In 1999, the City of Olympias Community Development Department, Thurston County Board of Realtors, Olympian Newspaper and Thurston County Public Cable Television faced a dilemma: What is the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to educate the public and housing community about fair housing?
Recognizing that people today have hectic schedules with no time to view an hour-long documentary on fair housing, the group took a cue from television filmmakers. The Thurston County group produced a documentary that in seven minutes summarizes 140 years of fair housing. In 420 seconds, the story begins with George Bushs arrival in Thurston County and culminates with the present-day communities.
Researchers at the Olympian Newspaper, a local daily, and the Community Development Department compiled interesting facts about George Bushs pursuit of fair housing in Thurston. Individuals on the Board of Realtors wrote the script, and people from the community served as cast members. Employees at a local TV station volunteered to shoot and edit the film. Once produced, "Fair Housing in Thurston County" was premiered on public cable television.
The organizers surpassed their initial goal of informing the general community about fair housing. The documentary now serves as a segment of a fair housing curriculum for new realtors. The programs success may be best exemplified by an enthusiastic comment from one member of the Board of Realtors: "Wow, lets do a Fair Housing film in Spanish!"
Content Archived: April 20, 2011