Letters: Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez defends 'Land Bank' legislation

Posted: March 20, 2012

AS THE sponsor of the "Land Bank" legislation now before Council, I am pleased that this issue is gaining traction and attention, but I am disappointed in the flawed, ill-informed opinion offered by Adam Lang and recently published in your paper.

Far from encumbering or adding an extra layer to the vacant-land process, this bill will strip away the layers of bureaucracy and disjointed policies that make land acquisition so challenging to for-profit and nonprofit developers, and to average citizens trying to invest in their communities.

Mr. Lang believes that no government role is needed, that the "market" knows best, and that a no-questions-asked fire sale of all publicly held land will magically cure Philadelphia's blight problem. In fact, the blight that ravages Philadelphia is the result of decades of failure and disinvestment by the "market" in our poorest communities. We are now left with its legacy of 40,000 vacant, abandoned properties, rotting away, laden with bad debt and often with "tangled" title.

Clearly there is a role for government in undoing this harm, in breaking the barriers to productive reuse, and in protecting the public interest. That is why the private-development community, its CDCs, and many community organizations have praised the Land Bank model. It is also why every major American city facing serious blight has employed a similar entity with a similar mission.

A municipal Land Bank is the clear, proven solution for spurring redevelopment in Philadelphia's blighted communities.

Councilwoman Maria

Quinones-Sanchez

Philadelphia

Gee whiz, you'd think that the GOP might be pregnant with the possibility that they've overstepped their boundaries regarding women's reproductive organs and abort their mission of controlling and shaming women. How does the GOP expect to get the vote of women?

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater, Fla.

I, like most of you, need two incomes for my family. We must cut corners and work all the overtime that comes our way just to keep our heads above water. I have a mortgage, but if I was poor, Section 8 would pay. I have to pay utilities, but if I was poor, LIHEAP would pay. I have grocery bills, but if I was poor, Access would pay. I have health insurance, but if I was poor, Health Partners would pay. I'm now trying to figure out how to pay for my son's college (our second child to go to college), but if I was poor, the government would pay . . . Wait, I forgot . . . Who's poor? Why do I work two jobs? What happened to America and the middle class?

Peter Garvin

Philadelphia

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|