Standing Together for Peoplestown
In Peoplestown, The Dardens and Tanya Washington are still resisting the use of eminent domain for the removal of their homes to make way for a fancy Japanese-style park and pond. Nearly all of the other homeowners who shared a square block in Peoplestown with the Dardens and Ms. Washington have sold their homes to the city. The installation of the park and pond would be another step in forcing black residents from their homes to facilitate gentrification and profitable private development. The City is using Peoplestown’s crumbling infrastructure, caused by its own racist disinvestment and exploitation, as a basis for arguing public necessity and thus the use of eminent domain. Tanya Washington and the Dardens are fighting the City, and HJL is following their leadership and supporting them in their fight.
In the Press
11/10/17 - "According to Washington, the city’s rationale is problematic because it uses the symptoms of the neighborhood’s systemic neglect to become a reason for displacing families.
“What I’m concerned about is cities trying to use that crumbling infrastructure as a justification for exercising eminent domain because it provides a basis for arguing public necessity,” she says...
If allowed by the courts, that built-in justification could become the most powerful tool in the gentrification arsenal. It would allow almost any city to use the legacy of institutional racism and systemic neglect to further advance the displacement of low-income black residents."
The City has argued for some time that it needs to take Washington’s home because it proposes to create a park with a pond that could retain additional stormwater. Washington is seeking for the court to set aside the City’s declaration of taking of her home. After threatening eminent domain over the period of the last few years, nearly all of the homeowners on an entire square block–except for three–accepted offers from the City of Atlanta to purchase their homes.