100 signatures reached
To: Philadelphia City Council & the Philadelphia Land Bank
Tell City Council and the Land Bank Board: Protect Philadelphia's Gardens!
Join us in demanding that City Council and the Land Bank Board protect our communities and our gardens!
Below is the letter we will send to all City Council members and members of the Land Bank board:
We call on you to support community control of land by standing with the members of Soil Generation to protect vulnerable gardens. Our gardens are under threat of displacement due to gentrification and actively detrimental city policies that siphon resources from our communities and priorities. This threat is part of a larger assault on our communities, putting our land, resources, and institutions up for sale to the highest bidder instead of using them for the benefit of--and under the direction of--those who have lived here, stewarded, and invested in our city for decades. To that end, we demand that you:
1) End the 10 year tax abatement:
This policy created conditions for the aggressive gentrification we are experiencing.
These are funds that could also help support the Land Bank and point #3 below.
2) Put a moratorium on sheriff sales of active gardens:
If there are active gardens with tax delinquent land that the Land Bank cannot yet prioritize for acquisition, there should be coordination with revenue to put them in protected status, so that the gardens are not sold.
3) Provide gardens with REAL security and pathways to community ownership:
Provide longer term leases for gardens
Give out leases to unincorporated orgs (not just non-profits)
Lease & Garden Agreement transparency
Provide ongoing transparency around who gets access to city-owned land, especially through the Land Bank
Provide community notification of property lists that the Land Bank is acquiring
Why is this important?
We are calling to attention changes that need to happen to create real and transparent pathways towards community control of land. WHO controls land and HOW its being used dictates what our communities look like. In the urban agriculture community, we’ve seen too many community gardens and farms lost to Sheriff sales & development in the waves of gentrification across the city. We are calling for three specific changes from City Council & the Land Bank in order to move communities closer towards COMMUNITY control of land in Philadelphia. We would like you to support us in the following community demands by signing the petition!