SIGN THE PETITION and STOP THE ABUSE!!!

To sign the petition, just scroll all the way down to “Leave a Reply,” fill in the required information and click “Submit Comment.”  Thank you so much for your support.

We, the undersigned, object to the use of eminent domain in the Columbia University Expansion Plan.
First, Manhattanville is not a blighted community and Eminent Domain is not needed to stimulate economic development or to eliminate blight.
Second, The Columbia Plan has been developer driven and developed principally to benefit Columbia. The taking of private property and transfering it to Columbia, a private institution, is unconstitutional and illegal because it does not constitute a “public use” and is without a dominant public purpose.
Third, since Columbia now owns over 80% of the property in the affected area and will have control over 96% of the area, Eminent Domain is not necessary or appropriate to attain any legitimate public purpose in Manhattanville.
By signing our name below, we, individually and collectively, say NO to the use of Eminent Domain in the Columbia Expansion Plan in West Harlem/Manhattanville.

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263 Responses to “SIGN THE PETITION and STOP THE ABUSE!!!”

  1. Sara Wald Says:

    Sara Wald

  2. Pamela Sprayregen Says:

    This is not a legal use of Eminent Domain and not it’s intended purpose. Let’s stand together and fight for ourselves, the community, and the future. Let’s Stop Eminent Domain Abuse!

  3. Diane Russell Says:

    Let us make a supreme effort to stop this steam rolling over our City by Columbia. The true meaning of the word “develop” is now “demolish”. Why are the words “renovation” and “restoration” too difficult to embrace? They are in the OED and are very legal in this case.
    Emibent Domain? No. Leveling the bits left does not benefit the community, only a private behemouth called Columbia University.

  4. Diane Russell Says:

    Why are the words “renovation” and “restoration” too difficult to embrace? They are in the OED and are very legal in this case.
    Emibent Domain? No. Leveling the bits left does not benefit the community, only a private behemouth called Columbia University.

  5. Diane Russell Says:

    Emibent Domain? No. Leveling the bits left does not benefit the community, only a private behemouth called Columbia University.

  6. Deborah Katz Says:

    Eminent Domain. It’s bullying. It’s bad. It’s depowering and not worthy of Columbia. Stop it.

  7. erik nelson Says:

    eminent domain is the manifest destiny of the digital age, and as we all know, america grew to its present size largely by the outright theft of land from native americans. shame on you, columbia. with your rich endowments and valuable manhattan acreage, i would think you could afford to compensate someone for their land.

  8. Chanie Kaminker Says:

    Stop the abuse! Let the little people GO! (or stay)

  9. Susan Moody Says:

    Work hard and then have your family owned business “tucked away” from you… is wrong!

    America the strong?

  10. ann Laurence Says:

    Please consider alternate plans before seizing
    Nick’s property.

  11. Kerry Says:

    Keep on keepin on. Best of luck. Kerry Hudson

  12. jouxuojxsiklxiwa Says:

    georges siklawi-lebanon

  13. Jula Brae Says:

    This is un-American. It is bullying. If a person owns land, then unless for some reason (like national security or environmental hazard) it is a distortion of eminent doman to purloin it. It is certainly an abuse of the law to just grab it because it’s convenient. Columbia should be ashamed of itself. This institute of Higher Learning has something to learn.

  14. Renzo Lake Says:

    The abuse of the law regarding eminent domain is absolutely disgusting. This is America, not communist Russia! Isn’t one of our basic tenets that people have privacy rights? Which includes privately owning property! This is appalling, and I certainly hope you win. This isn’t eminent domain, it’s outright theft.

  15. Michelle Duvall Says:

    When do we really get to hold on to what is ours? Bigger doesn’t mean better….especially when you are pushing out and down on those smaller than yourself!

  16. Janet Donovan Says:

    I join you in condemnation of the practice Eminent Domain.

  17. Grace Andreacchi Says:

    Surely one has the right to expect better from an institution supposedly devoted to the life of the mind.

  18. Jeanne Roberts Says:

    Eminent Domain is the method by which developers, with the government’s blessing and collaboration, pay citizens very little for a lot, and then turn around and charge other citizens a lot for very little.

  19. Eddie Gehman Kohan Says:

    Absolutely unconscionable! Truly hope real justice is served, and that you win!

  20. patrick civiello Says:

    blight??…indeed.
    Fight on!

  21. Candace Bodnar Says:

    This is a clear case of the abuse of eminent domain. Please do not force this family owned business out – stop and consider the precedent that you ae setting.

  22. Cat Says:

    Columbia certainly has the funds to purchase land if it is needed – Stop Eminent Domain Abuse! Catherine Van Alstine – Aitken

  23. lee shafer Says:

    best of luck!

  24. Karen Swim Says:

    I learned of your plight from the 6S Newsletter and wanted to add my support. Standing with you in solidarity against corporate tyranny.

    Karen

  25. Nathalie Boisard-Beudin Says:

    This take over seems SO wrong.

  26. greta Says:

    My husband I were the victim of this when the county took a nice chunk of our back yard so they could widen a highway. We lost many, many trees and with them, our privacy. We’ve spent far more than we got as compensation trying to improve the back of our lot again, but it will be decades before things are like they were.

  27. Josep Grant Says:

    I vehemently oppose this unethical use of eminent domain. Shame on Columbia!

  28. Joseph Grant Says:

    I vehemently oppose this unethical use of eminent domain. Shame on Columbia University!

  29. Julie Says:

    Tell them to back off!! Hope this support helps! Compliments of a 6S’er.

  30. /gradster(1)/ Says:

    Was linked from the Six Sentences newsletter.

    Not fair, I say! Not morally right! Not cool, man!

    I “sign”.

    Fight the power,
    /gradster(1)/

  31. June Postal Says:

    Confiscated land without value to the public, but with value to a developer, is THEFT. Sounds like some elected officials need to be voted out of a job!

  32. James Says:

    This is an unconscionable abuse of Eminent Domain by the Columbia university Expansion Plan. I find it absolutely disgusting. Fight hard and let me know if there is anyway I can help.

  33. Daniel Phelps Says:

    I support all those opposed to this disgraceful action.

  34. Tim Horvath Says:

    All institutions in this day and age need to pay attention to their impact on the community around them, geographical and otherwise. This expansion, particularly the Biohazard Lab projects, sounds risky and sounds like it will drive a further wedge between the university and the community.

  35. Naomi Says:

    I am shocked by this. They are obviously lacking strong ethics and strong leadership at Columbia University.

  36. Randeep Says:

    BOOOO on Columbia from another 6S’er and a law student to boot.

  37. Nikki Says:

    I oppose the taking of land by Columbia!
    Nikki Spencer

  38. Bryan Brodie Says:

    Universities throughout the United States abuse the eminent domain process. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, which has the greatest concentration of Victorian-era homes in the US.

    Hundreds of these homes were bulldozed by Virginia Commonwealth University to expand facilities. Just recently, a carriage house dating from before the Civil War was demolished to make way for… tennis courts.

    Eminent domain is abused by those hoping to take property from rightful owners in violation of the fifth amendment which states:

    “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

  39. Ivy Dillinger Says:

    I am strictly opposed to what appears to be a clear abuse of the law, and a case of intellectual bullying. I support Mr. Sprayregen 100%

  40. Don Boyd Says:

    Eminent Domain has been abused in my area so I assume we have a problem where you are. I think it should be reviewed by arbitrators who will not charge a fortune to do so.

  41. Jaclyn Says:

    Eminent Domain… yet another way the government has forgotten that its supposed to be working for the people and not against them…

    Shame on you Columbia!

  42. Jason Jordan Says:

    Signed. Good luck.

  43. Kevin Michaels Says:

    The abuse of the law to steal land is not only wrong, but patently immoral. No matter how Columbia spins this, it is outright theft.

  44. Teresa Tumminello Brader Says:

    Teresa Tumminello Brader

  45. janel Says:

    Keep fighting for what you beleive in!!!!

  46. Maggie Says:

    Maggie W.

  47. Jeanette Cheezum Says:

    It has all been said. I might add very well.

  48. erika kwee Says:

    erika kwee

  49. Patricia M. Martin Says:

    Columbia University is not royalty and it is not God. It is an institution run by mere mortals. As “mere mortals,” they have no right to take another mortal’s property without his consent. Taking property without the owner’s consent is called robbery. Even when the robber offers “just compensation,” if the victim does not want to sell his property, no amount of money is “just.”

    Nick Sprayregen’s property is the source of his income and is a continuation of his family’s history. He does not want to give it up. He is a courageous man and is fighting to keep what is his. If Columbia continues to press its unjustifiable case, it looks to me like a case of a power-hungry bully (think Goliath) attempting to crush one small dissenter (think David). I sincerely hope that Mr. Sprayregen will find an effective “stone” in his arsenal, and fell the giant.

  50. Jaynee Sprayregen Says:

    What Columbia is doing is so wrong! They are a private institution that is using Eminent Domain. This is unconstitutional!

  51. Adam J. Whitlatch Says:

    The law is supposed to protect people from injustices like this. Spread the word, everyone!

  52. Jean M. Hendrickson Says:

    What in the world are you thinking, Columbia?

  53. AmandaBabb Says:

    Good luck!
    ~Amanda Babb

  54. Lauren Stein Says:

    Good luck!

  55. Elizabeth Etheridge Says:

    Best wishes with your appeal

  56. Carol Cherry Says:

    Thumbs down to Columbia.

  57. Yosif and Tovli Says:

    This is another example of government abusing the property rights of its citizens. It is a blatant example of our citizens having not only their property stolen, but their livlihood and quality of life curtailed by government making collective decisions for an individual in the name of the abstract: “the greater good” for community is reason to steal and take away our rights. Our communities are at risk, our indiviudal rights are in danger of being usurped and our individual and collective pursuit of happiness and quality of life has been lessened. Shame on Columbia University. Shame on our government. Shame on us if we don’t stand up to this attempt to make stealing from an individual a legal practice.

    Yosif and Tovli Simiryan

  58. Kali MacTavish Says:

    I think this it a mighty and much needed cause! Many kudos go out to everyone who signs this petition and those who actually do something to stop the insanity. Kali ~

  59. Erik Yates Says:

    Hang in there!

  60. LeftBower (Jack C) Says:

    The castle. Good luck mate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Castle_(film)

  61. Kathleen Gabriel Says:

    This is just nuts. They see something they want, and they take it? My mom taught me before I reached kindergarten that nice people simply don’t do things like that. We have to stand up to bullies, whether they’re in the sandbox or the courtroom.

  62. Elle CRUSTYBEEF Says:

    You need your land for your business to survive..let them find some land elsewhere!!!!

    Columbia University leave his land alone–stop trying to prevent him from earning a living, after all isn’t that what you teach?

    Unreal

  63. Judy Says:

    Fight on.

  64. Suzanne Says:

    Stop the abuse!

  65. Curtis Says:

    Shame on Columbia University! I hope they lose face And their case.

  66. matt Says:

    boo to columbia!

  67. san Says:

    good luck!

  68. Angela Says:

    It’s Gym Crow all over again, the land grabbing tyrants! Can the guy have
    his own piece of the world, Columbia?

  69. sharon morcilio Says:

    “Expose as unconstitutional what Columbia and the state are attempting to do.” my question is why would “the goverment” say stealing/with payment
    was bad? they have made such a use of it for so long. Some here in California have lost the fight because Goverment has always forgot ‘we the people’ we are the ones who foot the bills they make without asking us.I truly don’t want you and family to lose what has taken 30 yrs. for your family to build with heartaches, pride, profit thats called the American Way. !!!! Stealing even by goverment with their own words IS STILL STEALING!!!

  70. Tina Burns Says:

    I’ve been the victim of eminent domain…and I say FIGHT IT ALL THE WAY!

  71. Rae Trigg Says:

    I hope you’re able to keep your land.

    — Rachel Trigg

  72. austere Says:

    America isn’t a banana republic. Or wasn’t, the last I checked.

    HOW can someone STEAL land like this?

    Columbia U, wake up.

  73. Valerie Malmquist Says:

    I live on the border of 76,000 acres condemmed by Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1960’s to build The Tock’s Island Dam. The project involved NY, NJ and PA. After taking the most prime properties along the Delaware River, bulldozing all homes, uprooting families, doing away with all business, some that had been there for generations, the dam was never built. So, after all that, all the heartache, all the grief caused so many families, all 76,000 acres have since been turned over to National Park Service. This is the result of government being able to exercise their right of eminent domain. A few people managed to hold on to their properties. Its costly and you need a good eminent domain attorney. I’d involve the media and expose the issue to public opinion. Rally the troops! It brings to mind the little ole lady that fought off big developers in Atlantic City… stand your ground and continue to raise support for yourself. If she can do it, you can do it! There is a book published called the “Damming the Delaware” authored by Richard Albert you may choose to read. All the best. I don’t envy you and your fight. You are going to need tenacity… all the best.

  74. Christen Buckler Says:

    Christen A. Buckler

    !!

  75. Robert Lee Frazier Says:

    Best wishes with your appeal!

  76. Crorey Says:

    Let’s save eminent domain for actions for which it is appropriate – public utilities, civil works, transportation, etc.

  77. Margaret Early Says:

    do the right thing ya big dummies!

  78. Liane Emory Thomas Says:

    In 1941, my dad’s family’s prime farmland was seized by the US government to develop the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, in Washington. If I remember correctly, they had 72 hours to find a new home, move all of their belongings–including dairy cattle and all the equipment that accompanied them. I won’t go into details. History paints a picture of “bewildered farmers” turning over the deeds to their ancestral homes, and “quietly” moving elsewhere. According to my father, it went down a little differently…

  79. Oceana Says:

    Too right! Fight it mate!
    They’ve got no right!

    Oceana

  80. Rev. Jim Burnett Sr. Says:

    This sure sounds like a flagrant misuse of eminent domain. My respect for Columbia University is now badly tarnished! I wish I had the financial where with all to help you take this to the Supreme Court ….
    My thoughts and prayers are with you in this righteous battle.

  81. Richard M. Johnson Says:

    If Columbia University is privately owned, then this use of Eminent Domain is an unlawful sham and not the use it was created for. The City of West Harlem/Manhattanville should be ashamed of themselves, and should withdraw their claim(s) immediately. It is unfair, and unjust to treat the citizen who own this property with such dishonesty.

  82. Sarah Hilary Says:

    Sarah Hilary

  83. Lumi Michelle Rolley Says:

    It’s immoral in our society to take private property for private projects. Plus the approval process for the Columbia land grab was rigged from the start.

    Lumi Michelle Rolley
    Brooklyn, NY

    http://www.nolandgrab.org

  84. Sean Kennedy Says:

    This is an absolute disgrace and should be stopped immediately!! I’m with you all the way!

  85. juliobesq Says:

    Given that Columbia University is a private institution, they have no right to claim your land in this way

  86. Richard Barnes Says:

    Richard Barnes

  87. Kristen Says:

    Emenant Domain is no longer applicable. Policies like this must be stopped. Sanity must return. And common sense should be taught in school.

    Keep up the fight!
    K

  88. lucy koteen Says:

    It is Bloomberg who has used eminent domain as a pro-development policy to serve big corporations and Columbia. The homeowners, the renters, the local businesses don’t matter in Bloomberg’s New York. They are inconveniences to push aside so Bloomberg can move on with his agenda. Our taxes subsidize this take-over and corporations profit.
    Stop the Abuse!

  89. themomof7 Says:

    I am heartsick over this. There is no justification for such an act. Expand UPward if you must Columbia and leave the “little man” alone! Shame on you for your greed and land lust!

    Thanks Rob from 6S for bringing this injustice to our attention.

    Just remember, bullies run scared when some one stands up to them and tells them to stop. I now stand with you.

    June S.

  90. Christina Walsh Says:

    The Institute for Justice stands behind you, Nick. Keep up the good fight against this unconscionable abuse of power.

    Christina Walsh
    Director of Community Organization
    Institute for Justice

  91. Chris Grodecki Says:

    Chris Grodecki
    Staff Writer
    Institute for Justice

  92. CastleWatch Daily - Official Blog of the Castle Coalition » Support the fight against Columbia’s abuse of eminent domain Says:

    […] Sign the petition. […]

  93. I Once Again Ask Everyone - « My Land is Mine Says:

    […] read the comments: scroll down a bit to “SIGN THE PETITION AND STOP THE ABUSE“. At its end, you will find a “comments” link to click on.  And at the end of […]

  94. Laine Range Says:

    That is outright theft. I wish you good luck on your case.

  95. Erica Woodward Says:

    Stop eminent domain abuse now!

  96. Steven Anderson Says:

    Keep up the fight, Nick!

  97. Everyone’s Comments « My Land is Mine Says:

    […] of so many of you who signed the petition. I encourage everyone to not only visit this site and sign the petition, but to take a few extra minutes to read some of the truly extroadinary thoughts that many have […]

  98. Barbara Cohen Says:

    I am with you and against eminent domain. Good luck!!!

  99. Joy Romanski Says:

    Where are the elected officials who allegedly represent us? Lining up with their hands out! They convince themselves that they’re helping the community by begging for crumbs in the form of promises of “affordable housing”, but really they’re justifying looking the other way while people’s homes are stolen. It’s disgraceful.

  100. Malcolm Armstrong Says:

    Eminent domain of this sort is government sanctioned theft. Good luck in your fight!

  101. Mia Chung Says:

    This is a ridiculous abuse of power. Do your best — we’re rooting for you.

  102. Jon Crow Says:

    Saddest of all is that the students of Columbia have been so silent on this issue. What happened to the social consciousness that has defined them for decades?

  103. Kevin Powell Says:

    I do not support the Columbia University expansion plan. We cannot continue to tolerate the misguided and inhuman use of eminent domain in New York City.

  104. Raul Rothblatt Says:

    Eminent domain abuse is Bloomberg’s tool of choice all around the city. It’s not just West Harlem, it’s also East Harlem, Prospect Heights (Atlantic Yards proposal), Downtown Brooklyn (destruction of the Duffield Abolitionist homes for the sake of a parking lot and micro-park), Willets Point, et cetera.

  105. Abbyw Says:

    Prior to 2003, a large section of Prospect Height in Brooklyn was a thriving mixed use community — before it was conveniently designated as blighted for Bruce Ratner’s benefit. Now, whole blocks are being bulldozed and destroyed, turning streets once filled with workers and low-income residents (and million dollar condos) into an urban wasteland of real blight — empty lots, rats and garbage — all for a corrupt billionaire’s pipe dream (Atlantic Yards), which now may never be built. The use and abuse of eminent domain must cease and desist – now.

  106. Andy Soell Says:

    Stay strong!

  107. Paul Wilson Says:

    Paul Wilson

  108. Steven Hart Says:

    Eminent domain has been used by developers in NYC as a proto-fascist tool to circumvent due process and to establish the hegemony of capital over public interests. The entire concept of eminent domain is to provide those lands and properties that are essential to PUBLIC needs, not commercial ones, and that serve the greater good through their use by public sources. These in turn are held accountable by the ELECTORATE, not by share holders or political partisans who stand to gain in a quid pro quo. Enough is enough. Let us restore law and order now and stop this use of development as a club for a tiny minority of wealthy investors.

  109. Chi Sherman Says:

    Complete BS. Good luck!!

  110. cathy Says:

    This is the democratic form of big brother. It is ridiculous, insane and total abuse of power!

  111. Paul Sheridan Says:

    Columbia University Incorporated must be stopped!

  112. Yanis Bibelnieks Says:

    Eminent domain has become the last refuge of scoundrels and thieves. The founding fathers intended it to be used for truly public benefit, not as a payback for political contributors and friends of government officials.

    Shame on this so-called “institution of higher learning” and shame on the politicians such as Bloomberg, who have aided and abetted the abuse of eminent domain all over the city.

    Yanis Bibelnieks
    Brooklyn, NY

  113. Jennifer Chase Says:

    Abhorrent. Truly.

  114. Emily Rapoza Says:

    Emily Rapoza

  115. Fredrica Sprayregen Says:

    Columbia University is using the power of Eminent Domain to seize Private Property for Private Use. This is patently Unconstitutional ! The Law reads that ED can only be applied to Private Property when that property will be used for Public Use (ie; utilities, highways etc) . CU is a Private educational institution, which pays No Taxes. So, in essence, the State, City and Federal Governments are forfeiting Tax revenue by condemning business’ that have paid their taxes…. and therefore are removing monies that have been plowed back into the community.

  116. Libby Sumner Says:

    This is ridiculous!

  117. Robert Scotellaro Says:

    I fully support you in your struggle. Sadly, it’s another example of the little guy being pushed around.

  118. Leon Jackson Davenport Says:

    Eminent Domain is to be used only on projects that benefit the community, it should not used to destroy one. Those that use it to line their pockets should be ashamed. I hope you win.

  119. Chris Acosta Says:

    The facts are straightforward. They start buying out properties against owners will. They then leave the properties untouched, violations mounting and all then conduct a blight study. Of course they are going to find the area blighted. I have been working in this neighborhood most of my working life and this neighborhood has undergone a multitude of changes for the better in the past several years. The Area where Columbia is looking to expand into has everything from high end restaurants to night clubs, a gourmet supermarket, a renovated 125th street station subway station, and newly renovated housing. It also encompasses several industries that have provided services to everyday New Yorkers including Columbia alumni and staff like fuel stations, self storage warehouses, automotive repair shops, and restaurants. Now can someone please explain how this is blight? It is obvious that there is political and financial manipulation going on here at all levels.

    Then to add insult to injury, Mr. Sprayregen requests to be heard by the schools leaders but they cowardly refuse to meet. Why? Columbia one of the better law schools around. So my message to Columbia is: You teach the books – SO FOLLOW THEM. BE THE EXAMPLE OF HOW TO PROPERLY EXPAND AND INTEGRATE INTO THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT ABUSING THE LAW.

    Chris Acosta
    Tuck It Away Employee for over 13 years

  120. Audrey Doyle Says:

    No to eminent domain abuse!

  121. Melissa Galit Says:

    I hope I was able to help by signing this petition.

  122. Paul Worthen Says:

    Of course it’s abuse, and the skids have been greased by NYS more than anywhere in the nation. Sadly, while the Columbia student uprising decades ago was about an identical attempted expansion so Columbia could build a tech lab for the Department of Defense, the current generation seems to care less. Wait 40 years and try again. Hope you beat them, again.

    It’s also unfortunately ironic that you’re using lobbyist Richard Lipsky who is simultaneously working FOR the cause of eminent domain abuse for Boss Ratner’s Atlantic Yards boondoggle! Watch your back, there.

  123. Joseph Lupoli Says:

    The area that Columbia University wishes to expand (steal) is NOT registered as blighted. That alone makes the attempt theft illegal.

    It’s amazing how some crooked lobbyists mixed with a little mob grease can force people from their homes to finance illegal rackets, especially in the New York City area.

    Can anyone say: “Political Manipulation”?

  124. Howard Epstein Says:

    Columbia- This is totally unconstitutional!!!!Please stay away from my neighborhood in NJ- I would like to keep my home for another few years!!!!!

  125. Damon Bae Says:

    STOP EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE!!!

  126. H Hanna Says:

    There is nothing worse than a Government that can be bought and sold to the highest bidder. Columbia University had bought most of the politicians that support this kind of abuse. Anyone that supports Columbia’s use of Eminent Domain is supporting the creation of a TAX TYRANT government.

    they are claiming this area is blighted?

    What’s blighted is the souls and hearts of Mr. Lee Bollinger (CU president)and those who support him in quest for “all or nothing” strategy.

    I just received the blight study on Mr. Bollinger and found the following:
    – 60% vacancy from any decency.
    – 100% of Moral bankruptcy.
    – Sever amount of violations in ethic codes.
    – Sever cracks were noticed in all areas of his soul.
    – A tremendous amount of trash coming out from the balcony of his top floor.
    – Deteriorating conditions are very visible in all newly uncovered areas of how he treats his neighbors.
    – Bio Hazard Chemicals are found on the floor housing his brain.
    – An infestation of government future green dollars can be felt all over CU pockets.

    I’m afraid that nothing can cure this blight with the exception of a complete replacement of Mr. Lee Bollinger. thus we must ask the people to use Eminent Domain to take over the office of presidency at CU and replace it with a new and cleaner administration.

    did I hear someone say we can’t do that because it’s a PRIVATE UNIVERSITY? oh really?

  127. Jeffrey Price Says:

    don’t give up nick! Let’s win this thing

  128. Elizabeth Jossick Says:

    Elizabeth Jossick

  129. A. Hinojosa Says:

    My stand on this matter is really simple. 1) Eminent Domain is only to be used by the Govt to seize properties for public use 2) CU is a privately owned corporation 3) Mr. Sprayregen’s land is privately owned.

    Simple logic, Eminent Domain can’t and should not be used in this particular matter. As other supporter pointed out, it is against the laws our own govt created. If should be Mr. Sprayregen’s choice to sell or not to sell. Again, one would think that this matter is a no brainer, but obviously it is not.

  130. Fadi Zarka Says:

    America without a doubt is the greatest country in the world.The land of the free and the home of the brave. One could be anything that wanted to be. I guess Columbia University disagree with all what America stands for, and it wanted to take over a private company (tuckitaway) using Eminent Domain. I thought that the government is the one that could use Eminent Domain, but I guess I was wrong. Columbia University, yes you better believe it one of the best Universities in the country and it is trying to break the law and abuse it using all its power. I am hoping that Nick sprayregen whom been fighting the monster for over 4 years will prove that America is still the greatest country and the land of the oppurtunity. Nick- good luck with your fight.

  131. Elizabeth Kopchak Says:

    This is awful and totally inexcusable! I hope you win in this and I hope signing this helps your cause.

  132. Jessica Donahue Says:

    I saw a documentary on another case of Columbia’s previous use of eminent domain uptown — it was shocking, appalling to see the lengths they would go to do battle over property they clearly did not need.

    Clearly this is unconstitutional. After witnessing the long and hard fight by local community residents & businesses in Brooklyn over the Atlantic Yards projects, my guess is developers and private corporations are now much more emboldened to crush those in their path.

  133. Jackie Says:

    Stop the abuse!!!

  134. Council Member Tony Avella Says:

    The misuse of eminent domain to benefit the real estate industry or politically connected institutions must be stopped. This abuse is one of the reasons I am running for Mayor in next year’s election. The revolution starts now!

  135. Ray Adell Says:

    I have watched in disbelief as the application of the Eminent Domain law has been applied in one egregious case after another. As a citizen who accepts routine injustices as matter of course for living in a complex society and swallow hard as I read about them, I have long held the belief that “Eminent Domain” is beyond the pale and carried the potential for being one of the gravest threats to our democratic way of life by allowing the powerful and influential to potentially run roughshod over the rest of us less formidably positioned. How any thinking person can believe this hideous law to be anything but unconstitutional is beyond me. Seizing private property for Private use is more than a small step toward Fascism

  136. Esther Euripidou Says:

    Hoping to help the cause My Land is Mine.

  137. puca Says:

    Suffering from eminent domain here in Brooklyn with Bruce Ratner and his AY project.
    stop the abuse of eminent domain Go Nick!!

  138. Isaiah Matos Says:

    I object to the use of eminent domain by government for the benifit of private institutions. It is unconstitutional and unAmerican. No citizen should be forced of his land for any reason whatsoever.

    I am the Libertarian candidate for congress in the 14th district, you have my unwavering support on this matter. I will have my web people link this petition to my site, http://www.isaiahmatos4congress.com and if you need me or my party for organized protest please make use of my offer. We also circulate a newspaper throughout the city, Serf City, we would welcome publishing a written article in our printed version on this matter. The web blog info is http://serfcity.wordpress.com/.

    I wish you the best in this struggle against government tyranny.

    In Liberty,
    Isaiah Matos

  139. Bayou Bennett Says:

    I want to help to save our land. Good luck!

  140. HOFER Yamina Says:

    This type of behaviour from the government is not acceptable.

  141. kvalgenti Says:

    Eminent domain most certainly should not be used to benefit private or government institutions!

  142. Adrian Villarreal Says:

    Adrian A. Villarreal
    San Dimas, CA 91773

  143. Burnley Duke Dame Says:

    The concept of “Eminent Domain” was supposed to be for “the public good.” Columbia University is a hallowed institution but its development plans are hollow. We are fighting in Brooklyn, too, against Forest City Ratner. Good luck to us all!

  144. Adib Hanna Says:

    I’m supporting my uncle.

  145. Adib Hanna Says:

    OK lets save it

  146. Mitch Flick Says:

    The land is your land. Keep up the fight.

  147. Eric McClure Says:

    It’s well past time to reform New York State’s eminent domain laws.

    Eric McClure
    Brooklyn, NY

  148. Rachel Weissman Says:

    Good Luck

  149. Margo Trunley Says:

    This is a misuse of “Eminent Domain” for the benefit of a private institution.
    Keep fighting the fight. I wish you all the best.

    Margo Trunley

  150. Cynthia Manan Says:

    After educating myself with the issue, there is no doubt that the govt is abusing its power with regards to Mr. Sprayregen. It is hard to comprehend how this injustice was even allowed to come as far as it has.

  151. Marilenys Hinojosa Says:

    More than luck, I wish that the side of true justice will ultimately endure and you’ll be able to keep your land.

  152. Alexia Smith Says:

    This kind of abuse has to stop! We the small people have got to step in and make a difference. Columbia University should no have that much power! Its all about greed in this country!

  153. sam hourani Says:

    enough abuse…don’t give up the fight

  154. Nicole Macotsis Says:

    Government should represent citizen’s needs and interests, especially those who do not have the resources of huge corporate and private interest groups. NYC’s social and civic life and neighborhoods flourish with neighbors, civic associations and small/medium businesses investing and living in them. They should have city/state support to continue making neighborhoods prosper, and not “developing” them in the interests of larger corporations.

  155. Big Ev Says:

    I did not know that “Eminent Domain” was still legal. This seems just like a money making scam to me. Keep fighting against this “get rich quick scheme”

  156. Kenn Ehrlich Says:

    May this travel to the Supreme Court if necessary to protect our individual rights!

  157. Cynthia Doty Says:

    Eminent Domaine should only be used for genuine public good. A private university campus does not constitute public good.

  158. Carolyn Birden Says:

    Thank you, Nick, for all you are doing for the rest of us: the abuse of power by those allowing eminent domain to be used this way is abominable, and has to go:. Our elected politicians have to be replaced with those who represent someone other than their corporate donors. As the man who should know said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” When corporate interests outweigh the public good, we are on our way to the end of democracy. Thanks to you, we are not quite there yet.

  159. cmccarceo Says:

    To seize without good reason is criminal! Hang in there!

  160. David Sessa Says:

    The spirit of eminent domain should create a “win/win” for everyone. It shouldn’t be used to take a well conceived property use supporting a thriving business for special interests.

  161. Douglas Mohrmann Says:

    the issue is pretty straight forward, the property is privately held and used primarily for working business. There is no rational for the sezure of the property by the state, to be given over to a private delevoper. it is being developed and worked as is.

    columbia or any other prospective buyer needs to operate in the market economy for purchase or lease of real estate.

  162. Joey Hood Says:

    Joey Hood

  163. Curtis Kuhl Says:

    Using eminent domain is wrong no matter where you implement it. Ivy League university my ass. Nothing more than yet another greedy corporation with Asses at the top.

  164. Lindsay Schubiner Says:

    Eminent domain shouldn’t be used for Columbia’s private profit!

  165. Risa Fisher Says:

    Stop Eminent Domain Abuse!

  166. Tammy Says:

    Stop Eminent Domain Abuse !!!

  167. Dave Powell Says:

    Stop Eminent Domain Abuse!!!

  168. Irene Hsi Says:

    This is wrong. Columbia is abusing its power and privilege and should not be allowed to invoke eminent domain.

  169. Agnes Johnson Says:

    These town hall meetings and “open public hearings” are only for a show. The deals are made in the dark of the public. And the politicians follow orders. And to have Perkins at the forefront is even more of a complete “comedy”.
    What do we see? We see things like this:
    “The city and the Yankees secretly crafted a letter Rep. Charles Rangel used to lobby the IRS for tax changes that would save the team $66 million, the Daily News has learned.” So who is working for the community?
    Black selected officials and gatekeepers are keeping a lid on Harlem while The Record Shack was washed away. Jackson, Dickens, Rangel and Perkins . Do you really think the best speech or the best chant will stem the tide that is rolling over NYC? You must be ready to lay down when the bulldozers come in.
    FIGHT ON! And pay them back at the polls. Stop them from changing the term limits but let them know now that their days are up.

  170. Domingo José Moronta Says:

    My 25 years [born & bred] in my neighborhood isn’t for sale. This is the fight of my life.

    Eminent Domain needs to be booted! Columbia needs to be booted!

  171. Robert Rubenstein Says:

    It is inappropriate and an abuse of Constitutional authority for the Government to “take” a private individual’s land for the sole benefit of another private entity without a true public use or benefit. To justify such a taking there would have to be a true and equitable fair market evaluation and compensation that considers the long term value of the real estate as well as interim revenue generated thereby. Unfortunately the Government all to often fails to make the appropriate and due compensation available. Until they’re prepared to do so, these takings should not be tolerated.

  172. Sara Farley Says:

    Keep up the fight!

  173. Joe Labbe Says:

    This abuse cannot be tolerated.

  174. Seth Bader Says:

    Don’t give up the fight

  175. M. Natasha Reid Says:

    My family moved to Harlem in May of 1986. I have seen the ups and downs of Harlem. When we moved here, my parents were told that banks did not lend to homeowners in Harlem. We did not receive the same quality of service that other communities received, i. e. adequate garbage pick up, poor mail service and no police support. We were even told that were were not really Manhattan residents even though we share the same island.

    Now everyone enjoys what Harlem has to offer (the beautiful architecture, rich, diverse culture, great food and entertainment) and wants to know why did “they” destroy it. People constantly ask why do “they” treat their neighborhoods this way. When the City refuses to treat all of it’s citizens fairly and equally, people rebel. Harlem was bought back to it’s splendor by “they,” the people that have lived here through the good and bad times. Utilizing community outreach and development programs initiated by community activist that refused to let the heritage of Harlem fade away, like so many other culturally rich communities in New York, making Harlem one of the crown jewels of New York City, again.

    But Columbia University never wanted to consider itself apart of the Harlem community. Now it wants to rape the community of its communal spaces, housing and businesses to expand its private institution that most residents in the area cannot afford to attend and are not even offered an opportunity to do so. And what does Columbia offer in return – NOTHING. The small trinkets the University believes it is giving the community is long over due and should have been done years ago. The residents do not want something for nothing, WE WANT TO BE TREATED WITH THE SAME RESPECT AND DIGINITY AS ANY OTHER COMMUNITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

    The Board at Columbia needs to go back to the early childhood education classes they teach to learn how to share with those that have and not take what does not belong to you. New York is a melting pot. Either get in it or get out the kitchen.

  176. Danielle Savory Says:

    Eminent domain shouldn’t be used for Columbia’s private profit!

  177. Neil Platt Says:

    It took years and generations of hard work to build businesses, create jobs, create communities, and to have Columbia swoop down and take it all away is reprehensible.

  178. Pearl Barkley Says:

    Power to the People,
    We must stand strong against all repressive acts which threaten our rights as citizens. We must take to the streets and send a message that is loud and clear, NO MORE! The greedy capitalist are leading our society into more ruin. To Hell with Columbia and anyone else who threatens the well-being and quality of life of the Harlem Community. Eminent domain must be taken out of the Constitution because it violates the full rights to property and is thus contradictory to the American ethics of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  179. Rebecca Moore Says:

    I’m all for higher education – but not for a University being a greedy capitalist trying to take over Harlem. This should NOT fall under eminent domain!

    Boo Columbia!

  180. Mariellen Brown Says:

    Come on, Columbia! Don’t use eminent domain for private profit. Do what’s right.

  181. Stephanie Rugoff Says:

    No eminent domain forcing out people and their small businesses for a private institution, no forcing out of our neighbors.

  182. Sharon M. Bowie Says:

    They are out of control. We are doing the right thing by speaking out and taking action against this Power Broker move.

  183. Deborah Economico Says:

    Eminent Domain? You mean legalized robbery! Don’t give up the fight.

  184. Emily Samuels Says:

    Keep fighting!

  185. Deb Magocsi Says:

    Deb Magocsi

  186. Arlene Cohan Says:

    Columbia University is a Private institutuion and should not have the right to take privately owned property. It is very wrong!

  187. Pamela Ford Says:

    Keep fighting.

  188. Frank Chang Says:

    No to Eminent Domain. I’m with you Nick.

  189. Ben Totushek Says:

    As a student of Columbia, I have to say I am not proud of my University’s action’s. I and many other students are doing all we can to direct the university’s attention to the serious ethical errors that Columbia is making in pursuing a dog-eat-dog worldview on this expansion. Very unsettling moment in our school’s history.

  190. Chris Halliburton Says:

    This is an abuse of a law created to help the public not a private institution. Vote no against the use of eminent domain. Any person, non-profit, community group or corporation that owns real property should see this as a threat to the very principals under which we have been led to operate.

  191. Ann-Marie Nieves Says:

    Vote no against the use of Eminent Domain.

  192. Karen Dohr Says:

    Stop Columbia and expansion abuse. They have no right to private property!

  193. David Horton Says:

    Eminent domain is simply government sanctioned theft. Let’s hope you find an elected official willing to serve the interests of the constituents they serve, rather than the businesses that contribute to the size of their wallets.

  194. Catherine Says:

    I am horrified, but not surprised, by this situation. I am also angry. What a disgusting message Columbia University is sending! They have NO RIGHT TO YOUR PROPERTY.

    Good luck to you, I want you to win.

    Catherine Stapleton

  195. Joe Sabrin Says:

    The Sabrin family came to America in August 1949 and settled in NYC and we can honestly say that Columbia does not have the right to take what they want from the hard working Sprayregen family.

    Regards, Joe Sabrin

    212-736-9544×7500
    http://www.ehire.com

  196. Jessica Sobel Says:

    I am against Columbia’s expansion! It is unfair.

  197. leonard fishman Says:

    good luck!

  198. ronald martin Says:

    At least once in a generation we are reminded, in such conspicuous fashion, that WE MUST continue to resist these bullying encroachments of our basic property ownership rights. This is a watershed case. We are all compelled to stand behind Nick in his efforts to make a difference for all of us, especially those less profiled and seemingly without a representative voice.

  199. Ramon Diaz Says:

    Forty nine years ago in Cuba, a small group of individuals determined that it served “the greater good” to take property, business, money and homes from people who had worked all their lives to accomplish what they earned. This was how and why my family came to this country.
    No private institution has the right to use the government to meet their ends at the peril of the citizens, regardless of who they are and what they represent they will do for the “community”
    Eminent Domain IS WRONG.

  200. Steve Chance Says:

    This is a real issue in Colorado. United we stand!

  201. Brad Bernstein Says:

    Columbia University is a private univeristy and has no standing to use Eminent Domain to take another’s property. As a born and raised New Yorker, I am particularly offended by both the actions of Columbia and New York, as this just smells of dirty politics and abuse of power. My grandfather, who a political figure in New York for years, and thereafter a Federal Judge, would be absolutely disgusted with this injustice. In my view, maybe this teaching institution should be attending courses in Ethics!

  202. Robert F. Rodriguez Says:

    Columbia is entitled to build on land they own – I don’t disputeh that. But they have no right to take what is not there just to make a pretty campus. This is New York – they can work aroundwhat they have.

  203. vikki price Says:

    Believe in yourself and fight for the right!! Booo Columbia!!!

  204. Patricia Manuelli Says:

    Keep up the fight! good luck.

  205. Ellen Isaacs,MD Says:

    Rather than being a force for “greater good”, Columbia is an institution run by bankers and CEO”S (most of the board of trustees) that trains students to become the elite of our capitalist society. In particular this new campus will focus on biodefense research and neuroscience. Columbia has a horrendous recent record in behavioral health, from promoting psychiatric drugs in young children to racist experiments on minority foster children for AIDS drugs and seeking to explain social violence by looking for abnormalities in the brains of black boys under 10 years. More of this we do not need.

  206. Joan S. Levine Says:

    The use of eminent domain in Manhattanville is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Columbia is a private institution that plans to use the area for private purposes. I was horrified that even at the Empire State Development Corporation’s hearing, none of their members showed up. What an affront to the community!

  207. Larry Morwick Says:

    How appropriate that a University sharing the name of a self-serving, land-grabbing, elitist would display similar institutional characteristics to its namesake. “Hire Education” Pays off!

  208. Julissa Dejesus Says:

    STOP EMINENT DOMAIN!!!

  209. James Janson Jr Says:

    Stop this ludicrous practice now!

  210. Jennifer Clark Says:

    Your land is yours. Don’t give up!

  211. lynnsdecor Says:

    Michelle Hesse

  212. Erik Sebellin-Ross Says:

    I’m against eminent domain. People work long and hard to earn enough to buy land of their own and live their lives — taking the land away, with or without payment, is wrong.

  213. Patrick McSweeney Says:

    How ironic that one of the paragons of journalism – home of the Columbia Journalism Review, which advocates and teaches investigative journalism to right the wrongs of institutions gone awry – has sullied its reputation with such a vile, heavy-handed display of greed. Perhaps if the university practiced the social justice in its surrounding community that it preaches inside its classrooms, we wouldn’t be in this situation.
    How sad. The elite just don’t get it.

  214. Pamela Yager Says:

    I support all of those opposed to the Columbia University Expansion Plan. Most explicitly in conjunction with the apparent abusive powers granted under Eminent Domain.

  215. gladys epstein Says:

    Columbia is stealing your property legally.
    You must stop them!!!
    Good Luck.

  216. Rebecca Blackwell Says:

    I support your efforts!

  217. Jezra Kaye Says:

    Thank you for fighting for all of us!

  218. Cathe Jones Says:

    There is NO reason for the thievery of property when OTHER property EXISTS already. LEAVE A FAMILY ALONE! Leave ALL families alone! Let them live their lives in their own homes- the ones they earned! Retain humanity over greed!

  219. Rosalea Hostetler Says:

    Even though I live in a small town in the heartland of America in south central Kansas, this is too, too close to home. I feell pain. We, too, are experiencing bullying from our small town city council who has taken our historic building to demolish, even the vacant lot next to it, and all of our antiques, hauling trailer and inventory. Proposed use? NONE. Just evil bullying. This is not the first time…I have been enduring this hell for forty years now in Harper County Kansas America. Why? Because I work to save historic building, and try to help save our dying small towns. But bullies operate on greed and corruption, and will do evil to anyone who stands in their way. Stand strong and don’t let Columbia University Expansion destroy your life and health. This week our nonprofit is setting up bugabully.blogspot.com to help fight this horrible sickness destroying good people’s lives, hopes and dreams. We designate Bugabullyday Nov. 21 “Let a bully know that you know”

  220. Dom DeMarco Says:

    Never lose faith & hope. Good luck!

  221. Edie Galley Says:

    Public laws taken advantage of for private benefit……something not new but something that needs to be changed…..America has faced old ideals before that needed to be changed and were….there is hope here.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
    committed citizens can change the world.
    Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    — Margaret Mead

  222. Harry S. Pariser Says:

    This is wrong! It reminds me of UCB’s war to cut down oaks and redwoods to build a stadium.

  223. Dee Halzack Says:

    Our Constitution was designed to promote fairness in our national dealings.

    That a government organization would attribute so much greater worth to one entity over individuals and other entities with less clout goes against that principle. By the reasoning that since that favored entity wishes to expand they should be allowed to, regardless of whatever private property stands in the way, NONE of us are safe. First come, first served has always been thought to be a fair way of dealing with conflict between conflicting demands for attention and resources. Let those who got there before Columbia stay there until and if THEY want to move on.

  224. Virginia Schulman Says:

    I’m a retired lawyer, whose law boards earned me an interview at Columbia, where I (then a young woman) was told that Columbia did not like to admit women because they tended to marry, quit work, and thus not make a lot of money which they would then contribute to Columbia. I was so stunned that I went to another excellent law school without making any fuss about the overt sexism to which I had been exposed. Now I’m a grandmother, and it’s true that I didn’t make a lot of money, but that was because I first worked for O.E.O. Legal Services (aka “poverty law,” where for a modest salary one could assist the poor to get their rights asserted or defended) and later specialized in child abuse and neglect (another form of poverty law, in that the state paid a very low hourly rate and usually only many months after the case had been concluded).

    Columbia is a private university with elite-cost tuition. The idea that Eminent Domain can be sought as a method of increasing its land mass is absolutely chilling. The government is supposed to use its eminent domain only for property that will be put to public use. A private university, admission is partly by economics, partly by merit (scholarships & loans & grants), and partly by parentage (if your parent went, you have a darn good chance of getting in). Land for such a university is not a public use.

    In Massachusetts, a mayor wanted to use eminent domain to take land for a baseball park; he was promptly and properly squelched by a local judge. What will it take for Columbia’s attempted land-grab to be stopped?

  225. Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D. Says:

    This stand on eminent domain by Columbia University is a disgrace to everything higher education stands for. I wonder if the administration is occupying an Ivory Tower so high they’ve lost sight of all common decency and fairness.

    Shame on you, Columbia, stop this nonsense and do the right thing!

  226. Kellen E. Giuda Says:

    Columbia has enough endowment to properly integrate the campus into the community. But they have no concern except to keep up with the other Ivy League schools. If they were serious about providing education they would invest some of those billions into local schools around the area.

  227. Dale Ramsey Says:

    For eminent domain to be used in this way amounts to tyranny — what a sad, barbaric country this has become. Columbia University, you are a bully and a disgrace.

  228. Jayati Vora Says:

    I’d like to add my name to the signatures on the petition.

  229. Ruth Eisenberg Says:

    The use of Eminent Domain to facilitate Columbia’s biotech business park is wrong and the result of government corruption and private greed. Affordable housing, jobs, and the history and environment of a diverse working class neighborhood should not be destroyed so that Columbia can create a company town in which every penny spent flows into their coffers (real estate tax free, by the way, while the City is going broke). NO TO EMINENT DOMAIN IN MANHATTANVILLE.

  230. Jeff Kraus Says:

    This blatant power grab exposes all of Columbia’s carefully crafted lofty statements of greater purpose as lies. Huge corporations try to blunt the righteous anger of citizens crushed by their greed, and we must not let them succeed. This corporation and their political lackeys can be stopped by exposing their lust for our homes and our businesses. Fight on, Nick and Norman!

  231. Jean Standish Says:

    NO to the Columbia expansion. Ever since the Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. New London, opened the door for rampant eminent domain abuse, no property owner is safe from the predations of private developers. In fact New York is considered one of the worst abusers of eminent domain in the nation. The Columbia expansion is an abuse of eminent domain and will destroy the community, tearing apart its fabric, despite the reassurances of the brain trust in city government. The worst offenders of unbridled expansion in New York City are institutions of higher learning, who have become relentless developers. For some reason these schools–Columbia University, New York University, Cooper Union–have a sense of entitlement, caring little for the concerns of the community in their drive for expansion. The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment states that government shall not take private property except for “public use” and must then pay “just compensation” for it. Sad to say, governments now routinely take land for projects that can be termed “public use” only by distorting the meaning of words, and, to make matters worse, the owners seldom receive anything close to “just compensation.” For many landowners, eminent domain is merely a fancy term for a legal mugging. Columbia’s expansion is NOT FOR PUBLIC USE and must be stopped.

  232. Beth Gabor Says:

    I am a Columbia alum and I am extremely disappointed by the university’s ongoing attempts to use eminent domain to seize land. The area would be for private use, NOT for the benefit of the community. I live in Harlem, and it isn’t blighted by any definition of the term. If Columbia wants to develop the parts of the area it doesn’t already own, it can deal with working around the tenants who do not wish to leave. Were the university serious about its jingoistic stated aims of improving the community for the people in it, it would not be forcing out the unwilling.

  233. Sarah Fousse Says:

    please add my name to the petition.

  234. Kasey Jones Says:

    Don’t let this injustice continue! Good luck and power to the people!

  235. Laurie Carter Says:

    I would like to add my name to the petition.

  236. Dilys Chiew Says:

    Faith and courage to all involved.

  237. Cheng Tou Says:

    I am firmly against the coercive tactics that Columbia has exercised in pushing out the existing residents and businesses in the Manhattanville area thus far and continue to voice my opposition against Columbia’s actions now and into the future. It is my hope that the area can be preserved and the threat of eminent domain that Columbia has allowed to loom over the area will not be condoned nor allowed to occur by the government and people of NYC.

  238. jessica morgan Says:

    no one should ever lose there home, expecally how things are now

  239. Barbara Hochhauser Says:

    I am opposed to Columbia’s actions with regards to this eminant domain issue.

  240. Regina Middleton Says:

    I am a Harlem resident and employed in Harlem. Since 2004, I have seen Columbia’s move. More and More students are moving throughout Harlem, small affordable community businesses are closing, i.e. clothing, food, jazz clubs, and let us not speak on affordable housing. Columbia is taking the soul out of Harlem and changing Harlem into a SoHo atmosphere, cold and unaffordable. Columbia is removing the history of Harlem. Where writers, actors, professional people and middle class people enjoyed hanging out on a Saturday night and attend Church services on Sunday. Whites ran out of Harlem when blacks moved in. Now whites want to move back in and run blacks, whites, (who stayed) and other ethnic groups out. We lived here when crime was up, and cops were not around. Now cops are back in the neighborhoods only to protect those who have returned. Where were they when drugs and crime ruled these streets. You should be ashame of yourselfs, you are worse then Wall Street crooks, who stole from the middle class for their own personal gain. What has this country come too, only about making money and not caring about the needs of the people. These students come into our neighborhood only temporarily, we live here permanently. Stop Columbia before you destroy the soul of Harlem, the community.

  241. William Teaman Says:

    .

  242. Suzanne Newman Says:

    seems completely wrong to use eminent domain to directly benefit a private institution.

  243. Amilcar Hinojosa Says:

    Keep on the fight!

  244. Andrew Griffith Says:

    This has to stop. Across the US, many governments and businesses are working together to take land from citizens (often at a below market value) and pass that land on to a business… It is wrong for a citizen to be stripped of his or her assets in the name of good for business or good for government… what happened to good for the common citizen that the US Constitution is supposed to stand for and protect? It certainly brings truth to Thomas Jefferson’s statement “Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” Furthermore, he also said “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”– Do you see this in action in our society today?

  245. Spectra Energy Watch Says:

    Stop the abuse of eminent domain!

  246. Max Seppo Says:

    Private Property Rights…

  247. Kris Murray Says:

    Eminent domain abuse is vile and disgusting. Columbia University should be ashamed.

  248. karen Says:

    I found an old WSJ with your article in it. I am so sorry you must spend the time ans $ and endure the stress of fighting for what should be undeniably yours.

    If you can, please let me know th eoutcome of your efforts.

  249. Puca Says:

    Stop the abuse of eminent domain. Go Nick we’re rooting for you here in Brooklyn as we fight ratner!!!

  250. Marco Antonio Santana Says:

    STOP EMINENT DOMAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    its wrong

  251. GE HUGHES Says:

    everybody needs to take an intrest in whats happing. government is out of control.

  252. Craig Johnson Says:

    Eminent Domain is just wrong!!

  253. Joseph Pepper Says:

    While to many this appears to be a local issue, it is not. Private developers are encouraged to use this approach by government when government does not want to do proper development. Corrupt developers get the government to grant them such powers. It is a national issue that cuts to our individual values as Americans. Shame on the academic community for such deception and greed. When we cannot look to them for leadership on basic values we are truly in trouble!!!!

  254. Laura Guerrero Says:

    I work for a company that invokes eminent domain and I do not like what I see.

  255. Lilly Says:

    God bless you Nick in your admirable fight against this “giant”. We support you and wish you the total victory!

  256. Luigi Says:

    I commend you for your heroic endurance against this corrupt machine and wish you total victory. I would only like to know in your petition, you cite the Id(italic) what is it? Where can I have access to it? I am in a debate about this cause and I would like to have cold hard evidence about the close ties of Columbia with developers and the government. Thank you

  257. jack Says:

    Have you looked into The Institute for Justice and The Castle Coaliton?

  258. Laura Says:

    I dont think that Columbia has any rights to force out someone that owns property and has a thriving business established. This is wrong, and it should be illegal to do. I do support this petition all the way. Good luck and I hope that this one is won by a long shot. The state should not be able to take away someones property that they have had for so many years, and has been paying taxes on his land all those years. But Columbia owns all this property, there and does not keep it up, just to try to win their case, is very wrong. It shouldnt be allowed. There should be a law to protect this from happening.

  259. Amilcar Hinojosa Says:

    I am glad that public interest regarding this matter is very much alive! I truly wish Mr. Sprayregen is able to set a precedence in this unjust fight and once and for all Eminent Domain abuse stops.

  260. Alan Says:

    The abuse of the law regarding eminent domain is absolutely disgusting. This is America, not communist Russia! Isn’t one of our basic tenets that people have privacy rights? Which includes privately owning property! This is appalling, and I certainly hope you win. This isn’t eminent domain, it’s outright theft. Columbia University is just a bunch of thieves trying to take what doesn’t belong to them, pure and simple.

  261. Manuel Tejada Says:

    Hi, my name is Manuel Tejada and I am 16 years old. I am part of an organization that you might be familiar with, and that is the Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center. Our center has been active 4 years but our organization has been an ever-growing force in Washington Heights and Harlem since the early 1990s. This organization founded by Dominican immigrants, Pedro Reyes, Luis Tejada, Margarita Reyes, and Dario Abreu have, since their opening been fighting against Columbia’s 197-C plan, and pushing for the 197-A plan aka the Community’s plan. I am Proud to see a local business owner standing ever-so strong against a domineer ever-so powerful.

    I personally support your actions all the way. I am proud to sign this petition, and hope that the criminal actions of New York State, Empire, and CU will be acknowledged by others more powerful then us.

    Against Eminent Domain, Against Displacement, Against the Elitists, and for a Community-based Plan that benefits us and not just President Lee Bollinger’s Million-dollar regime.

    Justice, Equality, and Leadership is key to a Unified Society.

  262. Jennifer Says:

    As a lifelong NYC resident, it is sad how a rich institution such as Col. U ALREADY has enough land in the Lincoln Center Area, don’t forget Baker Field in upper Manhattan-mind you, they have access to the waterfront for their rowboating in the spring and summer mornings but nobody else is able to do anything similar unless folks go under the Bway bridge to fish, usually. Inwood Hill Park is there but there is no boating slip at all available to the public.

    Not to mention, biohazards?! In Upper manhattan? a residential area? If the city allows such an excuse for “eminent domain”, they are just as selfish and evil as Columbia University….to think I had wanted to attend years ago? at least my money went to a recently renowned CUNY college. SUPPORT CUNY AND NYC RESIDENTS, NOT CORPORATIONS, ETC!!!

  263. j. luthey Says:

    I think this is so wrong anywhere in our country. Please tell me how to get a petition started in my state. Also , how do we get this law changed so the government can not take land away from anyone ever again ?

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