In January, the Owners’ Counsel of America, a nonprofit, nationwide network of property rights lawyers, presented the prestigious Crystal Eagle Award to IJ’s Christina Walsh. The Crystal Eagle, the organization’s highest honor, is presented only once a year to recognize heroic achievements in protecting property rights. Although past recipients have largely been attorneys (including IJ’s own Dana Berliner), the organization made a point of honoring Christina in light of her pathbreaking work in designing and building IJ’s unique activism program, which has trained thousands of property owners nationwide and saved tens of thousands of properties from being taken by eminent domain for private development.
Christina’s on-the-ground efforts to rally property owners and others in opposition to deep-pocketed developers have saved thousands of homes and businesses, and Christina and her team regularly succeed against seemingly impossible odds. January’s award is proof that we are not alone in recognizing these achievements: Property rights advocates from around the country have been watching as well. In her acceptance speech, Christina acknowledged the many activists she has worked to help in the past but mostly looked to the future, urging everyone in the audience to continue taking on the most difficult challenges and fighting to protect property rights against menaces that seem unstoppable. We look forward to working alongside her as she continues to do exactly that.