Community Rights Lane County has been in the news quite a bit lately. It seems that corporate interests don’t like it when people try and assert their Constitutional Right to alter, reform or abolish their government.
Lane County citizens decided they’d had enough of Corporate Timber spraying all over their communities. So with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, they crafted a Community Rights modeled Charter Amendment to ban the aerial spraying of herbicides. Due to a Lane County judge, who did not like this new style of lawmaking, we were forced to take certain safeguards out of that Charter Amendment, and create a second one: The Right of Local, Community Self-Government Charter Amendment. This Amendment safeguards our Right to say No to aerial spraying. Did we happen to mention that corporate lobby groups have already protected the act of aerial spraying? Oregonians for Food and Shelter has made it legal for Timber corporations to spray toxic chemical mixtures near homes, schools, and rivers. It’s called the Right to Farm and Forest Act, and it’s a type of preemptive legislation that Corporate interests are routinely using to take away our Rights. Did we also happen to mention why we chose a Charter Amendment over an Ordinance? A Charter Amendment has better safeguards against power hungry County Commissioners trying to stop what we’ve achieved.
Read the Comments below each article, they’re very educational…
Carlsons Order – IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR THE COUNTY OF LANE
Eugene Weekly, Camilla’s blog entry – Lane County Commission Discusses Giving Itself the Right to Block Local Citizen-Initiated Ballot Measures
Register Guard Article #1: RG article, June 29th – Lane commissioners mull proposal that would allow them to block some ballot initiatives
Register Guard Article #2: RGd article, July 3rd – County commissioners examine ability to preemptively veto ballot initiatives
Register Guard LTE: Rob – Commissioners should butt out
Register Guard LTE: Laura & Robin – Local initiative process is protected
Register Guard LTE: Donald Alexander – Don’t taint initiative process
Register Guard Guest Viewpoint: John – Initiative review: Con — Ballot initiative process protected by constitutions
Register Guard counter – Guest Viewpoint: Jay Bozievich – Initiative review: Pro — Public not served when flawed initiative proceeds
GoGetFunding Campaign – to help pay for legal costs!
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP…
- Write letters to the Commissioners. (See Talking Points below.)
- Meet with your Commissioner. (See Talking Points below.)
- Come to any upcoming Board of Commissioners’ public comment period from now until September 13 when this issue will be addressed on their official agenda.
- Write letters to the editors of newspapers. (See Talking Points below.)
- Tell the Commissioners why past history with Bill Sizemore’s faulty initiatives is not a reason to hijack the initiative process. (This is Sid Leiken’s argument.)
- Tell the Commissioners why Josephine County voters’ frustration after a local law – passed with 70% of voter support – was found to be unconstitutional is not a reason to dismantle Lane County voters’ initiative rights. (This is Faye Stewart’s argument.) These voters’ frustration is not the result of a failed initiative system, but a failure of our state government to support laws to protect residents’ health, safety, and welfare.
- Tell the Commissioners that a hypothetical fear of an initiative being enacted to legalize discrimination against gay residents is not a reason to strip the people of their constitutional authority to pass laws in their community. (This is Jay Bozievich’s argument.)
- Tell the Commissioners that the sole purpose of the initiative process is not to produce a constitutional law. It is also to provide a mechanism for public engagement and civic participation fundamental to the democratic process, and thus, worthy of protection under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.