FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2015
NEW HAMPSHIRE: This month, the National Community Rights Network (NCRN) endorsed Barrington, New Hampshire’s Community Bill of Rights Ordinance. The rights- based ordinance secures the rights of residents to clean water, air, and scenic preservation, and bans resource extraction that would violate those rights. Residents drafted the ordinance with help from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). They are advancing it for Town Meeting vote in 2016.
In providing its support for the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance, the NCRN considered the efforts of the Barrington Waterways Protection Committee (BWPC) – the local group organizing to bring the ordinance to a vote. Since 2012, the committee has worked to protect the Isinglass River and surrounding waterways from gravel mining and water extraction.
Cilia Bannenberg, a BWPC committee member, stated, “We are very grateful and honored by the endorsement of the National Community Rights Network. We have worked tirelessly to educate Barrington voters that the only way to preserve individual and community rights is to enact this ordinance.”
The BWPC has dedicated itself to education, outreach, grassroots organizing, and campaigning, despite strong opposition from industry supporters. New Hampshire Community Rights Network President Michelle Sanborn stated, “Residents of Barrington understand this work is part of a longer-term effort to ban activities and projects that would violate the rights of natural persons and ecosystems to exist and flourish. They are determined to bring the people’s Community Bill of Rights forward again in 2016.”
“No community should become a resource colony for corporate profit,” said Cindy Kudlik, NCRN president. “We are proud to stand united with the BWPC to defend the inalienable constitutional rights of the citizens of Barrington and their natural environment.”
The NCRN is composed of representatives from seven statewide networks that have grown out of the grassroots organizing of CELDF, which has assisted communities to advance Community Rights at the local level for 20 years. Nearly 200 communities across the U.S. have adopted CELDF-drafted Community Bills of Rights, protecting community rights to clean air and water, sustainable food, energy, and other systems, and the right to local self-governance.
The NCRN assists the state Community Rights Networks to educate people across the country on community rights and local self-governance; helps to secure the inalienable rights of all people, communities, and ecosystems through local self-governance; asserts community rights to empower and liberate communities from state preemption and corporate harm; and advances those efforts toward state and federal constitutional change.