County group plans to bring charter proposal back in November

The Athens County Bill of Rights Committee is preparing to launch a petition drive March 15 to put a charter proposal before voters on the November General Election ballot. Right now, Athens County residents are the wards of the state, Dick McGinn maintained, but with a charter, “we’ve cut the umbilical cord with Columbus. We don’t want to have an independent country but we’d be capable for the first time of passing laws.” Read full article...

Ohio Court of Appeals Denies the People’s Right to Local Community Self-Government

Ohio Court of Appeals Denies the People’s Right to Local Community Self-Government Affirms corporate “rights” and state preemption over community rights in Broadview Hts. March 8, 2016 Last week, the eighth appellate court of Ohio ruled against Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods (MADION) in a class action lawsuit brought by Broadview Heights residents in 2014. The lawsuit was filed against the State of Ohio and two corporations seeking to drill for gas within the City. In the filing, MADION asserted the people have a community right to local, democratic self-government to protect their health, safety, and welfare. The people of Broadview Heights exercised that right in November 2012, adopting a Community Bill of Rights banning fracking with 67% of the vote. The lawsuit was filed to enforce their Community Bill of Rights. The court, however, was not moved by the will of the people, and affirmed the decision of a lower court – disregarding that this nation was forged in battle over the inalienable right to local, democratic self-government. Instead, the court affirmed the corporate claimed “right” to bring industrial drilling and fracking into residential neighborhoods against the will of that community. The court affirmed the state legislature’s claimed authority to strip people of their right to self-govern and protect their families and community from the environmental and economic harms brought by fracking. The court affirmed the corporate claimed “right” to use communities as resource colonies for the benefit of a few people, living far removed from the harms – people who hide behind the corporate shield, and, with permits in hand, site harmful projects for the sake of...