Eminent domain can be a powerful tool for revitalizing distressed areas. Its use has also been at the center of controversies concerning the defense of private property rights, definititions of blight, and what constitutes a public purpose.
For many, public purposes are limited to public infrastructure like roads, schools, airports, and other public facilities. However, does the acquisition through eminent domain of a dilapidated, often vacant, privately-owned building, for a private redevelopment, either to return it to the tax roles or simply improve the health and safety of the neighborhood, also constitute a public purpose?
To shed light on the issue, the St. Louis League of Women Voters is sponsoring a forum entitled, "Eminent Domain and Affordable Housing". The forum will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2008, at the Schlafly Branch Library, Euclid and Lindell, from 9:30 to 12:00 AM. Yours truly will be serving as one of the panelists.
There will be no charge for the event, and it is open to the public. For more information, please contact the League of Women Voters of St. Louis, 314-961-6869.