To The Daily Sun,

Three Newfound area towns took up the issue of Community Rights on Tuesday, March 11. Alexandria, Danbury, and Hebron considered warrant articles to expand our rights to local democracy and sustainability.

We join an increasing number of New Hampshire communities that are coming together to secure our rights to make the critical decisions about our own futures.

In Alexandria, Danbury and Hebron, our communities are threatened with industrial wind turbines. On March 11, residents in all three towns adopted Community Bills of Rights Ordinances asserting our rights to local self-governance and banning unsustainable energy projects. The ordinances were voted in by 320 to 119 in Alexandria, in Danbury 264 to 124 and in Hebron, the vote was 88 to 17.

Following the vote in Alexandria, Tom Larson stated, "I know I am proud to be a resident in a town with this much backbone." Another resident, Jim Hoyt stated, "With our small town being threatened by foreign companies who want to destroy our land, environment and way of life, the residents of Alexandria have pulled together and showed by this vote that we are willing to take a stand to protect and enforce our rights. I am proud to be a part of this community."

We have witnessed the devastation from turbines in the nearby town of Groton. When we learned of the turbines coming to our communities, we contacted the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) for assistance. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a public interest law firm assisting communities across the country in grassroots organizing to assert community rights to democratic local self-governance, to recognize the rights of nature, and to create sustainable communities through local law-making.

CELDF has assisted more than 150 communities in drafting laws that protect them from harmful corporate activities such as shale gas drilling and "fracking", factory farming, and corporate water withdrawals, and eliminate corporate "rights" at the municipal level when they violate community rights to clean air and water, local self-governance, and the rights of nature.

Michelle Sanborn

CARE Group

Alexandria

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