Posted Dec 21, 2017 at 8:02 AMUpdated Dec 21, 2017 at 8:02 AM
www.fosters.com/news/20171221/to-editor-we-people-shall-rule To the Editor:
Throughout recorded human history there has been an ongoing struggle between the rulers and the ruled. The rulers have been the wealthy, powerful elite, and the ruled have been the working classes and the poor.
The American Revolution was a time when the ruled rose up to take control of their destiny from the King of England and his wealthy patrons. It is time for We the People to rise again!
Today’s rulers are the huge Wall Street banks, the energy monopolies, health care profiteers, the military-industrial complex, and their corporate media. They control our government through “the best politicians money can buy” who are funded by legal bribes from political action committees (PACs) and wealthy donors, The voters get to choose the lesser of evils and the rich ruling elite win either way as they control both Parties!
The Silent Majority gives it’s consent to the rule of this corrupt status quo by remaining meek, disorganized, uninformed and uninvolved. The NH Community Rights Network (NHCRN) is working to revitalize our democracy by empowering every city and town with the right of local control.
The Community Rights Amendment (CACR 19) has been introduced by Rep. Ellen Read (Newmarket) and eight other sponsors to give people the right to stop corporate exploitation that harms our communities. Whether it be Northern Pass, dredging Great Bay, gas pipelines or toxic sludge dumping, the local voters should have, and will have, the right to pass ordinances that protect the health, safety, and welfare of people and nature.
By passing CACR 19 We the People shall rule our towns once again, if enough people take action. Contact the NHCRN at email@example.com and get involved, our democracy needs you!
Peter A. White, Board Member, NH Community Rights Network, Nottingham
The proposed NH Community Rights Amendment, CACR19, would nullify preemption when it is used to override local protection of the health, safety and welfare of both human and natural communities. If you support local law-making authority to protect people and natural environments, please submit a written testimony encouraging the NH House Municipal & County Government (M&CG) committee to vote in favor of CACR19 when it comes before their committee - anytime after Jan. 3rd. NHCRN would love to receive a copy of your testimony - just copy firstname.lastname@example.org on your email when you submit to the committee. Here is a link to the contact info for the M&CG committee.
December 16, 2017
To The Daily Sun,
Rep. Vincent Migliore, from Grafton District 9, recently hand-delivered letters to the selectmen in his towns, encouraging them to act quickly to explore Rights-Based Ordinances (RBO) which assert local authority to defend against projects that violate the inherent and inalienable right of residents to protect the health, safety and welfare of their community.
Time is extremely short for towns affected by Northern Pass to get organized and place an RBO on the town warrant, but where there is a will, there is a way! When it comes to your quality of life and that of your community, it’s never too late to make the effort to enact an RBO. In fact, that is exactly what Plymouth residents are doing. Joining them in educating themselves about community rights are Ashland, Bridgewater and Bristol. The Selectboard of Ashland voted unanimously to have an RBO drafted for their consideration at Town Meeting and the Selectboards of Bridgewater and Bristol agreed to host educational workshops for their community residents.
The Ashland Community Rights Workshop — Why an RBO? Is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. at the Common Man in Ashland. Bridgewater is holding their workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Bridgewater Town Hall, and Bristol is holding their Protect People & Places workshop on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. at the Bristol Town Offices (with a possible alternate location of the Old Town Hall if we exceed capacity at the town offices). You can find details of these events on the N.H. Community Rights Network (NHCRN) Facebook page.
This grassroots Community Rights Movement has inspired an effort to unite state legislators across-the-aisle to recognize community rights within our state constitution’s Bill of Rights. Rep. Migliore is one of the bi-partisan co-sponsors of the resulting N.H. Community Rights Amendment, CACR-19. His endorsement of this amendment directly supports the towns he is encouraging to explore RBOs, and those dozen that have already done so across the Granite State.
We have the right and a duty to protect the future of our children, our communities, and our natural environments. I am ready and willing to assist any community interested in recognizing, securing, and protecting their right to determine the kinds of futures they envision. Contact me via email at email@example.com, or by phone at 603-524-2468. Learn more about the N.H. Community Rights Amendment by visiting www.nhcommunityrights.org. The time is now, and the who is US!
N.H. Community Organizer for CELDF and volunteer Coordinator for NHCRN
By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
ASHLAND — With some questions remaining as to the legitimacy of such actions, the Ashland Board of Selectmen has voted to pursue a rights-based ordinance, or RBO, in an effort to stop Eversource from bringing its Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission lines through the town.
Selectman Tejasinha Sivalingam made the motion during this week’s selectmen’s meeting, saying it is a good step to take for addressing both current issues and future ones.
“It empowers the community, protects the health of individuals, and advocates for a greater sense of local, democratic control,” he said.
Chairman Fran Newton acknowledged that Ashland voters have twice said they did not want Northern Pass in Ashland, but she noted that the town has filed as intervenors before the state Site Evaluation Committee, which has the authority to rule on the plan to bring direct-current transmission lines through the state.
“I haven’t seen the specific wording of the rights-based ordinance,” Newton said. “When we get it, we can certainly discuss it.”
Sivalingam said, with the possibility that the SEC will rule in favor of Northern Pass in February, it is important to get the ordinance in place. Michelle Sanborn of Alexandria, representing the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, has offered to help the town draft an ordinance that reflects Ashland’s specific needs and concerns.
“There are several steps, and we’re coming to this late in the game,” Sivalingam said. “Tonight, we really have to consider the largest steps possible.”
The discussion came at the request of Grafton County District 9 Rep. Vincent Paul Migliore of Bridgewater, who is urging all of the towns he represents to hold RBO workshops so residents and town officials are familiar with the option.
“I am not asking anyone to adopt an RBO,” he said.
Migliore has co-sponsored legislation seeking a community rights constitutional amendment, CACR19. Currently, rights-based ordinances have no legal standing, and an amendment would embed those rights in the New Hampshire Constitution.
To make the case for that bill, Migliore said, it would be helpful to be able to say that his constituent towns had adopted rights-based ordinances.
His own town, Bridgewater, has agreed to hold a workshop, but did not yet set a date.
Ashland Selectman Harold Lamos said they owe it to the town to move forward with such an ordinance. He said he owns land in Danbury and was seeing his property values declining in the face of a proposal from Iberdrola to build wind towers.
“Days after they passed an RBO, Iberdrola withdrew, and now property values have gone back up,” he said.
Sanborn told the selectmen that 11 communities in New Hampshire have adopted rights-based ordinances, and no one has challenged them.
Addressing worries about the potential legal costs, Sanborn said the only potential cost is if an entity views the ordinance as an obstacle and challenges it. The community then has the option of not enforcing the ordinance if it wants to avoid litigation.
“We can draft into the ordinance the potential to challenge it legally,” she said. “Then the RBO takes the conversation out of zoning and land use and into a less expensive argument.”
Sivalingam said there are members of the community interested in supporting a rights-based ordinance and his motion to seek the free legal help from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund also included working with citizens.
The motion passed unanimously, after which the selectmen also passed a motion to hold an RBO workshop on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m., at a location to be determined.
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at 2:41 PMUpdated Dec 1, 2017 at 2:41 PM
To the Editor:
The proposed New Hampshire Community Rights state constitutional amendment, CACR19, has faced criticisms that community rights don’t exist and that upholding these rights blindly blocks development. I respectfully refute these assertions.
The community’s right to local self-determination has existed prior to, throughout, and since our nation’s founding. Recognizing this right within our NH Constitution is necessary because, in New Hampshire, state preemption and Dillon’s Rule determine what happens in our communities. If a project approved by the regulatory system and validated by state law threatens the health, safety, and welfare of a NH town, it creates a sacrifice zone of residents and ecosystems whose pleas against the project hold no effective weight.
Therein, Article 1 of the NH Constitution’s Bill of Rights declares that government of right originates from the people and is founded in consent. Article 2 declares that we have natural, essential, and inherent rights. Article 10 declares that we have a right and duty to reform the old or establish new government: “The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
Therefore, resisting projects that would harm a community is not ‘tyranny of the majority’ but lawful protection of inherent and inalienable rights affirmed in the Declaration of Independence and in our State Constitution.
Supporters of these rights seek both robust economies and thriving, uncontaminated ecosystems. Crossing demographics of age and politics, they challenge and encourage industry to innovate projects that balance profit with protection of people and nature. To quote Institute of EoLonomics founder Dennis Weaver, “We don’t have to sacrifice a strong economy for a healthy environment.”
To learn more about the NH Community Rights Network, visit www.nhcommunityrights.org. To learn more about the NH Community Rights Amendment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monica Christofili, Newmarket