The fight against eminent domain abuse is large and widespread. The Castle Coalition is not alone in the battle to stop greedy governments and developers from taking homes and small businesses—we have been joined in the fight by many allies. This group of allies represents the diverse political, ethnic and ideological support for eminent domain reform throughout the country. While their opinions on some issues may differ, they all agree that it’s wrong to force people from their property for private profit.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, in her dissent in Kelo v. City of New London, correctly asserted that those most affected by the abuse of eminent domain would be “citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process.”
Our nationwide alliance of interest groups—those listed below—is working to insure that the effects of the Kelo decision are held in check and that home and small business owners, farmers and churches get to keep what they’ve worked so hard to own. We hope to add to this list as the outrage continues.
- NAACP www.naacp.org (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) – America’s oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP has been vocal in the fight against eminent domain abuse. In their “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Kelo case, they noted that most of the areas most commonly targeted for “renewal” and “redevelopment” are highly-concentrated areas of minorities. They also cited the long history of abuse prior to Kelo, when, during the 1950s and 60s many blacks were displaced during so-called “urban renewal.”
- AFBF www.fb.org (American Farm Bureau Federation) – Founded in 1919, the Farm Bureau is the national voice of agriculture. AFBF takes a particular interest in eminent domain abuse, seeking to protect the farmers and ranchers throughout America. As they pointed out in 2004, “each agricultural landowner is threatened with the loss of productive farm and ranch land solely to allow someone else to put it to a different private use.”
- NFIB www.nfib.org (National Federation of Independent Business) – All too often, redevelopment projects bulldoze small businesses, the only means of livelihood for many families. NFIB is a national organization with ties to every state that advocates for small businesses and has been active in seeking eminent domain reform legislation in state capitals.
- MALDEF www.maldef.org (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) – Focused on litigation, advocacy and education, MALDEF empowers Latinos to fully participate in American society. MALDEF has taken a keen interest in eminent domain abuse, acutely aware of the havoc eminent domain abuse wreaks on the Latino community.
- LULAC www.lulac.org (League of United Latin American Citizens) – LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide and serves all Hispanic nationality groups. Many Hispanic communities are threatened by eminent domain abuse, and LULAC has taken a heightened interest in stopping the abuse in local communities.
- NCC www.ncccusa.org (National Council of Churches in Christ in the USA)- Comprised of a multitude of denominations, including Protestant, Orthodox, Evangelical, African American, and Living Peace churches, NCC brings those varieties together under a common council to gain understanding of traditions and commonalities. They also work with Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist communities to foster working relationships in the name of faith and tradition. NCC utilizes the media and public policy arenas in working for “peace and justice.” Churches and synagogues have been threatened—and taken—by eminent domain, and NCC has been vocal in the fight against such abuse.