My audacious idea is for citizens to make corporate law work for them. Corporations have long wielded power to the detriment of the people. What if individuals used corporate law to organize, make their communities better places to live, and hold for-profit corporations responsible for their detrimental effects on their neighborhoods?
Instead of a McDonald’s next to a vacant or foreclosed property owned by out-of-state investors across from a boarded up bank and an overly active package goods store and open air drug market, envision a park with a community garden and playground across from a community center that provides homework help for kids after school, next to a local business that employs residents with a mural painted by a local artist on its wall. Communities all over Baltimore fight to change their community from the former to the latter.
What does it take for this dream to become a reality?
It takes a well-organized community corporation. The Community Law Center helps groups attain this status, leveraging the resources and strengths within their neighborhood to make this city a better place for families to live. These volunteers work tirelessly to transform their communities, and the Community Law Center is there with them every step of the way: from starting the organization, to challenging vacant property nuisances and bad bars, to building and maintaining affordable housing, to creating community centers and gardens.
Just as for-profit corporations receive legal advice to maximize their profits, communities need legal advice to realize their dreams.