cr 2Merrily Mazza’s recent letter to the editor of the Boulder Daily Camera points out the hypocrisy of tactics used by Colorado’s elected officials in concert with environmental regulatory schemes have done little to protect Colorado communities. The Oil and Gas Industry and its corporate players lay in wait, ready to strengthen their role as aggressor if we do not change the ills of the democratic system and in Colorado’s case it is state preemption.

EBCU has provided Mazza’s letter to enlighten us on the finer points of the failed attempts to keep fracking out of our neighborhoods. Spread the word that our democratic system is a failure, lets take back our democracy! Support the 2016 Community Rights Amendment, organize your community to amend the state constitution, challenge state preemption, and elevate peoples rights above corporate rights

The Oil & Gas task force draft regulations failed to meet expectations?  Whose expectations? Rep. Jared Polis?  Rather than protect communities or the environment, he pulled his 2014 ballot initiatives at the eleventh hour and sold Colorado communities down the river to ensure John Hickenlooper’s re-election.

Environmental groups?  They’ve watched the task force farce play out for over a year now while people in affected communities engage in yet more rounds of hamster-wheel activism.

Local governments? As Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones says, “Unless the COGCC makes significant changes and takes local governments seriously…it will be another disappointing experience.” A disappointing experience? That’s the best we local officials can come up with?  How about an OUTRAGE.

In fact, the task force and the 2 toothless recommendations that came out of it accomplished just what they were intended to accomplish. In terms of “local control,” communities get exactly nothing—as was always the intention. The industry remains firmly in charge.  And community members, intentionally diverted from taking action and demanding real democratic change, are channeled into “hearings” where they can waste time pleading to industry shills in front of microphones that aren’t even turned on. Exactly when will affected communities and local governments call bullshit bullshit?

When a system of law elevates corporate rights over people’s rights, the only alternative is to fight for systemic change. That means we have to stop appealing to politicians and do something about it ourselves.

In 2016 Coloradans must pass the Community Rights Amendment to the Colorado Constitution. This ballot initiative gives people, not corporations, the authority to decide how best to protect their health, safety, and welfare, their communities, and the natural environment.  It allows communities to decide for themselves whether to allow corporate projects that violate the community’s fundamental rights.  And it will force politicians to take a position on people’s rights rather than buying political cover with empty rhetoric.

Led by a grassroots effort of Colorado communities, workers, and environmental organizers, the Community Rights Amendment brings power and democracy back to where it belongs—the communities where we live, work, and raise our families.