A Guide to Using This Guide

Activists nationwide have used the information in our Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Guide to successfully protect their homes and small businesses from eminent domain abuse—when the government seizes your property not for a constitutional public use, like a road, but in order to hand it over to a private developer. In this guide, we expand on those practical, battle-tested strategies to provide you with a comprehensive roadmap for your fight for economic liberty.

Whether this is your first time fighting city hall or you are a seasoned activist, this resource contains a wealth of valuable information. We at IJ are here to help you put liberty in action.

This is a David versus Goliath battle. Goliath—organized special interests who have lobbied for the law that is hurting you—may have the influence (for now) and the money. But you are right. You ultimately have the power because the public is on your side. We must harness that public support and mobilize it.

Do not be intimidated by the number of strategies outlined in this guide. You do not need to use all of the strategies detailed to succeed. We intentionally include a lengthy list of tools, so you can pick and choose what will work best for your situation.

The strategies detailed can be used for any fight at any level of government, but we will focus predominantly on the local level and include illustrative examples of activism in action.

Organization is the cornerstone of this guide. Successful grassroots efforts are typically the result of effective organization. Organizing yourselves to show a united front that speaks with one voice is incredibly effective, and it allows you to fight on your terms—you set the terms of the debate.

Keep in mind: Some people may not have as much time to work on your campaign as you do. Others may expect you to do all of the heavy lifting or may be turned off if the work looks too hard. Accept this and move on. These fights can indeed be exhausting, frustrating and time-consuming. To keep everyone engaged, remember to keep things easy, simple and fun when possible.

Be mindful that different communities and circumstances require different activities and strategies. Unsurprisingly, newer entrepreneurs or those with smaller businesses make great targets for bigger, politically connected businesses, who want to protect themselves from the competition your niche services create. These industry insiders think they hold all the power. They are in for a rude awakening.

You and your fellow entrepreneurs may be on the first or second rung of the economic ladder. Perhaps you don’t think you have the time or resources to fight back. Maybe you aren’t online and neither are your colleagues. That’s OK! Decades of civil rights battles were won absent the Internet and technology. Your outreach efforts will have to rely more on face-to-face and on-the-ground organizing. But the Internet is a very useful tool, so if you aren’t online, call the Institute for Justice or a friend who is. They can help you set up a website, if you need one, and print information.

IJ is here to help you design your grassroots campaign to suit the needs of your community.