"A History Lesson"
- Book review by Jigs Gardner
Progress and Property Rights: From the Greeks to Magna Carta
to the Constitution, Walter F. Todd (American Institute for
Economic Research 2009, 98 pp.)
The plain, cogent style of this account of the development
in practice of the idea of property rights in the West make this
"the book to read."
"A Wake-Up Call
Organizing for Success" Proceedings of the Fifth
Annual New York Conference on
Private Property Rights
Publications Order Form
"Zoning and Building Codes New Crimes, New Power"
Positions on Property, Vol. 3, No. 2 (PRFA, May 1996)
U.S. House of Representatives
The Leadership Institute
Media Training Workshops
Effective Television Techniques Workshops
Steven P.J. Wood Building
1101 N. Highland Street
Arlington, VA 22201-2854
John Poreba, Media Training Coordinator
Additional Helpful Organizations
to our Friends and Other Resources
short descriptions, and web site links, where available)
- "The Special Interest State:
Causes and Cures," By James V. DeLong, Author &
Journalist, Washington, D.C., Address to the Sixteenth Annual
National Conference on Private Property Rights, Latham, N.Y.,
October 20, 2012 (Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.)
Under the broad theme "renewing the American republic,"
Jim DeLong explained that government has let itself be captured,
piecemeal, by a host of special interests, not only the crony
capitalists, but by ideological interests such as the environmentalists.
His pervasive wry humor imbued his address with a sense of the
totality of the corruption of the vision of the Founders.
"We spend a trillion dollars on welfare now and a
lot more on middle class entitlements of various sorts but we
don't spend it because of any philosophy of government,
we spend it because of political pressures."
A penetrating contrast is inescapable as the speech develops
from the motives of the framers of the Constitution to a fascinating
analysis of government in today's society, followed by
a return to a discussion of the moral basis of government.
- "The Color Green: Sheriffs Challenge U.S.
Forest Service Road Closings in Northern California," by
Charles W. Frank, Journalist, Musician, Builder and Landscaper,
Forks, Washington. Address to the Sixteenth Annual National Conference
on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Latham, N. Y. October 20, 2012
(Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.)
Northern California sheriffs are now set on stopping the federal
government because of its limited land use policies and Forest
Service road closures. Because the West is highly forested, roads
need to remain open and maintained, not only for public use and
recreation, but also for greater access to fight forest fires,
which are getting out of control. The sheriffs of northern California
are coming to agreement, also, that the underbrush in forested
lands needs to be cut away and the thinning of trees needs to
be accomplished to prevent massive forest fires which continue
to plague the West.
#2011- - Board of Supervisors of Apache County, Arizona, Dec.
Declaring the exclusive authority of Apache County, Arizona over
certain roads, rights-of-way and routes of travel within the
boundaries of apache county and located on certain lands also
managed by the United States Forest Service or Bureau of Land
- # 2011-14 - Board of Supervisors of Apache County, Arizona,
October 18, 2011
Declaring an emergency in apache County, Arizona due to the Wallow
fire, degraded forest conditions, imminent threat from catastrophic
fires and extreme drought
Zoning" - By John S. Marwell, Esq., Shamberg Marwell
Davis & Hollis, Mt. Kisco, New York, Twelfth Annual National
Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October
The moratorium is the ultimate no-growth zoning tool, during
which a town can institute new planning and zoning requirements,
even after an applicant has filed for a permit. Ever-increasing
impositions include no use of land said to be wetland, wetland
setbacks, steep slopes, viewsheds, even exposed rock outcroppings.
Now, "environmental subtractions" can
remove these from density computations. Organizing and education
to expose the junk science behind new rules is essential. The
Vested Rights Bill in the New York State Legislature would protect
property owners who have submitted applications from a moratorium
and new rules.
- "The Secret to Organizing"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation
of America, Inc. (Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.,
Position Brief, August 2008)
After citizens begin to express their anger about an issue
such as eminent domain for private development, often elected
officials will jump at the occasion to impress the public at
a public meeting. The citizen should view this as an opportunity
to bring the elected official on board and keep up the heat until
victory is won.
Your Thoughts" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights
Foundation of America® Position Brief, May 2008)
When people are beset with difficulties, they often refuse
to set down exactly what is happening to them so that they can
logically convey the situation to a potential source of help.
The defense of private property rights has a much greater chance
when people apply themselves to understanding and conveying their
situation. Six rules for clear communication are illustrated
in this discussion of local siting of a wind farm and electric
Your Story" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights
Foundation of America Research Form, February 2008)
Have you been snared by local officials after you made an
application for a site plan, subdivision, or building permit?
Did they add new regulations that weren't in place when
you submitted your application? Please tell your story on this
form, which will help illustrate the failure of the current land
use and environmental review law, and may help change the law.
- "Plan to Win"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Property Rights Foundation of America®
Position Brief, April 2008)
You are faced with a challenging situation. In order to defend
private property rights, you must plan to win. Victory can only
come with a multi-front approach. First, describe your goal.
Next, objectively list all tactics that your could employ to
reach that goal. Finally select the tactics that appear feasible,
make a tentative plan, and go to work.
Proposed World Heritage Sites in the U.S. - Ten Steps to Success"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, August 2007
By systematically opposing the 36 new applications for UNESCO
World Heritage Sites in the U.S., citizens can prevent the exploitation
of UNESCO influence to impose preservationist land use control
on surrounding areas. Ten steps that can bring success to local
efforts are outlined.
the Playing Field" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, June
"The property owner should form a relationship with his
or her representative. The most effective citizen is the one
who has worked long and hard to participate in government, and
is well known to the elected representative."
and Trembling"- By Carol W. LaGrasse ("Worth Commenting,"
Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse,
Vol. 10, No. 1, PRFA, Winter 2006)
Most property owners faced with the threatening experience
of dealing with DEC wetlands bureaucrats and APA officials are
so terrified that that they will not ask their elected representatives
for assistance. Anyway, representatives can not be counted on
to help property owners facing unjust environmental permit conditions
and enforcement, but, instead, are good at getting grants for
Your RepresentativeHow To Be Heard" - By Carol
W. LaGrasse (PRFA Position Brief, March 2006)
The most effective way to influence your representative is
to visit the official at the capitol or the district office,
either as an informed individual citizen, as part of a group
visit, or as a participant in a rally or lobbying day.
- "Write for
Property Rights Act Now, After Kelo, A Time of
Outrage and Opportunity" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA,
The State Senate hearing at the Capitol left the impression
that delaying action on eminent domain could be used to diffuse
the outrage over the Kelo v. New London ruling. A revised
definition of blight might lull citizens into false security.
But Senator DeFrancisco has a bill to restore constitutional
limits to eminent domain and he and Assemblyman Brodsky have
proposed that condemnation by authorities be approved by elected
of Engagement"-By Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property
Rights Foundation of America. Speech to the Ninth Annual National
Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y.,
October 22, 2005)
"First of all, fight to win. Set your goals. Speak your
issue clearly to be heard by the government and by those who
can follow you," begins Carol LaGrasse's short,
to-the-point summary of the basic, essential rules for grassroots
success in defending private property rights at every level.
Property Rights Ombudsman Legislation" - By Craig M.
Call, Utah State Property Rights Ombudsman Speech to the Ninth
Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA,
Albany, N.Y., October 22, 2005)
The Utah Property Rights Ombudsman has successfully acted
as a neutral third party to make sure that people have straight
answers to the questions that they face in land use and eminent
domain situations involving state and local government. "I
try to make the law work better for individuals who call me,"
said Mr. Call. U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch has proposed legislation
for a federal property rights ombudsman within the Department
of Transportation. (Note: The Ombudsman has been proposed as
eminent domain legislation in the New York State Assembky and
Senate - 2006)
Holds Successful Ninth Annual National Property Rights Conference"
- PRFA, October 2005
This report describes national leaders and local activists
addressing a rapt audience of individuals gathered October 22,
2005 at the Turf Holiday Inn, Albany, N.Y., about the theme "Rules
of Engagement for Defending Our Private Property Rights."
Bill Moshofsky, Oregonians in Action, gave the Keynote on
Oregon's Measure 37 referendum. Four of the prominent
speakers exclusively addressed how citizens can battle the Supreme
Court's destructive Kelo v. New London eminent
Successfully Against the Sacandaga Reservoir Regulating District"-By
Guy Poulin, Speech to the Ninth Annual National Conference
on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 22,
Guy Poulin, a resident of Northville in Saratoga County, rallied
the shoreline owners on the Great Sacandaga Lake when the Hudson
River Black River Regulating District Commission obscurely announced
that the access permit fees would go sky high. His researched
the law controlling the fees, exposed the new scheme, which was
illegal, and aroused the property owners to action.
- "Rise Up -
A Call to Regain Private Property Rights After Kelo v. New
London" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, (PRFA, July 2005)
Each of us should take on the task of counteracting the U.S.
Supreme Court's Susette Kelo v. City of New London
decision. We must use our influence on local government and the
state legislature to prohibit eminent domain to take property
from one private owner to transfer it to another private person
for the purpose of economic development.
Have Agendas" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA November
Government grants put never-ending streams of money toward
preservationist objectives that diminish private property rights.
Prime examples are National Heritage Areas, regional planning,
trails, and government land acquisition.
- "The Freedom
of Information Request" (With Sample Letter) - By Carol
W. LaGrasse (PRFA Background Brief, December 2004)
Knowledge is the first key to success in defending private
property rights. Although based on New York and federal freedom
of information law, this article has important information applicable
anywhere in the United States.
Property Rights and How to Win in This Country" - By
Richard Miniter, Founder and President, Brussels Institute, Brussels,
Belgium; Speech to the Eighth Annual Conference on Private
Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 23, 2004)
Property rights are already lost in Europe, but in the United
States only a few battles have been lost. It is time to win.
Modeled after successful movements, Richard Miniter's
ten steps to win start with recruiting a legislative champion.
Property Rights Ombudsman A National Model" -
By Craig M. Call, Property Rights Ombudsman, State of Utah, Salt
Lake City, Utah; Speech to the Eighth Annual Conference on
Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 23, 2004)
The first property rights ombudsman in the world is a powerful
negotiator for small property ownersmainly homeowners
facing eminent domain, land use takings and land
use ordinances imposed by state and local government.
United to Defend Private Property Rights" By Mark Nix,
Executive Director, South Carolina Landowners Association, Columbia,
South Carolina; Speech to the Eighth Annual Conference on
Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 23, 2004)
This speech includes good advice for all property rights groups,
including: Form alliances with homeowners associations, churches,
and other groups to defend property rights. Frame the issues
to be understood. Warn people that government is "taking
away your property's value," instead of about
"zoning." Get the news out to your members
at least once a month.
Action-Changing the Way We Govern Ourselves" - By Don
Parmeter, Northern Resources Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota;
Speech to the Seventh Annual Conference on Private Property
Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 18, 2003) Watershed
planning, or basin-wide planning, mean regional land use control
of the entire country. Citizens must organize, bring in diverse
populations, strategize, figure out how to fix it, play offense,
and not give up.
Proposed Rondout Creek Canalway Trail-Defending Property Owners"
- By Joseph Havranek, Rondout Landowners Alliance, Seventh Annual
New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, October
A classic of successful activism. FOIL Requests revealed that
the true intent of the local project in Rosendale and Marbletown
was a 108-mile trail linking the Hudson and Delaware Rivers.
The Rondout Landowners Alliance got the information to the people
and went on the offensive.
- "A Property Rights
Primer How to Educate Yourself" By Susan Allen,
Keene Valley, N.Y. (PRFA, December 10, 2002)
Don't rely on others. If you have been hit with a property
rights issue, "you need to become very knowledgeable
in a very great hurry." This primer by an expert
tells you how to gather information about government programs
and land ownership without any prior background.
Edge Litigation for the Future" - Madeline Sheila Galvin,
Galvin and Morgan, Delmar, N.Y., Speech, Sixth Annual New York
Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, November 16, 2002)
Property owners must stand up again and again to bureaucrats
in the court room. Gather documents from bureaucrats by doing
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests long before going
Zoning was Defeated in Wetmore Township" - Featuring
recollections by Andy Rakiecki (Reprinted from New York Property
Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2002)
Local citizens defending the rural lifestyle in a Pennsylvania
town in the area of the Allegheny National Forest used a townwide
referendum to get their anti-zoning message across, 399-47.
Maggie and Andy Rakiecki
- A Wake-Up
CallOrganizing for Success, Proceedings of the
Fifth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights,
edited by Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America,
National leaders and experts reveal essentials about reaching
your representative, exposing government to the light of day,
effective media work, web outreach, cable television, the successful
newsletter, keeping a group together, building coalitions, and
fund-raisingall in the context of defending freedom.
Land Designations" - Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, October
Using National Park Service proposal as an example, outlines
essential strategies applicable to all national land designations,
including Demanding to Know Bounds, Publicity, Washington Trips,
Letters to the Editor, Letters to Congress, Notices to Property
Owners, The Rally, and more.
Against Excessive Zoning" - Thomas A. Miller,
Founding Member, Allegany Citizens Rights Committee, Allegany,
N.Y., from Proceedings of the Third Annual New York Conference
on Private Property Rights (1998)