In 2005, in the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. New London, local governments were granted expanded powers to use eminent domain.  Towns were now able to justify eminent domain for economic growth and not just “public use.”  Considering the significance of this ruling, it became imperative that municipalities established guidelines to prevent political influence from becoming a determining factor when weighing whether to use eminent domain. 

Establishing a Redevelopment Pay-to-Play Policy

Step 1: Learn. Watch our brief "Citizen Legislator" class.

Step 2: Research. By filing an OPRA request, or calling your town clerk, find out if your municipality has already adopted a pay-to-play policy for professional service contracts, bidded contracts, or redevelopment agreements. If the answer is yes, request copies of each policy or agreements.  While you have your clerk on the phone, find out if your town has areas in town designated as "in need of redevelopment."

Step 3: Prepare.  Prepare for your Presentation by downloading our Redevelopment Pay-to-Play Reform Presentation kit, which includes a Sample Presentation Statement for the Council Meeting, and an advisory Policy Memo. We also offer a Citizen Legislator Presentation Guide.

Step 4: Tell your friends on Facebook that you will be making a presentation and recruit your friends and neighbors to join you at the council meeting.

Step 5: The Big Day! Download the Model Ordinance (see below) and Make an Official Presentation to your local governing. body.

Step 6: The most important step: Follow up! And if you continue to hit roadblocks? Request a coach from The Citizens Campaign to help you out.

Helpful Links

Redevelopment Process Flow Chart


Help spread the word: