Leading the Way for a Sustainability Bill of Rights

The Santa Monica Sustainability Bill of Rights ordinance is close to becoming the local law to ensure that community rights and the rights of Nature supersede corporate interests.  Chair of Santa Monica’s Task Force on the Environment, Mark Gold, associate director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, has been a thoughtful, creative leader who has wrestled with the limitations of our environmental laws and regulations in the United States.  He has studied and considered the deeper means to securing the well-being of our natural ecosystems that secure our human well-being.

 

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We are a Part of Nature and Nature, We!

It is so refreshing to hear lawyers who understand the first principles of what the law needs to protect–as in our deep relationship with Nature.  Linda Sheehan, the Executive Director of Earth Law Center, expresses this fine tuned consciousness with a firm and inspiring eloquence. We are intricately a part of Nature and Nature a part of us.
On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, The Sustainability Bill of Rights ordinance will be considered by the Santa Monica City Council to shift the legal paradigm for environmental protection by recognizing the rights of Nature and putting the rights of the community and natural ecosystems before corporate interests.

Tell the Santa Monica City Council what a profound and timely commitment this is: council@smgov.net.

The Rights of Nature in Santa Monica!

RaindropsLeaves

It’s time!  March 12, 2013, the Santa Monica Sustainability Bill of Rights is set to be considered by the Santa Monica City Council after two years of study and advocacy.  With imagination and deep understanding of the influence that Santa Monica can have to shift the legal paradigm for environmental and human sustainability, the Task Force on the Environment has recommended a new law that recognizes the rights of Nature and the community rights to supersede corporate interests.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

6:30 p.m.

Santa Monica City Council Meeting

Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street, 2nd Floor

Santa Monica, CA 90401

Agenda Item 7-C: Introduction and First Reading of an Ordinance Establishing Sustainable Rights for Santa Monica residents and the natural environment.

 STAFF REPORT and SBR Ordinance

Who Determines our Sustainable Future—Residents or Corporations?

We need a Santa Monica Sustainability Bill of Rights to protect our water, air, and land and to remedy climate change.

Write or telephone council members: council@smgov.net or (310) 458-8201.

            In 1994, Santa Monica established its first comprehensive City Sustainability Plan.  The city and community have worked hard to protect the natural ecosystems that make life possible.  Based on the recommendation of the Santa Monica’s Task Force on the Environment, Santa Monica will now move to recognize the rights of Nature with a new legal paradigm for sustainability to be a legal obligation and not just a voluntary intention.  Now, we need to ensure that the rights of the community and our natural ecosystems take precedence over corporate interests.

Why?  Big corporations are dominating people, Nature and our democracy.

The Supreme Court’s January 2010 Citizens United ruling has given corporations freedom- of-speech rights that belong to “We, the People.”  Our environmental laws and regulations can thus be weakened by corporate campaign donations buying politicians’ loyalties that can lead to laws favoring corporate interests above everything else.

Santa Monica needs a Sustainability Bill of Rights as the law to protect our inalienable rights to a sustainable future.  We are a part of Nature, and our natural ecosystems are not solely property to manage and control. 

 A Santa Monica Sustainability Bill of Rights empowers the community to:

•  Have sustainable water, food, energy, air, soil, climate systems, waste treatment, etc.;

•  Set policies that advance self-sufficiency within the City to help achieve those goals;

•  Decide how to ensure the community’s health, safety and welfare; and

•  Put sustainable needs of people and natural ecosystems above corporate interests.