Indivisible Warren members back the right of local government self-rule

On February 13, twenty-one members of Indivisible Warren PA signed a letter in support of Pennsylvania House Bill 1813, which is a “joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in declaration of rights, providing for right to local self-government.”

According to House Democrat Danielle Friel Otten (District 155, Chester County), who is the prime sponsor of the bill, “our state constitution is too often exploited by special interests and often denies our communities the legal authority they need to protect their own health, safety, natural resources, and economic interest. The Local Self-Government Amendment would place the rights of citizens over the interests of private corporations, empowering communities and their municipal governments to enact local laws without interference from corporations or pre-emption by state or federal government.”

Representative Danielle Otten Introduces PA HB 1813 proposing to amend the PA Constitution to ensure the right to local self-government. Photo by CELDF.

The letter of support from Indivisible Warren states in full:

We the undersigned represent Indivisible Warren PA, an ad-hoc grassroots organization whose mission is to engage in local and regional activism in resistance to the Donald Trump agenda. In pursuit of these objectives, we’ve come to understand that all Pennsylvanians live under a de facto system that sanctions activities which threaten our health, safety, and welfare.

This system has been used to violate our State Constitutional “right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment”. It has sought to deny our citizens the ability to enact local ordinances of vital importance to our communities and their future.

Current Pennsylvania laws and practices have placed the privileges of a corporate minority above community health and safety, while obstructing local representative government in the communities where we live.

Key provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution have been rendered void and meaningless under these systems and practices, most notably Article I, Section 2, which unequivocally declares that “all power is inherent in the people.”

For these reasons we support PA House Bill 1813, which mandates an Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to recognize and encourage the right of community self-government. To secure this right, the Amendment makes provisions empowering our communities to enact local laws against unwanted and harmful activities, and enabling municipalities to make decisions free from preemptive laws and corporate Interference.

For these reasons we support PA House Bill 1813, which mandates an Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to recognize and encourage the right of community self-government. To secure this right, the Amendment makes provisions empowering our communities to enact local laws against unwanted and harmful activities, and enabling municipalities to make decisions free from preemptive laws and corporate Interference.

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