Is this Localism or Leninism?
Spokane's city govt is wrestling with a referendum petition from a group calling itself Envision Spokane,
with more than enough signatures for numerical validity. The organization is shadowy, with definite Gaia tendencies, and their "Community Bill of Rights"
is also vague.
Part of it appeals to my localist soul: more power to neighborhoods, less to the city council. This would unquestionably be good for the people of Spokane, since the city government is a miserable failure, incapable of doing anything helpful and enthusiastically expert at ruining everything it lays its hands on.
Unfortunately, the rest of this "Community Bill of Rights" is pure Gaia, granting "rights" to plants and animals and inviting crazy lawsuits every hour on the hour. The petition itself is prima facie invalid since it covers a wide range of topics and attempts to amend laws without listing chapter and verse of the deletions and additions. These two characteristics are more than enough to declare the petition null and void immediately under state law. No further evaluation is needed.
When the Council had to decide whether to approve the petition, all sorts of fireworks ensued. Net result: the two legitimate council members (Al French and Nancy McLaughlin) voted correctly to turn down the petition immediately. The other 5 showed themselves to be illegitimate chickenshit Commie cowards by voting to "let the people decide".
Several of the public commenters at the meeting made an important point: "Letting the people decide" is not how our system is meant to work. We elect and pay
legislators to perform a certain amount of filtering and judgment. This is especially important today when we no longer have a genuine free press. Local TV stations and newspaper are studiously ignoring this matter, diligently failing to investigate the connections and funding of "Envision Spokane." So the People will have no rational basis to decide.
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To see video of the council meeting, go here
and click on the July 13 square.