Inside Initiative 75: Right to local self-government -- and to say no to fracking

Categories: News, Politics
An image from the Colorado Community Rights Network Facebook page.
August 4 is the deadline by which citizens-initiatives committees must turn in at least 86,105 valid signatures in order to get measures on the November ballot. There are at least a dozen proposals still in the works, and one of the hottest is Initiative 75, which would add local self-governing as an "inalienable right" to the Colorado Constitution.

What's it all about? Fracking, for one thing.

See also: Fracking linked to birth defects? Colorado study fuels debate

Here's the wording of the proposed measure:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a right to local self-government, and, in connection therewith, declaring that the people have an inherent right to local self-government in counties and municipalities, including the power to enact laws to establish and protect fundamental rights of individuals, communities, and nature and the power to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities to prevent them from interfering with those fundamental rights; and declaring that such local laws are not subject to preemption by any federal, state, or international laws?
Another image from the Colorado Community Rights Network Facebook page.
If Initiative 75 makes the ballot and then passes, a section would be added to the state constitution that establishes the inalienable right to local self-government. That right would include the power for communities to enact local laws protecting health, safety and welfare, as well as the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering or eliminating the rights, powers and duties of corporations and other business entities already operating, or looking to operate, in the community.

Under this initiative, laws adopted by local self-governing bodies would not be subject to preemption by international, federal or state laws. Likewise, they wouldn't be governed by Article XX, section 6 of the Colorado Constitution -- home rule for cities and towns -- as long as they did not restrict or weaken fundamental rights of individuals, their communities or nature secured by state, federal or international law.

Cliff Willmeng is a proponent for the initiative and a board member of the Colorado Community Rights Network, a group that banded together late last year to help create 75. "It's historically unique," Willmeng says of the proposal.

At its core, Willmeng says Initiative 75 is about communities saying no to projects that could violate their fundamental rights to health and safety. The initiative "clarifies that the people are the origin of all power," he explains. "Government is a way by which individuals in communities enforce what they define as their fundamental rights."
More from the Colorado Community Rights Facebook page.
The Colorado Community Rights Network and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund worked together to get the initiative's wording and title through the Colorado Supreme Court. It finally came out of the court on May 23, narrowing the time they have to collect signatures -- but proponents report that they're well on their way to collecting the required amount.

And even if Governor John Hickenlooper is able to come up with a compromise that would pull several of the proposed anti-fracking initiatives from the mix, the supporters of Initiative 75 are pushing to see their proposal on the November 4 ballot.

You can find more information about ballot proposals and voting requirements on the Colorado Colorado Secretary of State website.

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WillieStortz topcommenter

It's quite laughable to hear these simpletons talk about rights as try to systematically destroy property rights.

The anti-fracking crowd is the most gullible, uninformed group of ass-clowns I have ever seen. 

Thankfully we have a pro-business governor that, as a former geologist, has real life knowledge and doesn't fall for the lies and propaganda.

Suni Daze
Suni Daze

Ban It across the board !! Sick of these politicians shoving it down our throats !!! And then demanding OUTRAGEOUS rates for THEIR goods .

Don Young
Don Young

If this law passes, I see a bad moon rising. By concentrating power through "local control" you are essentially saying that the state has no ability to legislate for the common good. How would it be possible to run power lines or build wind farms? The vocal minority can easily sway opinions using scare tactics in the name of health and safety.

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

Fracking is good pipelines are good purchasing from our Arab enemies bad

Christine Shock
Christine Shock Brighton there seems to be a new well every day....

Tom Godwin
Tom Godwin

UDALL'S LEGACY Mr. O'REILLY, the president is not surprised - Mexican guns/border, NSA, IRS, Benghazi, Iraq, Iran, ISIS, Afghanistan, Jobs, Debt - it is part of his plan and things are not going bad for the President, he is winning. You keep talking about Obama's legacy, Bill he has already achieved his legacy - - if you go back to '07 and '08, his commitment to his LEFT was to take America down to a "Third World" level by killing the American way of life, changing over to the "NEW WORLD ORDER". The Obama Doctrine Pass it on, If You Care!

RobertChase topcommenter

Initiative 75, in particular, if it makes the ballot, will be shouted down in a deluge of 15-second commercials from corporate interests promising destitution for Colorado should it pass.  America is a fascist nation; it will fail.

RobertChase topcommenter

Colorado's political leadership is such that we should not be surprised to see an initiative devolving all power to localities (despite the fact that their pols are in many cases even more corrupt and incompetent, if that is possible).

RobertChase topcommenter

We are so addicted to oil that no possible increase in domestic production can sate the demand.  We must develop Liquid Fluoride Thorium (see ) reactors immediately (research was abandoned fifty years ago) to supply us with safe, abundant, cheap, and carbon-neutral electricity, then we need to progressively substitute electricity for the use of fossil fuels, for all uses, including transportation.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... perhaps they could give the DOR total control over fracking ?

"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all" 

-- Robert Chase 

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