Letter to the Editor

Lee Booker

The Kent Community Bill of Rights, Issue 21 on November’s ballot, prohibits corporations from (amongst other specified activities) extracting gas or oil within Kent and asserts the rights of residents to freedom from toxic trespass and the right to local self-government, a right guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution, which states in Article 1, Section 2 that “all political power is inherent in the people.”

Our Community Bill of Rights asserts that “free governments are founded on the people’s consent,” a paraphrase, of course, from the Declaration of Independence, stating that governments “deriv(e) their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Our right of self-governance by no means implies that every matter must be decided by consent of the people, only in cases in which our rights are not protected. Our effort, inspired by the successful adoptions of similar Community Bill of Rights by the voters of Broadview Heights, Mansfield and Oberlin, models effective governance from the bottom up, where the top-down model fails to protect our rights.

Lee Brooker

Kent, OH