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You can now nominate the ugliest vacant lot in Philadelphia

The contest is part of an effort by civic organizations and faith-based groups to highlight the city's vacant land problem.

In a city where blighted and vacant lots number in the tens of thousands, residents now have a chance to nominate the worst lot as part of a contest.

The Best/Worst Lot Contest is sponsored by a coalition called Take Back Vacant Land, which includes Action United, civic organizations and faith-based groups trying to shed light on the problem. The groups are in favor of proposed legislation in City Council that would create a land bank.

The groups wants the legislation to be re-introduced in the fall with changes to strengthen transparency and accountability and outline who gets land and for what, especially in "hot" neighborhoods.

According to a release, the contest will run now through Aug. 31. Entry is free and residents can participate by submitting up to three photos and describing the best or worst vacant lot in their community. Winners will receive home/yard improvement gift cards and clean-ups for the worst yards.

Here's the full release:

“Take Back Vacant Land” Launches Philadelphia’s Best and Worst Lots Contest

Taking Aim at Blight and Pushing for Community Control

Who: Take Back Vacant Land coalition, made up of more than 40 faith,

labor and community groups

What: Best Lot/Worst Lot contest wants to find the best and worst uses

of vacant land in Philadelphia.

When: Now until August 31st, 2012.

Where: Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia – Wednesday, July 25th –How are our neighbors impacted by

abandonment and blight? What do community residents do when they have

control of vacant land in their neighborhoods? The Best Lot/Worst Lot

contest, sponsored by Take Back Vacant Land (TBVL), asks these

questions of Philadelphia. The contest is open to all and to

participate residents have to photograph and describe either the best

lot or worst lot in their community. Entry is free and winners will

receive home/yard improvement gift cards as well as clean-ups for the

worst lots.

Philadelphia’s vacant land crisis is well documented – at least 40,000

blighted lots and buildings that reduce our collective wealth by $3.6

billion. Take Back Vacant Land has been working since early 2011 for

the creation of a Philadelphia Land Bank that would convert vacant,

abandoned, and tax delinquent properties into productive use. In

February 2012, Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez introduced

legislation to create a Philadelphia Land Bank. More than 40 civic

organizations, churches, unions, and community groups have signed onto

a platform that calls for the bill to be re-introduced and

strengthened to ensure a transparent and accountable Land Bank with a

clear mandate on who gets land and for what – especially in “hot”

neighborhoods.

“Everyone has a story about an abandoned lot in their neighborhood,”

remarked Paul Yabor, a member of ACT UP Philadelphia and a resident of

Oxford Circle. “Our communities could be using this land to produce

food, for small businesses that create jobs, for affordable housing,

and other important needs. To do that, we need a Land Bank we can

trust.”

“I’ve lived in Philadelphia all my life. In every neighborhood, people

have come together and said ‘this lot full of trash should be a garden

or a playground’ and made it happen,” remarked JoAnn Rose, a resident

of Point Breeze and a member of Action United. “People who live,

work and worship in the community are its most important investors.

This contest shines a light on those people and the values that must

guide a Philadelphia Land Bank.”

To enter the contest, submit up to 3 photos, a short description and

contact information to takebackvacantland@gmail.com; drop off or mail

entries to Take Back Vacant Land c/o Liberty Resources, 714 Market

St., Phila PA 19106; or upload to

www.facebook.com/CampaignToTakeBackVacantLand




 
 
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