From our friends at the F.B. Community Land Trust:
As a member of Grounded Solutions Network, the F.B. Community Land Trust (FBCLT) traveled to Pittsburgh this past week to participate in their annual Intersections conference. FBCLT board member India Walton presented on Wednesday afternoon of the conference in a session entitled “Getting to Scale: Strategies for Making Lasting Affordability the New Norm.” She told the history of the Fruit Belt neighborhood and how the collaboration between community-based organizations and resident leaders have produced innovative policy solutions like the moratorium on the sale of City-owned lots and a burgeoning community controlled economy. Her best practice for attendees was simple: Small is all. Neighborhoods are at scale.
Finally, earlier this morning, on the last day of the conference, the FBCLT was invited, as one of 4 finalists, to participate in the fourth annual IGNITE! Community Pitch Fest. The finalists from across the country, representing diverse cities and neighborhoods, gave three-minute presentations on transformative policies, wins, and game changers. Founding board member Annette Lott represented the FBCLT during the Pitch Fest, telling the story of her family and their connection to the Fruit Belt and the importance of organizing against speculation and displacement in the name of community.
When the votes were counted, it was the FBCLT who received the most votes and the coveted “Voters Choice” award!
The board of directors received a standing ovation for their efforts and an emotional Dennice Barr gave an acceptance speech that undergirds the truth for many low-income residents and communities of color, saying, “For us, this is life. Our city government didn’t have a plan for us, meaning they had a plan for us not to be in our community, but we are still here. You don’t know how much this recognition means to us. Thank you.”
To mark this moment and to celebrate the transfer of the first 4 City-owned lots into the community’s control, which took place this past Tuesday, donate to show the FBCLT you’re standing in solidarity with them and their vision for: 100% community control, development without displacement, and preserve the spirit of unity that exists in their neighborhood!