martes, 30 de octubre de 2007

Propuesta de actividad sobre Derecho a la vivienda

El objetivo es la celebración de una serie breve de conferencias en torno a temas asociados al derecho a la vivienda, contando con la participación de representantes de la organización Institute for justice[1], estudiantes de derecho, grupos de defensa legal de intereses públicos tales como Pro Bono Inc. y la Corporación de Servicios Legales más participación ciudadana tal como representantes de comunidades implicadas y líderes comunitarios.
Fechas clave
15 de noviembre de 2007: Conferencia con estudiantes y facultad.
17 de noviembre de 2007: Conferencia comunidades, organizaciones legales y de participación ciudadana.
Temas de debate sobre el derecho a la vivienda: expropiaciones, derechos y reclamos económicos y propuestas constitucionales.

"1. Eminent domain abuse. IJ recently did a study showing that minorities and the economically disadvantaged are most likely to experience eminent domain abuse. We also have a major property rights case in California involving a non-profit boxing club for inner-city youth (primarily Hispanic youth).
2. The financial incentives of eminent domain abuse: highlighting how eminent domain abuse inevitably involves wealth transfers from the poor to the rich, and usually for facilities for the better off such as big box stores and luxury condos.
3. Recent trends in federal and state constitutional and statutory law. Here is an essay I wrote a few weeks ago for Legal Times. Given that federal constitutional property rights are so bad, and Puerto Rico's domestic property rights caselaw is also bad, Puerto Rico would benefit from statutory changes to prevent eminent domain abuse. Following Kelo[2], we at IJ spearheaded what is probably the most comprehensive statutory response in modern history to a hated Supreme Court decision.
4. How cities can encourage modern development without using eminent domain for private economic gain. We have many examples of this.
5. Finally, outside of property rights, IJ also litigates the right to earn an honest living. This is part of substantive due process under the 14th Amendment. There are many economic regulations, particularly licensing laws (licensing occupations like barbers or florists or taxi drivers), that serve no legitimate public purpose. These laws are typically the result of special interests representing an industry lobbying for licensing laws because they exlcude competition and allow the cartel of license holders to charge higher prices. The impact of irrational licensing laws and similar regulations falls hardest on grassroots entrepreneurs with few skills and little education who are trying to get into a simple business. We at IJ are litigating cases to re-establish the right to earn an honest living free from regulations that serve no purpose other than to entrench economic insiders. We don't believe that it is constitutionally legitimate to use the power of government simply to make special interests wealthier by excluding competitors from engaging in honest competition."
- sugerencia inicial de Jeff Rowes de IFJ.

Trasfondo general
El derecho a la vivienda significa que cualquier ciudadano pueda acceder al uso de una vivienda digna de acuerdo con su modo de vida. Desde el punto de vista cualitativo debe ubicarse en un entorno que permita condiciones de vida adecuadas, y acceso a la formación, servicios y oportunidades de empleo, en barrios integrados urbana y socialmente, en un medio sostenible. La política de vivienda no puede, por tanto, entenderse dentro de una política urbanística que implique la exclusión social.
Un tema a debatir es el derecho al alojamiento de las familias y el derecho a la ciudad de los ciudadanos, entendiendo la vivienda como elemento prioritario de la ciudad.
Las necesidades de vivienda se están produciendo en las ciudades, no tanto por crecimiento demográfico como por cambios en el tamaño familiar, de las pautas de comportamiento social y en la demanda de tamaño de vivienda por habitante, que permiten prever una fuerte expansión en el número de viviendas en las próximas décadas. La política de vivienda debe centrarse en la mejora de las comunidades residenciales existentes, evitando la degradación de edificios y viviendas vacías.
Debe favorecerse el debate sobre las características de la previsible demanda de vivienda a medio y largo plazo y analizar la viabilidad de satisfacerla, en la mayor medida posible, mediante la rehabilitación del universo residencial existente y la reurbanización de áreas dando mayor diversidad y optimizando la utilización de la infraestructura existente o facilitando su modernización en caso necesario.

Trasfondo específico.
Un tema de debate es la necesidad de atemperar los movimientos de expropiaciones[3] de espacios para ser destinados a usos que resultan ser de provecho privado mediante el subterfugio del concepto de desarrollo económico. Este debate debe contemplar el rol que corresponde al sector de los representantes legales del interés público en su lucha por detener este fenómeno discriminante.
Es necesario favorecer el debate sobre la vivienda y la sostenibilidad, analizando posibles actuaciones en favor de la mejora del universo residencial existente y no de las nuevas construcciones que producen la exclusión social y un recrudecimiento de la criminalización de la pobreza.

Formulación de objetivos y estrategias. El principal objetivo consiste en producir un serie de charlas y conferencias sobre temas asociados al derecho a la vivienda con una perspectiva de integración social, mantenimiento de recursos naturales y calidad de vida para todos.
Iniciar mediante estas dos actividades propuestas a sacar a relucir temas importantes de discusión y ayudar significativamente a crear un estado de conciencia, capacitación legal y formulación de alternativas de acción y justicia social.
Movilización de recursos. Además de los grupos académicos, comunitarios y legales coordinadores se busca formas de obtener participación individual.


Jeff Rowes serves as a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice. His practice focuses on private property rights, free speech, and economic liberty.
Jeff currently represents the Community Youth Athletic Center, a boxing and mentoring program for at-risk youth in National City, California near San Diego. National City, which declared the gym and hundreds of other properties "blighted," approved a plan to seize the gym and transfer its land to a private developer so he can build luxury condos for the wealthy. He also represents the elderly and working-class families of the beachfront MTOTSA neighborhood in Long Branch, N.J. who are facing condemnation for the same reason.
In his First Amendment practice, Jeff successfully represented Chris Pagan before the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Pagan's First Amendment suit against Glendale, Ohio for banning automobile "for sale" signs from parked cars. Glendale is now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
With respect to economic liberty, Jeff represents Maryland entrepreneurs who want to own funeral homes, a Massachusetts entrepreneur who is trying to open an amphibious vehicle sightseeing company, and a non-denominational summer camp in Pennsylvania trying to secure access to a river for whitewater rafting. Jeff regularly publishes opinion pieces on constitutional law, including a recent essay in Legal Times about the state of property law in America following the U.S. Supreme Court's disastrous 2005 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London.
Jeff graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 2002 where he was extensively involved in law and economics. He also holds a Master's Degree from the University of Chicago in law and philosophy. Before coming to the Institute, Jeff clerked for Judge Will Garwood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Chief Judge Patricia Fawsett of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Clark Neily. He specializes in economic liberty, school choice and the first amendment. He also knows a considerable amount about our property practice. He's written extensively on his specialties, argued constitutional cases before state supreme courts and federal courts of appeal. He's an outstanding speaker. If there's room on the agenda, he's particularly suited to talking about the constitutional right to earn an honest living and the serious problems in Supreme Court doctrine that make it almost impossible to assert that right. This may be of particular interest because restrictions on the right to earn an honest living invariably hit the poor worst. The poor, unsurprisingly, have a harder time complying with irrational licensing requirements that are often designed not to protect the public but to insulate industries from competition. We represent entry-level entrepeneurs all over the country trying to start small businesses but can't because they don't have the time or money to get unnecessary education so they can be "licensed."
Bio available at

(propuesta general del taller estudiantil de derechos civiles de la escuela de derecho de la universidad de puerto rico)

[1] Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As our nation's only libertarian public interest law firm, we pursue cutting-edge litigation in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government--like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech. As Wired magazine said, the Institute for Justice “helps individuals subject to wacky government regulations.”
Simply put, we sue the government when it stands in the way of people trying to earn an honest living, when it unconstitutionally takes away individuals' property, when bureaucrats instead of parents dictate the education of children, and when government stifles speech. We seek a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.

[2] Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

[3] Expropiación-Toma de propiedad privada para empleo público o en el interés público. La expropiación es el acto de un gobierno que toma la propiedad privada; el dominio eminente es el término legal que describe el derecho del gobierno de hacer así. En los Estados Unidos, conceden este derecho, indirectamente, según la Quinta Enmienda a la Constitución, que declara, en parte, que "la propiedad privada [no van a ] ser tomado para el empleo público, sin la justa compensación." Los tribunales han interpretado la limitación de esta cláusula del poder de expropiar como la implicación de la existencia del poder sí mismo.

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