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Ohio Utica Shale

Kent voters to decide on community bill of rights on Nov. 4

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From a grass-roots group in Kent on Saturdfay:

KENT, Ohio (August 23, 2014) – Kent City Council unanimously approved the placement of a proposed amendment to the city Charter, a Community Bill of Rights, on November’s ballot. Council’s written communications going into the August 20 meeting stated, “On August 1, 2014 ninety-two (92) petitions with 2509 signatures (were) delivered to the Clerk of Council from the Kent Environmental Rights Group, representing an initiative Charter amendment… On August 7, 2014, the Board of Elections attested that the petitions contained 1906 (valid) signatures, while needing 1707 valid signatures. They determined the petitions were sufficient to proceed with placing the amendment on the ballot.” 10 percent of the electorate must approve a ballot initiative in Kent.

 

“Let the voters decide,” said Ward 5 Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer.

 

The Community Bill of Rights will establish local control over what industry, particularly gas and oil, is allowed to do in Kent, rather than leaving approval up to state regulatory agencies. The initiative, modeled after similar successful efforts in Oberlin, Broadview Heights, and elsewhere, and drafted with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, asserts self-government and the rights of citizens over those of corporations. “Our Community Bill of Rights is a nail in the coffin of the notion of corporate personhood," said Kent Environmental Rights Group (KERG) member Lee Brooker.

 

“Now the real work begins,” said KERG member Georgia Foster, referring to the effort, now that the proposal is on the ballot, to get out the vote for the Community Bill of Rights.

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