Groundswell for environmental rights

Want an environmental bill of rights in your area?

Braden Crooks thinks communities need them. Until August 8th, he's working in State College, Pennsylvania to get an Environmental Bill of Rights on the popular ballot in the borough this fall. Groundswell believes that state and federal government are unduly influenced - some might say polluted by - industrial corporate power brokers who damage land, ruin air, toxify water, and reap enormous profits at communities' expense. The best option is to declare this "a civil rights issue as much as an environmental problem. As we move toward environmental and energy crises on a global scale we will build sustainable places where we live. We deserve the right to do so." State College? A more sustainable place to live?

According to statecollege.com,
The measure, if approved through a popular vote, would revise the borough home-rule charter to underscore borough residents' rights to clear air and clean water -- rights already prescribed under the state constitution.

It also would say that residents have a right to sustainable energy; that ecosystems have the rights to clean air and water; that future gas drilling is banned within the borough; and that any "non-sustainable energy production" would be persona non grata in State College proper.

The effort has already gained support from borough Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and some Borough Council candidates, including incumbents Peter Morris and Theresa Lafer and challenger Sarah Klinetob. But to get on the November ballot, Crooks, 23, and his Groundswell colleagues will need to gather just more than 700 petition signatures by Aug. 8.

Only borough residents may sign the petition.
Have you signed yet? If you haven't, why not?

Learn more about Groundswell at their website or their Facebook page and contact them to learn more.

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