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Measure 39

Argument in Favor

As Chief Petitioners for this Measure, we offer this statement to explain the Measure.

In June, 2005, most Americans were shocked when the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Kelo v. City of New London. In Kelo, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution did not prevent the City of New London from condemning Mrs. Kelo's home and transferring that home to a developer for a new shopping development.

Most Americans thought that government could not condemn their land and transfer it to a developer for a "new" or "better" development. But the Supreme Court said that was okay.

The reaction to the Kelo decision was swift and strong. In the last year, 27 states have passed tough new laws restricting state and local governments from using the condemnation power to take private property from one citizen to give to another.

To have the legislatures in so many states act so quickly is remarkable, and demonstrates that people across America believe that government should not use its condemnation power to take land from one citizen for the benefit of another citizen.

If this Measure passes, Oregon will join that long list of states.

This Measure places tough new limits on government's power to condemn land from one citizen if the government intends to transfer the condemned property to another private citizen.

At the same time, the Measure does not prohibit government from condemning land for truly public uses, like public schools, roads, parks, libraries, or police stations.

No Oregonian should have to worry that their home, business, or farm will be condemned and given away to a developer who convinces a city council that he can make a "better" use of the property.

Your home is your castle. Its where memories are made, and families are raised. This Measure will help protect your home from being taken for economic development. That's why the Measure is important. Please vote yes on this Measure.

(This information furnished by David J. Hunnicutt, Ross A. Day.)


Argument in Favor

Should a person's home or business be taken by a city and transferred to another private citizen, developer, or corporation?

Most people don't believe that government should take property from one private citizen to give to another private citizen.

Unfortunately, this type of condemnation abuse is becoming all too common.

Today, state and local governments face pressure from developers to condemn neighborhoods or small businesses for transfer to developers, who demolish the homes or business and build new developments.

The developer receives land that he could never acquire on the open market. In turn, the local government generates new property taxes and a shiny new development.

And who loses? Property owners. They are forced against their will to move from their homes, relocate their businesses, or lose their farm, all in the name of "progress."

Fortunately, citizens are fighting back. In the last year alone, 27 states have passed laws protecting citizens from losing their homes or businesses to condemnation.

But the Oregon legislature failed in its effort to protect private citizens against condemnation abuse, as partisan politics stopped a bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Oregon House. That is why this measure is needed.

This measure prohibits government condemnation when government is simply acting as a middle man, forcibly taking land from one private citizen to give to another private citizen.

At the same time, this measure does not restrict the government from condemning land for truly public purposes, like schools, parks, police/fire stations, libraries or roads.

Please vote yes.

(This information furnished by David J. Hunnicutt, Ross A. Day.)


Argument in Favor

THE CITY OF PORTLAND WANTS TO CONDEMN MY BUSINESS AND GIVE IT TO A DEVELOPER

I own and operate Hogan's Electric, an electrical supply company in the Lents neighborhood in Portland. My business is small but successful, and I've worked hard to establish my location and my reputation.

You can imagine my surprise when I learned that the City of Portland wanted to condemn my property and business, along with my neighbors' property. I understand that government must sometimes condemn property to build a road, school, courthouse, or some other public facility, but that's not why the city wanted to condemn my land.

But that's not why Portland wanted to condemn my business.

The reason Portland wants to condemn my property and business is because City Commissioner Randy Leonard has decided that he would like a natural food store in my neighborhood, and the best place for a natural food store is on my property and that of my neighbors.

So in order to get his natural food store, Commissioner Leonard wants to take my property and turn it over to a developer who will build the store.

I guess Commissioner Leonard doesn't care about me, my neighbors, or my business.

I don't want to sell my property, and I don't want to move my business. It is unfair to demand that I do so because Randy Leonard wants a natural food store.

If Measure 39 passes, Portland won't be able to condemn my land and give it to a developer, and no other homeowner or small business will have to suffer what I've suffered.

Please vote yes on Measure 39.

James R. Hogan

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW IT FEELS WHEN PUBLIC OFFICIALS THREATEN TO TAKE YOUR HOME AND GIVE IT TO A DEVELOPER? ASK US

Until recently, Marilyn and I owned and operated a nursery in Keizer, Oregon. Our home and business had been in the Lowery family since 1946.

Our son was born and raised in our house, we made memories there, and we intended to live there our entire lives.

So when a developer asked us to sell our land to create a shopping mall, we said no. We weren't interested in the money, and had no intention of selling the property. Period.

But that was where our troubles began. The Keizer City Council really wanted the development to go through, because our property would be much more valuable, and raise a lot more property taxes, if it were used for a shopping mall instead of our home and nursery.

So the City Council threatened to condemn our land, so they could turn it over to the shopping mall developer.

We thought the law protected us, and didn't require us to sell our property to another private citizen. We were wrong.

It's hard to explain how we felt when we learned that the city was actually considering taking our home and farm from us by force because it was needed for a shopping mall.

One thing is for sure. What happened to us should never happen to anyone.

That's why we support Measure 39. Measure 39 guarantees that government will not use its condemnation power to take a person's home, small business, or farm to give to another private citizen.

Had Measure 39 been in place a couple of years ago, we would still live in our home in Keizer.

Every day, we remember our home and nursery in Keizer. But even though our home is gone, they can't take our memories.

Please vote yes on Measure 39.

Robert and Marilyn Lowery

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 39

Oregonians In Action PAC asks you to vote yes on Measure 39, a measure which protects Oregonians from having their homes and small businesses condemned by an aggressive public official and given to another private citizen.

Cities, counties, and state governments across the nation have the authority to condemn private property for public uses. This is an important and necessary power, as private land is sometimes needed for important public projects, like schools or roads.

But recently, as the cost of government has risen and state and local governments have looked for new ways to raise revenue without tax increases, more aggressive local officials have begun using their condemnation power to take private land away from one citizen to give to another private citizen who promises to make a "new" and "improved" use of the property, like a shopping center, apartment complex, or factory.

In fact, in the last decade alone, there have been over 10,000 reported cases of state and local governments using condemnation to take land from one private citizen to give to another, and reports of condemnation abuse have appeared on nearly every national news program.

Unfortunately, the fact that the current property owner does not want to sell their home or business does not matter. Their home is condemned, bulldozed, and given to a company for development.

Forcing a family to leave their home because a developer promises the city that he will make a higher and better use of the property is shameful, and hurts us all.

Fortunately, most states have begun to react to the misuse of condemnation power by government. In the last year alone, over half the states in the country have passed tough new laws limiting the use of condemnation to take land from one private citizen and give it to another.

Measure 39 will continue that trend in Oregon. That's why it is important.

Please vote yes on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

THE OREGON FAMILY FARM ASSOCIATION PAC ASKS YOU TO VOTE YES ON MEASURE 39

If a farmer does not want to sell his land to a developer, should a city be allowed to condemn the farm and transfer the land to the developer?

State and local governments across the country have the power to take private property. Most of the time, condemnation is used responsibly, and only when absolutely necessary.

But some state and local governments are using condemnation for other purposes, like taking farms, homes, and businesses away from their current owners and transferring the land to other private citizens for new development.

The Oregon Family Farm Association PAC believes that property owners should not have to worry that their home, farm, or family owned business will be taken from them by their state or local officials and transferred to another private citizen.

But under current Oregon law, overaggressive public officials can do just that. That's why we need Measure 39.

Measure 39 places limits on government's ability to take a home, farm, or small business, while still allowing the use of condemnation for true public uses.

These limits are reasonable and necessary. Our economy is built on private property. If a farm can be taken from one family by force for no other reason than to sell it to another family, we all suffer, and our rights and freedoms are threatened.

Please join us in voting yes on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

THE OREGON BUSINESS NETWORK URGES "YES" ON MEASURE 39

In the last decade, aggressive state and local governments have begun using their condemnation power to take homes, farms and small businesses from one private citizen to give to another private citizen, who promises to make a "new" and "improved" use of the property, like a shopping center or apartment complex.

Forcing a family to leave their home or give up their business because a developer promises the city that he will make a "better" use of the property is shameful, and hurts us all. Objecting to a recent court decision, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Connor, said it best: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more."

Small businesses are the heart and soul of Oregon communities. Small business owners are community leaders, volunteer coaches, mentors, and church leaders. In the last decade, small businesses throughout America have increasingly been targeted by state and local officials for "redevelopment." Using their power of condemnation, public officials have taken thriving neighborhood businesses from business owners who did not want to sell, knocked down buildings, and sold the property to another private company who promises to make a "better" use of the land.

That is why the Oregon Business Network supports Measure 39. No one's home or business should be taken by government and sold to the highest bidder.

Vote yes on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 39

The Oregon State Grange asks you to vote yes on Measure 39.

As a predominantly rural based organization, grange members are deeply concerned with private property ownership, and the importance it has in our country.

Which is why it was hard for us to believe that the United States Supreme Court would authorize a city to condemn an entire neighborhood of well kept homes for the purpose of selling that property to a developer for commercial development.

Yet that is exactly what happened in June, 2005 when the Supreme Court decided Kelo v. City of New London.

Whether its your home, business, or farm, a person should not be stripped of their land by an aggressive land use planner or state agency, because the planner has decided that another private company will do something else with the land that provides more taxes to the government. That's just wrong.

Measure 39 will help safeguard private citizens, and will protect private property ownership, one of our sacred rights.

Vote yes on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON'S HOMEBUILDERS SUPPORT MEASURE 39

The Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) asks that you support Ballot Measure 39, a measure that helps protects the rights of homeowners across Oregon.

OHBA is Oregon's trade association for the building industry. OHBA members construct the homes that Oregonians live in, the homes where families are raised and memories are made.

We understand how important private property is in a free society and to OHBA as well. America was built on the foundation of private property ownership. Laws that weaken private property ownership weaken our economy, threaten our nation's heritage, and harm our industry. Allowing government to condemn a family's home to give to another private citizen is just such a law.

No homeowner should have to worry that their home will be taken from them by a government official who decides that another private citizen can make a better use of that property.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly common throughout the country for governments to use their power of eminent domain to condemn land from one citizen and turn it over to another. Builders groups across the country have joined with civil rights groups and homeowners to oppose this type of condemnation, but the battle continues.

That's why Measure 39 is important. Measure 39 adds additional protections for homeowners, by imposing additional restrictions on government's ability to condemn one families home and transfer it to another private company or person.

At the same time, Measure 39 does not interfere with government's ability to condemn property for true public uses, like roads, parks, schools, and libraries.

It is not often that OHBA takes a formal position on a ballot measure, but Measure 39 is truly important for all private citizens and businesses. Please vote yes on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON AGRICULTURE SUPPORTS MEASURE 39

John Guynup, President, Oregon Sheep Growers Association asks for your support for Measure 39.

Like most Americans, we were shocked when the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Kelo v. City of New London in June, 2005, authorizing state and local governments to take someone's home, business, or farm for the sole purpose of handing it to a developer.

We thought the Constitution protected a homeowner's right to not be forced to sell their land to another private citizen. We were wrong.

Fortunately, state legislatures across the country have been working hard to protect homeowners and small businesses from condemnation abuse. In the last year, 27 state legislatures have passed laws making it harder for government to take land from one citizen to give to another.

With Measure 39, Oregon will join those states.

Measure 39 places important safeguards and reasonable restraints on the use of condemnation to take private property from one citizen to give to another private citizen.

These safeguards protect every private property owner, from the husband and wife with a single family home in Portland to the rancher with 10,000 acres in Harney County.

It is simply wrong for government to use its exclusive power to take private property from one citizen to give to another. When government condemns private property, it should only do so when it needs the property for a true public use, like a school, road, police station, or library.

Please join us in voting "yes" on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Please join Oregon's farmers and ranchers and Vote YES on Ballot Measure 39. Measure 39 will make sure the government only uses its power to take private property for public purposes. Private property should not be taken by government simply to hand it to other private parties.

Measure 39 is on the ballot in response to the US Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London. In Kelo, the Court expanded the government's power to take private property even in instances when the beneficiary is another private party. This unprecedented attack on private property rights should concern all of us.

Agriculture is a vital industry in Oregon. In addition to providing $4 billion in direct economic activity, agriculture also provides green spaces for our citizens to enjoy and habitat for wildlife. For agriculture to survive, a land base is necessary to grow crops and raise animals. This land is often valued at lower prices than land in urban areas. Because of its relatively cheap cost, it is an easy target for government takings. Transferring agricultural lands to other uses often increases the value of the land, thus increasing the tax base for government. It is one thing for this transfer to occur on the open market. It is an entirely different matter for government to take agricultural land for the benefit of other private parties simply because it might increase the value of its tax roll. The Kelo decision allows government to do this and it must be corrected.

Upholding private property rights against undue government interference is critical to maintaining the very fabric of our society. As Justice O'Connor wrote in her dissenting opinion about the scope of the majority ruling, "[n]othing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory." The Oregon Farm Bureau Federation urges you to Vote YES on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

SMALL BUSINESSES SUPPORT MEASURE 39

The Oregon chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) asks you to please vote yes on Measure 39.

Small businesses are the heart and soul of Oregon communities. Small business owners are community leaders, volunteer coaches, mentors, and church leaders. NFIB/Oregon is dedicated to protecting the interests of small businesses throughout the state.

In the last decade, small businesses throughout America have increasingly been targeted by state and local officials for "redevelopment." Using their power of condemnation, public officials have taken thriving neighborhood businesses from business owners who did not want to sell, knocked down buildings, and sold the property to another private company who promises to make a "better" or "higher" use of the land.

Although the existing business owner gets a check from the government, the business is gone, along with the hard work and sweat that has been poured into the operation.

Creating a small business is difficult enough. No business owner should have to worry that their hard work, hopes, and dreams will be eliminated overnight by an overly aggressive city council and a wrecking ball.

That's why small businesses across the United States have joined in fighting condemnation abuse, and why NFIB/Oregon supports Measure 39.

While government should be able to condemn land for public uses like schools, parks, police stations, and roads, they should never be able to take a person's home or business for the purpose of giving it to another property owner.

Property rights are important to all Americans. Measure 39 helps protect your rights. Please vote yes on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)


Argument in Favor

THE OREGON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® SUPPORTS MEASURE 39

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® asks you to please vote YES on Measure 39.

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® is the trade association for Oregon's REALTORS®, real estate professionals who help Oregonians achieve the American Dream of homeownership.

We believe that homeownership is the cornerstone of our society. Homeownership helps families build equity and creates financial security. Homeownership leads to a sense of community and a pride in ownership. Communities with high rates of homeownership have less crime, children who do better in school, and adults who are more likely to participate in civic and charitable organizations.

That is why Measure 39 is so important.

Measure 39 protects homeownership. Measure 39 prevents the government from taking away a person's home merely because the government wants to give it to a private developer. Believe it or not, this happens all too often in communities across the United States. If Measure 39 does not pass, it could happen in Oregon too.

Measure 39 will not interfere with the government's ability to condemn property for true public uses such as schools, parks, roads and libraries. Measure 39 only stops the government from condemning property in order to give it to another private party.

The American Dream of homeownership unites people of all backgrounds and political persuasions. It unites us as Oregonians and as Americans. REALTORS® help make this dream a reality. That is why the Oregon Association of REALTORS® strongly supports Measure 39.

Please vote YES on Measure 39.

(This information furnished by Jeremy Starr, President, Oregon Association of REALTORS.)


Argument in Favor

WHAT JUDGES ACROSS THE COUNTRY SAY ABOUT USING CONDEMNATION TO TAKE LAND FROM ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN TO GIVE TO ANOTHER

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more." Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, objecting to the Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

"The consequences of today's decision are not difficult to predict, and promise to be harmful. So-called 'urban renewal' programs provide some compensation for the properties they take, but no compensation is possible for the subjective value of these lands to the individuals displaced and the indignity inflicted from uprooting them from their homes." Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, dissenting in Kelo.

(This information furnished by David Hunnicutt, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee.)

 

 

Elections Division, Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722