‘East New York is not for sale’: Community Land Trust movement sees hope in Racial Justice Commission


The city’s Racial Justice Commission held its final public input meeting for Brooklynites at the Brooklyn Museum Monday night, but the affair quickly became a lesson in organizing strength as speaker after speaker called on the commission to propose banning the controversial tax lien sale, and to prioritize community land trusts in the city’s dispensation of public land.

As the commission — empaneled earlier this year to identify areas of city law perpetuating structural racism and recommend charter revisions to correct them — inches closer to proposing final charter amendments for the November 2022 ballot, members of the East New York Community Land Trust (ENY CLT) one-by-one approached the commissioners and gave versions of the same speech, calling the transfer of vacant public land to private developers and the sale of distressed property tax debt to investors a prominent example of institutional racism being baked into the city’s laws.