Give Susette Kelo and her neighbors their land back!
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Susette Kelo never expected to be at the center of one of the most controversial legal battles in modern history, but that’s what happened when the small-town paramedic fought back against powerful politicians bent on clearing her beloved little pink house and the rest of her blue-collar neighborhood.
In the name of “economic development,” the City of New London, Connecticut joined forces with the governor to push a redevelopment plan that would replace Susette’s neighborhood with ritzy offices and condos to benefit pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Susette led her neighbors in an epic clash that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. And in a 5-4 decision, the court gave government officials across the nation the power to bulldoze poor neighborhoods if they thought doing so would generate more tax revenue.
Thirteen years later, nothing has been built on the land where Susette and her neighbors used to call home. All that remains is an empty field filled with weeds and rocks.
The new film LITTLE PINK HOUSE dramatizes Susette’s story, and we at Team LPH are using the movie to fight eminent domain abuse, a type of legalized bullying that typically strikes poor communities.
We urge New London Mayor Mike Passero to return the land to Susette and her neighbors. Doing so would not only allow healing to begin in New London, it would send a powerful message throughout the nation where eminent domain abuse remains distressingly common.
Mayor Passero and other current city leaders are not responsible for the destruction of Susette’s neighborhood, but they can play a crucial role in its rebirth.
For more details regarding the proposal to return the land to Susette and her neighbors, see this essay by Jeff Benedict, the author of the book on which the film is based and a New London native: https://www.theday.com/op-edguest-opinions/20180525/pink-house-author-says-its-time-for-new-ending-to-eminent-domain-story
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