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Progressive Mayoral Politics and Eminent Domain to Forestall Mortgage Foreclosure


May 19, 2014 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Room 280A

Gayle McLaughlin is a member of the Green Party and mayor of Richmond, CA since 2006. A social activist and founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Mayor McLaughlin has sought to unify local progressives in city politics.

 McLaughlin is a strong proponent of a plan being pioneered by the city of Richmond to use eminent domain to purchase "underwater" properties whose values have fallen below the amount of the mortgage owed. According to the plan, the city, in partnership with a private company, would purchase or use eminent domain to seize loans on properties in danger of being foreclosed at amounts reflecting current prices. The mortgage payable by the owner of the property would then be reduced. A number of banks have filed lawsuits against the proposal, arguing that it is an illegal use of eminent domain. Critics states that this plan would severely damage the mortgage industry. However, other cities such as Newark, NJ and Seattle are considering adopting similar plans to alleviate the foreclosure crisis. Mayor McLaughlin will speak on her decision to support this eminent domain proposal and the current legal issues.

Hosted by the American Constitution Society and the SLS Dems. Lunch will be served.