Bryson Dean: RIGHTS BASED ORDINANCES
Many of us have to come to feel that doing what we can to mitigate the impact of global climate change is the most important work we can be doing at this time in history. And we have observed that what we have been doing has not resulted in significant changes toward protecting public health or the health of the ecosystem upon which we depend.
The Community Rights Working Group is studying to develop rights based ordinances to stop corporate based pollution and enhance health for local towns, cities, and counties. This strategy thinks out of the box as it challenges settled law such as Dillon’s rule and State preemption and reinstates local control by community members. Our re-assertion of the right of local control is based on rights of citizens stated in both the US and Iowa Constitutions. Rights of the natural environment are also made explicit in many of these ordinances as the health of citizens is dependent upon the health of the environment.
Katharine Nicholson – Elevator speech talking points:
Corporations rule our country. They are destroying the environment. We can’t wait for the federal gov’t to save the planet. Community Rights ordinances are holding up in 200 communities in 9 states, not to mention the state of Colorado defying the federal gov’t on marijuana. There are lots of problems around the country with more urgent needs than ours, but we need to get started now with something with broad base support like pesticides on schoolgrounds, parks and other public (tax-supported) land.