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Activism Projects

  • March 12, 2019

    In Maryland, tasty reform has arrived—thanks to the efforts of passionate home bakers across the state fighting to earn an honest living! Signed by Governor Hogan in June 2018, H.B. 1106 allows cottage-food producers to sell their perfectly safe and delicious goods—like cookies, cakes, and jams—outside of farmers markets. Previously, entrepreneurs were limited by a…

  • March 12, 2019

    In December 2017, the city of Garfield, Nj., declared a large section of its First Ward a “Condemnation Redevelopment Zone”—empowering city officials to use eminent domain for private development, even though many property owners do not wish to sell what they’ve worked so hard to own. The study officially designated many homes and businesses in…

  • March 12, 2019

    In 2016, officials in Emerson, Nj., began targeting property owners in the borough’s Central Business District, planning to use eminent domain to hand the land over to a private developer, JMF Properties, who was already building nearby. Establishing a “Condemnation Redevelopment Area,” the borough claimed that it was attempting to meet its affordable housing obligations…

  • March 12, 2019

    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…

  • March 12, 2019

    Just an hour northeast of Indianapolis in Yorktown, In., property owners are fighting to keep their homes from being taken from them by eminent domain. The town’s redevelopment plan is pushing homeowners like Ruby Martin, a 90-year-old blind widow of a two-time war veteran, out of the homes they love and have worked so hard…

  • March 12, 2019

    Once upon a time, the state of Wisconsin had some of the worst cottage-food laws in the country, forcing home bakers who simply wanted to sell safe products like cookies and cakes to obtain a license and rent expensive commercial-kitchen space. But in January 2016, the Institute for Justice filed a successful lawsuit on behalf…

  • March 12, 2019

    As of July 2018, bakers in the Bluegrass state can fire up their ovens and legally sell cottage foods—safe, shelf-stable foods made in their own home kitchens—directly to consumers. Thanks to H.B. 263—and to the efforts of passionate home bakers across the state, who joined together to create a coalition, Kentucky Home Bakers, in support…

  • March 12, 2019

    In the aftermath of the universally reviled U.S. Supreme Court case, Kelo v. City of New London, in which the court permitted the use of eminent domain for private development, 44 states have reformed their eminent domain laws. These changes have made it dramatically more difficult for cities to violate citizens’ fundamental private property rights.…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    African-style, natural hair braiders in Tennessee are facing major harassment and fines for practicing their craft without a specialty license. Braiders are being fined anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000 merely for operating without a government permission slip. Some have been told that they must shut their doors, leaving them with the tough choice of continuing…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    IJ celebrated a victory with hair braiders in Maryland in 2015.  Maryland does not currently regulate African hair braiding, earning it an A in our 2014 50-state report card, Untangling Regulations.  A state senator introduced legislation that would create a specialty license, requiring 200 hours of coursework or a 15-month apprenticeship—but most problematically, it would…

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