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Don’t Bulldoze My Home

This petition had 134,374 supporters

I have lived in my home for nearly 50 years, but now the city of Cumberland, Maryland wants to bulldoze it to build a chain restaurant. A man’s home is his castle, and in mine, I felt like a king.

When I bought my home 46 years ago, I said that I’d only leave it feet first. Since then I’ve renovated the house myself, cared for my late mother in it, seen it through good times and bad, and now, retired to spend my golden years relaxing on my front porch watching the world go by. This home is my little slice of the American Dream.

But now my American Dream is turning into a nightmare. The mayor and city council are pressuring me and my neighbors to sell our homes to a developer who wants to build a chain restaurant. The city calls it the “Maryland Avenue Revitalization Project.” That is simply a nice-sounding euphemism for pushing out a neighborhood of mostly elderly, lifelong Cumberland residents to make way for a politically connected developer.

My neighbors and I refuse to sell. The only way that the city can achieve its “vision” for the neighborhood is to use the power of eminent domain to take our homes away from us. This power to condemn and take property is meant for public uses like building roads, bridges, parks and schools, not to benefit a private developer who stands to make a fortune on the project.

Using eminent domain to uproot our neighborhood and destroy our homes is an abuse of government power. Despite our protests, the city refuses to take eminent domain off the table. The potential for abuse is dangerously high. My neighbors and I support growth in our neighborhood, but not if it means bullying and forcing elderly residents out of our homes to make way for someone else. Please join us in telling the city to publically abandon their current course for this project, publically disavow the use of eminent domain for economic development, and let me keep my home.

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