Mike Head has an idea for Philadelphia’s 40,000 vacant properties: “We need to build so the normal guy can purchase or rent. Then people could stay within their neighborhoods without going broke or getting forced out.”
The transition in Northern Liberties, where he grew up, motivated Mike to become a leader at the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, a founding member of the Take Back Vacant Land coalition, a Racial & Economic Justice fund grantee. “To see the higher echelon take over and push out the small guy—I hate to see that,” he says.
The coalition has been working with Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez on a bill to allow vacant land to be given to community-controlled land trusts, not developers. And when victory is achieved, Mike will continue to organize so that others can also reclaim their communities.