Target: Chairman of New Jersey CRDA, James B. Kehoe
Goal: Stop the government from unnecessarily taking elderly man’s Atlantic City home
An elderly man in Atlantic City, New Jersey has recently fallen victim to the abuse of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the right of the government or a government agency to take private property for public use as long as there is compensation. In this case, the agency is New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The victim, Charlie Birnbaum, has lived in his home since 1969 and has very strong ties to that land.
Birnbaum is a strong supporter of the redevelopment of Atlantic City, but when he went to a board meeting to ask what would be done with his land, the answer he received was “We don’t know yet.” The CRDA is taking a lot of land from the area around where Birnbaum lives, but the block that he lives on wouldn’t be necessary to have because it doesn’t fit with the plan, it would just be an outlier that wouldn’t go to much use.
The CRDA doesn’t need Birnbaum’s land, it is only taking it to show that it has the power to do so. This behavior is inhumane, especially to a citizen who has spent his life working on the land and surrounding areas. “I love this ground. I love this building. My sweat, tears and hard work have gone into this building,” said Birnbaum.
While Birnbaum would love to see the redevelopment of Atlantic City, he does not wish to give up his land and his home for no reason. No citizen should be subject to this type of behavior. Justice needs to served and the CRDA needs to be immediately stopped.
Dear Chairman Kehoe,
While the redevelopment of Atlantic City is definitely a positive stride for the entire city, the unnecessary use of eminent domain to strip people of their homes is something that should be immediately stopped. The story of Charlie Birnbaum is one that exemplifies the abuse of eminent domain.
When Birnbaum had asked what his land would be used for, no one was able to give him an answer. He is a citizen of Atlantic City who is a strong supporter of redevelopment, but is unwilling to give up his home for no justified reason. No man should be even so much as asked to leave the home he has lived in since 1969 with no reason. The CRDA doesn’t need his home and shouldn’t be trying to take it from him.
Please put a stop to the abuse of eminent domain in Atlantic City and let Charlie Birnbaum keep his childhood home and land. He has given his blood, sweat and tears for the betterment of Atlantic City and it is inhumane to make him give up his home. As Birnbaum stated, “We’ve lived through the bad, I want to live here and enjoy the good.”
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Paul Lowry via Wikimedia Commons