Yes, you heard it correctly! No matter how much you resist, the growth plan will go forward! Bypassing federal, state and local officials! They do this by capitalizing on our elected officials forming alliances with PPPs (Private Public Partnerships), NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations) such as the Chamber of Commerce, our own locally appointed boards that our Mayors have relinquished all our sovereignty too!
Recently, we experienced this in action as our Bradley County Commissioners voted NO on the BCC 2035 Strategic Growth Plan, so the chamber and all these other NGOs joined together with ICLEI and Chattanooga to push the plan into our community by HUD, EPA and the DOT without a single vote cast or involving a single elected local official besides the two Mayors Rowland and Davis!
The residents of Bradley County have been duped by our two Mayors and they have bypassed the citizens of our beautiful city! We must hold them accountable for this lack of vision to protect our community from this plan!
You can see we are in trouble! We need representation in our city and county and it is up to us to make it happen and stop this madness!
Get on the phones, pass this around and let’s get them to include us in this process!
Local action key to sustainability
By Victoria Jack
Local communities and NGOs say they are making progress towards a sustainable future on a global scale, despite what many have described as inadequate action at national and international levels.
During the UN DPI/NGO Conference, many speakers leveled criticism at federal governments for their failures to provide strong regulation and effective policymaking concerning the environmental crisis facing our globe. Other speakers blamed the international community for failing to reach consensus and act collectively in efforts to achieve sustainability.
In a paper produced for the UN DPI/NGO Conference, plenary panelist Konrad Otto-Zimmermann referenced criticism of “un-united nations” in the fight against global warming.
“Countries and groups forged ahead in different directions and almost no one believes anymore that there could be one global climate agreement. Yet there is only one global climate. Who is taking care of it?” he asked.
Otto-Zimmermann, the secretary general of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, argued that there is potential for local communities to make significant environmental contributions.
He argued, for instance, that city governments can utilize a variety of policy options to encourage sustainable practices, such as implementing public transport networks and bicycle infrastructure, car-free areas or days and parking fees.
ICLEI, a network of more than 1220 local governments working towards sustainability, provides information and services to support the implementation of sustainable development at a local level.
ICLEI Executive and Policy Assistant Susanne Salz, who also spoke at the Conference, said the reaction from communities in the US to the Kyoto Protocol provides a good example of how local players have the power to make changes. Despite the refusal of the US government to ratify the protocol, more than 1,000 mayors from across the country signed the pact to meet the protocol’s targets for greenhouse gas emissions; a 7 percent reduction by 2012 from 1990 levels.
Ecocity Builders is another NGO that has solicited the involvement of local communities pursuing sustainable development. Executive Director Kirstin Miller, who attended the conference, said her organization aims to rebuild urban areas to promote a healthy synergy between humans and natural ecosystems. A core part of achieving that mission is providing pedestrian access to basic services and connecting city centers with strong public transportation and bicycle infrastructure, Miller said.
Ecocity Builders has designed a framework to assist towns and cities around the world in becoming ecologically healthy, or an “ecocity” – a term coined by the organization’s founder and President Richard Register. The framework is already being rolled out in a number of communities, including parts of Canada, Nepal and Brazil.
Miller said the framework would help local communities all over the world to band together and make positive environmental changes.
“We can get started without them [the federal governments],” she said.
“The government is beholden to this old paradigm – they withdraw their support from the industries and the businesses that can create green economies. But the cities are going to act anyway and create their own agenda.”
While local action is important, many speakers and NGO delegates present at the Conference agreed it would be ideal if local communities were supported at both the national and international levels.
“You’re going to have the most effective outcome if you act at all levels. There is a role for everybody and it works best if everybody does their best,” Salz said.
A Declaration calling for a more active and collective approach to sustainable development will be released by NGOs at the end of the Conference on Monday 5 September.
Miller said she is hopeful that governments will respond to the call; but, she notes, local communities will continue to make progress even if officials don’t.
“Even if that doesn’t happen, it [the push for sustainable development] will still be going forward with these local organizations and governments… so it doesn’t matter if it fails in a way, the movement will still be taking shape,” she affirmed.