Drew Carey video "National City: Eminent Domain Gone Wild" Reason TV

Back on June 19th LA CURE Director Jean Heinl and myself, representing CURE and the Castle Coalition, attended a rally and city council meeting in National City, CA to support the local Community Youth Athletic Center CYAC against an “eminent domain” threat of losing their gym for a private condo project. National City is located in San Diego County a few miles north of the Mexican border.

Note: You can review that June 20th blog post in the Juice Archives.

Fast forward to the recently released Reason Foundation video featuring Drew Carey entitled “National City: Eminent Domain Gone Wild.” The video includes excerpts of the rally and city council meeting which followed along with current interviews of the leading players from both sides.

A side note. Mission Viejo, where I live, was just recognized as being the safest city in America (with a population between 75,000 and 100,000). In calling our County Sheriff’s office to ask about gangs I was told that “there are none which call MV their home turf.” In the case of National City you have a group of dedicated volunteers who give of their spare time to work with these kids, some of whom were former gang members. In addition to their training in the boxing ring they also focus on making sure the kids do their homework after school as part of a program to mold them into productive members of society.

Two months after the rally, on Aug 31st, I attended Assemblyman Solorio’s Town Hall Confronting Gang & Youth Violence: Community Based Solutions.” The goal of the elected officials focused on obtaining input from the private sector on how to deal with “prevention, intervention and re-entry” of our youth. Assemblyman Todd Spitzer stated that “once you become a (gang) member it’s almost impossible to get out.” Colleen Preciado, OC Chief Probation Officer, stated that as of that date, they had “54 kids in custody for murder and attempted murder.” You can read that post in the Aug 2007 Archives. For the National City city council to threaten a police powers “taking” of the gym where CYAC children stay out of gangs and focus on citizenship is hard to comprehend.

The good news! Dedicated attorney’s from the Institute for Justice IJ challenged this pending acquisition and filed a lawsuit in Superior Court. The IJ is a national public interest law firm who represented Susette Kelo in that infamous Supreme Court injustice. One speaker in the video indirectly expressed the feelings of many of the victims I have met when he stated that “the threat of eminent domain is like having a gun to your head.” Take our offer or we will take your property under our eminent domain police powers.

And now for some great news! “In the face of intense public opposition, in late August, the developer of the condo project revised the plans (and will now) build around the CYAC.” However, we must not let our guard down. National City’s redevelopment agency powers were extended by an additional ten years in which to engage in future ED in the project area.

To view this 11 minute Drew Carey video simply click on:


While I have your attention let me share some additional good news.

Leaders of The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association co-sponsored California Owners & Farmland Protection Act, CPOFPA, property rights protection Initiative have just turned in over one million signatures to get our Initiative on the June 2008 Ballot. Voter approval of this Constitutional Amendment is critical so that California property owners can once and for all protect their real property; be it homes, houses of worship, small businesses, family farms or investment properties against any eminent domain action for a “private” use when they have no desire to sell.

On behalf of the three Initiative co-sponsors we express our gratitude for your support of this joint effort.

Wishing everyone a safe and joyful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Larry Gilbert, CPOFPA Spokesperson and Member of the Castle Coalition & CURE

About Larry Gilbert