Wednesday, May 5, 2010

YES: eminent domain is wrong!

This article about a victory against eminent domain in San Pablo, California says all the right things:
EXCERPTS: The San Pablo City Council this week dropped plans to extend its eminent domain authority, bending to a raucous groundswell of mistrust and resentment of city government that included threats of a recall. . . .

The officials contended that they need eminent domain, and only as a last resort, to assemble sites for commercial and residential development. Opponents, supported by the Virginia-based libertarian law firm Institute for Justice and its advocacy arm, the Castle Coalition, called eminent domain a cruel and brutal tool and accused the city of a secret agenda to kill working-class people's American dream of homeownership to accommodate out-of-town developers' vision of a gentrified San Pablo.

On Monday, several residents elaborated on that theme,

"Instead of being for the people, you are for the developers," said resident Adolfo Sanchez.

Handing the agency the power of eminent domain would be like "having your chicken house guarded by a pack of very hungry wolves," said resident Jai Sun.

"I want to live in a San Pablo where I feel safe and my home is safe," Sun said, imploring the council to "cease your hostile tactics." . . .

"It's absurd to think that any of these homeowners would take heart in the fact that the city is willing to sign a contract that says nothing more than that it will obey state law," said Christina Walsh, director of activism for the Castle Coalition. "The strongest guarantee is for eminent domain to not be on the table." . . .

By and by, council members acknowledged an underlying issue of communication and trust; residents agreed.

"We definitely have a trust issue," resident Pat Ryan told the council. "We just don't trust you." . . .
Via Institute for Justice on Facebook

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