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Letter: Ask candidates where they stand on local choice


Monday, October 15, 2018

This month, the N.H. Community Rights Network sent a local choice survey to candidates running for governor, executive council, state representative and senator. The survey asks for their positions on local choice, including whether they will support the N.H. Community Rights People’s Amendment.

The amendment seeks to codify in our state constitution the community right to local decision-making authority regarding social and environmental issues that affect the health, safety and well-being of individuals, communities and ecosystems. While this right and authority is already affirmed in Articles 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 and 32 of our N.H. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, it is not yet specifically recognized.

Enumerating this right to local self-government would address an underlying civil rights problem in two main ways. First, it would recognize that local self-determination is an inherent and inalienable right. Second, it would nullify corporate use of ceiling pre-emption and permitting bodies to override the collective will of a community to adopt local laws that expand and protect rights of people and ecosystems. Importantly, the amendment could not be used to protect local laws that restrict or weaken existing local, state or federal rights and protections for people and natural environments.

This amendment is an ongoing topic of NHCRN educational outreach to help secure and protect the inherent and inalienable rights of all N.H. inhabitants to economic, social and environmental justice – including securing the rights of nature.

For more information, contact info@nhcommunityrights.org, explore www.nhcommunityrights.org or visit NHRN’s Facebook page.

MONICA CHRISTOFILI

Newmarket

(The writer is a coordinator for NHCRN.)