Local Community Self-Government
Alexis De Tocqueville, in his classic account of his visit to the relatively new country of the United States, was struck by how different it was compared to the monarchies of Europe. What was salient to him was the extent of local community self-government. De Tocqueville saw that as key to democracy. Political representatives, be they city council members or other officials, are held accountable for their actions and are subject to recall. Important decisions would be informed by the sentiments of the larger community. There would be town meetings and debates and discussions. Of course, the U.S. was a much smaller country then, but the fundamental right of citizens to participate in the political process remains central to the functioning of a living democracy. That right has been sidelined in the wake of a massive increase in corporate power and influence.
Thomas Linzey is co-founder and executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and serves as its chief legal counsel. He is the author of Be the Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Mother Jones, and The Nation.
Robin Troup –
Thomas Linzey is not only an excellent storyteller but a natural teacher. He systematically explains in layman’s terms tells the legal story of our nation, from the founding fathers vision of our fledgling democracy and the constitution to the present day corporate hijacking of local communities. His talk was riveting, compelling, and powerful. If you care about local government having legal authority over greedy polluting corporations, this talk is a must listen to. I can’t wait to read his book, “Be the Change.”I hope his legal work hits the tipping point and becomes a movement! Our country and the environment need it.
Winston Shaw –
Listening to this talk was like breathing pure oxygen! Finally someone who understands that “tinkering” with a broken system totally controlled by big money and corporations is not only a waste of time, but ultimately self defeating and a boon to the very evil forces you are trying to control. With more than ten years in the ditches of land planning and associated environmental issues I can assure you that Thomas knows what he’s talking about and, furthermore, is offering you a workable means of recapturing the very democracy that this country is supposed to be about!
Please listen! Please act! Or would you rather continue in the role of “loser” as defined by our good pal Tommy Trump?
What I thought I knew, and what I know, exists as if in two very different cultures.
I’m attempting a creation that has as its basis the call from: How to Get What You Want in Your Community.
A call shouted out in the opening days of the Tea Party. ‘We want our government back’
Thank you for the upgrading of my Constitutional understanding.