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Thursday, July 27, 2017
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4:30pm [4:30pm] EVICTION DEFENSE OF ELIZABETH MCGRIFF
Description:
WELCOME TO THE NEXT EVICTION DEFENSE OF ELIZABETH MCGRIFF We are planning some new gangbuster events like we have never done before. Our kick off rally will be on Thursday, July 27 at 4:30 PM, but related events will begin earlier in the week. July 27 is the first day that the sheriff and his team may arrive, but we will also have a substantial presence at 618 Cedarwood Terrace July 24-28 and beyond, if necessary. Elizabeth has started her new full time job as a caseworker with Child Protective Services and cannot presently take days off, so we are working around her schedule. Thus the afternoon rally time. Stay tuned as plans develop. The focus will be housing justice, and we are working to bring in the religious community, public figures, and others. For starters, look for brief religious services of various denominations from the porch steps of Liz's home every day the week of July 24-28, time TBA. We are working on having people in the house who can make call outs whenever police arrive. Sister Grace Miller will be present for the day of the rally, and we are working to gather a brigade of nuns to keep the welcome mat on the porch on other days. One goal is to rouse media and public attention via some clever peaceful actions. We’re not done planning, and we will continue to develop new plans and ideas for as long as necessary to thwart this eviction and convince MidFirst that it's time to work with Liz. We are open to fresh creative ideas, so if you have suggestions, email or call one of us. We have received excellent support for Elizabeth in her struggle for housing justice over the years, and we are counting on you to rise to this occasion as well. We plan to expand this to new faces. Who can you bring to 618 Cedarwood Terrace during our launch of Housing Justice Week at Elizabeth’s? You already know how courageous Liz has been in her struggle with MidFirst Bank and HUD. Bring your ideas and bodies daily, if possible, whenever you can. Stay alert. We’ll post tighter time frames ASAP. Background: MidFirst Bank is the 5th largest privately owned bank in the country. It has offices in Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and California, but has no offices in New York State. Despite that, in 2016 the bank was ranked the third worst in NYC for neglecting their vacant properties. They have yet to pay the $200,000 in fines they received for violations. In Rochester there are presently 19 empty and decaying homes owned by MidFirst, and at least that many more more that were created by incomplete MidFirst foreclosures. MidFirst has been trying for years to add 618 Cedarwood to that list. Liz has been trying to get MidFirst to work with her for years. There have been 5 eviction attempts, and the only offer she has received from the bank was an offer to sell her back her house for $130,000, even though she bought it for $56,000 and it is assessed at $73,000. Because of the continued support of Take Back the Land and many other community members, Liz is still in her home. Since last year, she has been trying to work with MidFIrst to buy back her house via the Rochester City Roots Community Land Trust. The bank has turned down all offers. During this last year, MidFirst has played footsie with HUD, claiming that the house was vacant, and conveying it (turning it over) to HUD in order to collect the FHA insurance on the house. To the best of our knowledge, they received that payment, but may have been asked to pay it back when HUD discovered irregularities in the conveyance process, including that the house isn't vacant. HUD then returned the house to MidFirst, and MidFirst chose, once again, to go to court to try to evict Liz. NOTE: If there is someone who can provide suggestions as to how to get the following information, we’d be very grateful. We'd like to know as fast as possible if MidFirst returned the insurance payment they received from FHA, and how much that insurance payment was. This information is very valuable to us. One can only wonder why the Monroe County Sheriff would want to help MidFirst create one vacant house by evicting Liz. Note, this is an election year, and Sheriff O'Flynn is wanting our vote! See you there!!! James Murphy: rochester catholicworker@gmail.com 286-6328 Julie Gelfand: gppphotog@aol.com 485-3807 Mike Connelly: mike@monopod.net 271-2678

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