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Lafayette City Council: Endorse the Colorado Community Rights Amendment!

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In 2013, Lafayette citizens passed a community rights charter amendment. It codified residents’ rights to clean air, clean water and a healthful environment and banned oil and gas drilling in the city limits as a violation of those rights. The city was promptly sued by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.

The Boulder district court ruled in favor of COGA saying that state law preempts local governments and communities. In essence, Colorado’s oil and gas law mandates that every community must allow drilling and fracking. Similar laws are regularly used by corporations to disenfranchise communities from making important decisions regarding their health, environment, and local workforces.

In 2016, we have a chance to empower people and communities to make important decisions without fear of state and corporate lawsuits. The Colorado Community Rights Amendment, if passed by the voters, will amend the Colorado Constitution to codify communities’ right to local self-government. It establishes the fundamental rights of individuals, communities, and nature, and gives communities the power to pass laws protecting residents’ health, safety, and welfare. The amendment allows communities to decide for themselves whether to allow corporate projects that violate the community’s fundamental rights.

I support the Lafayette City Council standing up for our health, our families, and our basic democratic rights and am calling for the Council to endorse the 2016 Colorado Community Rights Amendment.

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