Daily Journal Spotlights Elise Sanguinetti’s Quest to Erase Jim Crow-Era Language Embedded in Homeowner’s Agreements

Elise Sanguinetti was featured on the cover of the Daily Journal in an article that highlighted her quest to eradicate racist, Jim Crow-era language from homeowner’s agreements throughout California.

Horrible, racist language appears in thousands upon thousands of agreements throughout California. For example, a homeowner’s agreement dated from 1948 has a very interesting portion in the contract. Tucked between a bullet point stating no “noxious or offensive trade” be carried out on the property and another stating no illegal trailers or shacks can be on the property is the following:

“No person other than that of the Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building on any lot, except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race or nationality employed by an owner or tenant.”

A separate but similar agreement stated, “That no African, Mongolian, Japanese or person of African, Mongolian or Japanese descent shall be allowed to purchase, own, or lease the property…

California has attempted to address these types of outdated and illegal clauses, but the bureaucratic paperwork it takes to eliminate these is challenging.

Ms. Sanguinetti, a founding partner at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos and a past-president of CAOC and AAJ, is working pro bono to help homeowners, homeowner associations, and others finally eliminate this type of antiquated, racist and disgusting language. The process is not expensive, but it can be burdensome in terms of the process.

To read the Daily Journal article in full, please click the link below:

DJ – One lawyer’s mission eradicate racist covenants