For over three years, residents of the Rolling Mill neighborhood in Cumberland, Md., have battled city officials over redevelopment efforts that would kick them out of their homes—just so that the city can build restaurants and a parking lot.

It all started when the city of Cumberland identified Rolling Mill as their ideal spot for an urban renewal project . . . despite the residents residing there. Partnering with property owners being pressured to sell their homes against their will or face eminent domain, IJ’s activism team helped create the Save Our Homes Alliance, a coalition dedicated to fighting the city’s redevelopment schemes.

Since its creation, the Save Our Homes Alliance has hosted block parties and other grassroots events, conducted outreach on social media, and testified at city council meetings. Rolling Mill residents even started a petition that garnered over 130,000 signatures—all to convey the simple message that their homes are not for sale.

The city’s blatant disregard for property rights serves only to undermine the community, sending the message that not everyone belongs in the city’s ideal vision of Cumberland. By refusing to take eminent domain off the table, the city has conveyed that no home is safe from their vision of “economic development.”

Read more about IJ’s long history of standing up against eminent domain abuse here.