11/24/2007

California Black Chamber of Commerce Endorses Eminent Domain Ballot Measure: Californians for Property Rights Protection, 11/6/07

News release

Study finds ethnic and racial minority owned properties at greatest risk

Californians for Property Rights Protection announced that the largest African American business organization in California has endorsed the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (CPOFPA), an eminent domain ballot measure slated to appear on the June 2008 ballot.

“African American owned businesses serve a critical role in protecting jobs and keeping California’s economy strong,” said chamber President and CEO Aubrey Stone. “While small business owners continue to create 90% of all new jobs in our state, they are also the most frequent victims of eminent domain abuse. The Jarvis measure is the only measure appearing before voters that provides all property owners substantive private property protections.”

In June of this year, the Institute for Justice (IJ), the non-profit organization that litigated the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo vs. New London case, released a study entitled “Victimizing the Vulnerable” that found that ethnic and racial minorities were disproportionately impacted by eminent domain abuse. Among the American cities studied, more than a dozen are located in California.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo decision, California is not among the more than 40 states that have reformed their eminent domain laws. IJ considers California “one of the biggest abusers of eminent domain in the country,” and small business owners to be among its most frequent victims.

In addition to prohibiting government from profiting by seizing private property from unwilling sellers for private projects that benefit wealthy and politically connected developers, the measure also requires public agencies to fully compensate property owners for all expenses and loss of business when their property is taken for legitimate public projects such as roads, schools and water supply projects. Today, reimbursements for loss of business are legally capped at a mere $10,000.

Other prominent business and farm organization endorsements include the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The California Black Chamber of Commerce represents over 65,000 small business owners and affiliates within the State of California. Since its inception in 1994, the organization has experienced considerable growth and has formed partnership alliances that encompass more than 55,000 civil politicians and faith based leaders throughout the state and country.

The California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act is sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights. Having secured the financing required to qualify the measure, the Act will appear on the June 2008 ballot.


Californians for Property Rights Protection: http://www.yesonpropertyrights.com

California Black Chamber of Commerce: http://www.calbcc.org