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A seventh generation American, JC Lamkin, as she is called by her friends, considers this a win for her entire community that has been plagued by negligence and exploitation.
“When Chester is asked to pay Stormwater fees, no one asks, ‘Well, is it REALLY stormwater that is infiltrating our crawlspaces and basements or is the water coming from somewhere else?’ Neither does anyone ask what happens to people who are forced to use water from leaking pipes that have not been replaced since 1943. We should be able to trust our local Authorities to fix their leaks, return our water supply, assess problem water systems, and work together to remediate any issues that arise. But, instead I was left without a regular water supply for over a month and CWA (a government entity) even denied the water from their leaking systems. It was a harrowing experience but it gives me great hope that a jury which was comprised of members of the surrounding communities supported my position and found in my favor,” says JC Lamkin.
When JC Lamkin purchased her home from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010, she was extremely excited about the possibility of providing a repeatable business/community partnership model that others could follow: purchase a home to supplement a legacy AND help rebuild a neighborhood.
Being a Certified Project Manager for over a decade, really helped JC meet the demands of leveraging resources and employing neighbors when it came to restoring her home to its original charm. JC’s home, originally built especially for veterans and their families who were returning stateside after serving our country during war-time, is made of brick and considered by architects to be a premium “townhome”-style property. In restoring this historic property, JC made certain to honor the original developers’ vision as much as possible. JC invested a considerable amount of sweat-equity and money into making certain her home exceeded Code standards. Her hard-work in beautifying her home was not just a labor of love, it was living example of what innovative minds can do when they partner with the community and appreciate the talent and hard-work of those who came before them.
In 2012, JC’s dream of rebuilding communities was validated when she volunteered through her non-profit organization, 1st Sphere Community & Economic Development Corporation, and collaborated with the Federal Reserve Bank during the “Reinventing Older Communities” conference.
During these meetings, JC toured the enterprising areas of the City of Chester and engaged with key stakeholders regarding the wonderful plans and opportunities that were available for people who understood how important it is to stabilize our county’s homes, people and neighborhoods.
As a job creator and the tech originator of the region’s Recycle and Upcycle Revolution (@TechCrusader & @SheDumps on Twitter), JC set the pace to help bring employment opportunities to Chester, Pennsylvania. Once she identified the need for transitional employment opportunities for the community, she explored sustainable recycling options and developed the business, SheDumps, Inc. which focuses on the Triple Bottomline: People, Planet and Profit. These goals for the region were destroyed by need to refocus resources in order to protect her community from further negligence.
However, in 2015, a horror infiltrated JC’s home in the form of a water leak and subsequent flood.
For years, JC dodged threats and intimidation attempts to finally bring a sense of balance through justice to her community. On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, this Champion of the Community, brought home a win for The People.
“People have been very kind in honoring me because of this win. It seems to mean a lot to the community that someone has finally stood up for them and detailed the horrors that they are forced to endure. But, it’s important to remember that we can all stand up for ourselves and should. The jury proved that the majority of people in our area are sensible and unbiased. And, in spite of all of the evidence that I did not present during the trial, the jury STILL understood what what going on and found in my favor. This means that we do have allies for justice and should continue to partner with them. I don’t want to be considered a “Champion of the Community” because we are all Champions. I just want to get back to practicing the things I love: Science and Engineering. When someone like me, a private citizen, has to come off the bench in order to right a tragic wrong, we have a problem. There should be mechanisms in place to make certain that we, The People and our homes are safe so that we can focus on doing the things we do best.”