Michael Cristofaro

The City of New London has twice used eminent domain to take the Cristofaro family’s house. Michael Cristofaro was born shortly after his parents immigrated to Connecticut from Italy. Their new city took their first home in the 1970s to build a seawall that never materialized. Decades later, the Cristofaros were plaintiffs in the infamous Kelo v. New London lawsuit, when the city tried to take their house again. This time, as his parents’ spokesperson, Mike teamed up with IJ and six other neighbors, including Susette Kelo, to fight the land-grab. When the case eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices decided in June 2005 against the New London property owners in what has arguably become one of the most despised Supreme Court decisions of the 21st century. Since the ruling, Mike has become a national spokesperson for property owners fighting eminent domain abuse, appearing in numerous media outlets including Fox News, CNBC, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Democracy Now! Mike returns to the property occasionally, to show reporters the empty field it has become.

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