IJ has teamed up with property owners in the Rolling Mill neighborhood of Cumberland, Md., who are being pressured to sell their homes as part of an urban renewal project backed by the city. Officials from the city government and local development corporation have refused to take eminent domain off the table.
A community meeting was held in town on Monday, where representatives from IJ spoke to Rolling Mill residents about ways to protect their homes. As the Cumberland Times-News reports, IJ Outreach Coordinator Garrett Atherton encouraged residents to organize and that proper grassroots efforts could protect their homes from being seized.
“We are going to get this group fired up and it will grow and you will be trained in all the tactics and strategies of mass mobilization. I think we have a fighting chance here,” said Atherton.
IJ Senior Attorney Robert McNamara shared a similarly encouraging sentiment.
“We have fought against and defeated eminent domain abuse from coast to coast in cities much like this one,” said McNamara. “You do have rights. The most fundamental right known to American society which is the right to keep your property.”
The residents fighting to stop the land grab have decided to call themselves the Save Our Homes Alliance.
Read more about IJ’s long history of standing up against eminent domain abuse here.