I just exercised my right to vote today and couldn’t help wondering if I had wasted my time. It is very easy to get discouraged with those that are supposed to represent us. It seems they just keep going behind our backs doing favors for corporate lobbyists that are paid to spend their time pushing for more regulations that are supposedly meant to protect you and me. I feel the only ones we need protecting from are the corporate lobbyists! Their regulations are not protecting us. Corporate crafted regulations legalize any damages to communities, people, and our local ecosystems, while at the same time take away the rights of community members to say “no” to harmful activities.
Our rights are inherent and unalienable (Articles 2 and 4 of the NH State Constitution) – we have them because we were born, not because a piece of paper says we have them. The state and federal constitutions were written to limit the power of government, not the power of the people. Who is supposed to decide what power is granted to the government? You and me – We the People! Consider the first part (Bill of Rights) of our state constitution, Article 1 says that all government of right originates from the people, and is founded in consent. The power to govern starts with our local governing structure, up to the state, and then to the federal; wherein they govern according to our constitutions, not illegitimate court rulings – at least that is how it should be.
The system has been turned upside down so that corporate power wields federal policy dictating to the states what they can and cannot do, who then in turn dictate to the local government (municipalities) what they can and cannot do, who then in turn dictate to we the people what we can and cannot do. This will not change without communities, made up of people, standing up for the rights we were born with. Exercising the right to local self-government is a first step to take back what has always been ours to begin with.
How do we exercise local self-government? We do so by reforming the old, or establishing a new government (Part first, Article 10 of our state constitution) when the current government denies rights. Alexandria, Barnstead, Barrington, Danbury, Easton, Grafton, Hebron, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sugar Hill, and Thornton are communities in NH that have begun to exercise their right to local self-government by pursuing a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (RBO). The RBO protects the health, safety and welfare of residents and their ecosystems, elevates community rights above claimed rights of corporations, and secures the right to exercise local lawmaking free from state preemption when the State denies rights.
The people’s right of local, community self-government is the right to a system of government within the local community that is controlled by citizens to secure and protect the civil and political rights of every person in the community, and makes real the promise of local control to deny interference by powers that would infringe upon those rights. If you would like to learn more about your Right to Local, Community Self-Government, please contact Michelle at CAREgroupNH@gmail.com.
The NH Sierra Club hosted a public forum with leaders of the Pessamit Innu community and Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador where they made an appeal to the people of New Hampshire to stop Northern Pass. The forum was held at Plymouth State University and the audience learned about the devastating impacts that large scale hydro power can have on the environment and the people who depend on it. Watch the presentation here.