By Cedric Ricks, Communications Associate, National Fair Housing Alliance
Nearly 46 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a 1966 summer march in Chicago's Marquette Park demanding fair housing. King protested a dual housing market, in which whites were free to reside wherever they could afford, but African-Americans were barred from many parts of Chicago and in other American cities because of restrictive covenants, social practice and discrimination in lending.
Before he left Chicago, King referred to the historic protest as "a first-step in a 1,000-mile journey." Since then real progress has been made with the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 - passed one week after King's assassination - and the enactment of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974.
But to achieve a broad affirmative vision of fair housing many additional steps are still needed. It's entirely fitting we consider what comes next as our nation honors Dr. King's birthday with a federal holiday.
Congress took an important step forward toward equality and justice with the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and President Obama advanced even further this month by appointing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the Bureau.
The CFPB has one central mission: to make the market for consumer financial products and services work for ALL consumers, responsible providers and the economy as a whole. To accomplish its mission, the Bureau seeks to promote transparency and consumer choice while preventing unfair, deceptive and discriminatory practices.