Monday, May 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Rob Dickinson
In a monumental vote, the people of Lincoln County asserted their right to clean air and water as well as healthy communities and ecosystems. With 6,928 votes, Measure 21-177, Freedom from Aerial Sprayed Pesticides of Lincoln County ordinance, is passing by 27 votes. About one hundred ballots are in question (mostly due to lack of voter signatures), and once those issues are resolved there will be a final ballot count by the end of May.
With 99% of the vote counted, and the results running 51% for the ordinance and 49% against, the remaining votes would have to deviate markedly from current returns to prevent the ordinance, which prohibits the aerial spray of pesticides, from becoming law.
“Though we have our fingers crossed that we will prevail, this campaign has already been a win because we raised not only the health issue of aerial spraying in the public’s consciousness but also the lengths the corporate timber and chemical industry will go to cover up the truth”, says Maria Kraus of Citizens for a Healthy County, proponents of Measure 21-177. “Something has shifted in this community and people really feel like they need a larger role in determining the future of this county.”
Community Rights Lane County is proud to stand in solidarity with the citizens of Lincoln County. We share their mission to empower communities to secure local self-determination and self-governance rights, superior to corporate power, in order to protect fundamental rights, quality of life, the natural environment, public health, and safety.
The Lane County Freedom from Aerial Spraying of Herbicides Bill of Rights has gained the support of thousands of Lane County voters and will be on the ballot soon. This Bill of Rights would amend the county charter to make it unlawful for corporations or governmental agencies to engage in the aerial spraying of herbicides from helicopters and other airborne vehicles.
This will ensure that all the people of Lane County possess the right to be free from the chemical trespass that occurs when aerially-applied herbicides inevitably fall, drift, or volatilize and expose people, animals, plants, and waterways to chemicals such as glyphosate, atrazine, and others that have been proven to be harmful to humans and the environment.
A second ballot measure would clearly establish that Lane County residents have an inalienable and fundamental right of local self-government – a common sense measure that, nonetheless, has been stripped away by corporate-backed, state pre-emption laws.
The Lane County Self-Government Charter Amendment acknowledges the right of local communities to prevent corporate harms, like aerial spraying, fracking or oil pipelines, with the same authority secured in the Declaration of Independence, the Oregon Constitution, and the United States Constitution.
Lincoln, Lane, Benton, Coos, and Columbia County have united to support a state constitutional amendment that would secure the right of local community self-government. This would allow all Oregon communities to advance greater protections and rights on the grounds of health, safety, and welfare than the state, and to be able to do so without the interference of corporate claimed “rights”. The local self-governing authority would only allow for advancing protections and rights but not for undermining or taking away such protections and rights as already secured by state or federal governments.
While the final tally won’t be known for another week, Community Rights Lane County congratulates the people of Lincoln County on their success in advancing the rights of nature and protecting their community from the unjust practice of aerial spraying. The Community Rights movement is going strong here in Oregon, and we invite everyone in Lane County to get involved in restoring democracy and protecting our community.
PRESS AVAILABILITY To learn more about the ballot measure in Lincoln County and the charter amendments in Lane County, contact: Rob Dickinson at (541-543-5735) or Ann Kneeland at (541-514-9720).