From kindergarten, Americans are taught to get involved in local government, to exercise local control over local affairs.
Now, politicians in faraway Albany say never mind, we will run your local affairs for you.
This treacherous thinking is embodied in the New York State Assembly’s 103-39 approval of so-called “Article X,” which would give the state the right to site electric-generating facilities over local protest.
Now the Senate must vote _ and this requires anyone who believes in local rule, in democracy itself, to object immediately.
Article X is aimed, of course, at authorizing the Public Service Commission to approve wind turbines anywhere it pleases, even overruling the many town and village boards across New York state that have passed local laws restricting them.
Much more than wind turbines is at stake here. We are confronted by an all-out assault against a basic democratic principle: that local people, not distant politicians, know what is best for themselves.
Something else is at stake: the feeling widespread in Albany that we upstaters have as our sole function paying taxes and otherwise existing to keep New York City’s subways running and its residents supplied with drinking water and, now, electricity.
Contact senators immediately. Tell them we upstaters have lives and interests of our own. The state Senate _ and governor _ must halt this insanity.
16 July 2007
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