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Anne Elk
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PostMon Oct 29, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Everyone who's involved in enviro activism or advocacy on any level, (if not every concerned citizen) should have a look at the educational materials and tools available thru the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), based in PA, which has a western office in Spokane.

I gave up on environmental activism (as a volunteer) in the early 2000's after 7 years of going through the "regulatory process" litigation wringer and losing big when we got to superior court.  It seemed clear that the system was stacked against us. ("Don't waste any more of your time", I told myself, "get out and enjoy what's left, while it's still there.")  CELDF's educational material is germane to anyone who wonders why we've made so little progress with environmental preservation, if not backslid over the last 50 years.

Thomas Linzey, CELDF's founder, is an environmental attorney who became fed up with the system: he was making a good living helping communities fight environmental threats; and while they won battles, they always lost the wars. He realized the problem was with the regulatory process itself. He determined to educate the public and fight environmental harms by teaching a new kind of activism, using a new mousetrap: community civil rights.

Main website page: CELDF. I took one of their Democracy School workshops in Bellingham about 8 years ago; now available online for free (video of a class). Check out their publications. CELDF's work is also featured in the documentary We the People 2.0, which can be streamed.  It premiered at SIFF. Bottom line is, we don't have insight into the actual gearbox of how our gov't works, because we've never been taught all the details.

The underlying theme of the CELDF material is a civics lesson, so it has relevancy beyond stewardship issues.  What I learned was truly eye-opening. We're not taught this stuff in school (maybe poli-sci majors are).  I was in the process of writing this up to post in the carbon tax thread when the moderator locked it (with good reason).  rolleyes.gif
This isn't intended to carry on that discussion, but one could infer it's a related "meta-issue".  Tom, I'm ok if you want to lock this right after my post. It's useful, thought-provoking stuff for stewardship aficionados, especially if they ever have to tangle with an "EIS".  Thanks.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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RichP
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PostTue Oct 30, 2018 6:07 am 
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Very interesting. Thanks for posting this.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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Anne Elk
BrontosaurusTheorist



Joined: 07 Sep 2018
Posts: 155 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Anne Elk
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BrontosaurusTheorist
PostTue Oct 30, 2018 12:21 pm 
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Thanks for checking it out, Rich.

What's interesting about CELDF's history is that their community-rights based organizing work initially got off the ground in rural, politically  conservative Pennsylvania: the farmers and township leaders came to Linzey when they found out they couldn't enact an ordinance to prevent industrial sludge dumping in their community because the state forbade impeding commerce; ie, if something was legal to do in the state, a local municipality could not outlaw it. Check out "Dillon's Rule" on Wikipedia, which describes the 19th century development of this idea.  CELDF's publications lay out a concise history explaining this stuff in plain language.

It's difficult to get a community interested in this without a "burning issue" because you first have to motivate people to get educated about the history of our legal structures. Like the woman in the documentary says, "We thought we had an environmental problem, but what we really have here is a democracy problem."

The bad news is that for the community rights movement to really take hold nationally will requires a groundswell not unlike that of women's suffrage or the civil rights movement. Those took a long time.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Forum Index > Stewardship > Useful educational material by CELDF
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