. In the community development work pursued by Equity Platforms, both in the highest realms of real estate and technology, the company has built strong relationships with elected officials, community leaders, and media influencers.

Here are specific examples, with historical citations, of laws and policies that aimed to alienate a portion of the population in the United States:

Slave Codes (Various dates, 1600s-1800s):

  • Virginia Slave Codes (1705): These laws codified the status of slaves and the rights of slave owners, severely restricting the freedom and rights of Black people. For example, a law passed in 1705 stated that enslaved people were considered property and could be bought, sold, and inherited.
  • South Carolina Slave Code (1740): This code imposed strict regulations on the behavior of enslaved people and authorized severe punishments for violations, aiming to maintain control and prevent rebellion.

Black Codes (1865–1866):

  • Mississippi Black Code (1865): One of the first states to pass Black Codes, Mississippi’s laws restricted Black people’s rights to own property, conduct business, and move freely. For example, Black individuals were required to sign labor contracts and could be arrested for vagrancy if they did not.
  • Louisiana Black Code (1865): These laws required Black people to sign annual labor contracts and imposed severe penalties for breaking them. They also restricted Black people’s freedom of movement and assembly.

Jim Crow Laws (1877–1960s):

  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): This Supreme Court decision upheld state laws requiring racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. It legalized and reinforced segregation across many states.
  • Alabama’s segregation laws: Laws required separate schools, public transportation, and facilities for Black and white people, reinforcing systemic segregation and inequality.

Redlining and Housing Discrimination (1930s-1960s):

  • Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) Maps (1935): These maps categorized neighborhoods based on racial composition, leading to widespread denial of mortgages to Black families in certain areas.
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Underwriting Manual (1938): This manual explicitly recommended the use of racially restrictive covenants and discouraged lending in racially mixed neighborhoods.

Mass Incarceration and Drug Policies (1970s-present):

  • Anti-Drug Abuse Act (1986): This law established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, including a 100:1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine penalties, disproportionately affecting Black communities.
  • Three Strikes Law (1994): Enacted as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, this law mandated life sentences for individuals convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses, disproportionately impacting Black Americans.

The Southern Strategy (1960s-1980s):

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965: While these acts were designed to protect the rights of Black Americans, political campaigns such as Nixon’s Southern Strategy used coded language to appeal to white voters’ racial prejudices, fostering division and alienation.

Welfare Reform (1990s):

  • Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (1996): This welfare reform law, promoted by rhetoric that stigmatized Black single mothers as “welfare queens,” placed strict limits on welfare benefits and emphasized work requirements, disproportionately affecting Black women.

Modern Voter Suppression (2000s-present):

  • Shelby County v. Holder (2013): This Supreme Court decision invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, leading to the resurgence of state laws that disproportionately disenfranchise Black voters, such as strict voter ID laws and purges of voter rolls.

These laws and policies reflect systematic efforts to alienate and marginalize certain demographics in the United States throughout its history.

In 2024 we turn a new leaf. The fight is no longer for the ability to exist — the battle is one of ownership.

In the Old World, Lords were regarded as the crem de la crem of society as they ate the finest foods, listened to refined music, and had time for leisure activities that incite passions. In the New World, especially in America, the Lords are those who own property. In the early history of the United States, many states had property requirements for voting, which limited the right to vote to white male property owners. These laws varied by state and were gradually abolished over time. Here are some examples of property requirements in specific states:

  1. Virginia Constitution of 1776: Required voters to be male property owners, owning at least 50 acres of land or a house and land valued at £25.
  2. Massachusetts Constitution of 1780: Required voters to own property worth at least £60 or have an annual income of £3 from a freehold estate.
  3. New York Constitution of 1777: Required voters to own property worth at least £20 or rent a tenement of at least 40 shillings per year.

These property requirements were part of the broader context of early American voting laws that restricted suffrage to a narrow segment of the population, reflecting the prevailing belief that only property owners had a sufficient stake in society to be entrusted with the vote. Over time, these requirements were abolished, leading to a more inclusive electorate.

The various historical laws tell the story of the modern day Landlord — the American version of the old world Lords who wield all of the power. If it is understood that ownership of land has always been the basis of true citizenship, then it can also be concluded that this should be the primary focus for those groups who proclaim they have been marginalized.

Throughout American history, there have been concerted efforts to stifle the ability for various groups to own property, particularly African Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. These efforts have included discriminatory laws, systemic racism, and policies that have intentionally or unintentionally restricted access to economic opportunities and asset ownership.

Historical Context of Economic Stifling

Slavery and Post-Emancipation Era:

  • Enslavement deprived African Americans of any opportunity to accumulate wealth.
  • Post-emancipation, Black Codes and Jim Crow laws limited economic opportunities and enforced segregation, keeping African Americans in poverty and dependent on low-wage labor.

Redlining and Housing Discrimination:

  • Redlining: In the 1930s, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) created maps that marked predominantly Black neighborhoods as high-risk for mortgage lending. This practice, known as redlining, prevented Black families from obtaining home loans and building wealth through homeownership.
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA): The FHA’s policies discouraged lending in racially mixed neighborhoods, contributing to residential segregation and the wealth gap.

Land Dispossession of Native Americans:

  • The federal government seized millions of acres of land from Native Americans through treaties, warfare, and forced relocations, culminating in the loss of economic resources and cultural displacement.

Exclusionary Practices in Education and Employment:

  • Segregated and underfunded schools limited educational opportunities for Black and other minority students, impacting their long-term economic prospects.
  • Discriminatory hiring practices and wage gaps further hindered economic advancement for marginalized groups.

Mass Incarceration:

  • The War on Drugs and other criminal justice policies have disproportionately targeted Black communities, leading to high incarceration rates and significant economic and social disruption in these communities.

The Need for a Collaborative Approach

Given this historical context, there is a pressing need for a collaborative approach to increasing asset ownership and economic opportunities for all Americans, regardless of their background. This approach should involve:

Inclusive Policy Making:

  • Implementing policies that promote equal access to education, housing, and employment opportunities.
  • Ensuring that financial systems and lending practices are fair and equitable.

Community Investment:

  • Investing in underserved communities through infrastructure development, business incentives, and educational programs.
  • Supporting community-based financial institutions that understand and address the needs of local populations.

Education and Financial Literacy:

  • Providing comprehensive financial education programs to help individuals understand and navigate the financial system.
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship and small business ownership through training and resources.

Restorative Justice:

  • Addressing past injustices through reparative policies, such as restitution for descendants of enslaved people and compensation for land seized from Native Americans.
  • Reforming the criminal justice system to reduce incarceration rates and support reentry programs for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Increasing asset ownership and economic opportunity for all Americans requires a concerted, collaborative effort that addresses both historical injustices and current disparities. By working together, policymakers, community leaders, businesses, and individuals can create a more equitable society where everyone has the chance to build wealth and achieve economic stability.

The goal is not to single out a specific group — the goal is to purposefully include all groups. Equity Partners live by this principle.

--

--

EquityCoin

EquityCoin (EQTY) is the first digital token on the blockchain backed by affordable housing. EQTY holders receive monthly dividends and full voting rights.