Bill Moshofsky, President of the Legal Center at Oregonians in Action, traveled from the West Coast to give the Closing Address at the first annual conference of the Property Rights Foundation of America in 1995. Oregonians in Action had just won the famous Dolan v. Tigard ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that zoning agencies could not impose restrictions on property owners unless the restrictions have a relation to the impact of a proposed project and are in some proportion to that impact. This decision has guided the imposition of land use exactions throughout the country. This year Bill Moshofsky returned to PRFA's annual conference to deliver the Keynote Address to describe Oregonian's remarkable accomplishment last November. Bill Moshofsky was the guiding light in the Oregon Measure 37 Referendum to guarantee regulatory takings compensation to every Oregon property owner facing diminishment of property value because of state or local land use restrictions. After new legal hurdles are surmounted, this brilliantly written measure promises to bring to Oregon the justice that property owners dream of everywhere in this country.
Each year we recognize a New Yorker who has done some unique thing in the area of private property rights, someone who has sacrificed and exerted great leadership and made a great difference. Anyone who knows what Gretna Longware of Elizabethtown has done in order to defend the cultural heritage of the Adirondacks would agree that this award must be given to her. She has put aside grave difficulties of personal health to work for the good of other Adirondack people, organizing petitions, letters, official local government resolutions, and endorsements in the State Legislature to save the eighty-year-old Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower. The locally beloved fire tower has become a symbol around which Adirondack people are rallying to preserve their cultural heritage from the State's campaign of attrition. When you defend our culture and our heritage, you defend our ability to keep our land.
Michael Cristofaro has heroically defended his family's home in New London, Connecticut, from eminent domain for private development. This is not the first time this has happened to the Cristofaro family. The City pretended that the location where their previous home was condemned would be put to use to build a levee. Years later, when their second home was condemned, his family refused to accept the City's decree. Michael Cristofaro's opposition was quoted a multitude of times in the papers and over the air. After the Cristofaros and their neighbors lost in the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Kelo v. New London decision, the media quoted him saying that he will not leave his property until they tear his stone-cold hand off the wall of his house. His resolve forced him to disregard his naturally quiet demeanor and make speeches wherever he could. In addition, he is running for the New London City Council, to stop the injustice of eminent domain for private development.