Windsor Community Rights Network

Merrily Mazza: Why we need a Lafayette Climate Bill of Rights

January 15th, 2017

Merrily Mazza: Why we need a Lafayette Climate Bill of Rights

Merrily Mazza of Lafayette voices her opposition to fracking at a meeting of Boulder County commissioners in 2014. (MARK LEFFINGWELL / Daily Camera)

Merrily Mazza of Lafayette voices her opposition to fracking at a meeting of Boulder County commissioners in 2014. (MARK LEFFINGWELL / Daily Camera)

On Jan. 3, I and another Lafayette councilor, Gustavo Reyna, introduced a proposed ordinance, the Lafayette Climate Bill of Rights and Protections. The “right to climate” is not a new right but an ancient one. It’s the right to have conditions conducive to life, and the right to self-determination and survival. A federal judge recently recognized that such a right is central to bedrock guarantees of life and liberty (Juliana et al., v. United States of America, United States District Court for the District of Oregon).

Lafayette’s Climate Bill of Rights empowers community members to directly protect the environment through civil disobedience assuming the council and state do not recognize a right to a healthy climate. Lafayette would be the third community to enact such a measure nationally.

Why have we taken this step?

Colorado people and communities have been fighting corporate environmental harms for more than 35 years. All our democratic efforts have been overturned by the courts — courts that have been protecting corporations from people for more than 100 years.

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