In the Trojan Heron post from February 6th, we quoted Byers from another part of her talk where she is clearly expressing her own views. Here is that quote:
Most Community Land Trusts are 501(c)(3)s ... for those of us who believe that this is actually the right way to ... that this is part of a larger Land Reform Movement ... it would be great if we weren't constrained by 501(c)(3)s ... but in terms of replicating this model and actually getting it on the ground, the place where it has had the most traction has been in the affordable housing world and therefore having that 501(c)(3) status has provided a way to work within the existing economy to implement this alternative economy. There are a number of Conservation Land Trusts and Community Land Trusts that work collaboratively. There are a few that I know of in the same organization ... my specific experience has been that, again, it takes relationships and specific projects to coalesce around. - Lisa Byers, June 2012 -- New Economics Institute Conference Q&AAnd here is the video of that quote.
Yes, by all means, educate yourself on Lisa Byers and her beliefs ... by doing your own homework rather than simply listening to what Lisa Lawrence says about her. For the full context regarding Byers and the New Economics Institute, take the time to watch some of the other videos that have been posted too. For example, get a load of the talk about Sharing Wealth in the 21st Century, which is posted on the same webpage as the full Byers video.
Watch them all. Make up your own mind.
From: Lisa Lawrence
Date: February 18, 2013, 1:37:55 PM PST
Subject: Re: Educate yourself on Lisa Byers by watching her speech in this video...
Hi all -
After watching the video that Greg forwarded to us I did a bit of research as it was obvious to me that it was taken out of context. Lisa Byers was simply giving a history of how the land trust model of land ownership was developed - nothing to do with private property rights. It makes me sad when this type of rhetoric or misinformation is sent around as if it had some validity.
Please educate yourselves if you haven't, on home trusts and the like and how they actually help small, rural communities keep people here like teachers, grocery store clerks, farmers, retirees, families, etc. As much we all appreciate and love the idea of owning our own land outright, it is often an unobtainable dream due to financial reasons. Land trusts make homeownership possible for many folks that would never be able to, by taking the price of the land out of the picture or minimal cost. Lisa Byers is well respected across the country for her work in this field, as well as in our county.
I know Lisa Byers and I have the utmost respect for her. In my opinion we are lucky to have such an honest, intelligent, compassionate person willing to serve our community and I am voting her. I hope you all take a minute to read her response below to my questions for her regarding the video and feel free to contact her directly if you have specific questions.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Lisa Byers <email@example.com>
Date: February 17, 2013 9:23:11 PM PST
To: Lisa Lawrence
Subject: video excerpt
I appreciate you asking me about the video excerpt from a talk I gave last year. I was one of three speakers who talked about how a community land trust and a land conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy helped to create the first Community Supported Agriculture farm in the country, Indian Line Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. I spoke about the history of the community land trust model of land ownership.
As you may know, my work for the past 17 years has been to support our economy in San Juan County by providing affordable housing that will continue to serve the community for decades to come. The community land trust model is a pragmatic option for a county like ours where real estate prices are higher than the norm and wages are lower than the norm.
The way it works is that the non-profit community land trust secures grants and donations to buy land and develop infrastructure for housing. The community land trust leases the land to individuals who own their homes. The grants and donations lower the price a household pays for the housing they purchase. In exchange for being able to purchase a home at significantly below market value, the homeowner agrees, through the land lease, that when they choose to sell, they will sell at a price prescribed by a formula in the lease to keep that home affordable for subsequent generations.
I find this model to be a practical blend of progressivism and conservatism, and an example of a successful public-private partnership. Just as with conservation land trusts, public and private funds are invested in a manner that lasts for decades. The non-profit organization stewards that investment by overseeing re-sales at an affordable price. And the individuals who purchase homes under this model have the rights and responsibilities of ownership, which can vest them more fully in the community.
If I am elected to serve on the county council, I plan to spend time working on other ways to help sustain a healthy economy. I will help to foster the continued growth of our agricultural sector by re-aligning state and county statues to be more supportive of small farmers. I plan to help with incubating new businesses, assuring that our zoning provides places for island-friendly commerce, helping OPALCO’s broadband service get established, and reforming or eliminating outdated regulations. I am particularly interested in encouraging young people who grew up here to come back to raise their families.
Thanks again for asking. I hope this places the video in context. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Vote Lisa Byers for County Council
San Juan County District 2