Should Community Rights be part of the Resilient Communities movement?
Mendocino County has a Community Rights initiative on their November ballot (details here).
This is because citizens of Mendocino County submitted over 6,300 signatures on a petition mandating that decisions regarding fracking within the county require citizen approval (See news article here). Mendocino's Measure S can be seen as part of an emerging Community Rights movement, with similar actions springing up in several states. These local actions are being supported in part by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), headquartered in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania (web site here).
Historically, the Transition Movement has eschewed politics, preferring to, as founder Rob Hopkins put it, act as a "Trojan Horse" by refocusing community efforts toward developing local resilience.
In August, the Transition Humboldt Council of Working Groups discussed the matter of endorsing local political issues as part of considering a motion on the floor to endorse Humboldt County's Measure P, which would prohibit the raising of GMO foodstuffs in Humboldt County. The council agreed that local politics was the only remaining level where citizen input might be effective. Based on this agreement, the Council moved to endorse Measure P and to in future consider endorsing other local political issues.
Now, the Community Rights people in Mendocino (web site here) have this anti-fracking referendum (Measure "S") they are trying get voted into law. This is a political act. Should the initiative be passed by the voters, it will surely become a legal issue, as those who feel their ox would be gored by this law will fight mightily to have it overturned in court.
I pose two questions, the first being this:
Should Transition Humboldt consider including Community Rights as part of its strategy for building community resilience?
My second question is this:
How should Transition Humboldt go about informing ourselves about the Community Rights Movement?
At this time, I believe Community Rights should probably be a part of the Transition Movement, but that we should inform ourselves of the issues involved and discuss the best way to move forward on the matter.
The Mendocino Community Rights people are being advised by a CELDF partner working out of his home in Portland. Paul Cienfuegos* (web site here) will be visiting Mendocino several times in October (a poster of his events is available here). Perhaps, because Humboldt Bay is midway between Mendo at Portland, we might approach him with the idea he might stop here on his commute and give us the background we need on Community Rights.
Paul has himself suggested collaboration between the Community Rights movement and Transition Movement some while ago. See his blog posting (Jan 2012) here.
*Paul is formerly a resident of Arcata