[This is a Letter to the Editor that was published in the Boulder Weekly, October 1, 2015. I posted it online at the BW website, and they then printed it in their weekly edition.]
I would like to add to the comments about the community rights vs. fracking issue, alluded to by Cliff Willmeng and Kate Toan [Re: “Passion without logic is bad” and “Fracking problem fix,” Letters, Sept. 24] I don’t believe the public at large is aware of the tectonic political forces that are involved here, which have consequences for humanity for its foreseeable future, but particularly in the 21st century, and how they will have the opportunity to partake in one of the most meaningful political votes in their lives, should the Colorado Community Rights Network prevail in getting their measure placed on the state ballot in 2016 — which I fully expect they will do. So some further public discussion is much warranted.
I fully support the community rights approach, which I arrived at after years of study of this issue. I was part of the 2011 campaign that resulted in the adoption of a resolution by the city of Boulder, where it was agreed that there should be a constitutional amendment that states only natural persons should be entitled to constitution a rights, and that money is not speech. This passed by a 73 percent majority… enough said about that.
But this was only a resolution, with no binding legal consequences. The community rights strategy is focused on taking on this legal battle with corporations to the next level: bringing public awareness to the fact that allowing corporate rights to supersede the rights of individuals and communities is wrong, both morally, legally and politically. We will be witnessing how much our political system has been badly skewed by allowing unlimited amounts of money into politics in this next presidential cycle, and what a disastrous and misguided legal direction this has been. Community rights is a far sighted legal strategy to begin this long process.
Far from the claim of Ms. Toan, that the aspirations of advocates of community rights are “designed to fail,” I would say that the advocates of community rights are attempting to correct a deep injustice that many of the American public would welcome.
The unfortunate reality is that this reality seems hidden from many of them, locked as it is inside a judicial system far distanced from public discussion… which is just the way the corporate ruling class, including state level political operatives, would wish it to remain.
In the interest of further positive public discussion, I would encourage Ms. Toan, and others interested, to attend the Democracy School, happening in Denver, October 23 and 24, hosted by the Colorado Community Rights Network, and find out what community rights is really about.