To The Daily Sun,

With the midterm elections upon us, we are all acutely aware of the party lines that exist, "the blue wave"and the lack of bipartisanship on both sides of the aisle. However in New Hampshire there is another wave intensifying as it reaches communities across our state. It is for the benefit of all people. It is about democracy in its purest form. It is about bringing forth a Community Rights Amendment and it has been gaining momentum.

Communities in our state have been targeted by corporations seeking profit over protection of people and the natural environment. Whether it be energy companies wanting to trample across our state, others dumping toxic waste and poisoning our water, water extraction, industrial wind or other harms targeting communities, the people are routinely restricted as to what they are allowed to do. They are often told by lawmakers that "we're beyond their authority" or that "it is a state issue not a local issue." This is unacceptable. This should not be tolerated.

Why do large corporations possess more rights than the communities that they are doing business in?

Communities need to be able to say "no" to harmful projects and "yes" to sustainability in our state. A Community Rights Amendment would elevate the rights of communities above the claimed "rights" of corporations and the governing structures that support them. It will secure the right of local self government. It will free communities from legislative ceiling pre-emption that prevents how much you are allowed to protect the health, safety and welfare of your community.

This would not and is not intended to limit already protected state and federal rights of individuals. This is democracy that is rooted in equal rights for all and special privileges or advantages for none.

In 2018 the proposed Community Rights Amendment garnered one-third House support and will be back in 2019. I am optimistic that in the coming year the proposed amendment will gather even more support. I believe that regardless of people's political affiliation we can agree that we live in a flawed democracy which demands that change be made to secure the rights of all people.

If you would like to learn more, I encourage reader's to contact New Hampshire Community Rights Network (NHCRN) by email at or through their website at NHCRN is a statewide, grass roots nonprofit that informs citizens and legislators about the inalienable right we have to local self government.

Sue Ozkan

NHCRN Board Member


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