Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"The American Promise of Local Self-Government" - Community Rights Letter to the Board #1

To the Board of Supervisors:  

   The Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County, along with hundreds of county residents and regional supporters, oppose the idea that permitting frac sand mining is in the best interests of the county.

   In a formal address to the public in March of this year, Supervisor Thompson declared his intent to “put distance between this Board and the Community Bill of Rights ordinance.”
Consider the following shows of support for this approach.

-At least 17 individual residents of Winneshiek County have written rational and articulate letters published in county news sources;

-Current petition signatures are in excess of 1000, with well over half of those being county residents;

   These numbers warrant serious consideration by the Board of Supervisors for the Community Bill of Rights ordinance.

   While individual Supervisors may choose to disagree with a novel approach to protect the interests of our county’s citizens and ecosystems, “distance” is the last thing that should be put between the electors and the elected, the governed and governors. Anything less than attentive dialogue and honest debate falls short of the ever-important declaration in our State Constitution:

“All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.” (Art. 1, Sect. 2)

   People across our country are using rights-based ordinances to stand up to injustice. Over 150 different localities, including Pittsburg, PA and one county, Mora, New Mexico, have adopted such ordinances.

   Four years after the ratification of our 1787 Constitution, the 9th and 10th amendments were added to our federal constitution as the final pieces to the Bill of Rights. These two very essential amendments define the power of We the People of Winneshiek County to claim rights above what we are guaranteed in our state and federal constitutions.

Amendment IX – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
   We believe it is wise to assert our rights when it helps prevent harm to the local community. And especially when that harm will undermine our general health and welfare, it is imperative that we endorse the American promise of local self-government.

Thank you for your attentiveness,
the Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County

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