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Teresa R. Cabrera

Home rule

Supreme Court Finds Lee’s School Voucher Program Doesn’t Violate House Rules Protections

Governor Bill Lee speaks in the Old Supreme Court Chamber of the State Capitol in Nashville on March 22, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Three years after lawmakers narrowly passed Governor Bill Lee’s school voucher program, the state Supreme Court overturned lower court findings that it violated Bylaw protections against county laws individual by applying only to Nashville and Shelby County.

The 3-2 decision published on Thursday came after the High Court decided to rehear arguments following the death last year of Judge Connie Clark. Court of Appeals Judge Skip Frierson sat on the case and sided with Chief Justice Roger Page and Judge Jeff Bivins. Justices Sharon Lee and Holly Kirby dissented.

UPDATE: When the voucher bill was passed, it was tied to the transfer of calculated dollars through the basic education program to cover private school tuition. Lawmakers this year approved an overhaul of the school funding formula called Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement, which funds individual students rather than districts as a whole. The Lee administration included a provision in the law to change the mechanism for funding the voucher program from the old formula to the new:

SECTION 53. Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-6-2603 is amended by deleting the term “Basic Education Program” wherever it appears and replacing it with “Tennessee’s Investment in the Success Formula.” students (TISA)”.

Here is the press release from the Administrative Office of the Courts:

In an opinion released today, the Tennessee Supreme Court determined that, although two county governments in Tennessee have standing to challenge the Education Savings Account Pilot Program (the “ESA Law”), Law No. is not rendered unconstitutional by the Home Rule Amendment, Section XI, Section 9, of the Tennessee Constitution.

In 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly signed into law the ESA Act. The law establishes a program whereby a limited number of eligible students directly receive their share of state and local education funds, which would normally be provided to the public school system they attend, to pay for an education in a private school. and associated expenses.

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the Shelby County Government, and the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education filed a lawsuit for declaratory judgment which named as defendants Governor Bill Lee, Commissioner of the Department of Education of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Education. The trial court also allowed other parties to intervene and participate as defendants. The complaint alleged that the ESA Act violated several provisions of the Tennessee Constitution, including the Home Rule Amendment, the Equal Protection Clauses, and the Education Clause.

The defendants filed separate motions challenging the plaintiffs’ ability to pursue the asserted claims and the legal sufficiency of those claims. The plaintiffs, in turn, filed a motion for summary judgment regarding their claim to change the Home Rule. The trial court determined that the two county plaintiffs had standing to pursue the claims, but dismissed the Metro School Board as a plaintiff for lack of standing. The trial court also granted the motion for summary judgment finding that the ESA Act violates the Home Rule Amendment and barred the state from implementing the law. The trial court reserved its decision on the defendants’ challenges to the claims of the equal protection and education clause.

The trial court granted the defendants an interlocutory appeal and the Court of Appeal granted the defendants’ appeals. The intermediate appeals court upheld the trial court, finding that Metro and Shelby County had standing to challenge the ESA Act under the Home Rule Amendment and that the law was unconstitutional under the autonomy amendment.

The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the defendants the leave to appeal applications. Since this is an interlocutory appeal, the issues before the Court were limited to the constitutionality of the ESA Act under the Home Rule Amendment and the ability of the plaintiffs to bring this challenge. The Supreme Court agreed with the trial court and the Court of Appeals that plaintiffs Metro and Shelby County had standing to file their Home Rule amendment petition. However, the Supreme Court, after reviewing the applicable constitutional language, held that the ESA Act was not rendered unconstitutional by the Home Rule Amendment because the Act is not “applicable” to the plaintiff’s counties for the purposes of the amendment. The majority concluded that the ESA Act is not applicable to the plaintiff’s counties because the statute regulates or governs the conduct of local education agencies and not the counties. Thus, the law does not violate the Home Rule Amendment. The Supreme Court therefore affirmed, in part, and reversed, in part, the judgment of the Court of Appeal and sent the case back to the trial court for the dismissal of the Home Rule amendment application and for consideration of the applicants’ remaining applications.

Judge Sharon G. Lee and Judge Holly Kirby joined in a separate, partly concurring and partly dissenting opinion. They agreed with the Court that Metro and Shelby County had standing to challenge the ESA Act, but found the law violated the Home Rule Amendment. In their view, the ESA Act significantly affects the ability of Metro and Shelby County to self-govern and decide on school funding issues. Under ESA law, only Metro and Shelby counties and no other counties in the state have to pay for students who drop out of public schools and use their private school tuition vouchers. Because the ESA Act has local effect and application, and because the law gives Metro and Shelby County no choice in the matter, it violates the Home Rule Amendment.

To read the majority opinion in Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, et al. v. Tennessee Department of Education, et al.written by Chief Justice Roger A. Page, and the separate opinion written by Judge Sharon G. Lee, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov.

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Self government

The Governor General uses her trip to Nunavik to highlight the importance of self-government

Governor General Mary Simon says she wants to see Indigenous communities take back the power they held before colonization

Governor General Mary Simon wasted no time this week on her first trip to Nunavik in three years, using the visit to encourage leaders to advance self-government negotiations.

Simon, originally from Kuujjuaq and former president of Makivik Corp., has her own experience as a lead negotiator in the Nunavik self-determination process.

On her first day in the area, she brought up the issue during a meeting with Makivik Corp. and other representatives of Inuit organizations from Nunavik, emphasizing the need to negotiate a new agreement with the Government of Quebec.

She also worked on the other side of the table, pushing Quebec Premier François Legault to appoint a negotiator. During briefings with Makivik executives on Monday, she assured that the work had paid off.

“[Legault] committed in the meeting with me to appoint a negotiator,” she said. “I asked him to say it twice, so he said it publicly.”

Simon sat down with Nunatsiaq News during her five-day tour of Nunavik this week, to discuss why the quest for self-government in Nunavik is so important to her.

“The goal of negotiating self-determination or self-government agreements in, I think, all parts of Canada, Indigenous communities, is to bring back the power that we had before colonization,” she said. .

Simon said one of his visions for Inuit self-determination is that infrastructure and social development in the Arctic should match some of the development that has happened in the rest of Canada.

However, she says, development in Nunavik must be led and controlled by the region’s Inuit.

“For Inuit, it’s important that there is a mesh of ways of looking at how infrastructure is developed, and that infrastructure supports different things like education, health, municipal services,” said she said.

“All of these different services that are in the communities are going to be encompassed by this self-government agreement, you have to watch how these things evolve as you negotiate self-government.”

There are areas where Nunavimmiut are leading the charge on social issues, through the Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Center in Kuujjuaq and the Unaaq Men’s Association in Inukjuak.

“I’m really happy to listen to the challenges that people face in their communities, I’m also really happy to listen to the success stories, so hopefully I can bring that to a wider audience in Canada,” said Simon, after meeting with representatives of these groups.

“Communities, on the one hand, have a lot of social problems, but on the other hand, they also thrive, they speak their language, they practice their culture, and in some of the schools that we have been, the people who work there speak to students in Inuktitut.

Simon’s Nunavik tour included stops in Kuujjuaq, Kangiqsualujjuaq and Inukjuak. A planned visit to Kangiqsujuaq was canceled on Wednesday due to poor flying conditions, with Simon calling on community representatives to apologize and promising to return in the future.

She described her visit to Nunavik as “comforting” and “gratifying”.

Governors general generally serve a five-year term. In the four years remaining in Simon’s term, she said she hopes to be able to visit all the communities in Nunavik and see as much of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon as possible.

“I have a lot of traveling to do,” she said.

Each time Simon returns to Nunavik, she will be welcomed with open arms, said Mary Johannes, Mayor of Kuujjuaq and friend of Simon’s family.

“It was a special time for us, and for our community, our city, and to welcome him into our home,” Johannes said. “It’s a special week for us and we hope to see her again.”

Simon’s Nunavik tour ended on Friday.

Next, she will travel to Toronto for the Juno Awards, where she will present the Humanitarian Award to Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark.

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Home rule

Peter Hitchens says UK should have granted Home Rule to Ireland before 1914

Home Rule was a movement that campaigned for Irish autonomy within the United Kingdom

Peter Hitchens believes that the British government should have granted Home Rule to Ireland before 1914.

Home Rule was a movement that campaigned for Irish self-government within the United Kingdom.

A Home Rule Bill was introduced in the House of Commons three times, once in 1886, then again in 1893 and again in 1912.

It was finally passed by Parliament in 1914.

Peter Hitchens talks to Mark Steyn

Michelle O'Neill, Vice President of Sinn Fein

Michelle O’Neill, Vice President of Sinn Fein

But Mr Hitchens believes the British establishment has “long wanted to get rid of Northern Ireland”, adding that the Home Rule Bill should have been approved before 1914.

Speaking to Mark Steyn on GB News, Mr Hitchens said: ‘John Major had made it clear in his great, unselfish statement about remaining interests that people who call them loyalists in Northern Ireland increasingly find this country they want to be loyal to. I don’t want to have them.

“The British establishment has long wanted to get rid of Northern Ireland, it’s expensive, it’s complicated, it’s difficult.

“And they’re facing enormous pressure from outside, I imagine strongly from the European Union, I know for sure from the United States, to find a way to hand over the baton.”

Boris Johnson admits Northern Ireland protocol situation is now ‘very serious’

He continued: “What I find distressing about this is that if you talk about it with any frankness you immediately get into this horrible sectarian, one side of the other football, team stuff. United vs City football.

“Because you don’t like Sinn Fein, people think you’re part of the Orange Order.

“I actually think the British government should have granted Home Rule to Ireland before 1914.

“I think the mismanagement of that and the terrible mismanagement of the Easter Rising, the execution of leaders, disastrous policies.

“Northern Ireland’s neglect in the post-war period was also a great disgrace.

“But there have always been plenty of peaceful, law-abiding people in Northern Ireland who believe in Irish nationalism and have sought a peaceful path to some kind of sensible compromise.

“And what this deal did was it pushed them to one side.”

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Sovereignty

Dissolving theme park self-government won’t be so simple

In late April, a short special session of the Florida legislature voted to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a previously little-known entity that functions as the private government of Disney Co. in central Florida.

For more than 50 years, the district has enabled Disney to oversee various services for 27,000 acres in central Florida that house the company’s theme parks.

The disbandment, widely understood to be part of a larger political row over the “Don’t Say Gay” law between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, leaves a series of unresolved issues in its wake, experts said. bisnow this week.

One uncertainty is the fate of more than hundreds of millions of bonds issued by the district. In addition, there is the potentially longer-term question of whether Orange and Osceola counties will be permanently responsible for providing the services currently provided by Reedy Creek.

“I’m not sure there has ever been a case where a special district was disbanded without a specific plan in place on how the debt and services provided by the district would be distributed among the local governments,” they said. said Shepard, Smith, Kohlmyer & Hand. partner Jacob Schumer, who is based in Orlando.

That kind of uncertainty is a recipe for legal challenges, he added, and at this stage of the game any number of legal challenges are possible. This is especially true if the Florida legislature does not reinstate the district or devise another solution that would satisfy everyone involved.

Given the stormy political circumstances that prompted the Florida legislature to shut down Reedy Creek, finding such a solution could be problematic.

“It was a way for Governor DeSantis to appeal to his conservative base and gain more national attention, to get his name recognized among Republican voters across the country,” Aubrey Jewett said. , an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Central Florida, specializing in Florida politics.

The governor’s office did not respond to questions from bisnow On the question.

“About an hour before the start of the special session, the governor announced that he was expanding the session to include the dissolution [of] Reedy Creek,” Jewett said. “So there was no warning, and a few days later, bing-bang-boom, it was done, with virtually no research into the financial implications for the government. or whatever.”

The governor’s office released a statement shortly after DeSantis signed the bill stating that “in the near future, we will be proposing additional legislation to authorize additional special districts in a manner that ensures transparency and rules fair gaming under the law”.

No details were offered.

Legal challenges to the dissolution could come from multiple quarters, Schumer said.

Assuming there are no changes to the disbandment plan, Disney could have a First Amendment retaliatory lawsuit claiming the state punished him for exercising his free speech rights, a he noted. In such a case, the state could argue that it was within its rights, as the original creator of the special district, to dissolve it.

While possible, a First Amendment lawsuit is less likely than a lawsuit by Reedy Creek bondholders to stop the dissolution law from going into effect, Schumer said, and it’s possible some taxpayers in the county are also suing.

“It’s hard to guess what the private actors will do, but since every bondholder theoretically has the ability to sue, I would expect at least some of them to want to litigate. the cause – stepping in to say, it’s not OK,” Schumer said. “As it stands, the district’s debt is going to be dumped on Orange and Oceola counties.”

Currently, Reedy Creek has about $79 million in utility revenue and refund obligations and $766 million in ad valorem tax obligations, according to Fitch, which recently said the bill poses “significant risk.” for the credit quality of these districts, including Reedy”. Creek Improvement District.”

Reedy Creek did not respond to a question from bisnowBut the district issued a statement shortly after the legislature moved to dissolve it, attempting to reassure bondholders that Florida law requires that even in cases like this, they will be paid.

“In light of the State of Florida’s commitment to the District’s bondholders, Reedy Creek plans to explore its options while continuing its current operations, including…debt service payments on its ad valorem tax obligations and its utility revenue obligations, pursuant to its debt covenants and the operation and maintenance of its properties,” the statement read.

Reserved area

Bisnow/Dees Stribling

The Old State Capitol in Tallahassee

Although Reedy Creek is unique in that it is controlled by a major entertainment conglomerate, many of the powers granted to the district are found in other special districts in Florida, according to Jewett.

“For example, we have many community development districts, which are formed to finance, build and maintain infrastructure for new developments, and, like Reedy Creek, can issue tax-exempt municipal bonds to raise funds,” said Jewett.

The district also has the power “to issue general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, assessment bonds, or any other bond”, according to the 1967 charter.

Under Florida law, there are also fire protection districts, utility districts (water, sewer, electrical), drainage districts, mosquito control districts, transportation districts for roads and bridges, sanitation districts for solid waste and environmental districts to protect the land.

Most other states also provide this type of special districts.

“Yet the combination of powers given to Reedy Creek is not found in any other special district in Florida, and there are also a few powers that you won’t find anywhere else,” Jewett said.

More prosaically, these exceptional powers include Reedy Creek’s ability to have its own building code and building inspections, but Reedy Creek also possesses at least one very unusual power, at least by 21st century standards: the ability to develop a nuclear power plant.

In the 1960s, part of Disney’s plans for Reedy Creek included residential development, and it was seen at the time as a forward-thinking option for local power generation.

The ability to sue could be delayed, however, given the long delay – more than a year – before Reedy Creek is actually scheduled for bed.

“The biggest legal hurdle in my mind is that the dissolution doesn’t happen until June 1, 2023,” said Lewis, Longman & Walker shareholder Chris Lyon, who is based in Tallahassee and has represented special districts in as a lawyer and lobbyist for almost 20 years. “I’m not sure a court case on the debt issue is ripe before then.”

As for the argument that a referendum is needed to dissolve the district, Lyon said he doesn’t think that holds water, because the legislator made a specific exception to this law, which he is entitled to. to do.

During debate on the bill, Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican, said it replaces a requirement in Florida law that specifies that voters in a special district must approve its dissolution.

To which state Rep. Dotie Joseph, a Democrat, responded, according to CNN: “I think to change the law that’s there, you’ll repeal it, not just put in another one that violates it, but what the I know? I’m just a lawyer.”

A stakeholder vote on dissolution might be off the table, but that doesn’t mean the interested parties — Disney and the state — won’t negotiate, even though Disney has so far remained mum on its plans.

“Pragmatically, I imagine Disney/Reedy Creek would like to end this dispute and work with the Governor and Legislature to reinstate the District concurrently with the Dissolution Date – which the law allows – rather than to continue the fight by going to court,” Lyon said.

“What’s most likely to happen is a renegotiation,” said Eleanor Wilking, an assistant professor at Cornell Law School who studies tax policy.

“There are strong incentives on both sides that they come to an agreement and have Reedy Creek, or something very similar, reinstated,” Wilking said. “The political pressure is going to come from voters and representatives in Central Florida who don’t [want] a sudden property tax hike, no matter how big.”

There have been bottom-of-the-envelope calculations about how much ending Reedy Creek could cost the two counties, but no hard numbers yet, Jewett said.

“I think the governor and the legislature now realize that this looks bad politically, so I expect some sort of action on the matter shortly,” Jewett said.

“Dissolving Rey Creek is going to affect taxpayers no matter how they choose to do it,” said Sen. Linda Stewart, a Democrat who represents part of Orange County. bisnow. “It’s unavoidable. It wasn’t broken to begin with, so we don’t know why the state is changing it, other than the difference of opinion on a social issue between Disney and the governor.”

Stewart said the final numbers haven’t been worked out yet, but she thinks at least $1 billion is a useful shorthand. The Orange and Osceola county ratepayers bill will be at least as much, if not more, if Reedy Creek were really to be dissolved, she said.

“The amount of a property tax increase is of course based on the value of your home or commercial property,” Stewart said. “So for an Orange County homeowner, it could cost between $1,200 and $2,200 more per year, every year. It would probably be more for commercial owners.”

According to other calculations, the increases for landowners are considerably less than this.

Disney makes annual payments to the Reedy Creek Improvement District of $105 million for operations and $58 million for bond debt, or $163 million a year that would be passed on to local taxpayers, according to news outlet WESH.

Using that figure, a median-priced home in Orange County would pay $156 to $208 a year more if Disney’s government was ultimately dismantled, WESH estimates.

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Home rule

Florida governor paraphrases bill stripping Disney of self-governing authority

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that strips the Walt Disney Co of self-governing authority in its Orlando-area parks to counter resistance to a new bylaw that restricts teaching about LGBTQ issues. in schools. The Republican-controlled Legislature on Thursday approved the bill, which will remove special governmental jurisdiction that allows the organization to operate Walt Disney World Resort as its own town. Within the 25,000 acre territory, it serves four theme parks, two water parks and 175 miles of road.

Disney did not immediately comment on the signing of the bill.

Disney’s special status “was really an aberration,” DeSantis said at a press conference where he signed the bill. “No individual or business in Florida is treated this way.”

While the financial impact on the company and the state is uncertain, the change could alter the way Disney runs its sprawling Central Florida empire and strain the close relationship it has had with the state for more than a decade. 50 years.

DeSantis is a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate who has courted conservative voters on issues including immigration, abortion and LGBTQ rights.

The governor said Friday that Disney would pay more taxes because of the law, but did not elaborate.

With his latest decision against Disney, DeSantis is trying to restore his conservative image by showing he’s ready to stand up to what he described as a “woke” California-based company that doesn’t share Florida values.

Disney initially did not publicly oppose LGBTQ legislation last month, drawing criticism from that community and some employees. The company later condemned the law and said it would suspend political donations in Florida pending a review.

The law, dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill by critics, prohibits classroom teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis supported the measure, saying it would give parents more control over their children’s education. Opponents call it a thinly veiled attempt to marginalize gay and transgender students, or children of gay parents.

At a fundraiser in Seattle on Thursday, President Joe Biden weighed in on the clash between Disney and Republicans in Florida. He said efforts to impose such constraints “have nothing to do with traditional conservative doctrine.” “I respect the Conservatives. There’s nothing conservative about deciding that you’re going to throw Disney out of its current posture because Mickey Mouse…shouldn’t…can’t say, you know, gay.

While the bill appears to be an attack on Disney and Orlando’s sprawling theme parks, experts say the financial impact of the legislation on the company and the state is unclear at this point. DeSantis rushed the bill through the statehouse, pushing it through within three days of a special session, but it won’t go into effect until June 2023, giving both sides time to adjust to the new reality.

The law dissolves the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was created in the 1960s to attract Disney World to the state, after the much smaller Disneyland became a hit theme park in California. For more than half a century, the District has enabled Disney to operate as a county government, providing services such as firefighting, power, water and roads in Orange Counties and Osceola. In turn, Disney can issue bonds with tax advantages to pay for the improvements.

Disney is a major political contributor in the state. During the 2020 election cycle, the company donated a total of $4.8 million, including campaign funds, to more than 100 individual members of the Florida Legislative Assembly, some of whom sponsored the legislation of Thursday, according to state records. It’s unclear whether the state or the company will be harmed the most now that the bill has become law.

Summary of news:

  • Florida governor paraphrases bill stripping Disney of self-governing authority
  • Check out all the news and articles from the latest business news updates.
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Self government

Florida Governor DeSantis signs bill eliminating Disney self-government and certain other special districts

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida. –Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that eliminates special districts created before 1968, including Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The governor signed several bills into law during a ceremony at a South Florida charter school on Friday afternoon, including the special districts bill introduced by Rep. Randy Fine. The Reedy Creek Improvement District – created by state legislators in 1967 – acts as Walt Disney World’s own government with two towns and lands in Orange and Osceola counties.

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The initial conversation about repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement District began when Disney spoke out against signing the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. As the bill approached DeSantis’ desk earlier in March, multiple protests were held calling on Disney to do what it could to speak out against the legislation and halt its momentum in the Florida legislature.

DeSantis commented on Disney’s action at Friday’s press conference and said that while “none of this happened, it’s the right thing to do,” calling Disney’s government “unlike to everything we know in the state of Florida.”

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“No individual or business in Florida is treated this way, and it’s not fair to have this similar treatment. But you know, they had wielded a lot of power over the years. It was never something that was debated. In fact, I don’t even know if I even knew the name of it before it became something that was live for the past few months,” he said.

According to the wording of the bill, it will dissolve “any independent special district established by special statute prior to the date of ratification of the Constitution of Florida on November 5, 1968, and which has not been reinstated, re-ratified, or otherwise reconstituted by a special law or a general law subsequent to November 5, 1968.

Although the details are far from clear, the proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney. Democratic state lawmakers who oppose the bill have also warned that it could result in hefty tax bills for owners if they had to absorb the costs the company used to pay.

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, whose county is partly home to Disney World, said it would be “catastrophic to our budget” if the county had to bear the cost of public safety at the theme park. Reedy Creek is currently reimbursing the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for public safety costs.

Fine said Disney and its Reedy Creek District were not the target of the bill, but Disney “chose to kick the hornet’s nest” leading to this legislation.

Disney could reapply to the legislature for its special district; otherwise, it would disband in June 2023. The measure allows for the reinstatement of the districts, leaving room to renegotiate its future.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.

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Sovereignty

Florida lawmakers approve bill to dissolve self-governing Disney World

WASHINGTON — In May 2021, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) officially announced the worst year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent history. At the time, state lawmakers introduced more than 250 bills — from anti-trans sports legislation to religious denial measures — in state houses across the country, 17 of which were signed into law.

Now, LGBTQ+ rights in the states seem to be impacted even more. According to HRC, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have surfaced in 36 legislatures. As legislation grows — 41 such measures were introduced in 2018 — the number of bills passed and enshrined in state law is also growing, though LGBTQ+ advocates often challenge the laws in court. .

Legislation overwhelmingly targets trans youth, the organization says, from blocking participation in sports to banning access to gender-affirming healthcare. Lawmakers have also attempted, and in some cases passed, legislation limiting how LGBTQ+ issues can be taught in schools and preventing trans children from using bathrooms that match their gender identity.

“2022 is on track to surpass last year’s record number of anti-transgender bills,” Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel at HRC, told the Blade, calling the “attacks ‘craven, baseless’ legislative action against trans youth and an effort to create more division, sow fear and excite radical right-wing voters at the expense of innocent children.

Supporters of the bills say they must “protect” parental rights, children and religious freedom. However, advocates and LGBTQ+ people continue to denounce the legislation as discriminatory and harmful.

One of the most talked about anti-LGBTQ+ measures this year has been Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last month. The legislation will ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through grade 3 if it survives legal challenges.

Days after DeSantis signed the bill, the first lawsuit against the measure emerged, arguing that the law “would deny an entire generation that LGBTQ people exist and have equal dignity.”

“This effort to control young minds through state censorship — and to demean LGBTQ lives by denying their reality — is a grave abuse of power,” the lawsuit states.

Since the Republican sponsors successfully pushed the bill through, other states have followed in Florida’s footsteps. Ohio, for example, introduced its version of the legislation about a week after DeSantis signed it.

In Alabama, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed an anti-trans restroom bill with a last-minute amendment to stop educators discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through 5th grade. year. Ivey didn’t stop there, also signing a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors.

As in Florida, LGBTQ+ advocates were quick to announce legal challenges to the legislation. Some of the most prominent LGBTQ+ and civil rights organizations – including the HRC, GLAD and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) – have announced a legal challenge in federal court against the ban on gender-affirming care in Alabama.

In terms of legislation introduced, Tennessee has significantly outpaced other states, according to LGBTQ+ rights organization Freedom for All Americans. The group’s legislative tracker found more than 30 bills limiting LGBTQ+ rights in the state, including a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and a ban on LGBTQ-themed literature in schools. But, unlike other Republican-controlled states, none have made it out of the state house.

Arizona has also been a hot spot for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, with at least 17 bills, according to Freedom for All Americans. In March, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed two bills limiting the rights of trans people in the state – one banning certain types of medical care for trans youth and the other preventing trans students from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

“Across the country, moderate Republicans are struggling — and too often failing — to prevent dangerous extremists from taking control of their party,” Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), told The Blade at the time, adding, “We risk seeing large segments of our nation give way to authoritarian extremism.”

In other states, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has become law without the support of its governor, Democrat or Republican. In fact, two Republican governors vetoed anti-trans sports bills in late March.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, both Republicans, vetoed a law banning trans youth from participating in sports. Cox said the bill had “several fundamental flaws and should be reconsidered,” while Holcomb said the measure was looking for a problem.

Ultimately, however, the Utah House overruled Cox’s veto a few days later. Holcomb’s veto still stands.

“This [Utah] The bill highlights an issue of “fairness” in school sports that simply does not exist – but its negative impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary youth are very real said Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project. “These young people already face disproportionate rates of bullying, depression and risk of suicide, and bills like this will only make matters worse.”

In recent weeks, two Democratic governors have vetoed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation from their Republican-controlled legislatures.

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed legislation that would ban trans girls from playing on sports teams at Kentucky schools that match their gender identity from sixth grade through college. GOP lawmakers quickly reversed the decision.

“Shame on the Kentucky General Assembly for attacking trans kids today,” said Chris Hartman, executive director of the Equity Campaign. Shame on our Commonwealth lawmakers for passing the first explicitly anti-LGBTQ law in Kentucky in nearly a decade.

Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly last weekend vetoed two anti-LGBTQ+ measures, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” and “Equity in Women’s Sports” laws.

GOP lawmakers in Idaho decided last month to effectively kill a bill criminalizing gender-affirming care, one of the most extreme proposals in the country. It would have made it a crime – punishable by life in prison – to provide minors with hormones, puberty blockers or gender-affirming surgery.

In a statement, Idaho Senate Republicans said they “strongly” oppose “any sex reassignment and surgical manipulation of the natural sex” on minors. But they also wrote that the controversial legislation “undermines” a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their children.

“We believe in the rights of parents and that the best decisions about medical treatment options for children are made by parents, with the guidance and expertise of their doctor,” the senators wrote.

Texas is one of 14 states without anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, as the state only holds legislative sessions in odd-numbered years. However, the Lone Star State has made headlines for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s anti-Trans orders.

Abbott in February ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate reports of gender-affirming care of minors as “child abuse.” The order followed an official notice from state Attorney General Ken Paxton that called the treatment a form of “child abuse” under Texas law.

Since then, two Texas judges have ruled against the policy — one in district court and the other after an appeal. Still, Paxton vows to keep fighting for order in court.

But even as Republican politicians continue to push to limit LGBTQ+ rights, many LGBTQ+ advocates, individuals, and allies vow to continue to fight discriminatory efforts, whether in court or on the streets.

“The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns these harmful and potentially deadly bills and will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight for the rights of transgender youth and all LGBTQ+ people,” Oakley said.

In a January 2022 poll by The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth under 25, and Morning Consult, more than two-thirds of LGBTQ youth said recent debates over state laws that target transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.

“These findings underscore how recent politics and ongoing crises around the world can have a real negative impact on LGBTQ youth, a group that is consistently at significantly increased risk for depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide in because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society,” Amit Paley, CEO of The Trevor Project, said in a statement.

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Self government

Florida Senate Strips Disney of Self-Government Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Critics

The Florida Senate voted on Wednesday strip the Walt Disney Company of special privileges in regulating and maintaining 38 square miles of central Florida, home to its six theme parks and resorts.

The 23-16 vote on SB 4 came a day after Governor Ron DeSantis said he wants the Legislature to repeal the governance structure for Disney properties in Florida.

The entertainment giant was caught up in the election-year culture war when its CEO pledged to work to repeal the Parental Rights in Education Act – which opponents decried as the “Don’t don’t say gay.

As lawmakers debated the measure, the DeSantis campaign for governor sent in a fundraising pitch stating that Disney had chosen to fight “the wrong guy” and for contributors to “join the fight against corruption.” democratic machine and awaken the leaders of Disney”.

Democrats protested Republicans’ rush to punish the state’s largest private employer for political speech that degraded the legislative process.

“With all due respect, this is not a meaningful legislative review. It’s a punishment. This is political theater, and we are better than that,” said Sen. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee.

DeSantis vs. Disney:

Sen. Jennifer Bradley’s R-Green Cove measure includes a carrot-and-stick approach in that it won’t go into effect until June 2023, enough time for Disney, in the words of the sponsor. of the House, Rep. Randy Fine, R-Brevard, to reconsider his criticism of the Florida law.

“It’s a bit like parents imposing restrictions on their children. Clean up your act, apologize, say you’re sorry, and agree to change your behavior. Maybe you’ll get your phone or other privileges back” , observed Ausley.

At issue is the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district established in 1967 that provides Disney with unprecedented tax and regulatory authority to build an entertainment empire that has become the world’s number one tourist attraction.

The House and Senate repeal sponsors argue that Disney is not in compliance with a 1997 law that required districts to seek recodification. Disney would have a year to put its paperwork in order and ask the legislature to reauthorize Reedy Creek.

‘I let you down’:Disney CEO apologizes for response to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

DeSantis vs. Disney:DeSantis Says He’ll Sign So-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Soon, Criticizes Disney Again

The GOP follows suit:Fetterhoff and Barnaby return contributions to Disney for ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

“Everyone in this room knows it’s not going to happen”

Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Fort Lauderdale, complained during the debate that the Legislative Assembly was wasting everyone’s time.

If Reedy Creek were dissolved, he pointed out, Orange and Osceola counties would have to shoulder more than $1 billion in debt and be responsible for maintaining a network of roads and facilities. wastewater treatment plant, as well as a 3,000-member fire and paramedic team.

“Everyone in this room knows that’s not going to happen,” Pizzo said of saddled two counties with billions in debt.

Pizzo told Bradley he was sorry she had to “do some penance” for voting no against “Don’t Say Gay” by sponsoring Disney’s repeal measure.

Addressing the Republican majority, he said they struggled to explain to people what lawmakers are doing in Tallahassee: “When we’re here for special sessions, we get spoon-fed bills that none of you didn’t write, that neither of you had any input on, then have to pass.

Bradley responded that the Legislature will make sure the “parade of horribles” described by Democrats does not happen.

Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson said Disney and the state will take a “deep dive” over the next year to prepare for the dissolution of Reedy Creek.

“The folks at Disney are going to get their legal team together. They’re going to meet with our legal team, the House, the Senate, and the governor’s office. We’re going to get the teams together to start coming up with a plan,” Simpson said.

Rep. Spencer Roach, R-Fort Myers, has lobbied to review the Reedy Creek layout because he believes it gives Disney an unfair advantage over other theme parks.

“I have a theme park in my district. It’s the oldest and oldest tourist amusement center in southwest Florida, called Shell Factory. They would like to have their own government, but that’s not It’s not,” Roach said, portraying the battle as one between a “cockroach and a mouse.”

The House accepted the Senate bill on Wednesday afternoon, and Speaker Chris Sprows said the chambers would consider it Thursday morning.

Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat using the link at the top of the page.

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Sovereignty

Disney could be stripped of its power of self-government, DeSantis says

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Tuesday morning at the Villages. The governor began by announcing that lawmakers would consider ending Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District during this week’s special session. DeSantis issued a proclamation calling for the expansion of the special session to include considering ending all special districts enacted in Florida prior to 1968. Years before Cinderella’s Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to State lawmakers that Disney World should have governmental authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become DisneyWorld. Disney’s independence has been under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “parental rights in education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. “If Disney wants to embrace the ‘woke’ ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County,” Roach said. “DeSantis went on to say that higher education needs to be affordable and people need to be aware of other pathways. He was joined by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprows.

Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference Tuesday morning in The Villages.

The governor began by announcing that lawmakers would consider ending Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District during this week’s special session.

DeSantis issued a proclamation calling for the expansion of the special session to include consideration of the termination of all special districts enacted in Florida prior to 1968.

Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and the 1967 Legislature granted the corporation, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become Disney World.

Disney’s independence has come under scrutiny following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “Parental Rights in Education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

“If Disney wants to embrace the ‘woke’ ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County,” Roach said.

What else was discussed at the press conference?

DeSantis went on to say that higher education needs to be affordable and people need to be aware of other pathways. He was joined by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprows.

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Sovereignty

Florida Governor DeSantis Pushes To End Disney Self-Government

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday asked the Legislature to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to run private government on its properties in the state, the latest volley of a feud between the governor and the entertainment giant over what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

DeSantis, an ascendant GOP governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate, has battled with Disney over the company’s opposition to the new law banning instruction about the sexual orientation and identity of gender from kindergarten to third grade.

On Tuesday, DeSantis upped the ante.

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol for a special legislative session on redistricting Congress, the governor issued a proclamation that allows the GOP-controlled statehouse to accept bills eliminating the autonomous district of Disney. Republicans quickly tabled proposals to this effect.

“I’m announcing today that we’re expanding the appeal of what they’re going to be considering this week. And so, yes, they’ll be looking at the map of Congress, but they’ll also be looking at terminating any special districts that have been enacted into law. in Florida before 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” DeSantis said at a press conference, referring to the company’s administrative district without mentioning Disney by name. not precised.

Disney representatives did not return an email request for comment on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear how eliminating the district would affect the company or neighboring governments.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District is a private government controlled by Disney World and created by the state legislature in 1967 to provide government services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities, and infrastructure.

The creation of the district and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Officials of the company said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an EPCOT theme park.

The push to punish the company comes after Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state due to the new Parental Rights in Education Act. Opponents have dubbed the law “Don’t Say Gay”, arguing that banning classes on sexual orientation and gender identity in the early years would marginalize LGBTQ people.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers: Last year, the company said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. LGBTQ advocates who work for the company criticized CEO Bob Chapek for what they said was his slowness to speak out against the bill. Some left work in protest.

DeSantis has repeatedly lambasted Disney and critics of the law, attracting considerable attention in conservative media circles. He insists the policy is reasonable and says parents, not teachers, should bring up the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity with children.

Republican lawmakers seem receptive to punishing Disney, tabling proposals that would disband the district by June 2023. DeSantis has been a powerful governor, effectively pushing his priorities in the statehouse, and GOP Senate chairman and president of the House are supporting him on the Disney issue.

Democrats were quick to criticize the governor’s decision in retaliation for the company’s stance on the education bill. Some have pointed out that Disney has been a major economic driver in the state.

“What world are we living in right now? asked Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson. “It’s Florida’s state of freedom. If they don’t agree with the Governor, he pulls out the Gatling gun.

Richard Foglesong, a retired Rollins College political scientist whose book, ‘Married to the Mouse’ chronicles the formation of Reedy Creek, said he initially thought ‘cooler heads would prevail’ in the war of words between DeSantis and Disney.

“I think I was wrong. I overestimated — or underestimated — Governor DeSantis,” Foglesong said. “I see it as a legitimate threat.”

___

Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee and Mike Schneider in Orlando contributed to this report.

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Home rule

Palm Beach leaders have a right to honor the importance of self-reliance

The city of Palm Beach is lucky to have Darrell Donatto in its corner. The Florida League of Cities seems to agree.

The city’s fire chief was recently honored by the organization as a “Home Rule Hero.” Donatto is chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association, which works hand-in-hand with the League of Cities on issues such as self-reliance, which gives local governments the right to local self-governance. .

The state continues to eat away at it, much to the chagrin of the league and local governments.

For example, in February the city petitioned the state for the right to regulate toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on the island, which the state preempted. Many local governments are also against a bill before Gov. Ron DeSantis that allows businesses whose revenue drops 15% or more as a result of a local ordinance or local citizens’ initiative to sue cities and towns. counties in damages.

State lawmakers have also halted local government decisions on things like plastic bag bans (which the city had to repeal under threat of a lawsuit in 2019), vacation rental regulations, and a host of other things that used to be decided at the local level.

“The most important powers available to a city in Florida are its self-governing powers,” the resolution states, noting that the legislature “has continued to unnecessarily erode the ability of municipalities to enact self-government, to the detriment of the ability of local residential communities to protect the health, safety and well-being of its residents, visitors, domestic animals and wildlife.”

It was not the first time the city had tried to maintain autonomy. The community led the state in implementing rules designed to protect residents during the early stages of COVID-19 — before DeSantis overridden local rules — and was the first in the county to implement a program vaccination against the virus.

Residents are lucky that Donatto, the Florida League of Cities, and the City Council are fighting to maintain autonomy. The all-volunteer City Council and its various councils are used to being well-managed, well-informed and well-supported by the city’s excellent staff and legal team, so constant interference from the State is particularly confusing.

Instead of the bickering and grandstanding that can be found at other levels of government, Palm Beach’s leaders looked after the people of the city first and foremost.

This is a lesson we would like others to learn.

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Home rule

Florida League of Cities honors 2 Fort Pierce officials with ‘Home Rule Hero’ awards

Fort Pierce-April 14, 2022: Two Fort Pierce officials have been honored with Florida League of Cities (FLC) “Home Rule Hero” awards.

Mayor Linda Hudson and Commissioner Curtis Johnson, Jr. were both recognized for their work and advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session. They both worked throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida municipalities, and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

Autonomy is the ability of a city to solve local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, elected and unelected, who have always responded to the League’s request to contact members of the legislature and help provide a local perspective on an issue.

“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we are very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local authorities on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local leaders have been consistently engaged and actively defended their communities throughout the 2022 legislative session. They are Home Rule heroes and we thank them for their efforts.

“It’s important to the City of Fort Pierce and Florida’s more than 400 municipalities that the Legislature recognize Home Rule, a concept found in Florida’s constitution that allows local governments to uniquely and effectively serve residents.” said Mayor Linda Hudson. “We work as a team during each legislative session to tell our story to our state legislators.”

“It is an honor to receive this award and this recognition for the service that I love to do,” Commissioner Johnson said. “As a Florida native, born and raised in Fort Pierce, I will always stand up for local authority because communities need to be able to govern and meet their respective community standards.”

The Florida League of Cities will officially recognize Mayor Hudson and Commissioner Johnson at a future event hosted by the Treasure Coast Regional League of Cities.

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice of Florida municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-reliance and meet the needs of Florida cities.

For more information, visit: https://flcities.com/.

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Home rule

Taking Home Rule seriously in Kansas – Pratt Tribune

By Russell Fox Professor of Political Science Wichita State University

Many Kansas Republicans probably burst out laughing in disbelief when Gov. Laura Kelly recently insisted she was “a major advocate for local control.” The image of Democrats favoring big government programs, with Republicans fighting to keep government small and local, runs deep. The state’s GOP language, presenting Kelly’s emergency ordinances during the pandemic as examples of “one size fits all” overreach, expertly uses this stereotype.

The truth, however, is more complicated. In Kansas, this complexity is further tangled in the urban/rural divide, with the localities that the Republican majority in Topeka often seems most interested in defending being the slowly emptying rural parts of Kansas, and attempts at self-governance in growing Kansas towns and cities seen as a threat. When Kansas Senator John Doll (R-Garden City) recently commented “I think we [in the legislature] it is enough to do so many things to curb the power of the municipal authorities”, his frustration was justified.

This session included two clear examples of this dynamic. First, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from acknowledging popular environmental concerns by banning or taxing plastic bags, which emerged primarily in response to activism by concerned citizens in Wichita. Second, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from addressing safety and health concerns by issuing municipal ID cards to undocumented workers, which emerged primarily in response to a carefully negotiated ordinance passed in Wyandotte County. The vote was close in both cases (though tighter in the first case than the second), thus potentially allowing Governor Kelly, contrary to the mainstream Republican narrative, to use his veto pen to defend localism.

Anyone who has spent time observing the patterns of Kansas politics through the framework of our population division, and how that plays out in shaping the electoral interests of legislators, cannot find all of this entirely surprising. Over the past decade and a half, there have been many similar conflicts, with most Republican lawmakers consistently rejecting the concerns and priorities expressed in the (very slow, but sure) liberalization of urban Kansas. There have been state laws that reversed the city’s efforts to keep their insurance costs low by preserving gun-free zones in city buildings, and state rulings that blocked the city’s efforts. to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.

Federalism has always been, and always will be, a messy area of ​​American politics. Calls for “local control” have a mixed history on both sides of the political aisle and are often more self-serving than morally grounded. States with Democrat-dominated legislatures do not necessarily have a better record of upholding urban democracy. Still, given that Kansas has a literal “Home Rule” provision written into its state constitution, a little more deference and consistency would be nice. (For example, Lawrence passed an ordinance driven by concerns similar to Wyandotte’s with no reaction from the legislature, suggesting that state opposition to local governance is more a matter of political timing than legal interpretation. )

While there is no chance that Kansas will lose its reputation and historically rural character, the fact remains that the state’s economic development is primarily in the hands of the few urban parts of the state. where the population is growing. Local governments there need a free (or at least freer) hand to respond to the interests and beliefs of their citizens. Treating the efforts of urban Kansans in the name of public health, environmental stewardship, and civic life in the places where they live with dismissive inconsistency is no way to keep the Kansas sunflower blooming.

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Home rule

Work to Begin on Boston Bylaws Petition for an Elected School Committee

Work begins Thursday on a bylaws petition to codify last November’s term of office for an elected school board in Boston.

The business session would determine the details of the petition after more than 99,000 people — 79% of Boston voters, compared to 64% who elected Mayor Michelle Wu — said they wanted to replace Boston’s appointed school board with an elected one.

“I believe this moment requires democracy,” said General Councilor Julia Mejia, who plans to attend the working session with other councilors, as well as a handful of advocates for a fully elected school board. “If you are able to elect a school committee, you are able to hold it accountable.”

The task force will likely have two to three sessions before sending the final version of the bylaws petition to the city council for a vote, Mejia said.

If the council approves, the petition will then go to the state legislature for a vote, and if it passes there, it will head to Governor Charlie Baker to sign it if he agrees with it.
Boston is the only one of Massachusetts’ 351 municipalities that does not have an elected school board.

“Why should Boston be the only municipality where voters can’t be trusted to choose their own decision makers on the school board?” said Lisa Green of Bostonians for an elected school committee, which will participate in Thursday’s business session.

Boston is the only one of Massachusetts’ 351 municipalities that does not have an elected school board.

A city spokesperson didn’t say whether Wu planned to attend the business sessions or send a representative, saying only, “The mayor looks forward to reviewing the proposal she receives from the council.” .

Wu said she favors a hybrid model in which some committee members are appointed by her, as it “allows accountability from the mayor.” But a spokesperson did not say whether his appointees would act as proxies or be independent once appointed.

“It’s interesting that the mayor opposes receivership (a state takeover of Boston’s public schools), but wants at least a hybrid when it comes to the school board,” Green said.

“It’s always the same thing: removing local control. Should we ask the mayor to appoint the city council? We couldn’t stand that.

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Home rule

Taking Home Rule Seriously in Kansas

By Russell Fox Professor of Political Science Wichita State University

Many Kansas Republicans probably burst out laughing in disbelief when Gov. Laura Kelly recently insisted she was “a major advocate for local control.” The image of Democrats as favoring big government programs, with Republicans fighting to keep government small and local, is deeply ingrained. The state’s GOP language, presenting Kelly’s emergency ordinances during the pandemic as examples of “one size fits all” overreach, expertly uses this stereotype.

The truth, however, is more complicated. In Kansas, this complexity is further tangled in the urban/rural divide, with the localities that the Republican majority in Topeka often seems most interested in defending being the slowly emptying rural parts of Kansas, and attempts at self-governance in growing Kansas towns and cities seen as a threat. When Kansas Senator John Doll (R-Garden City) recently commented “I think we [in the legislature] it is enough to do so many things to curb the power of the municipal authorities”, his frustration was justified.

This session included two clear examples of this dynamic. First, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from acknowledging popular environmental concerns by banning or taxing plastic bags, which emerged primarily in response to activism by concerned citizens in Wichita. Second, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from addressing safety and health concerns by issuing municipal ID cards to undocumented workers, which emerged primarily in response to a carefully negotiated ordinance passed in Wyandotte County. The vote was close in both cases (though tighter in the first case than the second), thus potentially allowing Governor Kelly, contrary to the mainstream Republican narrative, to use his veto pen to defend localism.

Anyone who has spent time observing the patterns of Kansas politics through the framework of our population division, and how that plays out in shaping the electoral interests of legislators, cannot find all of this entirely surprising. Over the past decade and a half, there have been many similar conflicts, with most Republican lawmakers consistently rejecting the concerns and priorities expressed in the (very slow, but sure) liberalization of urban Kansas. There have been state laws that reversed the city’s efforts to keep their insurance costs low by preserving gun-free zones in city buildings, and state rulings that blocked the city’s efforts. to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.

Federalism has always been, and always will be, a messy area of ​​American politics. Calls for “local control” have a mixed history on both sides of the political aisle and are often more self-serving than morally grounded. States with Democrat-dominated legislatures do not necessarily have a better record of upholding urban democracy. Still, given that Kansas has a literal “Home Rule” provision written into its state constitution, a little more deference and consistency would be nice. (For example, Lawrence passed an ordinance driven by concerns similar to Wyandotte’s with no reaction from the legislature, suggesting that state opposition to local governance is more a matter of political timing than legal interpretation. )

While there is no chance that Kansas will lose its reputation and historically rural character, the fact remains that the state’s economic development is primarily in the hands of the few urban parts of the state. where the population is growing. Local governments there need a free (or at least freer) hand to respond to the interests and beliefs of their citizens. Treating the efforts of urban Kansans in the name of public health, environmental stewardship, and civic life in the places where they live with dismissive inconsistency is no way to keep the Kansas sunflower blooming.

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Home rule

Taking home rule seriously in Kansas – Leavenworth Times

Many Kansas Republicans probably giggled in disbelief when Gov. Laura Kelly recently insisted she was “a major advocate for local control.” The image of Democrats as favoring big government programs, with Republicans fighting to keep government small and local, is deeply ingrained. The state’s GOP language, presenting Kelly’s emergency ordinances during the pandemic as examples of “one size fits all” overreach, expertly uses this stereotype.

The truth, however, is more complicated. In Kansas, this complexity is further tangled in the urban/rural divide, with the localities that the Republican majority in Topeka often seems most interested in defending being rural Kansas localities that are slowly emptying out, and with attempts at self-governance. in growing Kansas. towns and cities considered a threat. When Kansas Sen. John Doll (R-Garden City) recently commented, “I think we (in the Legislature) do so much to limit the power of the municipality,” his frustration was justified.

This session included two clear examples of this dynamic. First, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from acknowledging popular environmental concerns by banning or taxing plastic bags, which emerged primarily in response to activism by concerned citizens in Wichita. Second, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from addressing safety and health concerns by issuing municipal ID cards to undocumented workers, which emerged primarily in response to a carefully negotiated ordinance passed in Wyandotte County. The vote was close in both cases (though tighter in the first case than in the second), thus potentially allowing Kelly, contrary to the mainstream Republican narrative, to use his veto pen to defend localism. Anyone who has spent time watching

Anyone who has spent time observing the patterns of Kansas politics through the framework of our population division, and how that plays out in shaping the electoral interests of legislators, cannot find all of this entirely surprising. Over the past decade and a half, there have been many similar conflicts, with most Republican lawmakers consistently rejecting the concerns and priorities expressed in the (very slow, but sure) liberalization of urban Kansas. There have been state laws that reversed the city’s efforts to keep their insurance costs low by preserving gun-free zones in city buildings, and state rulings that blocked the city’s efforts. to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.

Federalism has always been, and always will be, a messy area of ​​American politics. Calls for “local control” have a mixed history on both sides of the political aisle and are often more self-serving than morally grounded. States with Democrat-dominated legislatures do not necessarily have a better record of upholding urban democracy. Still, given that Kansas has a literal “home rule” provision written into its state constitution, a little more deference and consistency would be nice. (For example, Lawrence passed an ordinance driven by concerns similar to Wyandotte’s with no reaction from the legislature, suggesting that state opposition to local governance is more a matter of political timing than legal interpretation. )

While there is no chance that Kansas will lose its reputation and historically rural character, the fact remains that the state’s economic development is primarily in the hands of the few urban parts of the state. where the population is growing. Local governments there need a free (or at least freer) hand to respond to the interests and beliefs of their citizens. Treating the efforts of urban Kansans in the name of public health, environmental stewardship, and civic life in the places where they live with dismissive inconsistency is no way to keep the Kansas sunflower blooming.

Russell Arben Fox teaches politics in Wichita.

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Independence activist

Veteran Taiwan Independence Activist Peng Ming-min Dies at 98 | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), a veteran pro-democracy and pro-independence activist from Taiwan, died on Friday (April 8) in Taipei.


Peng was one of the most influential figures in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In 2000, he served as National Political Advisor to former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).


Born in Taichung during Japanese rule (1895-1945), Peng studied law and political science at what was then Tokyo Imperial University, later renamed Tokyo University. Peng returned to Taiwan to continue his studies at National Taiwan University and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1948, when there was a political crackdown on intellectuals after the Kuomintang (KMT) lost the civil war. for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party and moved to Taiwan.


After graduating, Peng worked briefly in a bank, then earned a master’s degree in law from McGill University in Canada and a doctorate in international law from the University of Paris in 1954. After returning to Taiwan to teach at National Taiwan University, Peng was already an internationally renowned international law expert.


Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek later appointed Peng as an advisor to the Taiwanese delegation to the United Nations in 1961, the highest political post held by an ethnic Taiwanese at the time.


However, Peng became skeptical of the political system after three years of service, so he jointly authored “A Manifesto to Save Taiwan,” which advocated rewriting the outdated constitution to reflect political reality, protect human rights, man and create responsible government, as well as joining the UN with a new identity – as Taiwan rather than “China”.


The attempt to update the constitution failed and Peng was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, Peng managed to escape to Sweden and then to the United States in 1970.


He held leadership positions in several pro-democracy and pro-independence organizations during his 22 years in the United States, during which he co-founded the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) in 1982. This is become one of the most influential organizations in Washington. pro-Taiwan based lobby groups.


Peng returned to Taiwan in 1992 at the invitation of President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). He joined the DPP in 1995 and ran against Lee in the country’s first direct presidential election on behalf of the DPP.


The Peng Foundation for Culture and Education (彭明敏文教基金會) announced Peng’s loss on Friday morning (April 8), adding that the veteran pro-independence activist will be laid to rest in a cemetery at the Presbyterian Church in Yancheng District. , Kaohsiung.

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Self government

Pending self-government draws more citizens to Métis Nation of Ontario

It’s a “very exciting time” to be Métis in Canada and Ontario, says Margaret Froh, president of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

With Métis self-government on the horizon, the number of Métis in Ontario registering their citizenship with the MNO is increasing, she says.

People “want to be a part of Métis history, as well as access to the variety of services we offer that will only grow and expand as we move forward, especially under self-government,” said Froh in an exclusive interview with Windspeaker. com.

In 2019, the MNO signed a Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement with Canada. It outlines the steps to be taken for the federal government to recognize the inherent self-government rights held by the Métis communities represented by the MNO and authorize the MNO to implement those rights on behalf of these communities.

Similar agreements have been signed by the federal government with the Métis nations of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In 2017, the MNO and the Ontario government announced that there were seven “historic Métis communities in the province that met the Powley test criteria”. Powley is the name of the defendants in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision on Métis hunting rights. The court established a set of criteria that the Metis must meet in order to have these hunting rights.

“We represent Métis who are historically connected to historic Métis communities in Ontario, such as the Powley community (in Sault Ste. Marie) and we also represent Métis who are connected to the Métis Nation homeland west of Ontario,” said Froh.

MNO’s most recent registry numbers sit at around 28,000 citizens.

“The new Métis government will have recognized law-making powers in the areas of citizenship, leadership selection and internal operations. The Self-Government Agreement has “locked in” these steps so that they cannot be swept away by changing winds or political circumstances. In this way, the Self-Government Agreement “sets the table” for the next steps the ORM will take to implement the agreement,” reads the ORM’s website.

The progress of meetings needed to take those next steps has been affected by the coronavirus, Froh says, noting that public gatherings were banned in early 2020 as a way to combat COVID-19. It was therefore difficult, but not impossible, to reach regional and local leaders.

“One of the most important things we have to do is build our constitution…through dialogue with citizens across the province working from scratch,” Froh said.

The constitution will address issues such as who the Métis are, the governance structure, how to elect leaders, and how to resolve disputes.

Now that most COVID restrictions have been recalled or lifted, Froh said they will move forward with a “deep level of engagement…in order to hear from people around what they want to see in terms of our Métis government 30, 50, 70 years into the future. It’s a really exciting process. It’s really engaging people.

She adds that the interest comes from both young people and elders.

While this larger work is underway, the MNO is also working on policy. Two of his new policies ensure that MNO resources, programs, services and appointments go where they are supposed to go.

“Our concern is that when we negotiate benefits on behalf of Métis rights holders, they go to Métis rights holders and we deal with that,” Froh said.

The Eligibility Policy for Direct Benefits Programs and Services now requires full MNO citizenship record status to be eligible. These programs and services include Early Learning and Child Care Programs, Post-Secondary Education, MNO COVID Relief Programs, Home Improvement and Housing Stabilization.

The MNO is also tackling the issue of people claiming to be Métis and receiving post-secondary appointments. These false claims have come to the fore over the past year.

The MNO has adopted a policy of verifying the status of the MNO’s citizenship file with other governments and third-party institutions. It provides a mechanism for a government or third-party institution (such as a university) to verify the citizenship record status of an MNO citizen applying to receive an award, benefit or recognition, where proof that an individual is a Métis rights holder is a factor in the decision.

Froh says such a check only works if a Metis from Ontario is on the MNO’s registration list. However, not being on this list does not mean that someone is not Métis.

“In this case, it is a little more difficult for you to be able to demonstrate to any institution,” she pointed out.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples also represents Métis, as well as off-reserve status and non-status First Nations, and southern Inuit.

Windspeaker.com

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Sovereignty

Canada and Anishinabek First Nations sign historic self-government agreement

OTTAWA (ON), April 6, 2022 /CNW/ – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and the Anishinabek Nation

The government of Canada works with First Nations partners to restore respectful nation-to-nation relationships, recognize their inherent right to self-determination, and support communities as they emerge from the grip Indian Act and the transition to self-government.

Today, the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined the Chief of the Grand Council of the Anishinabek Nation Reg NiganobeChief Lloyd Myke of Magnetawan First Nation, Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett of Moose Deer Point First Nation, Chief Scott McLeod of the Nipissing First Nation, Chief larry roque of the Wahnapitae First Nation and Chief Irene Kels of the Zhiibaahaasing First Nation in a virtual ceremony to celebrate the signing of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement.

the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario and marks an important step away from the Indian Act for the signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

Obtained after more than 20 years of negotiations, this historic agreement will recognize Anishinabek control over the governance and law-making powers of signatory First Nations in key areas. First Nations will make their own decisions about how their elections will be held, who their citizens are and how their governments will operate, and how best to protect and promote Anishinaabe language and culture. Once in force, the parts of the Indian Act that deal with governance will no longer apply to signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

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“Congratulations to the Anishinabek leadership and all those who worked so long at the negotiating table and through community outreach to bring this historic Agreement to life. This Agreement will help revitalize traditional Anishinaabe governance and renew our nation-to-nation relationship with the signatory. Anishinabek First Nations. We look forward to continuing to work with our Anishinabek partners on all of our shared priorities, implementing their inherent right to self-determination, and supporting their inspiring visions of a better future for their citizens.

The Honorable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Congratulations to the First Nations who signed the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement today and salute the hard work, dedication and perseverance of those involved in reaching this historic moment. The Governance Agreement is another instrument we have to implement Anishinaabe inherent jurisdictions and laws in fundamental areas that are the pillars of our First Nations governments: citizenship, language and culture, and how we select our leaders and are accountable to their citizens. The new government-to-government fiscal transfer removes these First Nations from these particular limitations of the Indian Act and helps these First Nations determine their respective priorities.

Head of the Grand Council Reg Niganobe
Anishinabek Nation

“Anishinaabe governance is the legacy that E’dbendaagzijig will leave today for future generations: the ability to govern ourselves and determine what is best for our community. This will be achieved through a community-based law-making process — relevant and unique to Moose deer tip.”

Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett
Moose Deer Point First Nation

“For the Wahnapitae First Nation, the signing of this agreement is another milestone on a very long journey, a journey our members have traveled since the Creator placed the Anishinaabe on Mother Earth. With the momentum of one step, we take the next, and we do so with the knowledge and wisdom of our people who carry us all forward. Today, we are very happy to continue this journey as we seek to exercise our inherent right of self-government.

Chief larry roque
Wahnapitae First Nation

“As our nations strive to reclaim our rightful jurisdictions over our own governance, the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement provides us with a tool to opt out of sections of the Indian Act, enabling us to govern and protect our elections, language and culture, citizenship, management and operations. This is a positive step towards autonomy. »

Chief Scott McLeod
Nipissing First Nation

“Magnetawan Anishinabek governance is the next step in exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves and position our community and members in creating our supreme laws.”

Chief Lloyd Myke
Magnetawan First Nation

“This deal is one for our history books. It will help us build new relationships within our community. We need to keep the Anishinaabemowin alive so we can connect with our environment and be proud of who we are.

Chief Irene Kels
Zhiibaahaasing First Nation

Fast facts

  • Self-government negotiations with the Anishinabek Nation on governance began in 1995, resulted in an agreement-in-principle in 2007 and concluded in 2019.

  • Over the past two years, the Agreement has been approved by the citizens of each signatory First Nation through a community vote.

  • This follows extensive community outreach during this period as well as engagement with Anishinabek citizens during negotiations.

  • Now that the Accord is signed, the next step is federal legislation to put the Accord into effect.

  • Signatory First Nations (which make up the Anishinabek Nation government) will also be required to pass their own Anishinabek laws to create and manage their new system of governance.

  • This work will be supported by increased funding to First Nations to fulfill their new responsibilities and invest in community priorities for a better future.

  • This is not the first self-government agreement negotiated with the Anishinabek Nation. In 2018, the parties reached an Education Self-Government Agreement which is now in effect for 23 Anishinabek First Nations in Ontario.

Related links

Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement

Anishinabek Nation

Self-government

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2022/06/c6167.html

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Self government

Normani on his new era of ‘self-government’ and the vulnerable song ‘Fair’ (exclusive)

Normani on his new era of ‘self-government’ and the vulnerable song ‘Fair’ (exclusive)

Norman enters a new era. ET’s Denny Directo spoke to the 25-year-old singer about her latest track, “Fair,” and her decision to release music that reflects her, even if it’s not what fans expect.

“With ‘Fair’, I feel like it was really the perfect record to be vulnerable, to share my innermost thoughts and feelings and what grief feels like to me,” she said. to ET. “I’m always introducing myself. Yes, everyone knows I can dance and I can be this confident, diva performer, but there’s so much more.”

Although Normani was very attached to the song’s release, being so vulnerable was still “absolutely terrifying” to her.

“I always say it’s such a cheeky move, because I know what people want from me and I know what my fans want, but at some point it’s like, where do I put me in there?” she asked. “I know what it’s like to put out records that I don’t necessarily believe in and do things that are expected of me, but I have to put out records that really reflect the growth of the last three years that I’ve grown. I’ve had.”

Manufacturing the music video because the track was equally nerve-wracking and rewarding for the singer.

“I feel like it was therapeutic in a way. Just filming the visual was definitely triggering. It was the first time I felt like I could really tap into my acting abilities, which I’m really proud of,” she said. “I think obviously there was a little nervousness because I really have to emotionally go there and go back to where the song was written from, which was incredibly triggering and difficult.”

Normani added that “in the end, after all the tears and screams…it was really awesome. I feel like it’s one of my best. I’m proud of it.”

The success of the song and the fan response it generated made Normani more confident in her abilities.

“[I’ve learned] trust me more. Trusting my abilities and knowing that God has given me all the tools I need,” she said. “I don’t need to search for anything. I have everything I need to step into the destiny he is creating and the path he has given me, so I just need to do this.”

As she enters this period of “self-government”, Normani does not leave her fans behind, as she remains extremely grateful for their support.

“For someone who always felt very neglected and was the only black girl in a group, mentally that was a lot for me. There were times when I felt unseen and unimportant, and my vocal ability wasn’t as amazing,” she said. “To come out of it, I feel my resilience, but also the people who have been riding with me since day one. I’m so grateful for that.”

With that in mind, Normani promises her fans that the songs they’ve been waiting for are “all coming this summer.”

“It will definitely be worth the wait. Hope you like it as much as I do,” she said of her upcoming album. “I obviously spent a few years on it…I just hope they feel closer to me, honestly. That’s the beauty of music. People can interpret it any way they want, but once that it’s theirs, I hope they enjoy it.”

As they eagerly await the new music, fans can check out Normani’s version of “Take me to the ball game‘, which she recorded as part of her partnership with Cracker Jack, in the midst of their Cracker Jill campaign.

“I wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible while adding my vocal textures and leads to Normani-fy a bit,” she said of the beloved track. “It didn’t take much because it’s so classic. I didn’t want to lose the integrity of what the record was. That’s the beauty of it. It was fun, though. C was fun shooting the clip.”

As for the campaign itself, Normani is honored to be a part of it, as it celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of female athletes.

“She comes out of it with a vengeance and with full force,” Normani told ET of Cracker Jill. “It was a long time coming and I feel very late. But here we are and I’m truly honored to have been asked to be a part of such a monumental moment for the brand.”

“I was really inspired by a lot of women at a young age, whether it was in music, whether it was sports, whether it was fashion or modeling,” she added. “To me, that representation is so essential, and it’s not every day that you associate yourself with a brand that aligns with your vision and what you sincerely believe in.”

Normani gives soulful performance of new single on ‘The Tonight Show’

Normani releases vulnerable new track “Fair”

Normani Teases New Album And When Fans Can Expect It (Exclusive)

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Self government

Manitoba Metis Federation Takes Another Step Towards Self-Government

By Chelsea Kemp

Journalist of the Local Journalism Initiative

The Manitoba Metis Federation fine-tuned the verbiage of its constitution at its annual general meeting over the weekend, strengthening its ability to serve in the Red River Metis national government.

The Annual General Meeting was held from Friday to Sunday and presented 23 resolutions to amend the MMF constitution, election regulations

Leah LaPlante, Vice-President of the Southwest Region of the Manitoba Métis Federation

The MMF is in negotiations with the federal government to establish a treaty process and establish the rules around being a government for the Red River Métis. An agreement between the parties was reached on July 6, 2021, when the Manitoba Métis Recognition and Implementation Agreement was signed. Together, they are working to advance the document and the government-to-government relationship based on the affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership with the Red River Métis.

The document was jointly developed by all parties and marks a historic agreement that will support MMF’s vision of self-determination and self-government, said Leah LaPlante, MMF Southwest Region Vice President.

The agreement recognizes the right of the Manitoba Métis to self-government and the mandate of the MMF to serve as the government of the Manitoba Métis. This includes recognition of the MMF’s jurisdiction over citizenship, leadership selection, elections and operations relating to Red River Métis citizens.

The constitutional amendments in the MMF assembly are a vital part of history, LaPlante said, and mark the fulfillment of generations of hard work on behalf of the Métis people.

Sometimes she had doubted that she would ever be able to witness this historic moment.

“I think sometimes we still pinch ourselves thinking that we’ve finally been recognized after so many years.”

LaPlante was 16 when she first joined a local MMF south of Boissevain. It’s amazing how far the organization has come since its launch in 1967, she said.

The MMF has faced adversity over the years that has taken hard work and dedication to overcome, LaPlante said, but the end result has been the empowering experience of forging treaty rights and self-reliance. governmental.

“When it’s in your heart. When it’s your people. When you’re telling your story and wanting to make people’s lives better, you’re really trapped and I think that’s part of who you are.

The Manitoba Métis Recognition and Implementation Agreement marks a moment of empowerment for Métis citizens, she said, and for younger generations who take over from their parents who are fighting for these rights. since many years.

She was impressed by the number of young people who attended the assembly and who pledged to fight for the future of Métis citizens.

Youth are essential Métis citizens, she said, as they will move the MMF forward into the future while listening to elders to understand the stories of the past. They need to know the struggle that unfolded to see where they want to go.

“It’s the perfect learning experience for teens to sit, listen and ask questions.”

Over 2,000 Métis citizens attended the in-person assembly at Assiniboine Downs over the weekend. Although most health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted across Manitoba, the organization continues to focus on the safety of its citizens, including proof of vaccination, wearing mask and sanitation in the meeting.

LaPlante is part of the team of justice, constitutional, natural resources and citizenship ministers who have worked on constitutional changes over the past two years. The final product of the federation-approved resolutions will recognize the MMF as the pre-existing democratic representative government of the Métis of Manitoba, which has the responsibility to provide responsible and accountable self-government to its Red River Métis citizens.

“We are going to grow in a very big way, there are exciting times ahead.”

Chelsea Kemp Isa Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works at the Brandon Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Turtle Island News does not receive funding from the LJI government.

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Self government

Florida lawmakers consider stripping Disney of its power of self-government

Two Floridian powers clash again. On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what became the latest development in an ongoing battle. The back-and-forth comes after the company denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it. This week, lawmakers said they were considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state. Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the society, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become Disney World. But now Disney’s independence is under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new ‘Parental Rights in Education’ law, or the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. “. In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they should be regulated by Orange County.” On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power. “They basically put this one company on a pedestal and treated it differently, not only than other companies, but even other theme parks,” DeSantis said. Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electricity, and emergency services. DeSantis said their power doesn’t end there. “I was shocked to see some of the things. They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant on their own?” to do things that no one else can do. So I think they’re right to look at that and reevaluate and have a level playing field for everybody I think that’s way better than basically to allow a company to be a law on itself.” So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney? “Right now, I would say, it’s more talking than doing. Surprise me,” said Aubrey Jewett, a UCF political science professor. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.” He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier. before it gets better. just, to me, shocking and usual to see the head of disney and the governor of florida shoot each other. and i haven’t seen anything like it in florida politics for 30 years let me study it,” Jewett said. As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it was up to the Florida legislature to decide. “I as governor could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move on,” said DeSantis. WESH 2 News has contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement it pledged to have the Parental Rights in Education Act repealed or struck down by the courts.

Two Floridian powers clash again.

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what became the latest development in an ongoing battle. The back-and-forth comes after the company denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it.

This week, lawmakers said they were considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state.

Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become DisneyWorld.

But now Disney’s independence is under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “parental rights in education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County.”

On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power.

“They basically put this one company on a pedestal and treated it differently, not just from other companies, but even from other theme parks,” DeSantis said.

Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electric, and emergency services. DeSantis said their power doesn’t end there.

“I was shocked to see some of the stuff in there. They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can build a nuclear power plant by itself? ” he said. “They are able to do certain things that no one else is able to do. So I think they’re right to look at that and re-evaluate and have a level playing field for everybody I think that’s a lot better than allowing a company to be a law on it -same.

So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney?

“Right now I would say it’s more talking than doing. But that said, this governor and this legislature would not surprise me,” said Aubrey Jewett, professor of political science at UCF. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.”

He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier before it gets better.

“It’s just, to me, shocking and customary to see the head of Disney and the Governor of Florida shoot each other. And I haven’t seen anything like it in Florida politics in the 30 years I’ve studied it. “said Jewett.

As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it’s up to the Florida legislature to decide.

“I as governor could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move forward,” DeSantis said.

WESH 2 News has contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement it pledged to have the Parental Rights in Education Act repealed or struck down by the courts.

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Home rule

House Republicans threaten DC Home Rule

President Biden’s recently proposed budget has drawn attention to the District of Columbia’s lack of control over its own affairs. The budget would preserve a longstanding congressional ban on DC using its own tax funds to implement a legal cannabis sales system similar to those enacted in many other states and localities across the country. This ban was crafted by a Maryland congressman in direct contradiction to the wishes of the residents of the district.

The continuation of the ban follows a promise by leading House Republicans to further curtail the district’s already limited control over its own affairs if they regain Congress midterm. In fact, some have gone so far as to call for the complete repeal of the Home Rule Act, which allows for municipal government elected by DC residents.

These threats are a reminder of just how fragile DC’s local autonomy is. They also stress the importance of DC statehood not only to ensure fair representation in Congress, but also to ensure that residents of the district have the same rights enjoyed by their fellow citizens, having a say in the rules that govern their life.

Self-reliance in DC, historically a majority black city and always plural, has always been a major civil rights concern. Since 1973, the Home Rule Act has allowed residents to elect their own mayor and their representatives to a 13-member city council. Residents and activists have fought for nearly two centuries to reach even this limited democratic stage. They faced fierce opposition from segregationists in Congress who were quick to invoke white supremacy to justify the complete disenfranchisement of residents of the district.

The Civil Rights Movement, the leadership of advocates, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 underscored the importance of DC’s autonomy. By allowing southern blacks to register to vote, the law upended many southern congressional districts and provided momentum for the passage of the Home Rule Act.

But home rule was only a partial victory. The District Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the ability “to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatever” within the district. The Home Rule Act ceded some of this power, but Congress reserved the right to veto any municipal policy and retained extensive control of local district tax revenues, which must still be disbursed by the through Congressional appropriations.

This has significant implications for DC residents. The ban on cannabis sales is one example among many. In 1992, Congress reversed a measure passed by the district to extend health insurance coverage to domestic partners of single municipal workers. From 1998 to 2007, Congress blocked the district from using local taxpayer money for a needle exchange program. For all but four years since 1988, Congress has prohibited DC from using local funds to provide abortion services to Medicaid recipients, disproportionately impacting women of color in the district. By making these decisions, some members of Congress deliberately subvert the will of DC residents to impose their own agenda. Others noted the “racist-tinged paternalistic attitude” behind many of these decisions.

These same attitudes now threaten the limited gains DC has made. Opponents of Home Rule cite issues like crime, which is on the rise nationally and for which DC is not an outlier. In doing so, they increasingly resorted to the kind of anti-democratic and racist rhetoric that had previously been used to justify denying DC residents the right to vote. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the district’s second black female mayor, has often been the target of this rhetoric.

This backlash is brewing just as Congress is getting closer than ever to making DC a state. The House passed HR 51, the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act, for the first time in 2020 and again in 2021. The bill’s Senate counterpart, S. 51, was heard in committee at during the current session of Congress.

DC, with nearly 700,000 residents, has more residents than Vermont and Wyoming and a population similar to several other states. No other country singles out residents of its own capital for disenfranchisement in this way. And yet, even the maintenance of a limited autonomy seems threatened.

Without statehood, DC residents will remain deprived of real control over their own affairs and their limited agency will continue to be exposed to further erosion. Statehood ensures that residents have the same voice in the local laws that govern their lives and say in our national life that their fellow citizens enjoy. It is high time to grant neighborhood residents the right to fully participate in our democracy.

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Home rule

Alachua City Mayor Gib Coerper Receives 2022 Home Rule Hero Award

Alachua City Press Release

the Florida Towns League (FLC), celebrating its 100th anniversary as the united voice of Florida municipal governments, recently presented Alachua City Mayor Gib Coerper with a 2022 Home Rule Hero Award for his hard work and advocacy efforts during of the 2022 legislative session. Coerper worked tirelessly throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida municipalities, and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we are very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of civic leaders,” said Casey Cook, FLC Director of Legislative Affairs. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local authorities on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local leaders have been consistently engaged and actively defending their communities throughout the 2022 legislative session. They are Home Rule heroes, and we thank them for their efforts.

Autonomy is the ability of a city to solve local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, elected and unelected, who have always responded to the League’s request to contact members of the legislature and help provide a local perspective on an issue.

“I am very honored to have been selected for this honor,” Coerper said. “I’ve always believed that the government closest to its community should be the one that makes decisions based on that community’s best interests, and Home Rule allows municipalities like Alachua to do just that.”


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Self government

Gwich’in get a glimpse of what self-government would look like

On the second day of the Gwich’in Tribal Council’s Annual General Meeting in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik painted a picture of what a Gwich’in government might look like.

“The current model of service delivery by the Government of the Northwest Territories is simply not working for our people,” Kyikavichik said. And he said the Indian Act “continues to diminish the role and authority of band councils in our communities.

“The Gwich’in government, in our view, offers opportunities to change that.”

The Gwich’in Tribal Council has been negotiating a self-government agreement for over two decades. This work began shortly after the Gwich’in signed a land claims agreement in 1992.

Gwich’in Tribal Council Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik said Wednesday he wanted to clarify why, after more than two decades of negotiations, the council continues to pursue the establishment of its own government. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

How a Gwich’in government would be structured, its powers and how long it would take to put it in place were the focus of discussions at the Gwich’in Tribal Council on Wednesday.

Kyikavichik said self-government negotiations have been divisive in the past. He wanted to clarify why, after all these years, the Gwich’in Tribal Council continues to pursue the establishment of its own government.

“First and foremost, we need a more effective government system for the Gwich’in,” he said.

Kyikavichik presented a list of goals for a Gwich’in government. They include: reconnecting with land and culture; language revitalization; improve people’s health and quality of life; improve homes and infrastructure; create jobs and business opportunities; and include youth and elders in decision-making.

Dinjii Zhuh Regional Government

Under the draft agreement in principle, Kyikavichik said, the Gwich’in Tribal Council would become the Dinjii Zhuh regional government. He would have a great leader (Dinjii Iisrits’at Chit) and its capital would be Fort McPherson, NWT

Within the Dinjii Zhuh government, Fort McPherson, Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik would each have a local government with its own leader (Dinjii Khehkai) and the board.

The Dinjii Zhuh government would serve as a “coordinating body” and represent the Gwich’in in meetings with the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada, Kyikavichik said.

“That’s what our tribal council, or our Dinjii Zhuh regional government, should be about, it’s about supporting our communities, not consolidating power,” he said.

Currently, Kyikavichik said, each of the four communities has a Gwich’in council president and a band council chief, which is confusing.

The Dinjii Zhuh government would merge the Indian Act band council and designated Gwich’in organization from each community into one government.

The municipal governments of the four communities would remain.

“We’re not targeting public government, which includes non-Gwich’in governance,” Kyikavichik said.

“We are opting for aboriginal government, which involves only our Gwich’in people, and governance in the Gwich’in settlement area outside of municipal boundaries.

Power of taxation

Money is obviously an important part of actualizing self-government.

“We don’t want this government unless we have the money to be able to deliver,” Kyikavichik said.

He said the ability to impose taxes, such as a liquor tax, would help generate the cash needed to provide government services.

The prospect of taxing powers was welcomed by Willard Hagen, a delegate representing the Nihtat Gwich’in Council in Inuvik.

“Self-government without taxation…is an oxymoron,” he said.

“You’re not self-sufficient if you don’t have your own free-flowing funding.”

The process can take years or even decades

To be sure, building responsible government for things like health care, justice, and education systems is a daunting task.

For this reason, Kyikavichik said, the Gwich’in Tribal Council has decided to focus on seven “primary jurisdictions” in its final agreement negotiations with the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories.

They are: governance, fiscal relations, land, housing, culture and language, taxation and economic development.

After a final agreement is reached, the Gwich’in government would seek to take over services such as education, justice, health and income support – a process that would likely take more than 15 years, said Kyikavichik.

The Gwich’in government could also explore responsibility for the regulation of alcohol and cannabis, marriage, adoption and gambling.

The goal is to finalize a tentative agreement and have it approved at the Gwich’in Tribal Council’s next annual general meeting in August, Kyikavichik said.

“The tentative agreement stage allows us to engage with our people,” he said.

The tentative agreement would then be submitted to Canada for approval, which Kyikavichik said could take more than a year.

The Grand Chief estimated that final discussions on the self-government agreement would take three to five years. The council has set 2027 as the year it hopes to finalize an agreement with the Gwich’in government.

This process is not the only option, however.

Kyikavichik said they could also choose to skip the tentative agreement phase and go straight to final deal talks, or put the entire process on hold.

Some delegates urged the assembly to move forward.

“Let’s not take a break, let’s not take a break. We have so many successful Gwich’in working for us,” said Barry Greenland, a director of the Nihtat Gwich’in Council.

“We can’t sell ourselves short saying we can’t do it.”

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Home rule

Reviews | DC should focus on expanding the domestic regime before becoming a state

Statehood is long overdue and warranted for a population that exceeds that of Vermont and Wyoming and nearly matches that of several western states. The House, in a majority partisan vote, passed a DC state bill. The Senate did not take up the bill and it is unlikely to pass it. Republicans in the Senate do not want the two additional Democratic senators that DC would bring. A subsidiary factor is that residents of Maryland and Virginia who work in DC could face a commuter tax, which would reduce incomes in Maryland and Virginia.

In the immediate future, DC should seek to extend its autonomy. In anticipation of that distant day when justice trumps political expediency and DC gains statehood, activists should seek to expand DC’s authority to govern its residents by removing or changing restrictions that were imposed as a necessary compromise to achieve limited autonomy in 1973. .

A bill before the DC Council illustrates the problem. To reduce over-incarceration in federal prisons, particularly of young black people, the bill provides that all persons under the age of 21 charged with a crime will be prosecuted in juvenile court, except where circumstances warrant that the DC attorney general is seeking a court order to send the case to adult criminal court. It’s a good idea, except it violates the Home Rule Act, which provides that the DC Council cannot pass any legislation that would alter or modify the powers of the US Attorney. Under pre-autonomy laws, the U.S. attorney can file criminal charges directly in adult court against youths 16 and older who are charged with very serious offenses. And the U.S. Attorney’s Office can charge anyone 18 or older who allegedly violates a local criminal law.

More generally, there is no good political reason for local crimes to be prosecuted exclusively by the federally appointed US Attorney and not the locally elected DC Attorney General. This authority is different from the arrangement in any of the 50 states, where the US Attorney’s office prosecutes federal crimes and the local prosecutor handles locally enacted crimes. This change would allow the local population to control basic political decisions relating to crime. For example, while local people have made clear their opposition to the death penalty, the federal government, at least under the previous presidential administration, was keen to carry out death sentences. Likewise, differences have emerged over marijuana policy between the local government and the federal government. Putting the prosecution of local crimes in the hands of a locally elected prosecutor would give DC residents more of a say in crime-fighting policies.

A revision to the Home Rule Act could also give exclusive control of DC’s budget to the locally elected government. The Home Rule Act provides that Congress has ultimate and exclusive control over DC’s budget. The situation is confusing due to two conflicting court decisions relating to the DC Budget Autonomy Act passed by the DC Council several years ago. A federal district court ruled that the local act, giving final authority over locally collected revenues to the DC Council, violated the Congressional Autonomy Act and the federal Antideficiency Act (which prohibits federal governments and DC to expend funds not appropriated by Congress) and was therefore invalid and unenforceable. A subsequent DC Superior Court decision affirmed that the budget law was consistent with these federal laws. Neither decision has been appealed. The DC Council and Congress acted as if each had the final say on DC’s budget. The problem is simmering, unresolved. This potential conflict could be resolved if Congress amended the Home Rule Act and allowed local government full control of its locally collected budget and the final decision on how tax revenues imposed locally on DC residents are spent.

Another salutary change to the Home Rule Act would allow the mayor to appoint local judges with the approval of the DC Council rather than requiring a presidential nomination with the consent of the Senate. Although presidential nominations over the past few years have been strong, the Senate has not been diligent or responsive to the confirmation process, resulting in extended vacancies in the DC Superior Court and the DC Court of Appeals. DC, leading to massive delays in resolving cases and charges against judges in the seat. There is no valid political reason to involve the federal government in the selection of local judges. In all 50 states, the selection of local judges is handled locally, either by election or appointment. Local appointment would not reduce the quality of the local justice system and would likely eliminate the extended vacancies that have such a deleterious effect on justice for DC residents.

The compromises that were necessary to get the Home Rule Act passed are no longer necessary or beneficial. The performance of the DC government over the past 50 years, and especially over the past decades, has demonstrated that it is well equipped to manage its own affairs, free from federal government control or oversight. If statehood is not possible now, Congress should quickly review and remove many of the Home Rule Act’s limitations so that DC residents can better control their own governance.

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Home rule

Bill banning city bans on plastics throws home rule and environment, reps say

TOPEKA — Some Kansas officials say a recently legislature-approved ban on municipalities limiting plastic items tramples local control and will cause problems for ecosystems across the state.

Senate Bill 493 would ban restrictions and taxes on bags, cups, containers, and other plastic, cardboard, glass, and aluminum packaging, among others. Backers say the measure will ensure a uniform policy around these containers and support local businesses.

But opponents said the bill would not address the buildup of waste accumulated from these items. Even supporters of the bill did not dispute the negative effect of plastic bags on the environment, Rep. Rui Xu said.

“They take 400 years to decompose. They litter our roads. They lit up our waterways,” the Westwood Democrat told the House on Tuesday. “It’s a classic case of the tragedy of the commons. What is good for the individual at the moment may not be good collectively for our environment.

Representatives approved the measure 74 to 48 on Thursday, exactly a month after the Senate voted in favor, 27 to 13. The bill is heading to Governor Laura Kelly for consideration and appears to lack support in the House to overturn a veto.

Rep. Pat Proctor, a Fort Leavenworth Republican and restaurant owner, said the measure would give businesses facing uncertain times peace of mind by ensuring access to plastic bags doesn’t become a future chain issue. supply.

“Every product doubled in price,” Proctor said of one restaurant owner. “Now what you are going to do in these municipalities is you are going to put this extra cost on the restaurants where they have to use paper boxes. What you’re doing is you’re not dealing with restaurants.

While some regions such as Wichita may consider banning plastic bags, Xu noted that these are just conversations with a working group and nothing official has been decided. Promulgating something based on discussions is not good practice, he said.

Rep. Boog Highberger, a Democrat from Lawrence, said municipalities are considering the bans because the state government is doing too little to address the environmental issues facing Kansas and the world.

“We were facing a very, very serious environmental crisis, and we are doing nothing,” Highberger said. “While I personally wouldn’t necessarily support a ban like this, I think my city government should definitely have the right to consider enacting one.”

Rep. Brad Ralph, a Republican from Dodge City, said he doesn’t care much one way or another about plastic bags, but he took issue with such a clear violation of the indoor rule. He told lawmakers they needed to heed the Kansans’ expressed desire to maintain local control and set policies for their own community.

Two or three municipalities enacting bans on plastic containers aren’t enough patchwork to abandon a constitutional principle, Ralph said.

“The idea that we wouldn’t trust local government preemptively tells us we can’t do that,” Ralph said. “The people of the state of Kansas have told us directly and specifically in this constitution that we must trust them and that we must give them the greatest measure of self-government.”

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Home rule

Bill banning city bans on plastics throws house rule, environment, reps say – The Lawrence Times

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TOPEKA — Some Kansas officials say a recently legislature-approved ban on municipalities limiting plastic items tramples local control and will cause problems for ecosystems across the state.

Senate Bill 493 would ban restrictions and taxes on bags, cups, containers, and other plastic, cardboard, glass, and aluminum packaging, among others. Backers say the measure will ensure a uniform policy around these containers and support local businesses.

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But opponents said the bill would not address the buildup of waste accumulated from these items. Even supporters of the bill did not dispute the negative effect of plastic bags on the environment, Rep. Rui Xu said.

“They take 400 years to decompose. They litter our roads. They litter our waterways,” the Westwood Democrat told the House on Tuesday. “It’s a classic case of the tragedy of the commons. What is good for the individual at the moment may not be good collectively for our environment.

Representatives approved the measure 74 to 48 on Thursday, exactly a month after the Senate voted in favor, 27 to 13. The bill is heading to Governor Laura Kelly for consideration and appears to lack support in the House to overturn a veto.

Rep. Pat Proctor, a Fort Leavenworth Republican and restaurant owner, said the measure would give businesses facing uncertain times peace of mind by ensuring access to plastic bags doesn’t become a future chain issue. supply.

“Every product has doubled in price,” Proctor said of one restaurant owner. “Now what you are going to do in these municipalities is you are going to put this extra cost on the restaurants where they have to use paper boxes. What you’re doing is you’re putting prices on restaurants so they don’t do business.

While some regions such as Wichita may consider banning plastic bags, Xu noted that these are just conversations with a working group and nothing official has been decided. Promulgating something based on discussions is not good practice, he said.

Rep. Boog Highberger, a Democrat from Lawrence, said municipalities are considering the bans because the state government is doing too little to address the environmental issues facing Kansas and the world.

“We were facing a very, very serious environmental crisis, and we are doing nothing,” Highberger said. “While I personally wouldn’t necessarily support a ban like this, I think my city government should definitely have the right to consider enacting one.”

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Rep. Brad Ralph, a Republican from Dodge City, said he doesn’t care much one way or another about plastic bags, but he took issue with such a clear violation of the indoor rule. He told lawmakers they should heed the Kansans’ expressed desire to maintain local control and set policies for their own community.

Two or three municipalities enacting bans on plastic containers aren’t enough patchwork to abandon a constitutional principle, Ralph said.

“The idea that we wouldn’t trust local government on the face of it tells us we can’t do this,” Ralph said. “The people of the state of Kansas have told us directly and specifically in this constitution that we must trust them and that we must give them the greatest measure of self-government.”

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a grant-supported network of news outlets and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact publisher Sherman Smith with any questions: [email protected] Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

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Want more state news? See our Kansas News page at this link. You can read Associated Press coverage of the Kansas stories and more online here.

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More coverage:


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Sierra Club lobbyist Zack Pistora told lawmakers he could talk at length about the “big mess” plastic bags have created for Kansas’s aquatic ecosystems, landscape and infrastructure.


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The Sustainability Advisory Council discussed an order on Wednesday that would require establishments to charge customers 15 cents per disposable paper or plastic bag used, ultimately sending it to the climate change subcommittee for review.


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On Wednesday, the Sustainability Advisory Council will reconsider, and may vote on, a proposed order that would require establishments to charge customers 15 cents per single-use disposable bag for any purchase.

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Home rule

County Line Split, House Rule Discussed at Erie Candidates Forum – Longmont Times-Call

Candidates for the Erie board of directors competed on topics including self-reliance, diversity and best practices when governing a city that straddles two counties during Wednesday’s virtual candidates forum. evening.

More than 70 residents watched the online forum, which was sponsored by the Erie Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters of Boulder County (LWVBC). Five of the six candidates vying for three board seats next month – Dan Hoback, Emily Baer, ​​Jeff Haverkate, Andrew Sawusch and incumbent Christiaan van Woudenberg, who is also the only current director running for the re-election, participated. Due to work commitments, contestant Ryan Kenward was unable to participate.

LWVBC member Martine Elianor moderated the discussion by asking questions selected from submissions received from residents prior to the forum.

Elianor asked the candidates to address the issue of unity within the city of Erie, which is split between Boulder County and Weld County. Ironically, this question turned out to be one of the most controversial topics discussed during the forum.

Several candidates have criticized the current council’s decision earlier this year to maintain Boulder County’s mask mandates and the declaration of an emergency throughout Erie.

Haverkate was perhaps the most vocal critic of the cross-county mask mandate, saying, “I think taking one county’s set of rules and imposing them on other people when we don’t have our own health service is an overreach of the government.

Sawusch agreed that the city does not have the authority to extend a public health mandate across counties and pledged to focus on transparency and open communication when managing inter-county crises at the ‘coming.

On the other hand, Baer argued that the city’s decision to honor mask mandates helped health care workers and hospitals, and that by wearing masks, the city was taking care of each other.

“It’s important that we all recognize that we are all more alike than different,” Baer said of the split between the two counties.

Van Woudenberg and Hoback agreed that the choice to maintain mask mandates across county lines allowed for greater continuity throughout Erie.

“The emergency declaration has also made it easier to help businesses and residents through the pandemic beyond just a mask mandate,” Hoback pointed out.

While most candidates expressed confidence in the city’s ability to govern itself by moving to self-government during their tenure, Sawusch, who works as Erie’s city planning commissioner, was skeptical of the change. that would happen in the next four years.

“The city does not currently have the resources at the town hall, it does not have the necessary current staff and it also does not have the confidence in the management of the town hall to move to autonomy”, he said. -he declares.

Some candidates had similar approaches to increasing city revenue.

Haverkate’s and Sawusch’s responses both called for the development of Erie, which would also encourage Erie residents to work and spend money in their hometown instead of commuting.

Baer was also in favor of focusing on developing Erie to increase revenue, but stressed the need to also take care of the small businesses that already exist in Erie. Hoback agreed, citing the need to reinvest all revenue back into the city.

Van Woudenburg echoed similar beliefs regarding increased income, but specifically detailed the need for affordable housing options in the city.

“People who work in Erie deserve to live here. The key to attracting primary jobs is to provide housing opportunities for people who should be working in these businesses,” he said.

Residents also submitted questions to candidates about their views on oil and gas, diversity, traffic congestion, open spaces, and maintaining the delicate balance between commercial development and the natural beauty of Erie.

To hear all of the contestants’ questions and answers, visit bit.ly/3D8gkHh.

Erie’s municipal election is scheduled for April 5. All ballots have been mailed to registered voters.

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Home rule

Division of Counties, House Rule Discussed at Erie Candidates Forum – Colorado Hometown Weekly

Candidates for the Erie board of directors competed on topics including self-reliance, diversity and best practices when governing a city that straddles two counties during Wednesday’s virtual candidates forum. evening.

More than 70 residents watched the online forum, which was sponsored by the Erie Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters of Boulder County (LWVBC). Five of the six candidates vying for three board seats next month – Dan Hoback, Emily Baer, ​​Jeff Haverkate, Andrew Sawusch and incumbent Christiaan van Woudenberg, who is also the only current director running for the re-election, participated. Due to work commitments, contestant Ryan Kenward was unable to participate.

LWVBC member Martine Elianor moderated the discussion by asking questions selected from submissions received from residents prior to the forum.

Elianor asked the candidates to address the issue of unity within the city of Erie, which is split between Boulder County and Weld County. Ironically, this question turned out to be one of the most controversial topics discussed during the forum.

Several candidates have criticized the current council’s decision earlier this year to maintain Boulder County’s mask mandates and the declaration of an emergency throughout Erie.

Haverkate was perhaps the most vocal critic of the cross-county mask mandate, saying, “I think taking one county’s set of rules and imposing them on other people when we don’t have our own health service is an overreach of the government.

Sawusch agreed that the city does not have the authority to extend a public health mandate across counties and pledged to focus on transparency and open communication when managing inter-county crises at the ‘coming.

On the other hand, Baer argued that the city’s decision to honor mask mandates helped health care workers and hospitals, and that by wearing masks, the city was taking care of each other.

“It’s important that we all recognize that we are all more alike than different,” Baer said of the split between the two counties.

Van Woudenberg and Hoback agreed that the choice to maintain mask mandates across county lines allowed for greater continuity throughout Erie.

“The emergency declaration has also made it easier to help businesses and residents through the pandemic beyond just a mask mandate,” Hoback pointed out.

While most candidates expressed confidence in the city’s ability to govern itself by moving to self-government during their tenure, Sawusch, who works as Erie’s city planning commissioner, was skeptical of the change. that would happen in the next four years.

“The city does not currently have the resources at the town hall, it does not have the necessary current staff and it also does not have the confidence in the management of the town hall to move to autonomy”, he said. -he declares.

Some candidates had similar approaches to increasing city revenue.

Haverkate’s and Sawusch’s responses both called for the development of Erie, which would also encourage Erie residents to work and spend money in their hometown instead of commuting.

Baer was also in favor of focusing on developing Erie to increase revenue, but stressed the need to also take care of the small businesses that already exist in Erie. Hoback agreed, citing the need to reinvest all revenue back into the city.

Van Woudenburg echoed similar beliefs regarding increased income, but specifically detailed the need for affordable housing options in the city.

“People who work in Erie deserve to live here. The key to attracting primary jobs is to provide housing opportunities for people who should be working in these businesses,” he said.

Residents also submitted questions to candidates about their views on oil and gas, diversity, traffic congestion, open spaces, and maintaining the delicate balance between commercial development and the natural beauty of Erie.

To hear all the contestants’ questions and answers, visit bit.ly/3D8gkHh.

Erie’s municipal election is scheduled for April 5. All ballots have been mailed to registered voters.

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Self government

Self-government in Peril: Commentary on the Quebec Court of Appeal’s Reference to An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families – Government, public sector

The Quebec Court of Appeal has obstructed the federal government’s efforts to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the child and youth protection system. On February 10, 2022, the Court ruled that key sections of the federal government An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (the “Act“) were unconstitutional. Act aims to ensure that Indigenous children receive a minimum level of services and enables Indigenous governing bodies to develop child protection solutions. Although the Court concluded that there is an “Aboriginal right” to self-government in child and family services, affirmed by section 35 of the Canadian Constitution (theConstitution“), the Court invalidated Articles 21 and 22(3) of the Act who provided
real self-determination on these issues. The Court’s decision leaves us with a contradiction: it affirms the existence of the right of Aboriginal self-government but annuls the provisions of the Act which has made it possible to exercise this right in a meaningful way.

A look at the Act

the Act was jointly developed by the federal government and Indigenous partners and came into effect on January 1, 2020. It seeks to affirm the right of Indigenous peoples to exercise jurisdiction over child and family services and, by extension, the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP“) in Canada. the
Act also establishes “national standards” that guarantee a minimum level of services for all Aboriginal children.

Under the Act, Aboriginal governing bodies can either pass their own laws regarding child and family services or seek to enter into a coordination agreement with the federal and provincial governments. Prior to the Court’s decision, Sections 21 and 22(3) provided that Indigenous laws passed under a coordination agreement had the same force of law as federal laws and prevailed over any conflicting or inconsistent provisions of the laws. applicable federal or provincial authorities.

Controversy

Two weeks after its entry into force, the Government of Quebec is asking its Court of Appeal to rule on the question of whether the
Act is unconstitutional. The Attorney General of Quebec argued that the Act undermines the province’s general jurisdiction over child welfare and unilaterally alters the scope of section 35, threatening the structure of the Constitution. Canada responded that issues under the Act falls within the broad reach of the federal government’s authority over Aboriginal peoples under section 91(24) of the Constitution and that the ActThe interpretation of section 35 is consistent with case law.

Constitutionality of the Act

The Court’s constitutional analysis focused on two elements: the constitutionality of national standards and the Aboriginal right to self-government in the regulation of child and family services. The Court concluded the Act is constitutional, with the exception of sections 21 and 22(3).

On the first element, the Court held that subsection 91(24) grants the federal government jurisdiction over the welfare of Indigenous peoples and their interpersonal relationships. the
Act fully falls within this jurisdiction because its purpose is to “[ensure] the well-being of [Indigenous] children, promoting culturally appropriate services to reduce their overrepresentation in provincial child welfare systems” (para. 34). The Court also concluded that the Act does not dictate how provinces are to provide child and family services in Indigenous spaces, as national standards are consistent with provincial child welfare legislation.

Ultimately, Quebec’s position that the Actcontrary to the principles of federalism and democracy was rejected.

The Court’s assessment of the second element concluded that Aboriginal peoples have always maintained a form of self-government arising from original sovereignty. The Court traced the historic right to self-government, holding that the Act is compatible with the notion of Canadian sovereignty, because the record shows no proof of the extinction of the aboriginal right. Linking the law to child and family services, the Court said that:

“The central purpose of s. 35 is to achieve reconciliation and preserve constitutional space for Indigenous peoples to enable them to live as peoples – with their own identities, cultures and values ​​– within the Canadian framework As a normative system, Indigenous customary law relating to children and the family is part of these values, and the child and the family are the main vehicle for transmitting markers of Indigenous identity. regulation of child and family services by Aboriginal people themselves cannot be divorced from their Aboriginal identity and cultural development” (at para. 48).

The Indigenous right to self-government in child and family services is not distinguished by the federal-provincial division of powers – it extends to all Indigenous peoples because of its importance for cultural continuity and survival.

Deletion of sections 21 and 22(3)

Despite the general constitutionality of the Act, the Court identified problems with Articles 21 and 22(3). Together, the two provisions allowed Indigenous laws developed under coordination agreements to have the same status as federal legislation and the legislative primacy of such laws over provincial legislation. The Court found that it was unconstitutional because it changed the architecture of the Constitution and it was not within the jurisdiction of the federal government to allow Indigenous laws to prevail over conflicting provincial laws. This principle – known as “federal paramountcy” – applies only to validly enacted federal laws.

Furthermore, the federal government did not have the power under the Constitution to give absolute priority to an Aboriginal right under section 35. The constitutional principle of coordinated governments prevents the federal government from legislating over all aspects of provincial relations with Aboriginal peoples. In the future, provincial legislation cannot supersede legislation that an Indigenous governing body has enacted pursuant to its Aboriginal right of self-government over child and family services, unless the regime provincial legislation fails to meet the long-standing section 35 test of impairing impairment and reconciliation.

Without the application of sections 21 and 22(3), there remains no apparent incentive for Aboriginal governing bodies to negotiate or enter into coordination agreements. Indigenous governing bodies may choose to simply notify the federal and provincial governments of their intention to exercise legislative authority over child and family services.

One step forward, two steps back

The Court of Appeal’s decision is riddled with contradictions that run counter to the advancement of Aboriginal self-government. On the one hand, the Court pointed out that the parliamentary intention behind the Act was “clearly intended to break with the past” by providing Aboriginal peoples with the “flexibility and functional independence” to choose their own solutions (at paras. 17 and 18). The decision confirmed that Indigenous communities can create their own legislation to protect and improve the lives of Indigenous children. The Court also noted that the legislative process behind the Act was guided by UNDRIP and that at the international level, UNDRIP affirms the existence of the right to indigenous self-determination. By affirming an Indigenous right to self-government in child and family services, both presently and historically, the Court made its decision consistent with UNDRIP. On the other hand, the Court invalidated the very provisions conferring the primacy and real self-determination, which aligned with the principles of UNDRIP and marked a break with the past.

Reactions to the decision were equally divided. In one joint press releasethe Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (“FNQLHSSC“) declared that their First Nations communities will exercise their legislative and inherent right to implement their own child welfare legislation. On January 17, 2022, the Opitciwan Atikamekw Social Protection Act (the Act respecting the social protection of the Atikamekw of Opitciwan) came into force and about fifteen communities will follow in its footsteps. The Chairman of the FNQLHSSC Board of Directors, Derek Montour, stated that they ask the Government of Quebec to actively collaborate with their communities and organizations for an optimal application of Bill C-92 and the adoption of Indigenous laws. . It is likely that a negotiated approach to the implementation of Indigenous child welfare laws will be the best approach to ensuring the well-being of Indigenous children.

Where does that leave aboriginal self-government? A decision rendered on appeal from outside the province is, at best, persuasive to British Columbia courts. It is also likely that an application for leave to appeal will be made to the Supreme Court of Canada. Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hadju saidthat Ottawa is committed to upholding its Indigenous Child Welfare Act and will work to ensure autonomy for First Nations people in Indigenous Child Welfare, but time will tell. Stay tuned for future updates on this decision and its treatment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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Home rule

Amid rising road deaths, New York officials amplify push for ‘home rule’

A new report showing a disturbing rise in red-light violations and traffic deaths on New York City streets has become the latest ammunition for local lawmakers in their effort to crack down on the city’s traffic control cameras. from Albany. The report, released Friday by street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, shows more road deaths were recorded last month than in February since at least 2008. Red light violations also hit a seven-year high – the trends, according to the group, are directly linked to “the deadly impact of Albany’s control on the streets of New York”.

City lawmakers have for years lamented the state government’s stranglehold on New York City rules and regulations on a range of issues, most recently in a debate over the mayor’s control of schools in the city. Currently, the city must seek permission from the state legislature to install red light cameras and speed cameras. During the final months of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure, he fought for more jurisdiction over traffic control mechanisms, including allowing speed cameras to be turned on 24 hours a day. Mayor Eric Adams also seeks permission to “manage the city’s camera enforcement programs in addition to empowering cities to enforce speed limits on their streets,” he said during testimony on the proposal. Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget statement before the state legislature last month. In response to Friday’s report Adams tweeted: “If our streets aren’t safe, our city isn’t safe. Period. Home Rule empowers the people who know our city best with the tools to keep our streets safe for every New Yorker.

The report contains the latest data showing an alarming spike in road deaths in New York City in 2021. Crashes killed 273 people in 2021, the highest death toll since 2013, according to Transportation Alternatives. Already, 42 people have died in traffic collisions in 2022, a 58% increase from the same time last year. Twenty-three of those deaths were recorded in February alone.

Transportation Alternatives highlighted in its report the correlation between road deaths and disabled speed cameras. In 2020, “nearly 40 percent of victims died in speed camera areas during the hours Albany asks New York City to turn off the cameras,” the report said.

“It shows the importance of designing streets for safety and developing automated enforcement tools that are frankly more effective than using armed police officers,” said Cory Epstein, director of communications for Transportation Alternatives. , at City & State.

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez also highlighted the effectiveness of the city’s speed camera program during a city council hearing on Monday, pointing to statistics that show a 72% decrease in speeding violations in areas where speed cameras have been located during business hours since they were installed in 2014. More than 40% of offenders have vehicles registered outside of New York, Rodriguez said. He closed his testimony before the council’s transportation and infrastructure committee by “joining the mayor in calling on the state to empower the city to run our self-enforcement program.”

If the transfer of autonomy is not part of the state budget due April 1, it will have to be taken up by legislation passed later in the session. To include the policy in the state budget, lawmakers would need to determine the parameters of the city’s jurisdiction over red-light cameras before a House’s budget proposals are due at the end of the month.

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who has sponsored legislation to expand the city’s school zone speed camera program, said “it seems more likely that it would be something that could happen outside of the budget,” said he told City & State. Gounardes, along with Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, passed a bill that took effect in 2019 to expand the city’s school zone speed camera program. The bill is up for renewal this session, which Gounardes said might not be necessary if autonomy is transferred to the city first.

“I fully support this call,” Gonardes said of the city’s efforts to take control of traffic cameras. “If for whatever reason we are not successful in governing from home, we will certainly have the opportunity to license the successful programs that have already been put in place and expand them, while continuing to advocate more broadly to leave the New York City control its streets.”

Transportation advocates hope Hochul’s vow to work with Adams – after a lingering power struggle between their predecessors – will help them move toward a “self-reliance” deal this year. “She has a different heritage and history in local government, and we think that’s very promising,” Epstein said.

Hochul expressed openness to the idea in a previous interview with City & State in November, when she said, “Why does the state legislature and governor have to weigh in on having a school district in does New York City have speed cameras or not? in school zones? Tell me why this needs to be relegated to a question that becomes political football at the end of a session in terms of extracting promises, concessions. I don’t want to rule that way.

In addition to his call for home rule, Adams also outlined plans to improve crosswalk safety by redesigning 1,000 intersections with “enhanced traffic signals, raised crosswalks and other safety measures.” ‘expanded pedestrian space and visibility,’ he said Jan. 19 in what was his first major announcement of a street safety policy since taking office. The DOT will also build raised crosswalks at 100 intersections, and the NYPD will step up enforcement of non-surrender violations at crosswalks, Adams said.

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Home rule

‘Home Rule’ Rocks Edition – Streetsblog New York City

How many state lawmakers does it take to change a light bulb – er, a speed limit?

Far too many, according to Transportation Alternatives, which argues in a new report that the number should be zero. The report, “‘Home Rule’ Means Safe Streets: The Deadly Impact of Albany’s Control on New York’s Streets” gathers compelling evidence that New Yorkers are dying in traffic violence due to outdated provisions. that allow Albany to restrict the city’s use of crucial street-safety tools.

This is because (as we have repeatedly pointed out in these pages) the legislature will not let the city set its own speed limits or determine the number, location and hours of operation of speed cameras and light cameras. red. It also limits the number of red light cameras and the use of bus lane cameras. Meanwhile, according to TransAlt:

TransAlt wants immediate domestic government and the Legislature to pass the entire eight-bill Accident Victim Rights and Safety Act, so New Yorkers can act quickly to stave off the epidemic of violence road which has made 2021 the deadliest year since the start of Vision Zero. To which we say “Listen, listen!” The Post also covered.

In other news yesterday:

  • How many subway sleepers went to shelters in the first week of Mayor Adams’ crackdown? A total of 22. (NYDN)
  • The subway crime crackdown has resulted in 143 arrests so far. (Brooklyn Eagle)
  • The head of the MTA, for his part, wants the power to ban repeat offenders. (NYDN, amNY)
  • A police chase led to an accident that damaged the facades of two homes on Staten Island. (SILive, plus the Post, following Streetsblog)
  • Brooklyn Paper dwells on the history of the Grand Street Bike Path. U.S. too.
  • Gothamist has made it into the news of LaGuardia’s transit options.
  • Bed-Stuy is appalled by the misogynistic art of this van parked near a school. (Patch)
  • City Limits reported that street vendor ticketing rebounded to pre-pandemic highs (even though enforcement was turned over to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection) on the same day our Julianne Cuba saw a cop give a ticket to a vendor on the subway at Jackson Heights. Harassment irritated a lotincluding State Senator Jessica Ramos, who tweeted:
  • Finally, RiseNY has dedicated one of its new Times Square exhibits to the 1950s kitchen of Ralph Kramden, the TV sitcom’s most famous city bus driver. (ViaTwitter)

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Self government

The Congress assessed the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Belgium

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, made up of rapporteurs Matthias Gysin (Switzerland, ILDG) and Magnus Berntsson (Sweden, EPP/CCE) carried out the first part of the monitoring visit to Belgium from 8 to 10 March 2022 to assess the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government from the previous follow-up report passed by Congress in 2014.

The rapporteurs had exchanges of views on the latest developments in the field of local self-government in Belgium with representatives of local authorities and regional parliaments, including certain institutions in Brussels. Meetings were planned with Roger Stevens, First President of the Council of State, with representatives of the Constitutional Court as well as with Marc Bertrand, Mediator of Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Bart Weekers, Mediator of Flanders, Marlene Hardt , Mediator of the German-speaking Community and with Catherine De Bruecker, Mediator of the Brussels-Capital Region.

Meetings also with Liesbeth Homans, President of the Parliament of Flanders, Rudy Demotte, President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation/Parliament of the French Community as well as with Philippe Close, Mayor of Brussels, Pierre Rolin, Mayor of Rhode-Saint-Genèse, members of the municipal council of Namur and Wim Dries, mayor of Genk and president of the Association of Flemish towns and municipalities (VVSG).

The Congress delegation also met the members of the Belgian national delegation to the Congress and the Presidents of the Association of the city and municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, the Cities and Municipalities of Wallonia (UVCW) and the Walloon provinces (APW).

Belgium ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 2004. Countries that have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which form the essential basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:
Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Telephone: +33 (0)3 90 21 51 84
Email: [email protected]

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Independence activist

Tributes to Scottish independence campaigner and drugs expert Rowdy Yates

TRIBUTE was paid to a drug rehabilitation expert and Yes activist who died of Covid at the age of 71.

Rowdy Yates MBE has drawn on his own experience of heroin addiction to become a respected voice in treatment and recovery over a career spanning over 50 years.

After overcoming drugs in the 1970s, he co-founded the Lifeline Project and became an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

The grandfather was also executive director of EWODOR (European Working Group on Drugs Oriented Research) and honorary vice-president of EFTC (European Federation of Therapeutic Communities).

Living near Trinity Gask in Perthshire, he was also an active campaigner for Scottish independence.

Yates earned his childhood nickname through his rambunctious behavior and the popularity of the TV show Rawhide, whose popular character Rowdy (played by Clint Eastwood) shared his surname. He used the nickname throughout his life and died surrounded by his family at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on Valentine’s Day.

His wife Kathleen, who is supported by sons Sam, Christy and Calum, shared how he spoke on Facetime with his granddaughters from the hospital, managing to joke around with them. The five daughters – Faith, Hope, Grace, Serena and Zoe – helped keep him active in his later life.

The couple met in Manchester, where the Lifeline project was based. “He always shot from the hip,” she says. “He was a very direct person. He just wanted to do his best and the best he could for people whose lives were affected by addiction.

A founding board member of Phoenix Scotland, Yates left Lifeline in 1993 to become director of the Scottish Drugs Training Project (SDTP) at the University of Stirling. It closed in 2001, after which he became a faculty member specializing in addictions teaching and research. He authored over 40 papers on theory and practice and continued to publish after his retirement in 2016 until his death.

A passionate musician, he recorded songs to raise funds for the EFTC and brought his expertise beyond borders. Members of the Addiction Federation and the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities are among those who paid tribute to him.

Yates received an MBE for drug prevention services in 1994. He regularly questioned the effectiveness of drug policies and championed a user-centred health and treatment approach. And he has spoken out against some politicians’ reactions to calls for a new direction, telling the Herald in 2012: “Every time a politician mentions anything about drug law reform, they get instantly the white feather as a conscientious objector to war. drug. It becomes an annoyance. This is not a serious political debate.

His determination to do well continued in the hospital where, prior to his transfer to intensive care, the behavior of another patient caught his attention. The man was disrespecting the nurses, Kathleen explains, and Rowdy told him to “stop treating the nurses like that, stop treating this place like a hotel and show some respect.”

“As Rowdy was moved,” Kathleen says, “the nurse in charge gave him a big hug and said ‘thank you so much for saying that, because we can’t tell’. That’s just the way he was; even though he was very sick, he couldn’t stay without trying to help.

“He was passionate about good addiction services for addicts because everyone deserves a chance to turn their life around.”

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Home rule

Commission members learn about the self-governance process

The Princeton Home Rule Charter Commission hosted a civics lesson session with City Attorney David Overcash who outlined each section of a home rule charter to members.

The commission was due to discuss the first three sections of a draft charter at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16, but postponed discussions until the next meeting due to Overcash’s detailed presentation. Commissioners also received the 2010 copy of a Texas Municipal League handbook to provide them with useful data throughout the process.

Overcash said his role is primarily advisory to the commission and he will advise them and answer any questions along the way, but he does not have the final say on what happens in the draft charter that will be presented to voters. He added that the city charter will always be subject to any state or federal law in the event of a conflict between them and a provision of the charter.

Any provision to the contrary would also be inapplicable, leaving the charter without bite on certain articles. Charters also provide a very general structure for city government, but generally become cumbersome if there are too many powers listed, Overcash said.

“Most charters, almost all of them, are written very broadly, giving as much discretion as they can to councils so that they can exercise the most local self-government powers,” Overcash said. “It’s rather than wielding as much power as the Texas Legislature allows, which is the general approach to law we’re taking right now.”

For the full story, see the February 24 issue of the Princeton Herald.

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Sovereignty

The Congress assesses the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in the Czech Republic

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, composed of rapporteurs Viorel Furdui (Republic of Moldova, ILDG) and Jani Kokko (Finland, SOC/G/PD), will carry out a follow-up visit to Prague, Brno , Jilhava and Velký Beranov from 2 to 4 March 2022 to assess the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in the Czech Republic since the previous monitoring report adopted by the Congress in 2012.

The rapporteurs will exchange views on the latest developments in the field of local and regional self-government in the Czech Republic with Vít Rakušan, Minister of the Interior, Ivan Bartoš, Minister for Regional Development, as well as with representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Constitutional Court and the Public Defender of Rights.

In Parliament, the delegation will meet Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Senate and Markéta Pekarovà Adamovà, President of the Chamber of Deputies.

Meetings will also be held with the Mayor of Prague and representatives of the municipalities of Jihlava and Velký Beranov, as well as with the Governor of the Central Bohemian Regional Council. The Congress delegation will also meet members of the Czech national delegation to the Congress as well as the presidents of the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic and the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1999. Countries that have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which form the essential basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact

Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Telephone: +33 (0)3 90 21 51 84
Email: [email protected]

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Home rule

Homelessness and the abrogation of autonomy in the nation’s capital

David W. Marshall

Washington, DC is unique in many ways. With the distinction of being the nation’s capital, it functions as both a city and a state. In terms of population, the District of Columbia is larger than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. It has a budget larger than 12 states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a gross domestic product larger than 17 states, has a rating of triple-A bond and is currently running a budget surplus rather than a deficit.

But it’s a city, not a state. Therefore, it is the only city in America where Congress directly oversees the city’s budget and laws through constitutional authority. For years, Congress operated as the only legislative body where the city’s residents had no elected representation. A limited form of self-government was granted when Congress passed the Home Rule Act of 1973, signed into law by then-President Richard Nixon. It allowed DC residents the right to elect their own mayor, council, and nonvoting member of Congress. Washington DC is the only jurisdiction that does not have the power to appoint its own judges. While DC voters don’t have a federal representative on the ballot, the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections could have significant implications for the city’s autonomy, not to mention its quest for federal status. ‘State.

As House Republicans point to the growing number of homicides and homelessness in the capital, as well as the mayor’s COVID-19 policies, some within the ranks of the GOP have expressed a desire to take greater control of the city. Currently, some members of the House would go so far as to see the Home Rule Act of 1973 eliminated if the Republicans succeed in taking control of Congress. Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which oversees DC affairs, is drafting legislation to return sole control of the city to Congress by repealing the law. Washington DC is a city no different from other urban communities that are experiencing similar increases in crime and homelessness; Republicans who use this to justify reducing DC’s self-government know this.

We see high-cost cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco grappling with this same humanitarian nightmare — it’s not just a DC problem. The political motivations of the GOPs are clear, with DC being a strongly Democratic city, but politically, how will Republicans at the federal level address the growing growth of homelessness and its root causes? The affordable housing shortage is a national crisis that should be addressed as such by federal officials of both political parties. There is no reasonable way to solve the complex homelessness crisis across America without adequately addressing housing shortages and poverty.

Bernie Sanders recently delivered a speech in the Senate suggesting a “unanimous resolution commending the billionaire class” for amassing more wealth during the pandemic even as remaining American citizens have suffered economic losses. This position is not new for him. By now, some people may have fallen deaf to his message, but the senator’s consistent point is not just about economic disparities, but a divide in humanity. His speech illustrates a growing gap in humanity towards others.

There is a gap between how much we care about the less fortunate and how much we don’t, as a society. For many people, homelessness is only a problem because it’s visible and makes them feel uncomfortable – and we know how much being “uncomfortable” can be triggering for some – as they are forced to face this “horror” every day. We have a viable option in Build Back Better (BBB) ​​legislation that includes historic investments in affordable housing.

It represents a critical step in addressing the multi-partisan issue surrounding homeless encampments that we see nationwide. Given that a bill is in place to address the root causes, how can someone in good conscience say they are sincerely concerned about chronic homelessness and yet reject the BBB? Yes, it’s a heavy toll, but not compared to years of doing nothing, spending millions on temporary repairs, having no safe streets or parks, and adopting bad policies out of desperation, not to mention the human toll and suffering.

There are other underlying causes of homelessness that proponents of “law and order” need to consider. Many people who commit criminal offenses do so to survive, but many also have underlying mental health and addiction issues. It is difficult for the chronically homeless to maintain stable housing due to these addictions or mental health issues. In many jurisdictions, the growing rate of homelessness is rapidly outpacing the addiction and mental health services available. And let’s not forget how the human gap is widening due to vested interests and campaign funding from donors who want to ease the requirements for affordable housing. Many real estate developers prefer to build more profitable and more expensive housing, thereby increasing their supply while reducing affordable housing options. In many cases, developers receive grants (tax incentives) with the promise of providing public benefits such as jobs, affordable housing and green space. Unfortunately, the community does not always receive the promised benefits.

The national problem of homelessness requires coordinated efforts from local lawmakers on the front lines and those crafting effective federal policies in Washington. A homeless person is unlikely to vote in November, but their fate depends on the outcome. We should keep that in mind when we all vote this year. Unfortunately, the future of DC residents also hinges on the results of home races nationwide.

David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization TRB: The Reconciled Body and the author of the book God Bless Our Divided America. He can be contacted at www.davidwmarshallauthor.com.

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Sovereignty

The John Dickinson Forum: Teaching the Virtues of Self-Government | News

“Some educators approach civics in terms of activism and protests,” notes Professor Mark David Hall, “but protest by itself is not useful in civics.” As Hall notes, “Before students can participate in self-government, they must have knowledge of the basic principles of the American constitutional order.”

The John Dickinson Forum at George Fox University provides students with this crucial foundation of civic knowledge.

The university’s Herbert Hoover professor of politics, Hall, founded the Dickinson Forum five years ago “to encourage discussion and debate” about “America’s founding principles and current events related to those principles”. . A scholar of American political thought and early American Christianity, Hall has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the most recent, “Did America Have a Christian Founding?”

A partner program of the Jack Miller Center, the Forum offers a variety of activities for students, including lectures, book and current affairs discussions, and debates. It has partnered with various institutions in the Pacific Northwest, making its programs available to students at other colleges and universities and to the general public.

The Forum is named after John Dickinson, an important but overlooked American founder. Dickinson was instrumental in writing pro-liberty pamphlets before American independence, was a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and was “one of the most thoughtful defenders of liberty in the founding era” . At one time, Delaware’s largest slave owner, Dickinson, influenced by his Quaker upbringing, finally freed his slaves.

The Forum contributes to civic education by bringing in speakers each year to discuss the American founding principles. According to Hall, some speakers also lecture on individuals and movements of later generations that focused on these principles, such as Abraham Lincoln, whose political acumen was heavily influenced by the Declaration of Independence. For example, historian Wilfred M. McClay recently spoke about the role of the Constitution in contemporary civics.

Speakers scheduled for the spring 2022 semester will include Paul Miller of Georgetown University, Jason Ross of Liberty University, Kevin RC Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University, and tentatively Ian Rowe of the Woodson Center/1776 Unites.

Hall says students who attend the Forum don’t get a simply triumphant account of America. After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he and an African-American colleague held a book group on the issue of race and the United States. Discussions focused on documents from the 1619 Project and its critics, as well as articles arguing for and against reparations. Hall and his colleagues have worked to promote “ideas rather than protests,” he says, and they “have worked to include students from all sides” of the current debate. He notes that this particular reading group was so popular that a new group had to be created to accommodate any interested students.

Student reading groups are an important part of the Forum’s programming. Groups of about ten students meet each semester to discuss readings on freedom, equality, and human flourishing in America and around the world. Reading articles from The Economist and other leading periodicals, students debate controversial topics such as the justice of Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Group members are also invited to attend dinners with the speakers that the Forum brings to campus each semester.

Hall believes that one of the main threats to civic education is the magnification of political discourse. He points to the efforts being made in Florida public schools as an encouraging sign that states are beginning to take civics more seriously.

An accomplished student of early American Christianity, Hall also emphasizes the important connection between maintaining a “moral commitment to freedom” and religion, an increasingly overlooked aspect of civic education today. He points to a famous syllogism proposed by James Hudson of the Library of Congress on the relationship between religion and morality: virtue and morality are necessary for free republican government; religion is necessary for virtue and morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government.

Hall acknowledges that our circumstances have changed significantly since the founding, when disputes were primarily between competing denominations of Christianity; today, different religions compete for respect in the public square. Nevertheless, he cites the teaching of George Washington that a society is unlikely to function well without a shared morality supported by religious instruction. Although he admits that Washington suggested that certain individuals could be moral without being religious, this realization is highly unlikely for society as a whole.

Promoting the virtues of self-governance, as well as the importance of morality and religion, the John Dickinson Forum seeks to strengthen the foundations of American politics.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.

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Self government

The John Dickinson Forum: Teaching the Virtues of Self-Government |

“Some educators approach civics in terms of activism and protests,” notes Professor Mark David Hall, “but protest by itself is not useful in civics.” As Hall notes, “Before students can participate in self-government, they must have knowledge of the basic principles of the American constitutional order.”

the John Dickinson forum at George Fox University provides students with this crucial foundation of civic knowledge.

The university’s Herbert Hoover professor of politics, Hall, founded the Dickinson Forum five years ago “to encourage discussion and debate” about “America’s founding principles and current events related to those principles”. . A scholar of American political thought and early American Christianity, Hall has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the most recent, “Does America have a Christian foundation?

A partner program of the Jack Miller Center, the Forum offers a variety of activities for students, including lectures, book and current affairs discussions, and debates. It has partnered with various institutions in the Pacific Northwest, making its programs available to students at other colleges and universities and to the general public.

The Forum is named after John Dickinson, an important but overlooked American founder. Dickinson played a critical role writing pro-liberty pamphlets before American independence, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and was “one of the most thoughtful defenders of liberty in the founding era”. At one time, Delaware’s largest slave owner, Dickinson, influenced by his Quaker upbringing, finally freed his slaves.

The Forum contributes to civic education by bringing in speakers each year to discuss the American founding principles. According to Hall, some speakers also lecture on individuals and movements of later generations that focused on these principles, such as Abraham Lincoln, whose political acumen was heavily influenced by the Declaration of Independence. For example, historian Wilfred M. McClay recently spoke on the role of the Constitution in contemporary civic education.

Speakers scheduled for the spring 2022 semester will include Paul Miller of Georgetown University, Jason Ross of Liberty University, Kevin RC Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University, and tentatively Ian Rowe of the Woodson Center/1776 Unites.

Hall says students who attend the Forum don’t get a simply triumphant account of America. After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he and an African-American colleague held a book group on the issue of race and the United States. Discussions focused on documents from the 1619 Project and its critics, as well as articles arguing for and against reparations. Hall and his colleagues have worked to promote “ideas rather than protests,” he says, and they “have worked to include students from all sides” of the current debate. He notes that this particular reading group was so popular that a new group had to be created to accommodate any interested students.

Student reading groups are an important part of the Forum’s programming. Groups of about ten students meet each semester to discuss readings on freedom, equality, and human flourishing in America and around the world. Reading articles from The Economist and other leading periodicals, students debate controversial topics such as the justice of Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Group members are also invited to attend dinners with the speakers that the Forum brings to campus each semester.

Hall believes that one of the main threats to civic education is the magnification of political discourse. He points to the efforts being made in Florida public schools as an encouraging sign that states are beginning to take civics more seriously.

An accomplished student of early American Christianity, Hall also emphasizes the important connection between maintaining a “moral commitment to freedom” and religion, an increasingly overlooked aspect of civic education today. He points to a famous syllogism proposed by James Hudson of the Library of Congress on the relationship between religion and morality: virtue and morality are necessary for free republican government; religion is necessary for virtue and morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government.

Hall acknowledges that our circumstances have changed significantly since the founding, when disputes were primarily between competing denominations of Christianity; today, different religions compete for respect in the public square. Nevertheless, he cites the teaching of George Washington that a society is unlikely to function well without a shared morality supported by religious instruction. Although he admits that Washington suggested that certain individuals could be moral without being religious, this realization is highly unlikely for society as a whole.

Promoting the virtues of self-governance, as well as the importance of morality and religion, the John Dickinson Forum seeks to strengthen the foundations of American politics.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.

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Home rule

Republicans seek to strip the District of Columbia of autonomy

Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde, a member of the House Oversight Committee, leads a GOP contingent seeking to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act.

Clyde and others have criticized Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, saying crime, homelessness and open drug use are out of control in the nation’s capital.

GOP lawmakers also cited Mayor Bowser’s indoor vaccination mandate, which she has since rescinded.

“While I’m glad our intention to repeal the DC Autonomy Act has been heard loud and clear, the issues facing our nation’s capital extend far beyond medical tyranny,” said Rep. Clyde.

“Make no mistake, this was not an empty threat; legislation comes to restore the constitutional duty of Congress’s Article I, Section 8 “to exercise exclusive law in all cases, upon this district” and to properly administer the affairs of DC.

“In the near future, we will liberate Washington D.C. from the failed experiment of so-called ‘Home Rule’, and we will return our nation’s capital to the American people after the Democrats’ nearly 50-year reign of terror and the leadership failure,” Rep. Clyde continued.

But longtime Democratic District of Columbia congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton condemned Rep. Clyde’s attack.

“Rep. Clyde literally wants the feds to take over running DC as a colony,” Rep. Norton said.

“He wants to remove the limited self-government that DC’s approximately 700,000 residents, the majority of whom are minorities, have had for the past 50 years and give absolute power over DC to Congress and, presumably, the appointed trustees. Congress or the President. ”

Representative Norton continued:

“At a time when we are experiencing unprecedented success on our DC State Bill, we will keep moving forward, not backtracking. We will defeat his anti-democratic efforts.

President Richard Nixon signed into law the Home Rule Act, and the measure gives DC an elected chief executive (mayor) and a legislature (Council).

Rep. Norton pointed out that in signing the Home Rule declaration, Nixon wrote, “One of the primary purposes of this administration is to place the responsibility for local functions under local control and to provide local governments with the authority and the resources they need to serve their communities effectively.

Nixon’s statement continued:

“The measure I am signing today represents an important step in achieving that goal in the City of Washington. This will give the people of the District of Columbia the right to elect their own municipal officials and to govern themselves in local affairs.

“As the Nation approaches the 200th anniversary of its founding, it is particularly fitting to assure the people who live in our capital city of the rights and privileges long enjoyed by most of their countrymen. But the measure I am signing today does more than create a mechanism for electing local elected officials. It also expands and strengthens the structure of the city’s government to enable it to more effectively meet its responsibilities.

DC remains deprived of electoral representation in Congress and complete autonomy, which Rep. Norton called undemocratic.

“Statehood is the cure,” she said.

“Congress has the constitutional authority to grant statehood to DC. DC has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a budget larger than 12 states, has a gross domestic product greater than important than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating and federal funds constitute a smaller percentage of its budget than the percentage of total state revenues.

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Home rule

House GOP targets DC Home Rule amid state push

The 2022 midterm elections pose a serious threat to the freedom and autonomy of Washington, DC, as House Republicans want to limit governance in the city if they win in November.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. James Comer (R.Ky.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, have both suggested earlier this month a renewed focus on limiting the city’s ability to govern itself if it gains power.

Going even further, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), a member of the Oversight Committee, told the Daily Caller he was working on legislation to strip Washington entirely of its autonomy by repealing the DC Home Rule Act of 1973. The Home Rule Act allowed an elected mayor and city council to establish policy for residents of the district for the first time in city history.

“That’s nonsense,” Del said. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C.) about the proposal to strip the district of self-governance. But, she added, it’s also “the kind of threat I just have to take seriously.”

The District of Columbia, home to 700,000 Americans, is not a state and, despite the Home Rule Act, is still subject to congressional interference. As the city became home to a large black population after the Civil War, Southern segregationists in Congress sought to limit the city’s autonomy while imposing Jim Crow rules on its population. This desire to crush independent city governance remains in the contemporary Republican Party.

Even if a Republican-controlled Congress approves it, a bill to eliminate the district’s self-governing statute would have to pass the Senate’s filibuster threshold, which remains intact. It would also require the president’s signature, which Joe Biden would not provide. But that it even exists suggests that many congressional Republicans are keen to expand the anti-democratic wave of restrictive election laws the party has passed in district states. And DC — a favorite punching bag of Republicans angry that the city is governed almost exclusively by Democrats — could be at the forefront of those efforts, its statelessness leaving it vulnerable to lawmakers its residents don’t. not elect.

Republicans say their desire to strip the district of its autonomy or limit its legislative powers stems from the rising homicide rate, rising homelessness and the imposition of COVID-related restrictions. 19. But homicide rates have increased in urban and rural communities across the country during the pandemic; homelessness has increased in places where housing costs have skyrocketed due to limited housing; and the district just announced the end of its mask and vaccine mandates for private companies.

But Holmes Norton, who has served as the district’s nonvoting representative in Congress since 1991, thinks Republicans have a more nefarious motive for targeting the nation’s capital.

“My only idea how something as absurd as this could turn out is that they see how close we are to the state,” she said.

Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C.) wears a 51st State face mask during a DC State press conference.

For the second time in 50 years, the district is making a realistic push to become the nation’s 51st state. The House passed a bill to make DC the 51st state in previous and current sessions of Congress. A companion bill in the Senate is now supported by all but four members of the Senate Democratic caucus.

DC residents broadly support the push: In 2016, 85% of voters favored a statehood referendum that would grant full representation, voting rights and self-government to the nation’s capital and people who live there. The majority of DC residents are black or Latino, and the push toward statehood, activists say, is an important aspect of broader Democratic efforts to bolster civil and voting rights in the face of Republican efforts to implement new voting restrictions and other undemocratic measures in states nationwide.

With a statehood bill ultimately set to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate and two Democrats opposing the rule change, support for filibuster reform systematic has become a default position among Democratic Senate candidates. This means that ending the filibuster is a matter of when, not if.

For state supporters, Republican proposals to attack the city’s autonomy are just further evidence of the need to break out of congressional tutelage and become the 51st state.

“If the GOP rolls back Home Rule, we will lose what little autonomy we currently have over core district functions: schools, safety, reproductive rights, COVID protocols, and so much more,” said organizer Jamal Holtz. principal of 51 for 51. , a pro-state group. “We cannot continue to live in fear of the whims of a white member of Congress thousands of miles away. The only remedy to protect 700,000 Washingtonians in perpetuity is to make DC the 51st state.

In a statement, Patrice Snow, director of communications for DC Vote, said: “The announcement of their anti-democratic plot also demonstrates that the movement to enfranchise the 700,000 American citizens paying taxes in Washington, DC through Statehood is vociferous, proud and effective. successfully towards his goal.

This isn’t the first time Republicans have floated the idea of ​​stripping DC of the domestic regime. In the late 1990s, House Republicans talked about doing just that after Congress imposed a financial control commission on the city to take control of its finances during Marion Barry’s second term as mayor. . Norton views the current attack on the city as “entirely different” from the 1990s proposal, as the city currently runs a budget surplus (rather than the deficit it had under Barry).

Many DC-based activists also view statehood as a matter of when, rather than if. And in response, Congressional Republicans who have failed to make legitimate counter-arguments against statehood itself are resorting to an all-out attack on the district’s residents’ ability to govern themselves.

“Their call to overturn the Home Rule Act goes beyond the typical game of using DC residents to score cheap political points at home and into a racist attack on the basic right of representation,” Snow said.

“All Americans deserve the freedom to vote, the freedom to govern themselves, and the freedom to determine their own destiny. It is only because of our lack of statehood that these representatives feel empowered to deny these freedoms and engage in the racist subjugation of American citizens.

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Self government

Reviews | Midterms Are a Dangerous Threat to DC’s Self-Government

Many “ifs” must occur before the city can be stripped of the limited self-governing authority it currently enjoys: House passage of a possible repeal measure, Senate agreement, and presidential signature. So the odds of some House GOP members achieving their goal of killing Home Rule next year are slim with the White House in Democrat hands until at least 2024.

But that’s no reason for the residents of the district to breathe sighs of relief. A Republican-controlled house means big trouble for the district regardless. Today, under the Home Rule Act, all DC council and mayoral laws are still reviewed by Congress, which retains authority over the city’s budget. Let it sink in.

Although DC’s relationship with Congress fell on notable turmoil (the near-final collapse of the city and Congress’s imposition of a Board of Financial Control come to mind), for most of the Nearly 50 years of Home Rule, DC’s elected leaders have managed to exercise their delegated powers without major congressional interference. We can expect a House of Representatives under the hammer of Republican President Kevin McCarthy (California) drive recklessly on the city. Republican Rep. Michael Cloud (Texas) of the House Oversight Committee made that clear in a comment directed to the right. daily call“Keeping the DC government in check will surely be a Republican priority…when the hammers are in our hands.”

Another Republican committee member, Georgia Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, went even further, telling the caller he was working with colleagues on a bill to repeal the 1973 Home Rule Act. . McCarthy’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday on whether he, as House GOP leader, would support a repeal effort.

Having served as a senior official on the then U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia when the autonomy legislation was enacted, and having witnessed and expressed his opinion on an autonomous DC while he was perched on the editorial board of the Post for decades, I can say with confidence and great fear that the prospect of today’s Republican Party holding the levers of power over the district is a nightmare.

An immediate result of the Republican takeover would be a further decrease in the DC delegate to the House. Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) (or her successor) would no longer have a vote in the all-important Committee of the Whole. The city’s annual budget appropriations bill would be stolen by Republican extremists and stripped of anything objectionable. Expect carefully crafted, locally funded spending programs to be upended or outright rejected by House owners. City officials can expect summonses to House hearings for haranguing and harassment — all for the benefit and pleasure of voters in congressional districts at home. And worse.

Expressing outrage at the threat of repeal, Norton noted the temerity of House Republicans treating the district like a remote colony. The city, she said, “has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a larger budget than 12 states, has a larger gross domestic product than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating, and federal funds constitute a small[er] percentage of its budget than the percentage of total government revenue. Norton shouldn’t even have to resort to this argument. District residents should have the right to run their own affairs, with their own money, without Republican overseers, as local communities do nationwide.

Residents of the district, it must not happen like this, at least not without a fight.

Keeping the House out of Republican hands is as much in the interests of the district as it is of the country as a whole.

The city has a role to play in keeping Congress in safe and healthy hands.

DC residents determined to retain the limited democracy they currently enjoy should be prepared to devote their time, talents and cash to the efforts of Pelosi and the national Democratic organizations designed to secure congressional districts across the country. to representatives who understand and respect DC Home Rule and the clutches of McCarthy and his Republican cronies. The city’s political leaders should take the lead in organizing and managing the city’s campaign to stop the McCarthyites from attacking Home Rule.

It will be as crucial a DC undertaking as deciding the future direction of the city in this year’s primary and general elections. Because if the house is captured by the GOP, DC City Hall will be reduced to a punching bag, as locals watch helplessly.

The threat is so serious. It’s time for voters in the district to start acting on it.

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Home rule

DC delegate: Possible bill to repeal ‘radical’ and ‘very unexpected’ domestic rule

Delete Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonOfficials Assesses Phased Reopening of Capitol Building from Late March Capitol Marks Two Years Since COVID-19 Overnight Health Care Closed to Public – Congress to Provide COVID-19 MORE Funding (DD.C.) called a Republican’s proposal to repeal Washington’s Home Rule “radical” in an interview with The Washington Post published this week.

Some House Republicans, with the party widely expected to win back a majority after midterms, have signaled their desire to curb the city’s autonomy amid complaints about its COVID-19 policies and crime rate.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) said it’s “overdue for Congress to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act and resume its duty,” in a recent interview with the Daily. call.

Holmes Norton, a nonvoting House delegate, said such proposals were both sweeping and “unexpected.”

“It’s something to be extremely concerned about because the district could well find itself in the minority next term,” she told the Post. “It’s very radical, and I have to say very unexpected. It will take all the energy I have to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Prior to the Home Rule Act, DC was primarily governed by Congress. The 1973 law established a municipal government with a mayor and council, giving the district autonomy with some congressional oversight.

Clyde, advocating for the repeal of the 1973 law, raised concerns about rising crime and homelessness in DC as well as the Democratic mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC speaker says Black Lives Matter street will be ‘tarred and feathered’ DC mayor boosts police funding in 2023 budget proposal Barr says there’s no evidence Trump was ‘legally responsible’ of the attack of January 6 MOREpandemic restrictions.

The Hill has contacted Clyde and Bowser for comment.

A coalition of Democrats is pushing the other way, proposing to give DC statehood and more autonomy, something Republicans have long opposed.

The district is deep blue — Democrats have won the last four presidential elections with 90% or more of the vote.

representing Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcConnell on Republicans backing Putin: ‘There are lonely voices out there’ GOP rises to challenge Ukraine to define itself Ginni Thomas’ activism raises ethical questions for justice Supreme Court MORE (R-Calif.), the House Minority Leader, has signaled his willingness to take greater control of the city — if crime “gets out of control.”

“Last week you had a shooting and a murder in Georgetown. There’s not an element of that community that people feel safe in,” he told the Vince Coglianese Show in an interview. earlier this month, also referencing the shooting of a GOP baseball. practice in 2017.

“Those are the concerns, and if it gets out of control, there needs to be greater scrutiny to keep the nation’s capital safe.”

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Home rule

Luzerne County House Rules Study Issue May Not Move Forward

A proposal to reconsider Luzerne County’s self-government structure failed to pass collectively by the county council during its business session this week.

Another idea to eliminate one of the three public comment periods drew mixed responses.

The review of the bylaws stems from a suggested order asking voters in the November general election if they want to form a government study commission.

Council Chair Kendra Radle said it may be time to re-evaluate the Home Rule Charter as it has been in effect for a decade and questions have arisen about discrepancies between the wording of the charter and the state law.

“While the charter is a great document, I think it has its flaws,” Radle said.

But acting chief counsel Shannon Crake Lapsansky made it clear that the council cannot seek to form a task force focused solely on improving the current charter.

Instead, the review board should have the freedom under state law to independently decide whether it wishes to retain and modify the current structure of the rule of origin, draft an entirely new charter or revert to the old structure, Crake Lapsansky said.

“With full transparency, the government study committee could decide to do whatever they want,” she said.

If the council proceeds to place the question on the November ballot, voters would also simultaneously elect citizens to serve on the study committee. These commission members would have up to 18 months to complete their work.

Any recommended commission changes would need to be approved by future voters to take effect, which happened prior to the county’s January 2012 transition to self-government. The current structure replaced a system that had been in place for more than 150 years and put 11 elected council members and an appointed director in charge of decisions previously made by three commissioners and several elected non-commissioned officers.

Councilor Chris Perry said he would be “totally opposed” to the proposal to ask for a review committee because council would have no way of setting parameters to ensure the internal regime remained in place.

Councilman Stephen J. Urban said he’s never been a charter supporter, but thinks there are other ways to deliver specific improvements to voters. The charter has “good sides and bad sides,” he said, noting that it was always meant to be a “living, breathing document.”

“You may not be sitting here in the future,” he told his colleagues, referring to a potential commission recommendation to get rid of autonomy.

Councilman Robert Schnee repeated his past description of home rule as the “purest form of government” and said he would vehemently oppose a decision that could result in a return to the commissioner system.

Schnee said the county has made “great progress” in reducing inherited debt and getting a credit score under the domestic scheme, and he also believes the charter flaws can be fixed by forming a board committee.

“To go back – that can never happen,” Schnee said, referring to the commissioner system.

Councilwoman LeeAnn McDermott said she believes in fixing the charter but is not going back to the old system.

Also agreeing with this position, Councilman Gregory Wolovich Jr.

He said the board should identify issues and seek targeted corrective changes.

“We don’t have to reform the whole government,” he said.

Public Comment

Citizens have three opportunities to comment — before vote meetings on agenda items only and after vote meetings and business sessions on any county issue. Each allotment is three minutes per person, allowing each individual up to nine minutes in total.

The Council discussed a rule change removing one of its public comment periods, with a future vote required for the reduction to take effect.

Wolovich said the proposal goes against the charter’s mission to increase public participation in county government.

“We are here to represent them. Their voices need to be heard,” Wolovich said.

However, only two other board colleagues — Urban and Kevin Lescavage — seconded his motion to remove the item from the business meeting agenda so that it would not be discussed.

Crake Lapsansky said public comments must be accepted before council votes, but a third subsequent comment period is not legally required.

Council Vice Chairman John Lombardo said the suggestion was intended to streamline council meetings and eliminate redundancy, an issue he and other candidates raised on the campaign trail last year. Most government entities only accept comments before and after they vote, he said.

Lombardo pointed out that he also receives many emails from residents sharing their views on county issues and reviews all public statements before voting, noting that he changed some of his votes based on those comments.

“It’s not to stifle free speech,” he said.

Thornton said eliminating public comments after business sessions will not exclude the public because board members cannot vote on such matters until a subsequent meeting at which comments must be accepted.

Urban said he would only support a reduction in public comment time if the council agrees to deal with the “bigger and meatier issues” first at the council committee level, which would allow for greater public participation. outside of regular board meetings.

Several citizens who regularly attend meetings have urged council to maintain the three public comment periods.

Contact Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

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Home rule

Census results could affect Carbondale’s bylaws and cut budget | News

CARBONDALE (WSIL)—When a city in Illinois reaches a population of more than 25,000 people, it is automatically listed for self-government.

Autonomy, in its most basic sense, can give a municipality more local control.

“If you are a self-governing municipality, you have powers in addition to those granted to you by the state government. If you are not a self-governing community, the only powers you have are those in the state statutes in the state legislature,” City Manager Gary Williams said.

The town of Carbondale has had an inland diet since 1967, but the 2020 census determined that the town’s population no longer met the requirement.

“Now that we’ve fallen below that threshold, we’re going to be required in November to ask a question about the November election, asking our voters if they want to retain self-rule,” Williams said.

The house rule offers a few advantages.

It requires licenses and inspections for rental homes, and 70% of homes in Carbondale are rentals.

It also gives the city taxing authority.

“In Carbondale, the town has used its local authority to further fund the town government from sales taxes and use taxes, as many people come from outside of Carbondale and spend money here. , and they kept the property tax very low,” Williams said.

However, home rule allows the city to implement taxes such as a 2.5% home rule tax, motor fuel above the state maximum, and a food and beverage tax.

“Just in the original taxes and not the additional fuel tax or other taxes that we use to fund our capital improvement projects, about $8.6 million out of a $25 million budget, so about one-third of our total revenue comes from original sales tax. In contrast, we generate just over $1 million in property taxes,” Williams said.

But city officials want voters to know that self-rule is nothing new.

“In Illinois there are hundreds of self-governing communities. Most of the communities here are self-governing and they were granted self-government through a referendum. Marion is a self-governing community, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Benton, West Frankfort, Murphysboro , Du Quoin, so it’s not a unique concept in terms of running local government,” Williams said.

The vote for home rule will be on the Carbondale ballot in November.

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Home rule

Pittsburgh City Council salary increase reduced due to home charter

Pittsburgh City Council members adjusted the amount of their approved salary increase at a special meeting Saturday because the original amount conflicted with the city’s bylaws charter, Councilman Anthony Coghill said.

Coghill said the original proposal to raise council members’ salaries from $72,000 to $83,000 — a jump of more than 15% — did not comply with the city’s bylaw charter. The council members, taking advice from their lawyer and the city attorney, therefore reduced their pay increase at a special meeting on Saturday.

Council members ultimately voted to give themselves a 6.3% salary increase, bringing their annual salary to $76,544, about $4,500 more than last year.

“The way (the home rule charter) reads is that we must not get a pay raise greater than the city’s average pay raise,” Coghill said. “That’s how we arrived at that number.”

The pay increase for council members, Coghill said, is “a bit lower” than the average pay increase for city employees.

The city council deliberated on the final number in an executive session that was not open to the public on Saturday.

The initial salary increase – which would have raised council member salaries to $83,000 – was incorporated into the 2022 budget by former Mayor Bill Peduto. Coghill said he didn’t know who was responsible for making sure the pay raise was in line with the city’s charter.

Saturday marked the last day the budget was open to such changes, Coghill said, meaning the board couldn’t just wait for its next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday to make the adjustment.

The municipal council does not often meet on Saturdays. Last year they held two weekend meetings. The first was one of two public hearings to discuss the U.S. bailout, and the second was one of many public hearings on the potential annexation of Wilkinsburg.

Council members said the process of instituting a salary increase was transparent, as the public had an opportunity to view and comment on the budget before it was passed. Board chair Theresa Kail-Smith previously said board members had never heard of the proposed pay rise.

Coghill and other board members said that without a salary increase, the position may not pay enough to attract talented people to run for office. Councilwoman Deb Gross said about half of city employees earn more than council members, according to 2020 data.

Kail-Smith, who called Saturday’s meeting, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the adjusted salary increase.

Julia Felton is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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Home rule

Trade unionists miss an open objective by refusing the referendum on autonomy

“Obviously there is a red line, which is that we want the Union to stay united. That is very important. But otherwise I am open-minded about how we present positive arguments for the Union.

So said Sir Keir Starmer, Britain’s Labor leader, when he visited Scotland last week. It’s not a particularly new sentiment and has in fact been official Labor policy ever since Sir Keir became leader and asked former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to review UK structures and recommend a lasting solution.

The consequences, however, are widespread and could very well prove to be the central determinant of whether or not the United Kingdom remains united.

There’s good reason to believe Sir Keir will match his words with action. Labor has a history of leading people on constitutional change, rather than being led by them, the most obvious example of which is the creation of devolved parliaments and assemblies in the late 1990s.

READ MORE: Carrie Johnson? An £840 wallpaper snob or the power behind Johnson’s throne?

A fortnight ago in these pages I wrote that Labor was the true party of the Union and evidently rather upset many of my former colleagues in the Conservative offices of the Scottish Parliament. I made this point because shouting ‘no to indyref 2’ and waving union flags may be enough to carry the Tories through an election campaign, but it’s not a strategy to mend ties that unite the Union.

The Union is not in trouble because people are magnetically attracted to independence. The Union is in trouble because too few people think it works for them.

Labor seems to have understood this and exhibits the opposite trait to that of the Conservatives. They don’t have the absolutist rhetoric to gain center stage in an election campaign, but they are working on a long-term solution.

All that said, Sir Keir has to be careful not to back into a corner. On the same visit where he promised this quick and decisive handing over of more power, Sir Keir said: “We need change without a referendum”. It is a mistake.

I fully understand the reluctance towards another independence referendum from those on the Unionist side of the fence. They are scarred by what happened in 2014. They worry about the effect on society, which was unmistakably divided and not yet fully healed.

They worry about the effect on the economy – political uncertainty is bad for investing and bad for business. Above all, they are petrified at the thought of losing, after what they considered an unexpected near miss eight years ago.

By ruling out a referendum and simply enacting an overt commitment, Sir Keir (and Mr Brown, who I suspect very significantly influence this aspect of strategy) could quell the constitutional unrest in Scotland. He could push the pro-British polls up a bit and the pro-independence polls down a bit. And it could avoid another referendum on independence. At least for a moment.

READ MORE: Brain or empty head? What Choosing a Specialized Subject Says About You

However, assuming Labor wants to close the veil on this issue, lock it up and throw away the key, it is very unlikely to achieve that goal without a second independence referendum.

There is something purgative about not being involved in party politics, or even the overly emotional environment of constitutional politics. It offers a clarity that I often find lacking among those in the bubble.

It is now clear to most people that Scotland has long-term structural problems in its economy, in the way it provides public services, in its transport infrastructure, etc. And it’s also clear to me that we can’t get into these issues, or even talk about them, until we stop talking about the constitution.

And, in the final analysis, there is simply too much of the population that will need an answer to this question by way of a referendum rather than by way of overt commitment in a general election.

The question is, how should it be done? The answer lies in a multi-option referendum. Besides being, obviously, the only way to empower those who believe in independence, those who believe in the status quo, and those who believe in self-reliance (or whatever we want to call the ” devo max” previously named option) a voice, it is also the structure that is most likely to produce the kind of clear and unambiguous result that would throw away the key, one way or another.

The logical structure, which was ‘played out’ by former Reform Scotland chairman Ben Thomson, would be to have two questions rather than one.

The first question would be something like: “Do you support further constitutional changes or do you wish to maintain the current provisions?”

A majority in favor of maintaining the current provisions would render the second question irrelevant, just as a vote against devolution in 1997 would have rendered the outcome of the tax variation powers question irrelevant in this referendum.

However, a majority in favor of a new constitutional change would mean that the outcome of the second question (on which people would be entitled to vote even if they voted against a new change in the first question) would be decisive. The second question would be something like ‘Do you favor independence or self-government’, with the definition of ‘self-government’ presumably set by the Labor government before the referendum.

The separatists, they gave a strong signal last week on what could be the result of such a referendum. When Chris Hanlon, the senior SNP politician, suggested something similar to this option, he was publicly and brutally trampled on by a number of SNP figures.

Why? Because they expect, as I do, that the autonomy option will win a referendum relatively comfortably and effectively end the prospect of independence.

It’s curious, isn’t it, that the thing nationalists are afraid of – autonomy in a referendum – is at the same time something the Unionist community seems so reluctant to do.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It would not be the first time that trade unionists had missed an open constitutional goal.

Andy Maciver is Director of Message Matters

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Home rule

How care home rule changes make it easier to visit friends and family from January 31

Restrictions on visitors to nursing homes will be lifted on Monday, which should allow more families and friends to reunite with loved ones.

The return of unlimited visitors for care home residents is part of a series of changes to coronavirus rules in the sector.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we have continued to allow 3 named visitors and one essential carer under Plan B measures.

“Thanks to the progress we’ve made, I’m delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further, allowing residents to see their loved ones more.”

Read more:The 131 Last Names That Could Inherit You A Fortune From Unclaimed Estates

There are also changes to self-isolation periods for care home residents who test positive for coronavirus or who have returned from an emergency hospital visit.

Care Minister Gillian Keegan said: “Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am delighted that we can ease restrictions in care settings and allow unlimited visits to ensure that people living in nursing homes care see all their family and friends.

“The changes announced today are backed by scientists, ensuring we all have more freedoms from coronavirus, including care home residents and their families.”

How the rules for care home visitors are changing from January 31

From January 31, there will no longer be a limit on the number of visitors nursing home residents can receive. Plan B restrictions had limited the number of visitors to nursing homes, allowing residents to nominate just three people for regular visits.

Reduced isolation periods will mean friends and family won’t have to wait as long to visit nursing home residents recovering from coronavirus.

The isolation period for nursing home residents infected with the coronavirus also changes on Monday, from 14 days to 10 days, and those who test negative on the five and six days may be discharged earlier. The period of isolation will also be reduced for care home residents returning from hospital after emergency care. Residents of care homes will no longer have to take tests or self-isolate after making outside visits.

If there is an outbreak in a care home, from January 31 they will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days instead of the previous 28.

Detailed guidelines will be issued on Monday, January 31, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Should I wear a mask during a visit to an EHPAD?

Yes, while the legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings like shops has ended in England, masks must still be worn in some healthcare settings, including care homes.

The government says: “Face coverings and face masks will continue to be mandatory in health and care settings to comply with infection prevention and control (IPC) and adult social care guidelines. This includes hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as medical practices. They should also be worn by anyone accessing or visiting nursing homes.”

Care home visitors are advised to take lateral flow tests before arriving.

Go here for the latest coronavirus updates and the latest Covid-19 news

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Home rule

Landmark Court Ruling Supports Miami-Dade County Self-Government Charter

The new year brought encouraging news regarding a major case involving the defense of Miami-Dade County’s Home Rule charter, which is part of the Florida Constitution.

On December 30, 2021, the Honorable William Thomas of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida granted Miami-Dade County’s motion to join the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) as an indispensable party in a lawsuit against the Greater Miami Expressway Agency (GMX) .

To put this in historical perspective, in 2019 the Florida Legislature created the Greater Miami Expressway Authority, effectively usurping MDX’s ownership interests in the five local freeways it purchased from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in 1996 for $91 million. These freeways include the 836/Dolphin Expressway, 112/Airport Expressway, 874/Don Shula Expressway, 878/Snapper Creek Expressway, and 924/Gratigny Parkway.

In response, on May 4, 2021, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners under the leadership of President Jose “Pepe” Diaz, exercised its home rule authority and passed a county ordinance striking down certain unconstitutional sections of Florida statutes passed under the 2019 bill. The ordinance included eliminating GMX from county jurisdiction and transferring to MDX of all rights, benefits and revenues under the 1996 transfer agreement.

In his recent decision, Judge Thomas concluded that FDOT is not an indispensable party and has no remaining interest in the rights that have passed to MDX in perpetuity in exchange for payment. In addition, Judge Thomas recognizes Miami-Dade Home Rule powers that prohibit the Florida Legislature from enacting bills that apply only to Miami-Dade County, and that the county may take steps to declare any bill enacted in this manner unconstitutional and invalid.

Judge Thomas’ decision provides clarity and perspective by stating: “The rule of domicile [amendment and charter] transferred the power of the Legislature to pass local bills and special laws applicable only to Miami-Dade County, from the state to the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners.

Judge Thomas further explained that the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners “…has duly issued an order establishing MDX as the owner and operator of the system with all rights, benefits and revenues thereunder under the transfer agreement and abolishing GMX. This is well within the bounds of local authorities in Miami-Dade County and supports MDX’s high probability of success on the merits in the instant action.

During the 2021 vote on the county ordinance, Commissioner Joe Martinez explained that the intent of the ordinance was not just about MDX, but was to uphold the county’s right to self-government under the Constitution. from Florida. Not only did the order protect the Miami-Dade County Freeway Authority, but also major assets such as the airport and seaport that could become targets of a future takeover attempt by the ‘State.

This is not the first time a legislative attack on Home Rule has occurred. On September 4, 2002, the Florida Third District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Miami-Dade County and struck down an unconstitutional state law intended to divert a portion of the health care surtax funds to the indigents of the Public Health Trust and Jackson Memorial Health Systems.

Judge Thomas’ recent ruling ends a three-year legal battle that has hurt the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority by preventing it from refinancing its existing debt during a period of historically low interest rates, representing a loss of approximately $175 million in interest. savings.


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Self government

As initial deadline passes, Colville Lake looks to 2024 for self-government

Colville Lake is now looking to 2024 for self-government after its target deadline from last year was missed.

“Our plan for 2021 was to conclude the first part of our self-government,” said David Codzi, chairman of the Ayoni Keh Land Corporation. “We had to push it back to 2024 now.”

As to why the talks have taken longer than expected, Codzi explained that one of the reasons is that the territorial government has not implemented the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Government of Canada has adopted UNDRIP into federal law in June 2021.

The 19th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories announced early in its term that the implementation of UNDRIP was a priority.

The territorial government must reveal a implementation plan by summer 2022.

Self-government negotiations are being conducted between representatives of Colville Lake, the territorial government and the federal government, which Codzi said have been more accommodating than the territorial government.

“They’re more open to suggestions,” Codzi said of the feds.

David Codzi, chairman of the Ayoni Keh Land Corporation, says Colville Lake will achieve self-government one day, he just hopes it will be sooner rather than later. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

The federal government did not agree to an interview. A spokesperson wrote in an email that the discussions were confidential.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous peoples in their work to rebuild and reconstitute their nations, to advance self-determination and, for First Nations, to facilitate the transition away from Indian Act toward self-government,” wrote Matthew Gutsch, a representative with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.

Codzi said he thinks the process would be faster if the territorial government would step aside and allow Colville Lake to negotiate directly with the federal government.

“We’re all on our feet and talking and not going anywhere,” he said.

But the Government of the Northwest Territories is one of the signatories to the land claims agreement.

The Government of the Northwest Territories did not accept an interview with CBC News or respond to email questions by the deadline.

But in an earlier email statement on Jan. 11, Todd Sasaki, spokesman for the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs, said the territorial government was negotiating “to clarify how the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Colville Lake will implement exercise their ancestral right to self-government.”

“Want to move forward”

Joseph Kochon, the community’s chief administrative officer, said the last round of negotiations, which took place in mid-January, went well.

He said the territorial government has a new chief negotiator, who took over a few months ago, but who had previously worked on the negotiations in another capacity.

Colville Lake chief Wilbert Kochon said the relationship with the new negotiator has been positive so far.

“She’s ready to learn and she’s ready to move on,” he said. “The first time we met her was pretty good.”

As for Codzi, he said Colville Lake is more than ready for self-government because the band office already provides most services to the remote community of about 150 people.

Codzi said the community will one day achieve self-government, it’s just a matter of how long it will take.

“The faster we do these things, we’re not spending all the money talking about something that we know we’re going to achieve,” he said.

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Self government

Ulmer: Meetings Offer Lessons in Improving Self-Reliance | Columnists

My father spent 26 years of his career as executive vice president of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives. I remember accompanying him to a few annual local co-op meetings where free lunch, door prizes and self-government attracted hundreds of co-op members/owners. Dad and I were walking through the lunch line and he was so distracted by people wanting to chat with him that it didn’t take long for me to realize I was alone. So I’ll just take a full plate and find a seat.

Meetings were usually held in a small municipal gymnasium or community center/church/fallout shelter and were always packed. I was always hungry back then and the rural people were especially good at filling your bag with food. Best of all, their hospitality always made me feel at ease.

The purpose of these annual meetings is to nominate and elect the board of directors of their cooperatives. Very often, the races for jobs were very competitive. Each member, essentially anyone connected to rural electric power, was given one vote and only members present were allowed to vote; proxy votes were not permitted. Many people traveled long distances, so the free lunch became more of a necessity than a luxury.

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Sometimes it took a while to nominate candidates and count votes, gaps were filled with speeches, and door prizes were awarded during downtime. In fact, it was quite an event and Dad was in his element.

It was in the 1960s/70s when rural electric cooperatives created the electrical system we still rely on today. Back then, investing in building power plants and mining coal in North Dakota were just plans that would require billions in investment to complete. So Dad would deliver his statewide and nationwide membership speech in hopes of convincing members to risk the investment. Not all meetings welcomed Dad to the podium. It was not uncommon to hear John Birchers better dead than red heckling with “This government-sponsored co-op thing is socialism and you’re a communist!” It always bothered me because it was the era of McCarthyism; but dad seemed to take it in stride explaining that there were no private investment utilities willing to risk their capital on the basis of one customer every six miles or so so rural electric co-ops had to fill the void.

In the end, member owners voted in favor of low-interest Government Guaranteed Loans (REAs) to electrify rural America. Dad’s job was to convince the state and federal governments to provide the loans the co-ops needed to build the factories, power lines and extract the coal.

Dad didn’t do all of this alone; he knew his people/owner members would support him because they knew he cared about the little guy on the phone. Next, its members owned coal mines, power plants, and power lines that led to their property.

The trips home allowed Dad and I to discuss all sorts of things at length, and I’m pretty sure it was here that my interest in political science eventually led to my majoring in college. My studies involved a massive and deep appreciation of all types of governments and political shenanigans that convinced me that there is no perfect form of government, but the ones that work best understand that the little guy in the end of the line is just as important. like the guy on top of the heap. These meetings have been a great example of how we can govern ourselves better.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public servant, non-profit leader and opinionated citizen who believes we should do what we can to make the world better than we found it.

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Home rule

Commuters return to offices as ‘work from home’ rule ends in England

Workers returned to work on Thursday after England’s work-from-home guidelines were lifted as Plan B measures are phased out.

An increase in road congestion was recorded in Manchester and London and public transport was busier than usual.

Meanwhile, Clive Watson, chief executive of City Pub Group, welcomed the return of workers to towns and cities. The company, which runs around 50 pubs, mostly in London and the south of England, said January had a slow month following Omicron’s caution, but pointed to a “significant increase in trading” over the of the last 10 days.

Mr Watson said: “We obviously haven’t started the year where we would have hoped a month earlier, but we’ve seen some positive signs over the past week or two.

“We are extremely positive about the removal of Plan B restrictions and in particular the change around working from home.

“The return of the office workers will be a much needed boost and gives us a lot of encouragement.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs in the Commons on Wednesday that work-from-home guidelines would be dropped immediately and rules on face coverings in classrooms would also be scrapped in England from Thursday January 20.

Other measures, including the requirement to wear face masks on public transport and in shops, will end next Thursday (January 27).

The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate may also expire when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

Location-based technology company TomTom said levels of road congestion – which represent the proportion of extra time needed for journeys compared to free-flow conditions – were 72% in London and 63% in Manchester at 8 a.m. morning Thursday.

This is up from 66% in London and 56% in Manchester a week earlier.

But some cities have seen a reduction or no significant change in traffic.

They include Birmingham (from 57% last week to 55% Thursday), Brighton (from 60% to 50%), Hull (unchanged at 55%), Leeds (from 48% to 44%), Leicester (from 57% to 58%) and Liverpool (from 52% to 54%).

Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group, the Manchester-based company behind Cuba’s Revolution and Revolucion brands, welcomed the end of Plan B measures and called for more support for the hospitality sector hard hit.

He said: “Yesterday’s news about the removal of work from home and the rollback of all other restrictions is welcome for our business and will go a long way towards restoring consumer confidence.

“It is imperative that in the future there are no more restrictions as we all learn to live alongside Covid-19.

“We continue to urge the government to support the recovery of the hospitality industry by leaving VAT at 12.5% ​​and maintaining the relief of activity rates in line with current support levels.

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Home rule

When does working from home end in the UK?

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  • When does working from home end in the UK? Now that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined plans to learn to ‘live with Covid’, many are wondering if they will have to return to office soon.

    Before Omicron symptoms emerged as a new variant, many people were slowly returning to work from the office. In a sign of a slow return to some normalcy, research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the seven in 10 people returning in November 2021 were relishing the chance to work somewhere different. But with a spike in cases, the government activated plan B and we went back into a kind of lockdown – with restrictions on working outside the home.

    Now lifted as part of Plan A measures, another return to the office looks promising for those looking to resume their new routine. But the rules set by the UK government don’t apply everywhere in the UK when it comes to Covid-19, so that’s what you need to know.

    When does working from home end in England?

    the work from home is now over in England, following the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons on 19 January. This means that from January 20, anyone who does not want to work from home does not have to – provided their office is open.

    Mr Johnson said: ‘From now on the government is no longer asking people to work from home and people should now talk to their employers about the arrangements for returning to the office.

    As well as scrapping working from home, the Prime Minister announced that proof of double vaccination was not required to enter places of entertainment. He also confirmed that people could stop wearing face masks in many public places as all Plan B measures, put in place during Omicron’s peak in December, were coming to an end.

    “The latest data from the ONS today clearly shows infection levels are falling in England,” he said. “And while there are places where cases are likely to continue to rise, including in primary schools – our scientists believe it’s likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationwide. “

    When Plan B restrictions were in place, guidelines changed to encourage those who could work from home to do so again. However, many offices remained open during this time, having been closed for the previous three closures.

    When does working from home end in Scotland?

    The work from home rule is should end in early February. It is however still in place at the moment, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon suggesting Scotland will return to a “more hybrid approach” from the start of next month.

    Credit: Getty

    She said Scotland was “entering a calmer phase of the pandemic again” but there was still “significant pressure” on the health service due to the latest wave of coronavirus.

    Official guidance on the Scottish Government website reads: ‘From 17 December 2021, by law businesses, places of worship and service providers must take reasonable steps to minimize the risk of incidence and spread of the coronavirus. Supporting employees to work from home whenever possible is an important part of this. »

    When does the work from home law end in Wales?

    The work from home requirement in Wales, enacted last year, will end on January 28, 2022. Unlike other countries, Wales has enshrined its work-from-home requirement in law. From this date at the end of January, it will evolve to become an orientation.

    Although the government has stressed that this is in no way an encouragement to return to the office and that staff should not be ‘forced or pressured to return’ after this date unless necessary important business.

    Official guidelines say that from January 28, “working from home remains important but moves from law to guidance”. Also from this date in Wales:

    • Discotheques will be able to reopen
    • Covid passes will not be required for large indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters and concert halls
    • There will be no restrictions on dating
    • No table service requirements in hospitality areas, nor the need to keep a physical distance of 2 meters.

    This means that those who wish to work from a desk should be able to do so, subject to approval from their workplace.

    Although there is some skepticism that lateral flow testing could produce a false negative or positive, this is unlikely. The UK’s four nations have urged people to keep testing regularly and take their boosters to keep reducing the spread of the virus.

    When does the rule end in Northern Ireland?

    The advice in Northern Ireland is to work from home if possible.

    In November last year, Health Minister Robin Swann said he believed anyone working from home should do so again. But he acknowledged that not all employers have the means to continue this situation any longer.

    Woman working from home

    People in Northern Ireland should continue to work from home if possible, Credit: Getty

    So, although the work from home guidelines in Northern Ireland have been reiterated by the executive, it is not the law.

    However, companies must comply with a legal obligation to guarantee a social distance of 2 m in the workplace. And where this cannot be achieved, the company should help apply other mitigation measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

    Can I still work from home if I wish?

    If you want to work from home after the guidelines are lifted, you should talk to your employer.

    The Prime Minister has removed all requirements to work from home. Now employers have the power to dictate whether it is mandatory for staff to be in the office at work or whether they can work from home as they used to.

    But as the government removed restrictions, some employers have been told they need to put measures in place to protect employees. This includes requirements such as good office ventilation.

    Anyone employed for at least 26 weeks by a company also has the right to request flexible working. This may include a request to work from home. Employers are required by law to deal with such claims in a ‘reasonable’ way and if they are found not to have done so, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal.

    Such requests can of course be refused by employers, however, if there is a valid reason. For example, if there are any security risks associated with working from home.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist released from prison

    Prominent Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung was released from prison on Wednesday after serving a four-year sentence for taking part in a protest in 2016.

    The 30-year-old activist posted a message on his Facebook page saying he had been released from Shek Pik prison before dawn and was at home with his family.

    “After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” he wrote while also thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    Leung first came to prominence in 2016 as a spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, a group that has called for maintaining a separate identity for Hong Kong and a complete break with mainland China. He took part in the so-called Fishball Revolution protest against a police crackdown on unlicensed street food vendors in the Mong Kok district, which turned violent.

    Leung was convicted in 2018 of assaulting a police officer and participating in a riot in connection with the Mong Kok incident and sentenced to six years in prison. According to local media, the sentence was reduced by two years for good behavior.

    He coined the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his campaign for a seat in the city’s legislature in 2016, which was halted when he was disqualified for his pro-independence stance. . The slogan has since been banned under the draconian national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 in response to massive and violent protests the previous year.

    Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have been convicted and sentenced to long prison terms under the law, which prohibits succession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion.

    Some information for this report comes from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung released from prison and ordered to remain silent — Radio Free Asia

    Edward Leung, a prominent Hong Kong politician who advocated ‘separation’ between the former British colony and mainland China, was released after serving a six-year prison sentence for ‘rioting’ during the unrest of 2016 in Mong Kok.

    A former spokesperson for the now disbanded Hong Kong indigenous group, Leung was released from Shek Pik prison on Lantau Island around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    “I was released this morning and returned home safely with my family,” Leung said in a post on his Facebook page.

    “As required by law, I am subject to a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote. “I have to lay low and deactivate my social media accounts.”

    His family later issued a warning to supporters not to try to visit Leung and announced the deletion of Leung’s Facebook account, which was unavailable Wednesday evening local time.

    Leung was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 for “rioting” and “assaulting a police officer” during the 2016 “Fishball Revolution” clashes in Mong Kok.

    Hong Kong lawyer and former lawmaker Siu Tsz-man said supervision orders are sometimes issued to released prisoners involved in violent crimes, including murder and manslaughter, and require the former prisoner to remain in contact with surveillance officers and to stay in a stable residence.

    But Siu said the order to stay out of the spotlight was unprecedented.

    “I’ve never heard of this before,” Siu said. “My staff have never heard of a supervision order under which the person is not allowed to give interviews to the media.”

    Siu declined to say whether the order was appropriate without knowing the details of the case.

    “The purpose of a supervision order is not to confine someone to a certain place and not let them go,” he said.

    Some have drawn parallels between Leung’s release and the continued checks on released political prisoners in mainland China.

    Hong Kong news commentator Johnny Lau said the treatment of prominent Chinese dissidents has varied greatly in the past, depending on the level of political sensitivity of their cases as perceived by the Communist Party of China (CCP). ) in power.

    Maintaining stability

    Mainland human rights lawyer Wang Yu said mainland Chinese authorities often negotiate terms with released dissidents, including telling them to shut up after their release.

    “It can be done through the detention center, the courts, the local police department or the state security police, or even neighborhood committees,” Wang told RFA. “Anyone can be commissioned as a stability keeping officer.”

    “These agreements may or may not involve something in writing.”

    Fellow rights lawyer Bao Longjun said Leung’s experience shows that Hong Kong has gradually moved away from the rule of law.

    “The Hong Kong government’s continued expansion of how it interprets and implements [existing laws] seriously violated the rule of law and the interpretation of freedom of expression as granted by the constitution,” Bao told RFA.

    Video footage of the riots showed a large crowd throwing bricks and other objects at riot police, who responded with pepper spray and batons, injuring an unknown number of people. Others set fire to debris in the street, while business owners reported property damage.

    Judge Anthea Pang said in delivering her sentencing that “political pleas” could never justify violence. Leung, a by-election candidate for the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous at the time, said he went to the scene in an attempt to act as a buffer zone in the clashes, but later admitted to giving in to anger.

    Hong Kong’s former colonial governor, Lord Patten of Barnes, criticized Leung’s sentencing as politically motivated at the time, saying public order legislation was used politically under the CCP regime to mete out extreme punishments. to Democratic politicians and other activists.

    Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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    Home rule

    England’s work-from-home rule scrapped, PM confirms

    Plan B measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 must be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.

    Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that more than 90 per cent of over-60s across the UK have now received booster shots to protect them, and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked .

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    He said the government had taken a “different path” for much of Europe and that “the data shows that, time and time again, this government has made the toughest right decisions”.

    People will no longer be told to work from home and, from Thursday next week, when the Plan B measures expire, mandatory Covid certification will end, Mr Johnson said.

    The government will also no longer mandate the wearing of face masks from next Thursday and they will be removed from classrooms from this Thursday.

    The news comes as Covid infection levels drop in most parts of the UK for the first time since early December.

    The timetable

    Immediately, from January 19: Work-from-home guidelines where possible have been lifted, which could benefit inner-city businesses.

    From January 20: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and students in classrooms.

    From January 27: The Department of Education will remove national guidelines on the use of face coverings in common areas of schools. Masks could still be needed in the event of an outbreak, but only if Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi approves a request.

    Nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass to enter, although some may continue to request one on a voluntary basis.

    Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although guidance suggests that masks should still be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.

    March 24: The legal obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 should expire. The Prime Minister hopes to advance the date if the data allow it.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung released from prison

    Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time”, was released from prison after spending four years behind bars for a 2016 protest.

    Mr. Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about “localism” and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.

    In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution.

    Edward Leung coined the now-banned slogan ‘Free Hong Kong, revolution of our time’ (AP)

    The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

    Originally sentenced to six years, Mr Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

    Mr Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years.

    Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

    In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Mr Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

    Edward Leung supporters
    Fans pictured in 2019 hold a banner with a photo of Leung as they shout slogans outside the Hong Kong High Court (AP)

    “As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits. with the media.

    “After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to reunite with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Mr. Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    He is known for coining the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his election campaign, when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

    Shek Pik Prison in Hong Kong
    Shek Pik prison in Hong Kong (AP)

    The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned it, saying it had secessionist overtones that are illegal under the national security law that was implemented in 2020.

    The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

    Mr. Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

    Crowd scenes outside a prison
    Supporters surround a police bus carrying political activist Edward Leung as it leaves the High Court, after Leung was sentenced to six years in prison in October 2019 (AP)

    However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as “leaderless” protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

    In a post on Mr. Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday – a day before his release – his family urged supporters to let Mr. Leung “find his family” and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

    The message also said that, following a legal notice, Mr. Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist Leung released from prison

    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time,” was released from prison on Wednesday after serving four years behind bars for a 2016 protest. .

    Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about “localism” and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.

    In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution. The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

    Originally sentenced to six years in prison, Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

    Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years. Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

    In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

    “As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits. with the media.

    “After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

    Leung is known for coining the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his election campaign, when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

    The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned the slogan, saying it had secessionist overtones which are illegal under the National Security Law which was implemented in 2020. The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

    Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

    However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as “leaderless” protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

    In a post on Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday – a day before his release – Leung’s family urged supporters to let Leung “find his family” and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

    The post also said that, following a legal notice, Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

    Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.

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    Self government

    How far can gross irrationality support self-government? Can the wisdom of the community outweigh the howls for the chaos of the mob?

    Image Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

    Trump-proof elections – with dynamic platforms, expanded voting, critical thinking and compassion

    Like delivery companies, food production, and all manner of machinery, democratic autonomy must work to be viable. This means spreading enough wealth, services (especially medical), housing, clothing and education to motivate enough key workers to sustain the intertwined supply chains. Viability therefore depends on reliable correlations with the real world since black swans – storms, fires, drought, food shortages, pandemics, natural disasters and pugnacious neighbors – overwhelm even the most rational human decisions.

    Civilization boils down to applying real-world technology to maximize gains and minimize damage, more or less with shared benefits (clean air and water, emergency services, toll-free highways, and the Internet). Thus, the disruption of the crowd that emphasizes critical thresholds jeopardizes any autonomous democracy. Against single-minded folly, gross stupidity or bellicose denials of what is, the fragile self-government must be nurtured. Entropy in politics accelerates when one party fuels a cacophony of chaos, increasing disruption from climate change and pandemics.

    Reason clinging to reality

    Confirmations of reality reflect ingrained modes (reason, logic) by which independent methodology (science, computation, replication) examines raw data, producing reliable and working representations (descriptions, applications, new theories). This supports high-level consensus knowledge – which in turn fuels political judgments and decisions that honor reason and reality. Anything that breaks confirmation, be it ignorance, partisan fads, religion, or superstition, destroys what exists and how we know it. Thus irrationality threatens democratic states.

    Thanks to the first rogue president who dared an autocratic, election-killing coup, epic questions and schisms are erupting – if tons of irrationality can destroy democracy, endanger majority rule, even incite to violent confrontations to resolve what the Civil War apparently did not do – who and what governs a Federal Union. Although we are not close to civil war, the question of which entity governs what simmers and tests the national balance.

    Can a still tiny and delirious number of spitting militants boast of having the means and the intelligence to attack the world’s great military power? Isn’t pulling off a coup much harder than failing a presidential election, let alone being an incumbent ruining your own re-election chances? Tying insurgency fantasies to an inflated Mar-a-lago float, already leaking at the seams, exposes activists’ double miscalculations. Successful revolutionaries must outmaneuver the formidable ruling powers that are installed, backed by an army, and which require multiple unproven skills.

    That doesn’t make the current battle lines any less troubling. Slightly oversimplified, in this corner, weighing like a light minority, the Party of unreason, autocracy, rigidity, cruelty and lies opposes the more populous Party of reason, science , suffrage, compromise, collectivism and relative truth. In summary: is the MAGA minority, as full of itself as it is devoid of strategic thinking, stealing the majority elections? It’s not as if budding strongmen, already willing to replace peaceful voting with brutal violence, have any calculations or hidden agendas, that MAGA’s ends justify any nefarious and illegal means.

    Reason against unreason

    Although economists once spoke of the rational consumer, few political scientists defend today’s global electorate as particularly rational, knowledgeable, or unbiased. The media, advertising, propaganda and reflexive identification of family/tribe/party incite the aggrieved right to indulge in obsessive hatred of Democrats – and goofy, demonic projections about “the other” . Aren’t true believers defined by low-level critical thinking, especially when they step out on a limb? As with expertise, unreasonable eye-testing and analysis, even the possibility that they are wrong, is sacrilege; this is how faith-only fundamentalists embrace the crook who alone can fix everything. Rationals know best, not only that new evidence demands a change of position, but that the worst human delusion is to believe oneself divine, incapable of error – irrationally trusting your selfish “visceral” instincts when higher intellectual powers say opposite. Try flying too close to the sun with wings held in wax.

    I admit that reality has shaken my views: I once trusted that more MAGA fans, like smarter consumers, would learn from demonstrable failure, full of lies, and eventually dismiss transparent fraud without delivery. Did Trump reverse job offshoring, push infrastructure building, or even attempt better and cheaper health care reform for all, as boringly promised? Improved a chaotic foreign region? Not one, failures make failures worse. Except on racist and anti-immigration divisions, as well as demonizing liberals, Trump has failed to deliver on his promises. Instead, he hypocritically (knowing better from the start) let a pandemic become a deadly death trap for countless innocents and his own sucked-up, vaccine-resistant base. I missed how rage and attitude overwhelm the real world.

    I’ve come to see how much the cult of Trump despises America, not just conservative values, but the Constitution, law, order, or the integrity of the Capitol. Barely alone, I was shocked at the degree of cowardly cynicism behind an insurgency known today for its criminal singularity and monumental folly. Likewise, how long and how much Trump would turn his Stop the Steal empty lie into a crusade. Truly, the absurdity of losers being declared winners if they complain enough. Elections are just trivialized gestures if the losing side turns defeat into a mere campaign season. Finally, I expected the Justice Engines to already indict Trump and the chilling enablers for countless crimes, violations, and contempts. I’d be glad I was wrong here, but time and timing matter: I get six months of investigations, but justice delayed is clearly justice denied. Subject: the GA video tape!

    The reality of the disruption

    We all know now, with horrifying impact, how Trumpism has corrupted the Right, bristling with MAGA irrationalities: 1) what once reigned supreme, a candidate’s character – followed by principles and qualifications – is obsolete, replaced by just the opposite; 2) that incitement to blind rage, not positive reform, defines Trumpism, its persistent diatribe that Democrats only exist to destroy the “real America”; 3) that any Big Trump lie is as good as any demonstrable truth; 4) that extremist and minority mob violence rightly displaces eternities of peaceful, democratic voting and majority rule; and 5) that a losing demagogue can aggressively disregard voters and results, then commit voter fraud, then start an insurrection – and so far escape punishment and remain a national leader.

    Thus, years of confirmed evidence impose new conditions of engagement. For decades we have invoked various functional descriptors – right versus left, rich versus poor, liberal versus conservative, urban versus rural, religious versus secular, or educated versus less educated. Such dichotomies fall by the wayside next to this global enlightenment: the Party of Reason, even consensus truth versus the Party of Unreason and delusions that numb reality. Full screen, for all to see, captures our nightmare: the Party of Reality, trusting in reason, faces off against the Party of Unreality, loyal to fabrication and manipulation.

    After all, what could be more illogical than choosing to be a candidate, knowing that elections strictly define winners from losers, and then throwing tantrums and shouting, “It’s all rigged.” What could be more irrational than complaining that only elections won by Trumpers are legitimate, as if right-wingers never rig anything? Behind this fake scandal lies the most dangerous position of all, that Only My Side Counts, this shrill party (run by a sleazy, convicted real estate scammer) holds all truth and justice. This is how Trumpism, backed by the absolutism of faith alone, corrupt democracy, beaten reason, shit on the Constitution and turns politics into a sectarian theocracy of the fittest.

    The final question, the lack of accountability for gross violations of American values, id what changes the dynamic? If system-breakers and law-breakers aren’t penalized for trying to corrupt everything they touch — and fool enough voters to cede control of Congress this year, the times will be increasingly difficult for what remains of representative autonomy. If Trumpism offers no other positive, it exposes on a platter the alternatives of today. No one can say we weren’t warned. Some routes once taken come without a clear return map, leaving the messy but defensible national balance stranded perhaps at our fingertips. Again, voting also needs fingertips.

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    If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.

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    Home rule

    When will he work from the end of the House Rules in England and answer other key questions

    The work-from-home measures were halted on January 19 after being in place for just over a month (December 13).

    It was part of the broader Plan B measures to stem the transmission of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

    As part of the wider measures, face masks are still compulsory in shops and public transport and vaccination status “passports” are required to enter certain large venues.

    However, testing measures for overseas travelers have been relaxed, with fully vaccinated passengers no longer needing to take a test before departure or self-isolate on return.

    Asymptomatic people who test positive for Covid from a lateral flow no longer need to do a follow-up PCR before starting their isolation period.

    And the isolation period for those who test positive has been reduced to five days from seven.

    When can we return to work?

    The current Plan B measures in England are set to end automatically on January 26.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed to PMQs on Wednesday January 19 that the work from home directive would end.

    Mandatory mask-wearing and vaccination “passports” for major events will also end.

    Here is the schedule:

    Immediately, from January 19: Work-from-home guidelines where possible have been lifted, which could benefit inner-city businesses.

    From January 20: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and students in classrooms.

    From January 27: The Department of Education will remove national guidelines on the use of face coverings in common areas of schools. Masks could still be needed in the event of an outbreak, but only if Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi approves a request.

    Nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass to enter, although some may continue to request one on a voluntary basis.

    Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although guidance suggests masks should still be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.

    March 24: The legal obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 should expire. The Prime Minister hopes to advance the date if the data allow it.

    Is it safe to return to work?

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Tuesday it was likely ‘we have already peaked in hospital case numbers’ as ministers prepared to review Plan B measures.

    He echoed Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, who told BBC Breakfast: “If you look at infection rates, they remain high, hospitalizations are still high, affecting 20,000 people in hospital, but we they seem to be leveling off.

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    “The good news is that the number of people in intensive care has decreased, certainly in London, which was the epicentre, the level of staff absence in education has remained fairly stable, it was 8% before Christmas, it’s about 8.5% at the moment.

    “So I’m confident that when we look at that on January 26, as we’ve said, then we’ll be in a much better position to lift some of those restrictions.

    “But it’s worth remembering that because we stuck to plan B, this economy is the most open economy in Europe.”

    Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, told Sky News there was ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for the UK in the fight against Covid-1, but that we must always be “respectful”. ‘ of the virus.

    He said: “Looking at this from a British perspective, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel… I think it’s going to be bumpy before you get to the end.

    “So while it is possible to begin to imagine that the end of the pandemic is not far away, everyone must be prepared for the possibility that there will be more variations and mutations to come, or that ‘there are more challenges, more pushes from the same Omicron to come.

    He said children don’t get very sick from Covid-19, and “we’re going to have children acting as carriers of the virus for some time to come”.

    He said you should always be ‘respectful of this virus’, adding: ‘Do what you can to stop spreading it. Do what you can to prevent others from being affected. It’s not the common cold.

    “I know people wish it were, but it’s a virus that still has some really nasty characteristics. Let’s do our best to protect people from it if we can.”

    READ MORE: Follow our Covid-19 news here

    What are the current rules regarding working from home?

    Government Plan B guidelines state that anyone who cannot work from home should continue to work and should consider taking regular lateral flow tests to manage their own risk and the risk to others.

    Although guidance on working from home has ended, employers still need to consider whether working from home is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health issues, or for those whose home working environment is particularly difficult.

    Employers also have an obligation to keep workers safe by considering social distancing, minimizing visitors, good ventilation, one-way systems and additional cleaning measures.

    There are no legal limits on contact between people from different households, including in the workplace. There is no government requirement or recommendation for employers to limit capacity in the workplace.

    There are specific guidelines for certain industries – including construction, hospitality and manufacturing with more detail for employers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    What else has changed?

    Boris Johnson confirmed to the Commons on Wednesday January 19 that the legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate will be allowed to expire when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that from Monday January 17 the time people with Covid-19 in England have to spend in isolation is to be reduced to five full days.

    Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five”.

    This means that from Monday people will be able to take two tests to come out of isolation, “leaving isolation at the start of the sixth day”.

    The move comes as businesses face an economy of consumer cancellations as well as staff shortages as workers self-isolate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said earlier that around 3% of the entire UK workforce was sick or in self-isolation at the end of December due to catching Covid-19.

    The government had been under pressure to bring the situation in England into line with that in the United States, where the isolation period had previously been reduced to five days.

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    Home rule

    Scottish Home Rule or ‘Devo Max’ is as relevant as the Schleswig-Holstein issue in the independence debate – Kenny MacAskill MP

    But while it scorched Twitter and provoked heated demands and equally strenuous denials, it remained an esoteric debate.

    It’s not on the agenda, and with another Indy referendum, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Nor was it discussed or even brought up in Westminster or the main halls of power. It is a debate without substance.

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    Although not “as dead as a dodo”, it has as much relevance as the proverbial Schleswig-Holstein question. The Conservative government is simply not interested.

    They will no more listen to Nicola Sturgeon’s pleas for a “gold-plated” referendum than they are to the cries of lesser mortals to make it a multi-option referendum.

    The coronavirus still dominates and it’s “the economy, stupid” that will dominate now and for some time to come. Talking about a referendum will remain just that, because the focus and the agenda will be on unemployment and the cost of living.

    Requests for a referendum will be rejected and discussions on its formulation will not even be taken into account.

    Because a new expression has entered the political lexicon and has far more resonance in Westminster than Devo Max ever had. His “muscular unionism” which roughly translates to “take what you get Jock”, otherwise “know your place in Scotland”.

    House rule is off the table, says Kenny MacAskill (Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

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    Read more

    SNP figures reject calls for devo-max option on Scottish independence ballot…

    This is reflected in almost every recent action by the Conservative government. There is no discussion or even debate. This applies not only to the rejection of any idea of ​​increased decentralization, but also to the application of the current constitutional regulation. The Home Market Act is imposed, Scotland sidelined and Westminster dominating.

    Welcome to the new era of decentralization. Back to the useless of 2014. That was then, what is now. There was no multiple-option referendum at the time, as Cameron, in his ultimately cost-dear Brexit arrogance, assumed he would comfortably win it and ruled it out.

    There will be no referendum, but even if there was, it would have to be clarified what Devo Max is. Yet since 2014, if not before “the wish”, it remains what an individual thinks.

    To vote for it in the abstract would be absurd and, before or after, there would undoubtedly have to be a commission, taking an eternity to discuss, even less to deliver.

    If there was a will to go in that direction, then it would be obvious now. Devolution would evolve and powers would be granted gradually.

    The arrival of Wales on the constitutional scene, through the enigmatic but very effective Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, surely gave impetus to this. But no relaxation of the muscles of the Union, quite the contrary.

    This is why if Scotland wants to advance the constitutional debate, it will have to do so itself, and not hand over powers and a timetable to Westminster, as is the current position of the Scottish government. It is action that is needed, not esoteric debate.

    Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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    Home rule

    Where Can I Find Fast Financing?

    A number of people have the misconception that fast financing means they have to sacrifice quality for fast cash. In other words, fast loans will require people to pay higher interest rates and fees.

    Fast cash is very good for people with urgent needs. If someone is facing a need for a large amount of money, fast loans can be quite helpful. If you are having trouble getting approved for a regular loan, you might want to consider fast financing.

    Some people believe they need to be a certain age in order to apply for a loan. In reality, anyone who is at least 18 years old can qualify. However, some companies require a certain type of credit rating, which may be lower than your current credit rating. So, if you have bad credit, you may not get approved for fast financing. The best thing to do in this situation is to apply for one or two fast loan options.

    However, some companies offer loans for those who have bad credit. If you have a high level of bad credit, you should definitely head to the bridge payday site and take advantage of their fast financing options.

    Read all the information when looking for a fast loan

    When looking for a fast loan, be sure to read all of the information. Many of these companies are reputable, but they may try to sell you something.

    Before applying for a loan, make sure you understand what the loan is for. The terms of the fast loan are important. It is important to understand exactly how much the money will cost you. You should not sign a contract without understanding it completely.

    With fast approval, you can usually use the money right away. If you are facing an emergency situation, it might be a good idea to borrow a small amount at a time. If you borrow too much at once, you may end up over your budget.

    Fast loans are very popular because they help people in need of money

    Although fast finance is not good for everyone, many people find them useful. They can be helpful when there is an emergency. Even though fast finance can be a little risky, if it is used wisely, it can be very helpful.

    You can go online and compare the different companies. Compare the interest rates, fees, closing costs, and other fees. You can even apply to multiple companies to see if they offer a better deal. There are many different types of fast loans available.

    One of the things you will want to look at is the interest rate. Interest rates can vary widely. Look at the annual percentage rates, which are applied to the total amount you will be borrowing.

    Another thing to look at is the fees that are charged by the different companies. Make sure you know about fees for processing your loan, which include application processing, paperwork, and closing costs.

    The best option is to go with a company that has a reputation for being trustworthy. Make sure you know how long the company has been in business. You also want to look at the reputation of the loan provider with the Better Business Bureau.

    Make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into before you apply for fast financing. This type of loan is not for everyone. If you do not have bad credit, you may want to shop around. For example, some companies may offer special financing that will not allow you to apply for a fast loan.

    Make sure you read all the fine print of the loan agreement

    It is a good idea to know your rights, such as the right to repay your loan early. You should also know how much interest you will have to pay, and the type of collateral you can secure.

    Make sure that you get several quotes from different lenders. You can even compare lenders at the same time. Getting several quotes helps you determine which one will be the best option.

    Fast financing can be helpful for some people. Before you commit to anything, however, you should carefully consider all the details of the loan.

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    Sovereignty

    Mobile home community finds stability in self-government

    One sunny, cold January morning, John Egan joined other residents of the mobile home park on a neighbor’s porch. They needed to organize. But how?

    “I had to go to the bathroom, and when I came back from the bathroom, they said, ‘Hi! You are president! ‘ Mr. Egan recalls.

    The half-dozen people had gathered to think about how to buy their Durango, Colorado park from the private owner – a move Mr. Egan and others saw as a blow in the dark. But now they had at least a president for what would become an interim board. With advice from a non-profit housing organization and majority support from the community, residents were able to purchase the approximately 15-acre property in five months. They celebrated with a picnic, as the new Animas View MHP cooperative joined a few thousand other resident-owned communities across the country.

    Their achievement is unusual. The resident-owned market represents only 2.4% of prefabricated housing communities nationwide. According to industry experts, it is important to strengthen the health and longevity of mobile home fleets, as they are a vital source of affordable housing. Recent Colorado legislation provides certain provisions for communities like Animas View who hope to secure their future by governing themselves.

    “Everyone sleeps better at night,” says Steve Boardman, here for 20 years, pulling out his refresher.

    “We are in control. “

    Affordable homes with a view

    River, mountains, blond grass bleached in autumn – Durango mobile homes have a million dollar view. Largely motionless and expensive to move, these prefabricated units have been commonly referred to as “manufactured homes” since 1976. They are estimated to house between 18 and 22 million people in the United States.

    “It’s one of the biggest sources of affordable housing in our country, and it’s very affordable without any federal subsidies.,Explains Associate Professor of Sociology Esther Sullivan at the University of Colorado at Denver.

    The median annual household income of these owners – $ 35,000 – is half that of built-in-place owners, according to Fannie Mae. Manufactured homes occupy 6.3% of the US housing stock, with more than double that share in rural areas.

    Many residents own their homes but not the underlying land, for which they pay “land rent”. This model can stimulate financial insecurity: these homeowners are “more likely to see their homes depreciate and have less protection if they fall behind on payments,” reports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Media reports have increasingly highlighted private sector purchases of these parks which often result in rent increases, which housing advocates deem predatory.

    Mobile home park investor Frank Rolfe says: “When we buy these properties, they are often in terrible shape, and [we] bring them back to life. … You can’t bring old properties back to life without increasing rents.

    Mr. Rolfe estimates that he and a partner are the fifth largest owners of mobile home fleets in the United States. “There’s this conception, I think, that park owners are kind of hostile to residents buying their own communities, and that’s completely irrelevant,” says Mr. Rolfe, co-founder of Mobile Home. University, based in Colorado, which trains investors to buy parks. Three parks he co-owned have been sold to residents.

    More owners

    Mr Egan and his wife, Cate Smock, bought their trailer here in 2012 – an affordable move to Durango so their son could attend a better school. But subsequently, they saw the rent for their land, which includes utilities, increase every year, or even twice a year.

    “You’d dread the piece of paper with the black electrical tape on your door,” she said. Residents of Animas View also complained about the previous owner’s lack of attention to their needs and delayed repairs.

    Shortly before Christmas 2020, residents learned that the last owner, Strive Communities, intended to sell. Residents began to organize almost immediately. (The monitor was unable to reach Strive for comment.)

    “We don’t tell people that it’s easy” to become resident owned, says Mike Bullard, communications and marketing manager for ROC USA, a New Hampshire nonprofit that, along with its affiliates, reports. having helped nearly 300 prefabricated housing communities become resident-owned. (ROC stands for Resident Owned Communities.)

    With 430 households, the Halifax Mobile Home Estates Association in rural Massachusetts is the largest in the ROC USA network, owned by residents since 2017. The budget is tight due to the size of the community, the board chair said. administration Deborah Winiewicz, but at least the members have a say. on how these funds are spent by voting at an annual meeting.

    “We have also found that people are more proud of the community because it is theirs,” she adds, noting that their sales office is run by resident volunteers.

    In Colorado, the subsidiary of the Thistle ROC network helped the Durango Co-op raise the funds necessary for their purchase. But to afford the funding, the co-op increased the land rent by $ 80 this fall (the rent ranges between $ 755 and $ 825). While the hike may seem counterintuitive, it’s not uncommon, says Bullard.

    “These groups are not only buying the real estate, but the business as well,” he says, adding that land rents for new resident-owned communities will generally drop at or below market rate within five years.

    The sale, first reported by The Durango Herald, closed in June for a purchase price of around $ 15 million, according to Dan Hunt, a former Animas View board member who sits. now on the operations and finance committees.

    Learning about the local community organization helped convince Kevin Miller to rent land there for his motorhome. Now chairman of the board, Miller, who moved in last year, says he likes the idea of ​​keeping money in a community.

    “I’m proud to tell people where I live now,” he says.

    Progress since failure

    Among legislation to strengthen protections for mobile home dwellers, Democratic Governor Jared Polis signed a bill in 2020 that requires homeowners to provide residents with at least 12 months’ notice of a possible change in land use. It also gives residents 90 days after being notified by the owner of a potential park sale to make an offer to purchase and arrange funding. Homeowners should respect this “opportunity to buy” window before selling to someone else.

    But the model belonging to residents remains the exception and not the rule. Animas View is one of three parks to become owned by Colorado residents in 2021, out of a few dozen that have changed ownership.

    However, the new legislation “gives [residents] the opportunity to be able to compete with an offer they would not have seen before, ”says Andy Kadlec, Program Director at Thistle ROC.

    Advocates say this legislative momentum was born out of activism and the unsuccessful attempt by residents of another Colorado mobile home community, Denver Meadows, to buy their park ahead of its scheduled closure as the owner considered a redevelopment . Despite help from advocacy group 9to5 Colorado and Thistle ROC, the Aurora-based community’s offer to purchase in 2017 was reportedly rejected. Although some landlords received relocation assistance, many ended up paying double the rent elsewhere, says Cesiah Guadarrama Trejo, deputy state manager of 9to5.

    The Denver Meadows saga was featured in the 2021 mobile home documentary “A Decent Home” by filmmaker Sara Terry, a former Monitor reporter. His team hosted an event in Colorado in November that connected manufactured homeowners from across the country with activists, policy experts and former residents of Denver Meadows.

    Reflecting on when she started the film about six years ago, Ms. Terry notes, “I had to talk about the ‘underreported’ affordable housing crisis. … [Now] people pay attention. I think popular activism is flourishing, and that gives me hope. “

    Mr Hunt, one of the few Animas View residents who attended the rally, said he approached a displaced man from Denver Meadows and thanked him.

    No threat of eviction

    Just beyond the boundaries of Durango Park, a train slices through the mountain view with a harmonic blast. Current and former board members are keen to keep this community intact and, so far, residents report that no one has moved since the sale.

    “One of the first things we decided when we got together as a board of directors was that we would not allow anyone to be forced out of the park due to an inability to pay rent,” former board chairman Mr Egan said in his home, where Christmas stockings hang above an electric fireplace.

    To make sure people can afford to stay, the community is developing a rental fund. In addition to seeking outside funding, some residents plan to make cash donations themselves. Lindie Hunt, treasurer to the board of directors and wife of Mr Hunt, recently started the fund with a check for $ 60 – money she received for inspecting a neighbor’s home while she was away.

    “It wasn’t my money in the first place,” she reasoned in her kitchen, getting ready to go to work one morning.

    Beyond the repayment of the initial five loans, the community of 120 lots is faced with infrastructure projects, such as the wholesale replacement of the water and sewer system. To help reduce maintenance costs, many residents volunteer their time and skills. Mr. Boardman sometimes wields a weedkiller.

    Needing to collaborate, residents also began to get to know their neighbors better. Surrounded by sawdust and screws, Kirby MacLaurin and Doug Harris voluntarily demolish a duplex that the co-op hopes to renovate for rent.

    Although they’ve been overlapping at Animas View for a few years now, the men have just met.

    “Since we created the cooperative, we have met for the first time. Isn’t that amazing? Mr. Harris said.

    “That’s right,” said Mr. MacLaurin, hammer in hand. “Best friends… what a find. “

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    Home rule

    Erie residents asked to respond to survey over possible move to home rule – Boulder Daily Camera

    Erie residents will have a unique opportunity to inform the city’s local government’s future plans. The city is conducting a survey to gather feedback from residents on how Erie government will operate in the future.

    Currently, Erie operates under a form of government called statutory rule, which means that government is based on state laws. However, the move to autonomy would mean that the government would operate on the basis of a charter drawn up by the residents. In theory, home rule revolves around the idea that residents of the community are best equipped to solve local problems.

    As of Monday, however, residents were able to complete a survey using several different platforms. Residents can go to www.erieco.us/home-rule-charter and click on the “take survey” button. Other residents may receive text messages or emails from the city with a link to the survey website, and others may receive a phone call regarding the survey during the week of January 17. The survey ends on January 19.

    According to Gabi Rae, director of communications and community engagement for Erie, the city is the most populous municipality in Colorado that has yet to change governance.

    “As municipalities grow, it becomes more feasible to assume more specific governance that matches the community itself rather than using only state statutes to govern,” Rae wrote. in an email. “Generally, when a municipality is self-governing, it is able to align its local government more closely with the needs of residents at that particular time. The charter can be written to be updated/edited regularly to change as the community evolves.

    To educate more Erie residents about the differences in government, the city launched a campaign called “The Roadmap to Self-Reliance,” which outlines a series of steps leading up to Election Day in 2023.

    The issue of the move to local self-government was originally scheduled to appear on the 2021 ballot, however, after receiving public feedback, the board moved the issue to the 2022 ballot to give the public more time to consider Familiarize with Home Rule governance settings.

    The move to autonomy would allow community members to have a more direct say in areas of government, including licenses and permits, taxes and budgets, municipal court proceedings, the management of traffic, police fees and fines, community development, as well as the structure of the Board of Directors.

    The move from statutory rule to home rule will require the measure to be approved in the 2022 ballot. Then residents can vote for other community members to join the Charter Commission, which will then have 180 days to write a municipal charter, which will then be voted on by the community on November 7, 2023.

    To learn more about the House Rule, visit https://www.erieco.gov/faq.aspx?qid=254.

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    Sovereignty

    WATCH: Holness slaps Maroon self-government demands

    In a rather angry and loud tone, Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that there is no other independent state in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government which was duly elected by the people to govern the country.

    Responding to a question from a media representative at a Sunday morning press conference convened by his office to deal primarily with security issues, the Prime Minister practically touched on the issue of possible Maroon autonomy which has crept into the national debate over time. , especially since last year.

    “Jamaica is a unitary sovereign state. There is no sovereign authority in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government. I want it to be absolutely clear! Any ! Holness thundered when asked if there is a conflict in a stated government position not to engage with or fund any initiative of a group that claims self-government status.

    The question also cited that the Accompong Maroon had received permission from at least one Jamaican agency to hold a major event in the community recently, apparently at odds with the government’s position on the matter.

    Holness’ response came after the leader of the maroons of Accompong, Chief Richard Currie, began and continues to peddle the argument that Accompong is sovereign territory and its inhabitants are collectively a sovereign people.

    In addition, Currie argued that the lands of the wider Cockpit Country were also part of their “sovereign territory”.

    But on Sunday, Holness made it clear that none of those talks about another sovereign homeland in Jamaica would be tolerated.

    “…Under my direction, not an inch of Jamaica will be under any other sovereign authority,” he said with an even deeper voice.

    A recent report indicated that Jamaican government ministries, departments and agencies have been urged not to engage with or fund secessionist maroons who claim Jamaican state sovereignty. The report cites a leaked Cabinet Office document.

    “There shall be no endorsement or acquiescence to any language or suggestion regarding Indigenous sovereignty or rights, and no funds shall be made available to any person or entity claiming it,” the document said. , as it was broadcast in the media. report.

    Responding to whether the government would reconsider its position, Holness became even more enraged by the speech, which he described as tantamount to the Jamaican state funding a group of people claiming to be part of another sovereign state in Jamaica.

    “What you’re asking is that the Jamaican government fund (or) take taxpayers’ money and fund another government (inside Jamaica).

    “It’s not another government that says it’s a local government, (formerly) a parish council, that falls under our constitution,” Holness explained.

    ” Are you crazy ? Truly ? Do you know what you are asking? asked an annoyed Holness in reference to the reporter who asked the question.

    In an even more angry tone and language, Holness took what appeared to be a jab at the media house representative over the issue of funding another group of people who claim to be sovereigns.

    “That’s how guerrilla wars happen and states fall apart! Wake up Jamaica! Don’t court madness and trouble! Wake up!

    “People have died because of this, and you expect me to be here as Prime Minister and fund activities that could lead to the collapse of our state? Ever!” Holness said.

    A celebratory event in the town of Accompong, St Elizabeth, organized by the Maroons, on Thursday night resulted in a shootout in which one man died and five other people, including two boys, were injured.

    Reports suggested that police had issued a warning that Maroon celebrations should not take place as they violated the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA).

    However, event organizers went ahead with Currie saying the event was a celebration of spiritual and traditional Maroon rituals.

    Additionally, the media report mentioned above cited that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) authorized the declaration of the event, at the request of the Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange. .

    However, it is understood that ODPEN’s endorsement of the event may not have been communicated to the police.

    Maroons and the government have been at odds of late over the so-called recognition of the former’s alleged sovereignty, particularly over Cockpit Country, where a bauxite company recently won permission to mine a defined section of these lands. .

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    Self government

    “Populist” promises: why cities need more autonomy

    A few days ago, a researcher friend based in Chandigarh asked if there was a provision in the Local Bodies Acts to ensure that election candidates, candidates and parties, make achievable promises. And if they were to promise something beyond the scope and capacity of the municipality, can they be sued. How I wished we could apply such a law to our Prime Minister’s promise of Rs 15 lakh to every Indian’s bank account. Indeed, candidates should only promise what they can deliver.

    The researcher friend echoed a former mayor of Chandigarh, who lost in the municipal elections recently held in the Union Territory. The mayor was likely referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promising to replicate its “Delhi model” in Chandigarh. The AAP became the largest party, overtaking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the polls for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Not only did some of the former BJP mayors lose despite the party’s high decibel campaign, but its defeat was more brutal since the UT is under Center control and its MP is also from the BJP.

    The main promises of the AAP were to provide 20,000 liters of free water to all households every month, to clean the garbage from the Dadumajra landfill, to install CCTV cameras and to make wifi accessible throughout the city. These poll promises necessitate a debate on issues of urban governance.

    The demands and slogans of the Chandigarh municipal elections, such as free water, free electricity and social housing, resonate and reinforce the concept of “democratization of surplus”. BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution, spoke of “one person, one vote”. It should also mean “one man, one economic unit”, but these slogans are becoming more relevant due to widespread and vast inequality.

    Cities have become centers of capital accumulation through expropriation, especially over the past four decades. Twin processes were at work. First, the state, which provided essential services to citizens, passed this agenda on to private capital. Services such as water supply, education, health care and even housing are now areas of expansion for private capital. According to one estimate, real estate is the primary driver of capital accumulation in some cities.

    The other reason people have lost their ability to acquire or hold assets is the nature of capitalist production in cities. According to one estimate, most workers – nearly 94 percent – are engaged in the informal sector. This has drastically reduced the bargaining power of workers in the cities.

    The city itself has become a center of capitalist accumulation. As several urban planners have pointed out, cities are the centers of surplus production and should therefore be seen as factories. The democratization of the surplus in these urban centers and the slogans related to this idea, such as free water and electricity, more health centers, are neither gifts nor populist ideas but linked to the class demand of the workers .

    Even in Chandigarh, the middle class elite still voted for the BJP, while the poorer and marginalized sections voted for the AAP and Congress.

    Such democratization of surplus in cities is taking place in different parts of the world.

    In many cities, remunicipalisation is being implemented in service delivery. For example, in Barcelona, ​​progressive groups raised the slogan “Win ​​Barcelona” and, after winning the elections, worked to democratize the urban commons, especially in the digital realm. Similarly, in Montreal, there has been an attempt to shift the city’s mobility from elevated privately driven vehicles serving the interests of oil and automobile capital to mass transit.

    Next comes the question of the role of local self-government. After more than a quarter century of the 74th amendment to the constitution, functions, officials and finances have not been transferred to local governments across the country except Kerala.

    The universally transferred function is that of a garbage collector. We will even soon have the registration of births and deaths transmitted to the central government. The cities are more like annexes of the State or the Center. The demand for municipal cadres corresponding to the services of state cadres has not been implemented anywhere.

    Cities are to be governed by the principle of democratic decentralization envisioned in the 74th Amendment. Urban planning, apart from other functions, must be conveyed to the city council, preparing plans through meetings of neighborhood committees and community participation. However, the reality is that citizens are removed from the decision-making process.

    Third, the debate over candidate and political party pledges and their feasibility – pledges are made to break the inertia of the existing delivery system and according to the class of people a political party represents.

    Architect Charles Correa, chairman of the first urban commission formed in 1986, felt that urban governance in India was in desperate need of accountability. He said that more and more cities around the world are run by political leaders directly elected by the people of that city. So they defend the interests of citizens, otherwise they will not be re-elected. Unfortunately, in India, we find that cities are run by Chief Ministers of State who are not elected by the citizens of the city and therefore completely unaware of the demands and demands of the city.

    Therefore, accountability in elections should not just be limited to promises made in elections, but should be drawn into a broader canvas of ‘autonomy’ in cities. This should be done by ensuring not only wider participation of people, but by democratizing the whole process.

    (The author is a former Deputy Mayor of Shimla)

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.

    Check out the latest DH videos here:

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    Self government

    ‘Panchayat Talks’ to raise awareness of local self-government

    Will a local organization provide compensation for a stray dog ​​bite? Can a member of the panchayat work abroad after being elected to a local administrative body? What are the duties and responsibilities of a panchayat president? These questions seem simple to answer, but they are difficult to answer for many, including many members of local government bodies at three levels.

    The Panchayat Talk Series, a comprehensive YouTube channel program to raise awareness about the three-tier local government system started by Wayanad District Panchayat member Junaid Kaippani of Vellamunda Division, focuses on answering questions from the public.

    Although the Kerala Panchayati Raj Act was enacted in 1994, most members of the public are unaware of details such as the duties and responsibilities of a member of the local administrative body and the incentives provided by a grama panchayat to citizens, said Mr Kaippani, who is also the chairman of the district panchayat standing welfare committee. “I have provided such useful information in each of my two- to three-minute series to the public, including members of local bodies,” he said.

    As many as 21,900 members of local administrative bodies are elected every five years in grama panchayats, block panchayats, municipalities and enterprises, but most of them lack a clear idea of ​​their duties and responsibilities. , did he declare. “When I was elected a year ago, I also faced such problems. Later, I learned that many elected officials faced such problems, and that inspired me to start the program,” Mr. Kaippani said.

    A graduate in business and psychology, he said he attended a course on “decentralization and administration of local bodies” jointly offered by KILA and Sree Narayana Guru Open University for interested members of local government bodies, and it l helped launch the web series.

    “I have gathered useful advice for the public after consulting books and court orders regarding issues that I would like to discuss in the episodes over the next few days,” Mr. Kaippani said, adding that the program, launched there. about nine months, was approaching 200 episodes. .

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    Home rule

    Home Rule Blues: Residents of Large Swathes of California Lack of Access to Legal Recreational Weed | East Bay Express

    Last month the Sacramento Bee released a list of the 10 largest California cities that still ban cannabis dispensaries, although weed has been legal in the state since 2017. Pot advocates have cited the list as further evidence that cities shouldn’t be allowed to ban pot shops locally. level.

    The only Bay Area city on the list is Fremont, coming in at No. 5. With approximately 235,000 residents, Fremont is the fourth largest city in the Bay Area, nearly twice the size of Berkeley, and the 16th in California. It not only bans any type of cannabis business from setting up, but also tightly regulates home cultivation – which is state-permitted and cannot be banned outright at the city level – and requires anyone growing pot to register with the cops. .

    Other cities of Beethe list includes Fresno at No. 1; with around 525,000 residents, amidst much controversy, Fresno looks set to license now. Anaheim ranks # 4; in 2019, voters refused to allow pottery shops there. Santa Clarita ranks # 6; City council passed an “emergency ordinance” banning cannabis stores shortly after Californian voters approved cannabis for adult use in 2016.

    Critics of the bans point out – with precision – that city autonomy powers are stifling the legal weed trade statewide and leaving many consumers without access to the legal pot. This has allowed the illicit market to flourish, and illegal weeds sell overwhelmingly more than the legal pot, accounting for up to three-quarters of the market at the state level. Some observers believe this to be an even bigger problem than the high taxes levied on the legal pot trade, which make the pot much more expensive than what we can buy on the street or from our dorm buddy. .

    This can be seen as the original sin of legalization in California: proponents of Proposition 64 used home rule, a feature of the measure, as a selling point to get the proposition passed. Now that tactic is coming back to bite them. Residents of large swathes of California do not have access to legal recreational weed – medicinal pot is governed by a separate set of laws, and there are medical dispensaries in many cities that prohibit adult cannabis use. . Delivery is now legal statewide, but that doesn’t help much: many areas are too remote for delivery services, and retail cannabis relies heavily on walk-in activities.

    Of 482 California municipalities, only 174 allow cannabis businesses, and some of them nonetheless ban cannabis retail stores, licensing only manufacturers and / or distributors. The state has issued 839 retail licenses, according to the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Per capita, Oregon has more than 15 times more adult-only dispensaries than California.

    But what is the real effect of a given city banning the commercial activity of cannabis? It depends on the city. the BeeThe list shows that the largest municipalities that ban the sale of weeds are located in the Central Valley and suburban areas of Southern California. Bakersfield, as well as Kern County, ban sales to adults. Residents of Bakersfield who wish to purchase weed should drive about an hour before visiting an adult cannabis dispensary, according to data from Weedmaps.

    But while Fremont could make a big mistake with his prohibitionist attitudes, it doesn’t affect consumers that much. They live a few miles from clinics in Union City, Hayward, San Jose, and Oakland. At least as important as direct bans, cities and counties limit the number of licenses they issue and concentrate dispensaries through zoning laws.

    “Sonoma County only allows nine dispensaries in the unincorporated zone,” said Lauren Mendelsohn, a lawyer and cannabis activist, and a member of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance advisory board. While consumers who live in Santa Rosa have easy access to dispensaries in their town, there are “absolutely no cannabis dispensaries along the fairly large Sonoma Coast, or the Marin coast towards south from here, ”she noted.

    “This patchwork approach has a negative impact on patients, tourists and local economies,” Mendelsohn said. This makes it more difficult for consumers, and it “adds more vehicles on the road and emissions to the atmosphere on long journeys”.

    She added, “This is all counterproductive and contrary to the progressive philosophy of Northern California. “

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    Home rule

    Murphy-backed needle exchange bill faces resistance to home rule





    New Jersey State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) has questions about a needle exchange bill backed by Gov. Phil Murphy. | PA

    TRENTON — As one of New Jersey’s last dual-termers, State Sen. Paul Sarlo enjoys the domestic diet. It could be an obstacle to one of Governor Phil Murphy’s major public health bills.

    Sarlo (D-Bergen), chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said in an interview that he “tended not to publish” a hearing on a bill expanding needle exchange programs, which provide clean needles to drug addicts and offer services to reduce drug use.

    The legislation, NJ S3009(20R), would give the Department of Health exclusive authority to authorize and terminate trading, a power that municipalities currently have. As mayor of Wood-Ridge, Sarlo said the elimination of municipal authority was problematic.

    “Needle exchanges are necessary. They work,” he said. “But there needs to be an agreement between local officials, social service groups and the Department of Health and Human Services. There has to be a consortium of people who agree that this is the right facility, the right location for it.

    Simply put, if Sarlo doesn’t post the measure for a hearing during the lame duck, the bill — which includes a $5 million appropriation to support programs and $10 million for disorder treatment programs related to substance use – should probably wait until at least the next session, which starts next month.

    “At this point, I’m leaning not to post it,” Sarlo said. “I just don’t like the idea of ​​taking away local control. This is very problematic for me.

    The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) – who said he was still pushing for the bill to pass as a lame duck – said he spoke to Sarlo about his concerns and sought to amend the bill to allow municipalities more say in the location of exchanges.

    “I can’t predict what [Sarlo] will ultimately decide to do it, but he was always reasonable when presented with the facts,” Vitale said in an interview Friday, adding that the votes were in to pass the measure in the full Senate.

    Vitale said he hasn’t spoken to leaders about it, though he did note that the bill passed his respective health committees in both houses.

    “If legislation isn’t supported by leaders, especially legislation seen as controversial, they’re usually not…heard,” he said. “These bills went through hearings and they passed. [health] committees. “

    Murphy took the unusual step of publicly supporting the legislation. The administration made the announcement after Atlantic City voted to shut down its only needle exchange, despite a judge allowing it to remain open amid ongoing litigation.

    Murphy’s office doubled down on its support for the bill.

    “Governor Murphy believes the expansion of Harm Reduction Centers will increase access to the essential, compassionate services needed to help people with substance use disorders stay healthy, stay alive and to thrive,” Alexandra Altman, the governor’s spokeswoman, said Friday. “Governor Murphy fully supports S3009 and urges the Legislative Assembly to send him to his office.”

    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people using needle exchanges are five times more likely to start drug treatment and three times more likely to quit drug use, compared to people who do not use the program.

    New Jersey has only seven needle exchanges, a small number compared to other states. Proponents of the bill say the municipal requirement hampers the creation of new centers, which can get bogged down in local politics.

    “This [bill] take politics away from public health,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), sponsor of the bill in the lower house. “That is why the Ministry of Health should be responsible for the implementation of these programs. This is a public health issue, not a political issue.

    Huttle said she will continue to advocate for passage of the bill and hopes to see it posted to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before the end of the session, although its fate in the lower house remains uncertain.

    Senate President Steve Sweeney did not take a position on the bill.

    “It’s something we need to talk about with the caucus, we haven’t done that yet,” he told reporters at the Statehouse on Thursday when asked about his support for the measure.

    His office declined to comment further on Friday.

    Republicans, some of whom support needle exchanges, have also expressed concern over the repeal of the domestic rule on the issue.

    “Even though I have long been a supporter of needle exchange programs — it’s well documented — I will [vote] no, because cities can’t say no and you take that rule away from cities,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Union), a registered nurse, while voting against the bill during a a recent committee hearing.

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    Self government

    Dispute between agriculture and local self-government departments over LIFE mission continues – KERALA – GENERAL

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between the Departments of Agriculture and Local Government over the vetting of new applications for LIFE Mission, the government’s free housing scheme, continues to escalate. While the local self-government department said agriculture department employees would show up for verification of new applications, the agriculture department maintained that it would not provide agricultural assistants for the process. of verification.

    Earlier, the local self-government department issued an order deploying agricultural assistants to verify applications. However, the crisis began when the Department of Agriculture issued an order stating that it will not provide farm assistants for non-farm purposes. With this, the draft list could not be released on December 1. Following this, the Chief Secretary called a meeting of senior officials and staff representatives from both departments to resolve the issue. However, the meeting, which was due to take place on Saturday, was postponed at the last minute. Meanwhile, on the same day, in a meeting held at the office of the CM without the knowledge of the officials of the Department of Agriculture, it was decided to carry out the verification with the help of agricultural assistants. The local self-government department hopes that an ordinance will soon be issued in this regard. This will invalidate the order issued earlier by the director of agriculture and will force the agricultural helpers to go for verification. In this case, officials of the Department of Agriculture can call a strike.

    The Department of Agriculture alleges that panchayat employees have been excluded from the vetting requirement in about 80% of panchayats. Employees informed the minister that if the agricultural assistants are deployed for verification, activities such as crop damage assessment, crop insurance and distribution of one crore of young fruit trees will come to a halt.

    KEYWORDS:
    KERALA,
    LIFE MISSION,
    DIRECTORATE OF AGRICULTURE,
    DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AUTONOMY

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    Self government

    Dispute between agriculture and local self-government services over LIFE The mission continues – KERALA – GENERAL

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between agriculture and local self-government departments over verifying new applications for LIFE Mission, the government’s free housing program, continues to escalate. While the local self-government department has claimed that agriculture department employees will come forward for verification of new claims, the agriculture department has maintained that it will not provide farm assistants for the process. of verification.

    Previously, the local self-government department issued an order deploying agricultural assistants to verify applications. However, the crisis started when the Agriculture Ministry issued an order stating that it would not provide farm assistants for non-farm purposes. With this, the draft list could not be released on December 1. Following this, the chief secretary called a meeting of senior officials and staff representatives of the two departments to resolve the issue. However, the meeting, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, was postponed until the last minute. Meanwhile, on the same day, at a meeting held at the CM office without the knowledge of the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, it was decided to carry out the verification with the help of agricultural assistants. The local self-government department hopes that a decree will be issued soon in this regard. This will invalidate the order issued earlier by the director of agriculture and force agricultural assistants to go for verification. In this case, officials of the Department of Agriculture can call a strike.

    The Agriculture Department alleges that panchayat employees were excluded from the duty of verification in about 80 percent of panchayats. Employees informed the minister that if agricultural assistants are deployed for verification, activities such as crop damage assessment, crop insurance and the distribution of one crore of fruit plants will stop.

    KEYWORDS:
    KERALA,
    LIFE MISSION,
    AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT,
    LOCAL AUTONOMOUS DEPARTMENT

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    Home rule

    HB 218 Targets Employers, May Violate Ohio Constitution, House Rule

    There was a time when Statehouse Republicans readily and often called employers in Ohio “job creators.” But HB 218, as it is now written, barely stops seeing employers as agents of the Deep State.

    Certainly Ohioans, many of them, are fed up with COVID-19 and its delta and omicron variants and everything that comes next. But, also true, vaccination is the most effective procedure to combat COVID-19. And opposing vaccination is not very consistent with a legislature that proclaims itself pro-life.

    The truly remarkable thing about the bill is what the misguided nonpartisan Legislative Services Commission, the ever-underrated bill research and drafting arm of the General Assembly, has to say about the version of HB 218 currently pending in the Senate.

    Among other potential problems, the commission’s analysis warns, the bill may violate the Ohio Constitution’s prohibition on retroactive laws; could violate home rule in the town and village – although, for 20 years, a habitual legislative abuse at the Statehouse; and can alter contracts, which would violate both the constitutions of the United States and Ohio.

    That is, passing the bill as it stands might as well be full employment law for Ohio lawyers, given the big target, federal and state, which the legislation would paint over itself. (And here you also thought the GOP was the party of tort reform – the crusade to reduce the number of lawsuits filed in Ohio, i.e., injured people in exchange for fair compensation.)

    Now the question is who will blink first: the Senate who might water down the version of the bill passed by the House (but maybe not) – or DeWine? The governor, up for re-election next year, probably doesn’t want to tick off far-right activists in Ohio Republicans, who call talk shows, never miss a primary — and have long memories.

    MEANWHILE: If nothing else, the gerrymander of the Ohio House and State Senate Districts Redistricting Commission, as well as the gerrymander of the General Assembly of (potential) congressional districts in the Ohio may also increase lawyers’ billable hours. Anti-gerrymandering plaintiffs filed three lawsuits against the new Ohio House and State Senate districts.

    The high court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday December 8 on the alleged pro-Republican General Assembly gerrymanders. It’s impossible to know whether the Supreme Court’s final decision — four Republicans and three Democrats — will cross or follow party lines. An idealist hopes for a multiparty decision. A realist admits he’s in Ohio.

    Thomas Suddes is an adjunct assistant professor at Ohio University. He covered the Statehouse for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for many years.

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    Sovereignty

    Nihtat Gwich’in Council Joins Gwich’in Tribal Council in Self-Government Negotiations

    Two Gwich’in organizations have come together to negotiate with the territorial and federal governments with the goal of establishing community self-government.

    Ken Kyikavichik, Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC), said the Nihtat Gwich’in Council – which represents members of Inuvik, Northwest Territories – has unanimously agreed to join the JWG in self-government negotiations. This happened at the annual Nihtat Gwich’in council meeting in Inuvik last week.

    “We are certainly very happy,” Kyikavichik said of the reunification.

    The GTC previously negotiated the self-government of members of the Northwest Territories communities of Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson (Tetlit Zheh).

    Gwich’in self-government negotiations date back to shortly after 1992, after the settlement of the Gwich’in land claim. The Nihtat Gwich’in Council was part of the Gwich’in Collaborative Government process until 2018.

    Since then, the Nihtat Gwich’in Council has negotiated self-government alone with the Federal and Territorial governments, although it still sits on the GTC Board of Directors.

    Kyikavichik said it was disappointing that the negotiations were never conducted separately, but he understands why.

    “It was an unfortunate departure from the unity our nation has always enjoyed, but there were many reasons for this decision in 2018,” he said. “It’s clear to us that there needs to be clearer and more direct communication about this process and what a Gwich’in government might need as we move forward.

    Kristine McLeod, left, the former Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and her brother Kelly McLeod, right, the Acting Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the President of the Nihtat Gwich’in. (Mackenzie Scott / CBC)

    Community regional government model

    Kyikavichik said the GTC pursues a model of community-based regional government.

    This would involve the creation of community governments in each of the four Gwich’in communities, and these representatives would be linked to a regional government, called the Dinjii Zhuh government.

    Kyikavichik adds that it would be similar to the model of the Tłı̨chǫ government.

    He said it was a milestone for the Gwich’in people and that Kristine McLeod, the former Deputy Grand Chief of the GTC, would have been proud.

    “Kristine McLeod was a strong advocate for collaboration. Our communities are one, ”he said.

    Kyikavichik will work with Kelly McLeod, Kristine’s brother, who is the Acting Deputy Grand Chief of the GTC and Chairman of the Board Nihtat Gwich’in.

    Kyikavichik says a notice will be sent to the territorial and federal governments soon, alerting them to the Gwich’in self-government plans, but he doesn’t know when that will be.

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    Home rule

    The best time to remove anti-Home-Rule runners in Congress for the District of Columbia is now

    Two weeks ago, the District of Columbia’s fight against marijuana regulation took a historic turn. For the first time, the DC Council held a public hearing on legislation to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana for adult use. For seven years now, nearly 65% ​​of Washingtonians voted in favor of Initiative 71 (I-71), a campaign that led the nation to center racial justice and equity as important reasons to end the criminalization of marijuana. Under this initiative, it is legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and share small amounts of marijuana. Despite broad support to end the local war on marijuana and urgent calls to explore what fairness and justice look like after legalization, the district has been continually blocked from taking action to move forward with regulation of marijuana use by adults.

    The blockage is due to a congressional appropriations endorsement, which prohibits the District from using its local funds to tax or regulate sales of adult-use marijuana. Every year since the passage of I-71, Congress has included that runner, known as the Harris runner, who ended the real benefits of public health and justice reform promised by the campaign.

    Over the past few years, I have worked diligently with dozens of state and local advocacy organizations to remove the rider. For the first time since the passage of I-71, we have successfully had the jumper removed from the pending versions of the DC appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 in the House and Senate. With the DC Council hearing two weeks ago, I hope that my efforts to remove the endorsement from DC’s final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 will finally allow the DC Council to pass legislation legalizing the marketing of marijuana for adult use.

    The district has experienced far too many preventable public health and safety issues due to the lack of a regulated market. The hearing allowed DC council members to discuss equitable ways to address commercialization in the district, with particular attention to communities of color and low-income people who are disproportionately affected by the war on Drugs.

    DC residents want and deserve to see the benefits of a regulated adult marijuana market, such as the entry of entrepreneurs into the marijuana industry and the creation of jobs and economic development at home. district scale. The 18 states that have voted to commercialize marijuana for adult use benefit from the revenue it generates. Last year, the House demonstrated its support for economic development and restorative justice through the commercialization of marijuana at the federal level by passing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. Now we have the historic opportunity to follow the spirit of the DC Home Rule Act and enable the District to do the same. It is time for the District to have the full legislative capacity to carry out the will of its inhabitants.

    Congresswoman Norton has long advocated removing the appropriations endorsement that prevents the District of Columbia from spending local funds to regulate marijuana.

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    Sovereignty

    Rada extends the law on the special procedure for local self-government in ORDLO for one year

    The Verkhovna Rada has extended for one year, until December 31, 2022 inclusive, the law on a special procedure for local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

    A total of 314 and 317 deputies, respectively, voted for draft law No. 6342 amending article 1 of the law on special procedure for local self-government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in first reading and final reading.

    “We have to take this decision so that the negotiation process, which is taking place within the trilateral contact group […] at the level of the Norman format, continue, ”said the head of the parliamentary committee on legal policy Andriy Kostin (faction Servant of the people) during the discussion of the bill.

    He noted that this law is the basis of the negotiation process to achieve peace in the Donbass, “so that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored”.

    As noted, the Law on a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in September 2014 and entered into force on October 18, 2014 for a period of three years. The document provides that a special procedure of local self-government in certain districts of Donbass comes into force only “after all the conditions set out in Article 10 of the law are fulfilled, in particular with regard to the withdrawal of all illegal armed groups, their military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory”.

    In particular, Article 10 of this law (transitional provisions) establishes that a special procedure for local self-government is implemented exclusively by local self-government bodies, which will be elected in early elections.

    This article also set out the conditions without which the elections to the ORDLO are impossible, among the conditions – the withdrawal of illegal armed formations and military equipment from Ukraine, guarantees of free expression of will, observation of the elections, including by representatives of international organisations, the prevention of unlawful interference in the electoral process, respect for the principles of political pluralism and freedom of agitation.

    Subsequently, the Verkhovna Rada repeatedly extended the term of this law by one year. Thus, on October 4, 2018, the Ukrainian parliament supported the presidential legislative initiative, whereby a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO will be introduced from the date of entry into force of the relevant law until as of December 31, 2019.

    On December 15, 2020, the Ukrainian parliament extended the law on the special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO until the end of 2021.

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    Sovereignty

    Application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Turkey

    A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe makes a monitoring visit to Turkey on 1 December to update its 2019 report on the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in this country.

    The delegation led by the co-rapporteurs Vladimir Prebilic (Slovenia, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE) will meet with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu, and the mayor of Ankara, Mr. Mansur Yavaş, as well as with the Turkish delegation to the Congress.

    The delegation will also meet representatives of Turkish political parties.

    The updated report on the application of the Charter will be examined by the Congress at its next session in March 2022.

    Turkey ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1992. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

    Photos of the visit

    For more information: Monitoring committee

    Contact:
    Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
    +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84
    [email protected]

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    Self government

    America needs self-government, not American corporate government

    Jim Simon’s defense of stakeholder capitalism (November 13) should invite a chorus of responses. Mine takes place along two tracks. First, Simon’s rosy gaze for stakeholder capitalism blurs the structural commitments that make capitalism, well, capitalism.

    After:Can American companies meet needs that the government does not?

    And second, his belief that an enlightened business sector can overcome public problems obscures a dangerous paradox: such insistence will require embracing the debilitating restrictions of privacy.

    Jeff Kurtz lives in Newark, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University in Granville.

    Feeling good while doing good forgets that stakeholders always and always navigate social and political issues through a disheartening fog of loneliness. Government, at its best, invites us to wrap ourselves in the mantle of citizenship. This title is infinitely more important than that of stakeholder.

    Simon’s logic in the name of stakeholder capitalism is compelling. How to be disappointed by the fervor of millennial workersof which 63% believe that “the primary objective of companies should be to ‘improve society’?”

    The condemnation of these new workers will inspire companies to get on the right side of climate change, immigration, health, education, race relations, income equality and countless other issues. The conference room will set us free! The promised land is adjacent to the water fountain!

    The problem with Simon’s argument is this: the practices of capitalism are baked into the recipe for structure and cannot be reconciled with genuine altruistic engagement with the aforementioned public issues.

    Uncompromising attention (because attention must be paid) to the profits, bottom lines, margin losses and mercenary results that capitalism demands means that the structural system cannot be spiced up with clever substitutes. Mashed potatoes call for butter. Lots of butter. Olive oil can be an alternative, but let’s face it, you’re not eating real mashed potatoes.

    Socially minded stakeholders may want companies to do more for the public good; workers may want the companies to which they donate their valuable labor to do more than scan budget sheets and count their stock earnings.

    But the truth is harder to accept: capitalism revolves around an ethos of necessary exploitation – resources, time, labor – essential to the momentum and success of the structure. No sugar or gluten in this birthday cake? You may as well eat porridge. And everyone knows it.

    The disturbing crux of Simon’s meditation is the resignation she projects on politics and governance. Yes, polls confirm that the federal government is among our least trusted cultural institutions. Yes, partisanship has too long acted as the purpose for the government.

    After:Two-party system like a “flesh-eating virus” that kills from within, we need a third

    But we also know that self-government can push us to confront issues at local, regional and national/global levels that take us beyond the easy belief of stakeholder capitalism that “ethical behavior” will follow when corporations revel in of their “social purpose”.

    Stakeholder capitalism will never achieve this public spirit. It draws on our private feelings, feelings of complacency, easy engagement, detached stewardship as social conscience.

    Make no mistake: stakeholder capitalism is your great-grandmother’s capitalism. It is the capitalism of Henry Ford and British Petroleum, of Mark Zuckerberg and Steven Jobs. He is implacable, indifferent and indifferent to the public good. The more things change, the more they stay the same. You do not believe me ? Check your wallet.

    Unlike Ronald Reagan about the anxieties that follow when the government knocks on the door and offers help, we must seize the opportunities the government offers to solve pressing public problems. COVID-19 vaccines were not isolated industry triumphs. The government mattered. Hitler’s fascism was not defeated in the workshop. The government mattered.

    But government cannot be a passive business. We must be responsible for the practices that genuine self-government requires: we need government, as Lincoln knew, to do what we cannot do on our own, things we can accomplish when we work towards ideals greater than ourselves.

    Instead of stakeholders, we need citizens. Instead of socially conscious businesses, we need to double down on self-government and regain public trust.

    Langston Hughes understood this well: America can become America again. Not because of compassion capital, but because we believe in each other.

    Jeff Kurtz lives in Newark, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University in Granville.

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    Self government

    America Needs Autonomy, Not “Compassionate” Capitalism

    Jim Simon’s defense of stakeholder capitalism (November 13) should invite a chorus of responses. Mine runs along two tracks. First, Simon’s optimistic look at stakeholder capitalism blurs the structural commitments that make capitalism, well, capitalism.

    Following: Can American businesses meet needs that the government is not meeting?

    And second, its belief that an enlightened corporate sector can overcome public problems masks a dangerous paradox: such insistence will force one to embrace debilitating restrictions on privacy.

    Jeff Kurtz lives in Newark, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University in Granville.

    Feeling good by doing good ignores the fact that stakeholders always navigate social and political issues through a disheartening fog of loneliness. Government, at its best, invites us to wrap ourselves in the mantle of the citizen. This title is infinitely more important than stakeholder.

    Simon’s logic on behalf of stakeholder capitalism seems compelling. How can you be disappointed with the fervor of millennial workers, 63% of whom believe the “primary goal of businesses should be to improve society?” “

    Sentencing of these new workers will prompt companies to side with climate change, immigration, healthcare, education, race relations, income equality and countless other issues. . The boardroom will set us free! The Promised Land is adjacent to the water fountain!

    The problem with Simon’s argument is this: the practices of capitalism are baked into the recipe for structure and cannot be reconciled with genuine altruistic engagement with the aforementioned public issues.

    Uncompromising attention (because attention must be paid) to profit, to results, to loss of margin and to the mercenary productions demanded by capitalism means that the structural system cannot be adorned with intelligent substitutes. Mashed potatoes call for butter. Lots of butter. Olive oil can be an alternative, but let’s face it, you aren’t eating real mashed potatoes.

    Socially minded stakeholders may aspire to see companies do more for the public good; workers may want the companies they give their valuable work to to do more than sift through budget sheets and count their profits in shares.

    But the truth is more difficult to accept: capitalism rests on a necessary ethics of exploitation – of resources, time, work – essential to the momentum and the success of the structure. No sugar or gluten in this birthday cake? You can also eat porridge well. And everyone knows it.

    The troubling knot of Simon’s meditation is the resignation it projects on politics and governance. Yes, polls confirm that the federal government is one of our least trusted cultural institutions. Yes, partisanship has acted like the purpose for the government.

    Following: Two-party system like a “flesh-eating virus” that kills from within, we need a third

    But we also know that self-government can push us to confront issues at the local, regional and national / global levels that push us beyond the easy belief of stakeholder capitalism that ‘ethical behavior’ will follow when decisions are made. companies will revel in their “social purpose”.

    Stakeholder capitalism will never achieve this public spirit. His claim is about our private feelings, our feelings of self-righteousness, easy engagement, detached stewardship as a social conscience.

    Make no mistake: Stakeholder capitalism is your great-grandmother’s capitalism. It is the capitalism of Henry Ford and British Petroleum, of Mark Zuckerberg and of Steven Jobs. She is relentless, indifferent and indifferent to the public good. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Do not believe me ? Check your wallet.

    Contrary to Ronald Reagan’s mind about the anxieties that arise when government knocks on doors and offers to help, we must seize the opportunities the government offers to resolve pressing public issues. COVID-19 vaccines weren’t isolated triumphs of the industry. The government mattered. Hitler’s fascism was not defeated in the fabrication shop. The government mattered.

    But government cannot be a passive business. We need to be accountable for the practices that genuine self-government requires: we need government, as Lincoln knew, to do what we cannot do for ourselves, things we can accomplish when we work towards ideals greater than ourselves.

    Instead of actors, we need citizens. Instead of socially conscious businesses, we need to redouble our efforts on self-government and regain public trust.

    Langston Hughes got it right: America can become America again. Not because of compassion, but because we believe in each other.

    Jeff Kurtz lives in Newark, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University in Granville.

    This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: America Needs Autonomy, Not American Corporate Government

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    Self government

    Is self-government the answer to the Canada-Indigenous relationship?

    From the lack of clean water in some Indigenous communities to the lingering anger over residential schools, Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous citizens needs to be repaired. Symbols like lowering the Canadian flag or declaring a national holiday may score political points, but they do not address any of the main concerns of Indigenous Canadians. One proposed solution is to take Ottawa out of the equation and let Indigenous communities govern themselves. Another is to open the doors to economic development – ​​both resource and otherwise.

    In this edition of The Andrew Lawton Show, we discuss the economic and political climate surrounding First Nations in Canada. Joining the discussion are public policy expert Melissa Mbarki, an Indigenous veteran of the oil and gas industry, and researcher Heather Exner-Pirot, both of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

    SUBSCRIBE TO THE ANDREW LAWTON SHOW

    We ask readers, like you, to help support the factual and independent journalism of True North.

    Unlike mainstream media, True North does not receive a government bailout. Instead, we depend on the generosity of Canadians like you.

    How can a media outlet be trusted to remain neutral and fair if it receives government assistance? We don’t think they can.

    This is why independent media in Canada is more important than ever. If you can, please make a tax-deductible donation to True North today. Thank you so much.

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    Home rule

    Rising number of cases sees Public Health Sudbury reinstate work-from-home rule starting Monday

    Saying local COVID-19 case rates remain “unacceptably high,” Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reinstating work-from-home requirements starting Monday.

    High rates of COVID-19 cases mean the Public Health Sudbury & Districts region is among the three hardest-hit jurisdictions in Ontario, according to a news release released Friday.

    Local protective measures, including reinstating capacity limits first published Nov. 8, have suppressed rapid case growth; however, case rates remain unacceptably high, threatening health and the healthcare system, in-person learning and local transition to a “reopened” community, the health unit said.

    The PHSD said it was announcing “a measured and responsible approach to the current situation”. The medical officer of health reinstates work-from-home requirements, revoked by the province on July 15, issuing strong recommendations for COVID-19 protections to area schools, businesses and organizations, and adopting stricter measures for tracking contacts of COVID-19 cases.

    “We have carefully reviewed recent data and consulted with the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

    “While school-based cases and household spread are currently driving our high case counts, cases continue to be reported in young adults, social settings and workplaces. It’s hard to find a setting that isn’t impacted.

    “With the widespread circulation of the virus in our community, our response must also be widespread, reducing mobility and face-to-face interactions overall. This is the purpose of homework instructions. Moreover, every sector must do its part, voluntarily at this time, to pave the way for lower case rates and reopening. »

    You can read the full instruction letter here.

    Effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, November 29, the updated letter of direction will require businesses and organizations open in the City of Greater Sudbury to ensure workers perform their work remotely, unless nature of their work does not require them to be on-site at the workplace. Some exceptions apply, the health unit said, which you can find in the letter.

    Public Health is also partnering with area school boards to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools and further protect in-person learning.

    Among the measures strongly recommended by the Medical Officer of Health to school boards is the voluntary rapid antigen test (RAT) screening of students. This is rolling out now and ahead of the holiday season, providing another layer of protection.

    Other strongly recommended actions also include requiring RAT screening or proof of vaccination for students participating in certain extracurricular sports, strengthening health and safety measures, and mandating daily confirmation of symptom screening. .

    “COVID-19 should not be underestimated,” Sutcliffe added.

    “We have high vaccination coverage rates and now offer vaccines to primary school-aged children. The path traveled is truly remarkable. However, the highly transmissible variant of COVID Delta requires that we apply as many protections as possible. To enhance these protections, Public Health will tighten our contact tracing protocols so that in certain circumstances some people, even if fully immune, will need to self-isolate.

    “We will also require unvaccinated children to stay home if they have an unvaccinated family member who has been exposed to a case. We should conduct ourselves knowing that every action counts – this means that every layer of protection we can put on ourselves and our family members reduces our risk of becoming infected and possibly developing serious acute or life-threatening symptoms. long term.

    “Tragically, we have witnessed 38 deaths from COVID-19 across our region, and of these, seven people have died in the past five weeks. Notably, and a change from what we were seeing earlier in the pandemic, is that five of the people who have lost their lives since late October were in their 50s and 60s, further highlighting everyone’s vulnerability when the COVID-19 has the ability to spread.”

    Public Health reiterates its call on everyone to continue to limit your outings, work from home, get vaccinated, wear your mask and keep a distance of two meters from people outside your home.

    Monitor yourself for symptoms and stay home if sick – even mildly symptomatic people should immediately self-isolate and get tested to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. With the holiday season fast approaching, these guidelines should guide your decisions about pre-holiday celebrations.

    Learn more at phsd.ca/COVID-19.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist jailed for secession | New

    Tony Chung, 20, is the youngest person sentenced under the new law that has crushed dissent in Hong Kong.

    A young Hong Kong democracy activist has been sentenced to three and a half years behind bars after pleading guilty to secession under the city’s sweeping national security law.

    With Tuesday’s conviction, Tony Chung, 20, is now the youngest person convicted under the law, which has crushed dissent in Hong Kong and transformed the territory.

    Earlier this month he pleaded guilty to one count of secession and one count of money laundering, but said he had “nothing to be ashamed of”.

    Chung was previously the organizer of Studentlocalism, a small group he started five years ago as a high school student to advocate for Hong Kong’s independence from China.

    Separation from China was a minority view in Hong Kong at the time, although calls for autonomy were more vocal in the massive pro-democracy protests two years ago.

    Beijing imposed security law on Hong Kong in response to protests, which at times turned violent, and Studentlocalism was dissolved hours before the legislation took effect.

    Authorities accused Chung of continuing to operate the group with the help of foreign activists and of soliciting donations through PayPal.

    Prosecutors said Chung’s group posted more than 1,000 social media posts that included calls to “get rid of the Chinese Communist colonial rule” and “build a republic of Hong Kong.”

    More than 150 orders

    Some of the posts cited by prosecutors predated the imposition of the security law, although authorities had said the law would not be retroactive.

    On Tuesday, Stanley Chan, one of a panel of judges selected by the government to try national security cases, said Chung’s criminal intent was “clear for all to see” on social media. , during interviews, in street kiosks and in schools.

    “He actively organized, planned and implemented activities to separate the country,” the judge said.

    Chung has already spent more than a year in detention after his arrest in October 2020.

    He was arrested by plainclothes police in a cafe across from the US consulate, where he is said to have planned to seek asylum.

    The security law covers anything the authorities deem to be subversion, “terrorism” or collusion with foreign forces.

    Chung initially faced an additional charge of sedition and another count of money laundering, but they were suspended following a plea bargain.

    In another case last December, Chung was jailed for four months for illegal assembly and insulting the Chinese national flag.

    Four other men have so far been convicted in separate cases under the security law – mainly for their political views.

    More than 150 people have been arrested under the law, and nearly half of them have been charged.

    Bail is often denied, and guilty pleas are a way to reduce both the final sentence and the legal costs of a lengthy court battle.

    Most Democratic politicians are now in prison or in self-exile. Dozens of civil society organizations have withdrawn and some international rights groups have left the city.

    Chinese and Hong Kong authorities deny that the security law violates individual rights and say the legislation was needed to restore stability after the protests.

    The former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, with Beijing promising a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years.

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    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist jailed for secession

    Published on:

    Hong Kong (AFP) – A young democracy activist in Hong Kong was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars on Tuesday after pleading guilty to secession under the city’s sweeping national security law.

    Tony Chung, 20, is the youngest person to be convicted under the new law that has crushed dissent in Hong Kong and transformed the once outspoken international business hub.

    Earlier this month he pleaded guilty to one count of secession and one count of money laundering, but defiantly said he had “nothing to be ashamed of”.

    Chung was previously the organizer of Student Localism, a small group he started five years ago as a high school student to advocate for Hong Kong independence from China.

    Separation from China was then a fringe minority view in Hong Kong, although calls for autonomy became more vocal during huge and often violent democracy protests two years ago.

    Beijing imposed the security law in Hong Kong in response to these protests and student localism dissolved hours before it took effect.

    Authorities accused Chung of continuing to operate the group with the help of foreign activists and of soliciting donations through PayPal – the basis of the money laundering charge.

    Prosecutors said Chung’s group posted more than 1,000 social media posts that included calls to “get rid of Chinese communist colonial rule” and “build a Hong Kong republic.”

    Some of the posts cited by prosecutors dated back to before the security law was enacted, although Hong Kong officials promised the law would not be retroactive.

    On Tuesday, Stanley Chan, a member of a panel of government-selected judges to try national security cases, said Chung’s criminal intent was “clear to all” on social media, in interviews, in street kiosks and in schools.

    Chung has already spent more than a year in detention after his arrest in October 2020.

    He was arrested by plainclothes police at a cafe opposite the US consulate, where he reportedly intends to seek asylum.

    The security law targets anything authorities deem subversive, terrorist or colluding with foreign forces.

    Chung initially faced an additional charge of sedition and another count of money laundering, but they were shelved following a plea bargain.

    In a separate case last December, Chung was jailed for four months for unlawful assembly and insulting the Chinese national flag.

    Four other men have so far been convicted in separate cases under the Security Act, mainly for their political views.

    More than 150 people have been arrested under the legislation, about half of whom have been charged.

    Bail is often denied and guilty pleas are a way to reduce both the final sentence and the court costs of a lengthy court battle.

    read more
    Independence activist

    Hong Kong independence activist sentenced to prison under national security law

    A 20-year-old activist who pleaded for Hong Kong’s independence from China was sentenced to three years and seven months in prison on Tuesday for breaking the country’s national security law.

    Tony Chung pleaded guilty to secession under the law, which took effect in June 2020, according to the Washington Post.

    Hong Kong’s Basic Law – in fact, its constitution – claims to enshrine freedom of expression. But under the new national security law, a speech determined to undermine the Chinese government may result in a charge of life in prison.

    Chung’s crime, which he committed as a teenager, was completely non-violent and was carried out only through slogans, social media posts and speeches, the Post reported.

    “Secession does not need to involve real violence,” Justice Stanley Chan said, according to the Post. “The penalty should deter future acts. “

    Chung is the third person to face a prison term for violating the law and the youngest to be sentenced under it.

    His sentence is slightly reduced from that previously imposed on Tong Ying-kit, 24, and Ma Chun-man, 31, due to his guilty plea.

    ” I plead guilty. I have no shame in my heart, ”Chung said earlier this month, according to the Post.

    As a high school student, Chung was a co-founder of Studentlocalism, a group of student activists who advocated for Hong Kong independence. The group disbanded just before the national security law was passed, with officials saying it would not be applied retroactively, according to the Post.

    But Chung was one of the first people to be arrested under it, with officials pointing to the manifesto and clothing produced by Studentlocalism in support of the charge. According to the Post, prosecutors justified this by claiming that Chung continued to violate the law after it came into effect.

    The newspaper noted that Chung had previously attempted to seek asylum at the US consulate in Hong Kong, but was apprehended before his arrival. He has since been held without bail.

    read more
    Independence activist

    Hong Kong’s youngest independence activist, 20, jailed for secession

    Chung has already spent more than a year in detention after his arrest in October 2020. (File)

    Hong Kong:

    A young Hong Kong democracy activist was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to secession under the city’s sweeping national security law.

    Tony Chung, 20, is the youngest person to be sentenced under the new law that crushed dissent in Hong Kong and transformed the once outspoken international business hub.

    Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to one count of secession and one count of money laundering, but defiantly said he had “nothing to be ashamed of”.

    Chung was previously the chairman of Student Localism, a small group he set up five years ago as a high school student to defend Hong Kong’s independence from China.

    Separation from China was a minority view in Hong Kong then, although calls for autonomy became more vocal in huge and often violent protests for democracy two years ago.

    Beijing imposed security law on Hong Kong in response to the protests, and Student Localism was dissolved hours before it went into effect.

    Authorities accused Chung of continuing to exploit the group with the help of foreign activists and of soliciting donations through PayPal – the basis of the money laundering charge.

    Prosecutors said Chung’s group had posted more than 1,000 social media posts, including calls to “get rid of the Chinese Communist colonial regime” and “build a republic of Hong Kong.”

    Some of the posts cited by prosecutors predate the enactment of the Security Law, although Hong Kong officials have promised the law will not be retroactive.

    On Tuesday, Stanley Chan, one of a panel of judges selected by the government to try national security cases, said Chung’s criminal intent was “clear for all to see” on social media. , in interviews, in street kiosks and in schools.

    Chung has already spent more than a year in detention after his arrest in October 2020.

    He was arrested by plainclothes police at a cafe across from the US Consulate, where he was considering seeking asylum.

    The security law covers anything the authorities deem to be subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces.

    Chung initially faced an additional charge of sedition and another count of money laundering, but they were suspended following a plea bargain.

    In another case last December, Chung was jailed for four months for illegal assembly and insulting the Chinese national flag.

    Four other men have so far been convicted in separate cases under the security law, mainly for their political views.

    More than 150 people have been arrested under the legislation, about half of whom have been charged.

    Bail is often refused, and guilty pleas are a way to reduce both the final sentence and the legal costs of a lengthy court battle.

    (Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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    Sovereignty

    NTI’s push for Inuit self-government is ‘the right thing’, says Idlout

    Nunavut MP says she and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh ‘support’ recently passed resolution

    Nunavut MP Lori Idlout said she supports the resolution passed this week by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. to continue talks with Ottawa to achieve Inuit self-government.

    “I believe NTI is doing the right thing,” Idlout said when asked Thursday what resolution NTI passed this week at its annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet.

    “It’s sad for me to say this, but I agree that the Government of Nunavut, to this day, has let the Inuit down,” said Idlout, who is also the NDP spokesperson for Crown-Indigenous relations. .

    NTI members on Tuesday passed a resolution to continue a negotiating mandate with the federal government for Inuit self-government.

    NTI President Aluki Kotierk said the Government of Nunavut has failed to meet the needs of the territory’s Inuit majority.

    “There are so many dire statistics, so many dire Inuit experiences right now,” Kotierk told Nunatsiaq News after the annual general meeting ended.

    Idlout said she agrees with Kotierk’s assertion that the GN did not do enough to support the Inuit in the land.

    “We have to see with the new Prime Minister and the cabinet that we have a sense of hope, that they will listen to the voters, that they will listen to the Inuit and make sure that they work very hard to improve their relationship with the NTI so we can see improvements for the Inuit community in Nunavut.

    Newly elected Prime Minister PJ Akeeagok told reporters on Wednesday he was looking forward to meeting with NTI officials “to really listen in terms of areas where we could collaborate.”

    Idlout said she had discussed the motion with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and fully supported the motion.

    “[He] is ready to support me and support my work with NTI because these failures have gone on for too long, ”she said. “We have seen it with the passage of Bill 25 in the Education Act and we have seen it with too many other initiatives where the Inuit are deprived of their civil rights. [and] are placed at a different level from that of French language rights.

    Kotierk said she appreciates the support of the federal NDP.

    “We look forward to working with the federal government and believe we will bring that up to our Crown Partnership process,” she said. She added that she had already had a conversation with the newly elected Premier of Nunavut, PJ Akeeagok, and that she “has no doubt” that the two will have a “positive and constructive working relationship.”

    As for what Inuit self-government wants, Kotierk said it is still a work in progress to be determined.

    “At this point everything is in the air to decide which areas we want to focus on,” she said. “The presentation we received from [NTI] The director of self-determination talked about … different models that we could look at in terms of seeking self-government. There was a discussion of how there are already models across Canada, but we could create a hybrid, ”she said.

    “The next step will be to get the negotiating mandate and then build some capacity within [NTI] to be able to consult with the Inuit of Nunavut and work with our board of directors to determine what the constitution of the arm’s length body would look like, ”said Kotierk.

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    Self government

    Nunavut Inuit organization plans to seek self-government

    Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., which represents approximately 30,000 Inuit in Nunavut, plans to advance self-government negotiations.

    “What we would like to see is that there are better services provided to the Inuit of Nunavut that incorporate Inuit worldviews and end the current model of public government,” said NTI President, Aluki Kotierk.

    It is good that the Government of Nunavut, established when the territory was created in 1999 by the Nunavut Act, was intended to serve its majority Inuit population.

    But it hasn’t worked after 22 years, as evidenced by widespread poverty, hunger and a high incidence of suicide, Kotierk said.

    “All of these different determinants that would determine whether or not lives are improving continue to be alarming. And so, it makes us think, is there a better way to meet the needs?” she told CBC.

    “When we work with the Government of Nunavut, or want these specific programs, the answer is often, ‘But this is public government.'”

    Therefore, NTI, which is the entity responsible for protecting the rights of Inuit under the Nunavut Agreementmust seek alternative means to meet the specific needs of Inuit, she said.

    A resolution to this effect was passed Nov. 16 by delegates at NTI’s Annual General Meeting in Rankin Inlet.

    Nunavut agreement not honored

    According to Kotierk, one of the ways the public government has failed the Inuit is by not respecting some of the articles of the Nunavut Agreement, which was signed by the Inuit and the federal government in 1993 and sets out the Inuit land and other rights in the territory.

    These include section 23, for example, which covers Inuit employment in the public service.

    The article states that Inuit employment should reflect the percentage — approximately 85% of the 39,000 population — of the territory’s Inuit population.

    A presentation on self-government at the annual general meeting noted that the goal was never achieved. A June territorial government report shows that Inuit make up only 50% of the Government of Nunavut’s workforce and only 20% of senior management.

    This impacts how programs and services are designed and developed and the well-being of Nunavummiut, Kotierk said.

    The result is “very evident in the way we continue to self-harm and the way we continue to have violent outbursts in our communities,” Kotierk said.

    “And these are just symptoms of what continues to happen in our communities, and the system of public government is supposed to help alleviate this. And instead, it continues to deteriorate our sense of well-being.”

    Kotierk, center, appears in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit to file a lawsuit against the Government of Nunavut in October 2021. The lawsuit alleged that the Government of Nunavut discriminates against Inuit by not providing education in Inuktut at the same level as English and French. (Nick Murray/CBC News)

    Legal action for discrimination in progress

    The resolution comes after a year of disputes with the Nunavut government. In October, NTI filed a lawsuit against the Government of Nunavut alleging that it discriminates against Inuit by not offering education in Inuktut to the same degree as English or French.

    Also in October, NTI considered a lawsuit over a change made by the Government of Nunavut to the way taxes are collected on Inuit-owned land.

    Earlier this week, NTI’s presentation offered three options for AGM delegates to consider: reach an agreement with the Government of Nunavut to take over the services; develop NTI’s ability to provide services directly to Inuit; or committing the federal government to establishing formal self-government in Canada.

    “If we pursue the comprehensive land claims approach, we know it will take many years,” Kotkierk said. “But we also know that if we go through an agreement right now that takes some responsibility for public services, that could be something that could start to address some of the issues that we have in our communities more immediately.”

    As a first step, the adopted resolution asks the organization to obtain this negotiation mandate with the federal government.

    “I think we’ve now been instructed to do the practical work of going to the federal government to ask for this warrant,” Kotierk said. “And we will work with our board of directors to come up with a constitution or a vision statement.”

    A change of direction

    But now there is a new player on the NTI field, new Premier PJ Akeeagok, who was elected Premier by his colleagues on Wednesday.

    PJ Akeeagok speaks to the media following his selection as Premier of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on Wednesday. (David Gunn/CBC)

    Prior to entering land politics, Akeeagok led the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and served on the board of directors of NTI, where he supported the decision for self-government.

    On Thursday, the day after his selection, Kotierk spoke to Akeeagok about areas they can work on.

    “I suspect he will be very supportive of all the things Inuit organizations are trying to achieve through Inuit self-determination,” she said.

    The two plan to meet on Monday, Kotierk said.

    read more
    Sovereignty

    NTI says it will seek to negotiate Inuit self-government with Ottawa

    Organization Says “Inuit Quality of Life Has Declined Alarmingly” under Nunavut Public Government

    Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. says it will continue talks with the federal government to bring about Inuit self-government. NTI President Aluki Kotierk, seen here at the Aqsarniit Hotel in Iqaluit on August 13, said in a statement that the Government of Nunavut is “a regime that does not support us and does not want to that we succeed in realizing the vision of a prosperous and prosperous country. Nunavut. (File photo by Corey Larocque)

    Through


    Madalyn Howitt

    Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. says it will seek to negotiate with Ottawa to achieve Inuit self-government.

    NTI said in an article on its website that, since the creation of the public government of Nunavut 22 years ago, “the quality of life for Inuit has declined alarmingly.”

    He said the Government of Nunavut opposes “policies, programs and services that would meet the needs of the Inuit, the majority population of Nunavut,” while “historic colonial policies, programs and services are championed or reinforced by the government focus on the non-Inuit minority. “

    The announcement follows a resolution passed Tuesday by board members at the organization’s annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet this week.

    NTI said it would pursue a negotiating mandate, which would open discussions between itself and the Government of Canada to consider “more viable options for the Inuit to take control of their own governance.”

    “It will be difficult to continue … under a regime that does not support us and does not want us to achieve the vision of a prosperous and prosperous Nunavut,” NTI President Aluki Kotierk said in a statement.

    “To rebuild the hope and dreams that [were] Originally envisioned for Inuit and their future generations, this conversation about self-government needs to start anew, ”said Kotierk. “We owe it to the Inuit to represent their full potential.

    In October, NTI filed a lawsuit against the Government of Nunavut, claiming it had failed in its legal obligations to ensure that Inuktitut language instruction was offered throughout the territory’s public school system.

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    Self government

    Local Self-Government Forum in Ukraine: a key annual event

    What is the agenda for democratic governance in Ukraine and other parts of Europe? What are the main achievements and challenges of the decentralization reform underway in Ukraine? What will be the constitutional amendments on decentralization and reform of state representation at sub-national levels?

    These issues were addressed in the framework of the VI Forum on Local Self-Government in Ukraine, held on November 11-12, 2021. Other issues included: the right of association of local authorities; democratic governance in metropolitan areas; the development of mountain areas; protection of the rights of internally displaced persons.

    The Local Self-Government Forum has been organized annually since 2017 to discuss the development of local self-government in Ukraine, including in conflict-affected regions (Donetsk and Luhansk). In 2021, the Center of Expertise for Good Governance, together with national partners, widened the target audience, and the Forum became a national level with the participation of local authorities from all over Ukraine.

    The 2021 Forum brought together more than 750 participants from Ukraine via an online platform and 65 speakers. In addition, more than 1,100 viewers followed the broadcast live via social media, and National Broadcaster Radio posted 10 interviews with Forum speakers and guests.

    In her video address, Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy, underlined that “… the good news is that you are not alone… at your request, the Council of Europe will continue to do its best. to support Ukraine in its efforts to improve democratic governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

    The event was organized by the Center of Expertise for Good Governance through its program “Strengthening decentralization and reform of public administration in Ukraine” in cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development, Ukrainian Ministry of Community and Territory Development, Donetsk Oblast State Administration, Lviv Oblast State Administration and Luhansk Oblast State Administration.

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    Home rule

    Around Prince William: In a diverse state, it’s time to govern from home | Opinion

    Virginia is a “Dillon Rule” state. This means localities can only exercise powers that are explicitly authorized to them by the state.

    The political dynamic in America has changed significantly over the past few decades. The two parties that dominate American politics have redefined what sets them apart, resulting in a more polarized public policy environment. Compromise is not as common as it used to be. In Virginia, the Dillon Rule makes “winner takes all” elections and results in “one size fits all” public policy for the 133 vastly different counties and cities within its borders.

    The results of the November 2 election clearly demonstrate that there really are two Virginias. Rural and urban politics, philosophy, beliefs and preferences divide us. It is OK as long as those who govern the Commonwealth, those who are elected to represent us all, recognize these differences.

    There is no right or wrong here. Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative, evangelical or secular are just different flavors of our society. The Constitution was written to protect those differences and defend all those different flavors as long as they don’t hurt others or take their business. This is the very essence of a free and civil society.

    In today’s polarized society, however, both political parties have extreme elements who believe their particular flavor should be forced upon us all, using public policy as their tool. After eight years of Democratic control of the executive branch and its takeover of both houses of the Virginia legislature, rural Virginia has decided “enough” and elected Republican Glenn Youngkin as our next governor. Governors rarely assume office with a statewide mandate. They run on issues that appeal to their base and the moderate independents who actually decide who wins.

    John Lydgate said it well: “You can please some people all the time, you can please everyone once in a while, but you can’t please everyone all the time.

    The Dillon rule gives the governor and legislature the power to impose policies that please the base that elected them at the expense of those who voted otherwise. It’s time to reform this “one-size-fits-all” approach to government, scrap the Dillon Rule, and establish a domestic regime for Virginia’s widely diverse localities.

    Virginians are generally used to tolerating whoever wins until the next election, realizing that incumbents must please enough voters to retain power in the next election. But that patience seems to be lacking these days.

    One size does not fit all. In today’s polarized political environment, it is time to bring governance closer to the communities it serves. This allows those who govern to reflect the will of those who elected them while still being aware of the compromises necessary because of those who did not. “Those who haven’t” typically make up almost half of the community they serve.

    Prince William County should partner with Fairfax and Loudoun counties and other urban areas to lobby the legislature to move governance to where it belongs, closer to the governed, by implementing autonomy. Some of the more rural counties in the state could sign on, acknowledging that victory is fleeting. It would be their best defense against the upcoming power shift in Virginia.

    Al Alborn is an award-winning columnist and member of the Virginia Press Association. His column appears every two weeks. You can find out more about Al at www.alborn.net and LinkedIn.

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    Self government

    The Messenger – Second round of self-government elections took political polarization to a new level




    The Messenger – Second round of self-government elections took political polarization to a new level<br>


    Messenger logo

    By Malkhaz Matsaberidze

    Thursday November 11


    The second round of autonomous elections on October 30 gave the results announced by the ruling National Movement. The authorities won the expected victory everywhere except Tsalenjikha. However, according to the opposition, fair and equitable elections no longer took place in Georgia and the Georgian Dream did not win, but instead rigged the elections.

    The advantage of the Georgian dream winner in number and percentage does not seem very impressive – a few hundred or a thousand votes, which may be less than the number of canceled ballots in the respective constituency. The government and the opposition are trying to present two different images of the elections.

    According to Georgian Dream, the elections were held according to all the rules and there can be no doubt that the ruling party will win again. No election will take place in the country before 2024, the country must calm down and start to rebuild itself.

    The United National Movement and its affiliated opposition parties speak of outright electoral fraud and stolen victory. The issue of holding early parliamentary elections has not been removed from the opposition’s agenda. On the contrary, the issue of electoral administration reform has become more active and attached, as electoral commissions no longer deserve the trust of the opposition and are seen as falsifiers of election results.

    According to the opposition, it is first necessary to open the electoral lists of the enclosure and it will become clear that “electoral carousels” have been turned on behalf of many emigrants or individuals. Name many facts about voter pressure and corruption.

    Opposition members are already demanding that the government show the public Mikheil Saakashvili’s situation in any way, even by taking him to court, which the former president was not allowed to do yesterday. Some thought that after the October 30 elections, the government would take Saakashvili to hospital or send him for treatment abroad, say after President Salomé Zourabishvili’s pardon.

    But on November 3, the 34th day of Saakashvili’s hunger strike, Zourabishvili declared for the second time that she “would never forgive” Saakashvili. The statements of the leaders of the Georgian Dream do not help to calm the situation either.

    The Prime Minister announced that according to the law, “a person has the right to commit suicide”. According to Irakli Kobakhidze, Saakashvili’s hunger is a simulation. But what will happen and how will things turn out if Saakashvili’s body can no longer withstand hunger?

    Saakashvili has many supporters and sympathizers who worry about the health of the third president and resort to various forms of protest, including the start of a hunger strike.

    Saakashvili himself, despite the worsening situation, remains motivated and goal-oriented, sending messages through his teammates. According to Saakashvili, on October 30, the people won and an electoral revolution took place, and the government falsified the election results.

    There is now a post-electoral revolution in Georgia, which must determine the outcome of the electoral revolution. Saakachvili, if he manages to get out of prison, promises to “carry out early elections within 10 days”. In another letter, Saakashvili called on Georgian emigrants to return to their homeland for a day and “that day will come soon”. Such statements by the hungry president are likely to worry the authorities.

    Some opposition lawmakers are refusing to stand in the legislative elections in protest. Not all opponents will, but if 37 MPs resign, then constitutional changes will not be possible. The amendments were adopted at first reading on September 7. According to the project, the next two elections, which will be held in the proportional system, will be won by the parties which collect 2% of the vote.

    It is in the interest of the small opposition parties. According to Mikheil Saakashvili, the opposition should only leave parliament after the adoption of these changes.

    After the second round of elections, the word ?? revolution ?? is heard more and more often. According to one of the leaders of the opposition in this country, “the election has lost its meaning because its results are not written down by the voters”. According to the second leader of the opposition, if extraordinary elections are not organized by 2024, Bidzina Ivanishvili will be able to suffocate all the real opposition parties and only the puppet opposition will remain on the political scene.

    Opposition groups have called for a change of government on social media and social media, prompting SUS to announce on November 3 that it has issued public statements calling for “revolution and the violent overthrow of the government, including by violence. The statement says that a person could be jailed for 3 years because of it.

    According to the coalition, the government has announced a wave of repression, which will bring Georgia even closer to Belarus. In response, many opponents declared the need for a revolution.

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    Home rule

    HOUSE RULE: Chattanooga, Tucson win USL League One quarter-finals

    TAMPA, Fla – Hosts Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and FC Tucson advanced to the USL League One playoff quarter-finals on Saturday night.

    Both teams were stretched by their visitors on a compelling playoff opening night.

    The No.3 Red Wolves needed extra time to secure a 2-1 win over No.6 North Texas SC at CHI Memorial Stadium as top scorer Juan Galindrez scored in the 113th minute to secure advancement.

    Making his first playoff appearance, Chattanooga appeared in control of the game with the lead and a player advantage after North Texas was reduced to 10 men after a red card in the 29th minute, but the visitors fought back to score. a second-half goal for Bernard Kamungo to send the game into overtime.

    The Red Wolves were also reduced to 10 players in the first overtime period, but managed to qualify to face No.2 seed Greenville Triumph SC next Saturday night.

    No.4 seeded FC Tucson had to maintain considerable pressure throughout their clash with the No.5 seeded Richmond Kickers at Kino North Stadium, but an 87th-minute goal from Deri Corfe on the One shot on goal of the game for the hosts proved enough to secure the victory.

    Tucson advance to face seeded Union Omaha at Werner Park next Saturday night.

    The two semi-final matches will take place next Saturday night and will be broadcast live on ESPN +.

    2021 USL Ligue 1 playoffs
    (All hours Eastern; home team listed first)

    Semi finals
    Saturday 13 November
    Union Omaha vs. Tucson FC, 5 p.m. ET, Werner Park
    Greenville Triumph SC vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, 7 p.m. ET, Legacy Early College

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    Home rule

    Freeport loses Home Rule status

    ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – After years of decline, the city of Freeport has finally seen its population drop below 25,000 people. This means the city does not qualify for Home Rule status. Local self-government gives local governments the power to create laws locally without having to follow state-issued guidelines.

    Every city above the 25,000 population threshold automatically gets this rule. But now the population is smaller, around 24,000, and local leaders won’t have much say when it comes to enforcing things like sales tax in the city. This can cause problems. The city earns between $3.6 and $3.8 million in sales taxes annually. So if they lose that rule, they’ll either have to raise property taxes for residents or lay people off.

    “As visitors come in, whether to buy furniture or groceries by shopping in our grocery stores. This tax that generates help[ayforresidentswholivehere”saidcitymanagerRandyBukas“Andoverthepast4yearswehavenotraisedourtaxratebutweshouldconsiderraisingtaxasoneofthealternatives”[aypourlesrésidentsquiviventici»adéclaréledirecteurmunicipalRandyBukas«Etaucoursdes4dernièresannéesnousn’avonspasaugmenténotretauxd’impositionmaisnousdevrionsenvisagerd’augmenterlesimpôtscommeunseuldessolutionsderechange[ayfortheresidentsthatlivehere”saidcitymanagerRandyBukas“Andoverthepast4yearswehaven’traisedourtaxratebutwewouldhavetobelookingatraisingtaxesasoneofthealternatives”

    In 2020, the city attempted to cut $1 million from the general budget. This resulted in the loss of jobs in the city, which could not be filled. Bukas says 17 jobs were lost because of those cuts, and that was just $1 million. Compare that with the $3.8 million they would lose from sales tax alone, and that’s more than triple the jobs they lost last year. The vote to keep this rule in place will take place on November 8 next year. Until then, the rule of origin will remain in place, allowing the freeport government to operate as intended.

    Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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    Home rule

    County commission holds committee meeting to discuss possible passage of ‘domicile rule’ – Grand Forks Herald

    The Grand Forks County Commission held an Administrative Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2 to discuss the potential adoption of a “house rule” charter for Grand Forks County, but at least one commissioner think now might not be the time to move.

    The discussion confirmed that the purpose of the move to self-government would be to allow for the introduction of a sales tax to create a new source of revenue for the county.

    Home Rule gives authority to counties for municipal affairs instead of state laws. It is basically a local constitution that allows a county or municipality to do anything not specifically prohibited by the state constitution. It gives counties local control to make ordinances and decisions on local needs instead of the decisions of state legislatures. Raising taxes to solve financial problems is a common reason for its implementation, which is the reason cited by county commissioners.

    Grand Forks County Administrator Tom Ford listed some “misconceptions” about the domestic diet at the meeting that the county should point out when selling the idea to citizens.

    “It was really the Achilles heel the last time the county asked people for a self-reliance charter,” Ford said. “There was a lot of misinformation and misconceptions floating around out there.”

    Ford cited a handful of myths, such as citizens losing influence in county government.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Ford said. “The thing is, residents will get more local input, such as the ability of the referendum to postpone local actions, and they’ll just have a bigger voice in the process in county government.”

    Another myth he cited was that local autonomy allows local governments to pass new taxes without the consent of residents, which is also not true. It simply allows the county to offer new taxes for residents to vote on. He also said the rule of origin will not change the way property taxes are assessed, which will still rely on state law, or impact cities, townships, school districts, and other entities, due to its scope which only encompasses county government.

    The Home Rule was most recently proposed in 2008 for the same reason – to propose a sales tax to pay for the costs of a new jail, in which only 16% of residents voted to approve it.

    Commissioner David Engen said he believed the most important part of involving the public was to come before them with facts.

    “We also have to sell this thing with facts and bust the myths,” Engen said. “People I’ve spoken to in Northwood and a few other places, they really see the fairness of a sales tax instead of it all being on people who own farmland, people who own their homes in city, tenants who do not pay it and etc. I think logic is on our side, but we have to get the word out.

    The city of Grand Forks expects to generate about $10 million a year with a 1% sales tax, and a countywide sales tax would bring in even more revenue. Even a 0.5% sales tax would generate $100 million in additional revenue over the next 20 years.

    Commissioner Tom Falck said he believed the time had not yet come to propose home rule.

    “In my mind, I think we’re premature to move forward, and some of you probably won’t agree, but I think we could spend $50,000, and we can’t spend it. , in advertising, we can be anywhere we want to be to try to support this, and you’re not going to reach the majority of our voters,” Falck said. “I really think the timing is right, for the public to see how it will help them, is to continue this after the mill tax increase for the correctional facility, because every property owner in our county will receive a tax return with this increase.”

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    Independence activist

    Independence activist An Jung-geun’s nephew’s wife dies















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    Independence activist An Jung-geun’s nephew’s wife dies

    Bereaved family members of Park Tae-jeong, wife of Korean independence activist An Jung-geun's nephew, carry Park's photo and coffin during his funeral ceremony at Seoul's Ewha University Hospital in Gangseo District , in Seoul on Monday.  Yonhap.
    Bereaved family members of Park Tae-jeong, wife of Korean independence activist An Jung-geun’s nephew, carry Park’s photo and coffin during his funeral ceremony at Seoul’s Ewha University Hospital in Gangseo District , in Seoul on Monday. Yonhap.


    By Nam Hyun Woo

    Park Tae-jeong, wife of nephew of Korean independence movement activist An Jung-geun, has died aged 91. Among the surviving members of An’s family, she was the closest to An and was known to have suffered from financial problems until her last days.

    According to the Center for Historical Truth and Justice, Park died Saturday after a month of treatment for a cerebral infarction. Her funeral ceremony was held Monday at Seoul Ewha University Hospital in Gangseo District, Seoul, and she was buried in a Catholic cemetery in Gyeonggi Province.

    Park was the daughter-in-law of An Jeong-geun, the second younger brother of An Jung-geun. Jeong-geun was also an independent activist who served in the Interior Ministry of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, which existed from 1919 to 1948, when the country was under Japanese colonial rule and for a few years after liberation. .

    Park’s husband, Jin-saeng, was Jeong-geun’s second son. After Korea was liberated, Jin-saeng served as a naval officer and became a diplomat in the 1960s. While working as an ambassador at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security – now called the Korea National Diplomatic Academy – He was fired by the Chun Doo-hwan administration in 1980 and suffered from a cerebral infarction for eight years until his death in 1988. .

    During her eight years of treatment, the family also suffered financial difficulties. According to the center, the Park family lived on a combined income of about 500,000 won ($430) from a monthly pension Park’s daughter received from the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and 200,000 won from a basic pension that Park received. An offer was made to donate a house for the Park family to live in, but the family declined, saying, “The house should be donated to those in need.”

    Park’s death came just three days before Korea commemorated the 112th anniversary of An Jung-geun’s assassination of Resident General of Korea Ito Hirobumi, at Harbin Railway Station on October 26, 1905. Ito forced the Korean Empire to sign the 1905 Treaty of Eulsa, which stripped Korea of ​​its diplomatic sovereignty and made it a protectorate of Imperial Japan. An was immediately imprisoned and later executed by Japanese authorities on March 26, 1910.

    An’s assassination played a pivotal role in informing the world about the colonial rule of Korea by Imperial Japan and in energizing the national independence movement. In 1962, the Korean government posthumously awarded him the Order of Merit from the National Foundation of the Republic of Korea, which is the country’s highest civilian decoration.































































































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    Self government

    The Congress held debates on local self-government in Cyprus and North Macedonia, as well as recovery from Covid-19, hate speech and fake news, territorial integration, opportunities for young people, relations with the diaspora and Roma integration

    On the second day of the 41st session, Wednesday October 27, 2021, the Congress adopted reports on local self-government in Cyprus and North Macedonia. The report on Cyprus was presented by Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE) and Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD). The debate was followed by an exchange with the Cypriot Minister of the Interior Nicos Nouris. Zdenek Broz (Czech Republic, ECR) and Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, GILD) presented the report on North Macedonia, which was followed by a statement by the Deputy Minister of Local Self-Government of North Macedonia, Zoran Dimitrovsky, who also answered questions from the floor.

    Members of Congress held a plenary debate on “Covid: the road to recovery?” “. The aim was to address the urgent issues facing European cities and regions: how can societies get out of the crisis when the health situation seems to be stabilizing in many European countries? OECD Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard-Knudsen underlined the heterogeneity of the economic and social impact of the pandemic between regions. CEB-appointed Governor Carlo Monticelli underlined the role of local and regional authorities as “valuable allies when it comes to delivering high impact social investments to communities most in need”.

    Local and regional elected representatives across Europe are faced with the rise of fake news and hate speech in recent years, especially on the Internet and social networks. As such, a thematic debate was organized by the Chamber of Local Authorities in order to determine the responses to be provided and the tools to be developed to meet the challenge of fake news and hate speech. The project will explore ways to detect these phenomena and possible legal and technical actions against them. At the opening of the exercise of the President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Bernd Vöhringer, drew attention to the increase in hate speech and fake news on the Internet and the impact of these negative phenomena on the working environment for mayors and councilors.

    In plenary, Hungary’s State Secretary for Security Policy Péter Sztaray underlined the key priorities of the Hungarian Presidency: artificial intelligence and digitization, protection of national minorities, environmental issues, l anti-Semitism and youth issues during his speech to Parliament Committee of Ministers.

    On the same day, the Chamber of Regions debated interregional and cross-border cooperation for better territorial integration in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Congress in particular called on member states to use Protocol No. 3 to the Madrid Convention, which constitutes a legal basis for transfrontier co-operation in Europe. Congress also called for special legal provisions for “cross-border communities” with legal status, to overcome obstacles created by different legal regimes on either side of the border, as well as to strengthen cross-border governance and “horizontal subsidiarity” through the transfer of skills and operational resources to cross-border communities.

    The Chamber of Regions also discussed the challenges to expand vocational training and lifelong learning for young people at regional level, shared measures and best practices to address these issues, and considered additional measures. that the Congress wishes to undertake on this subject. This was achieved through a debate on lifelong education to ensure / secure lifelong employment prospects for the younger generations, a challenge for the regions.

    Members of the Chamber deepened the role of relations with diaspora communities as a contribution to regional development and regional mechanisms to engage diasporas in order to promote commercial and cultural exchanges, attract foreign investment, facilitate technology and knowledge transfer, and to seize other socio-economic benefits of diaspora ties during its third debate on Wednesday morning.

    At the opening of the session, the President of the Chamber of Regions, Harald Sonderegger, called for a re-decentralization of powers and resources to the regions and their better distribution with an improved system of multi-level governance. This is because during the Covid-19 crisis, many powers were recentralized to the national executive and many decisions were taken without proper consultations with regional authorities – despite the multi-level governance that s has proven to be more efficient and flexible in responding to the pandemic. , when it was used.

    Also on the agenda is the Dosta! -Congress Prize awarded to municipalities in Portugal, Greece and the United Kingdom for initiatives aimed at integrating Roma and Travelers. The first place went to the Portuguese municipality of Torres Vedras, which has drawn up a unique plan strengthening cohesion between local communities and the Roma. The second place was awarded to the Greek municipality of Argostoli for the improvement of the living conditions of the Roma community, the conditions of school attendance of children, as well as for housing and health care support for the population. rom on the island of Kefalonia. British Salford won the 3rd prize for the implementation of an educational exhibition.

    The Chamber of Local Authorities elected John Warmisham (UK, SOC / G / PD) and Oksana Derkach (Ukraine, EPP / CCE) respectively 6th and 7th Vice-President.

    Videos of the proceedings: Plenary session | Chamber of Local Authorities | Chamber of Regions

    *** 41st Congress Session ***

    Agenda – Documents: ENG | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS
    41st session webpage: live stream, photos, videos and useful links

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    Self government

    The Congress will organize debates on local self-government in Spain and the Netherlands, as well as on migration, housing sharing platforms and the projects of young delegates

    In his opening communication of the 41st session, on October 26, 2021, Congress President Leendert Verbeek recalled the importance of the European Charter of Local Self-Government as an unprecedented international treaty, unique in the world and testifying to the importance that the Council of Europe and its member states attach to local self-government. At the same time, he underlined the impact of the cuts in the budget allocated to Congress to carry out its tasks. The Bureau of the Congress will continue its ongoing discussions aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Congress to implement its priorities.

    At their plenary session on the same day, members adopted a report on the situation of local self-government in Spain, presented by Bryony Rudkin (UK, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, GILD), and a report on local self-government in the Netherlands, presented by Vladimir Prebilić, (Slovenia, SOC / G / PD).

    The report on “Housing sharing platforms: challenges and opportunities for municipalities” was presented by Jelena Drenjanin (Sweden, EPP / CCE), rapporteur and chair of the Governance Committee. The Congress calls on local authorities to adopt a long-term vision of cohabitation practices which must be framed by flexible, simplified and accessible regulations, including various tools such as building permits, town planning, taxation and health and Security. standards.

    The Congress also discussed the challenges of migration issues for cities and regions during a debate on “Migration: permanent challenges for cities and regions”, organized with the participation of Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on migration and refugees, and Erini Dourou (Greece, SOC / G / PD), Congress rapporteur on migration issues. The debate highlighted the need for coordination between all levels of government, a clear and coherent legislative framework at European level and support from national governments and at European level to enable local and regional authorities to implement policies for the reception and integration of migrants and refugees.

    Members of Congress also reviewed the field projects carried out by the 38 young delegates as part of the “Rejuvenating Politics” initiative that has been running for the past two years. Projects implemented in 2020 focused on youth participation during a pandemic with a particular focus on cross-cultural exchanges, mental health, community bonds and targeting fake news. The objective of the 2021 projects is to promote communication between youth workers and representatives of local communities.

    *** 41st Congress Session ***

    Agenda – Documents: ENG | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS
    41st session webpage: live stream, photos, videos and useful links

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    Sovereignty

    Self-government banned in new North Westside study | New

    A government-funded $ 60,000 study will address the problems of “misinformation” circulating among disgruntled residents of a largely rural area of ​​the central Okanagan.

    But the one-year study will not determine whether it is possible or desirable for people living in northwestern communities to separate from the Central Okanagan Regional District and create their own. municipality.

    “The study is not an incorporation study – it will not provide detailed technical or financial information on the impact of municipal incorporation,” writes Jodie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, in a letter to the district Kelowna Regional.

    The study aims to engage the residents of the North Westside to “understand their concerns and interests” with a view to better integrating them within the existing governance structure of the regional district, Osborne said.

    It will also take into account the region’s tax base, business climate and economic growth trends. “The study will address issues of misinformation and education,” Osborne said.

    Some of the roughly 1,400 people who live in northwestern communities, such as Fintry, Westshore Estates, Killiney Beach, La Casa, and Valley of the Sun, believe the Kelowna-based regional district offers poor governance for the taxes qu ‘they pay.

    Concerns have also been linked to unrest in the fire department and the high cost of various infrastructure projects.

    Discontent has been brewing for years, with more than half of all area residents signing petitions in 2017 calling for a self-government feasibility study.

    Within regional council there were also divisions over the issue, with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran once calling the idea of ​​a governance study for the Northwest a “futile effort that does not will solve nothing ”.

    The spirits were even heated, as when the chair of the board of directors, Gail Given, a councilor for the city of Kelowna berated some of her colleagues about their various memories of a meeting with a former minister of municipal affairs. .

    “You better not call me a liar here and now, because I’m going to lose my mind,” Given replied angrily.

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    Home rule

    Williamson City Council Expresses Interest in Self-Reliance Program | Southern West Virginia

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    Independence activist

    Veteran Belarusian independence activist Anton Furs dies at 94

    MINSK – Anton Furs, a veteran Belarusian independence activist and member of the Union of Belarusian Patriots, an underground Belarusian youth organization after WWII, is dead at the age of 94.

    Furs’s son, Yuras Furs, wrote on Facebook early on October 20 that her father died at his home in the northern town of Pastavy. He did not disclose the cause of death.

    While studying in the mid-1940s to become a teacher, Furs and his friends started an underground youth organization with the aim of promoting Belarusian language and culture.

    In February 1947, Furs was arrested and accused of anti-Soviet activities. He was sentenced to death for his crimes, but the sentence was later reduced to 25 years in prison.

    He served his prison term in Turin, a city in the Urals of Russia, and in Karlag, a notorious Soviet prison system near the city of Qaraghandy in central Kazakhstan.

    In 1955, Furs took part in a notorious prison riot that spread to several prisons in Karlag. He spent nine years in the brutal Soviet prison system before being granted early release.

    After that, Furs married Alesya Umpirovich, a Belarusian activist who also served prison time for her beliefs.

    Until 1982, the couple lived in Kazakhstan. They then moved to Belarus, where in 1992 Furs and other members of the youth organization were exonerated by a state commission which ruled that the Union of Belarusian Patriots had committed no crime.

    His wife, whom he met through the youth organization, was exonerated in 1993. She died in August 2017 at the age of 92.

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