Land Bank On the Move, Our Testimony

Staff attorney Amy Laura Cahn testified before the City Council Committee on Public Property and Public Works on Monday, December 1, in support of the resolution to adopt the Philadelphia Land Bank’s first year strategic plan.

Commending the process leading up to the plan’s development and the significant public participation involved, Ms. Cahn spoke about how the Land Bank can remain accountable to the public and open to community input.

She agreed with many others who provided testimony that the plan could benefit from adding specific targets to clarify its goals and priorities. Subsequently drawn up plans after the first year should delineate such objectives so that expectations are established for the Land Bank. She also highlighted the need for a permanent Land Bank board, preferably with continuity of leadership from the interim board.

Ms. Cahn said that in order to be successful, the Land Bank must remain committed to the principles that helped create it: inclusiveness, engagement, and empowerment. Thus, the Land Bank should offer opportunities to inform and educate people about its purpose. She also encouraged City Council members to demonstrate leadership by using the Land Bank themselves in a responsible and transparent manner.

At the end of the session, the Committee on Public Property and Public Works unanimously approved the resolution, which means that the proceeding adoption of the Land Bank’s strategic plan will move forward to a full Council vote on December 11th.

Click here to read Ms. Cahn’s full testimony.