By Ken Eyring
On June 4, the Windham Board of Selectmen approved Windham’s participation in a $100M Federal Planning Program that is designed to ultimately produce a Land Use and Resource Planning document that will greatly diminish our property rights, redistribute wealth, and ensure equal outcomes – not equal opportunity – for every person all across America.
The program is the Sustainable Communities Initiative (HUD/EPA/DOT). By participating, Windham will become an accomplice to aiding the Federal government in producing a blueprint to transform our Democratic Republic to one of Central Planning under the guise of Regional Land Use and Resource Planning.
According to the terms and conditions of the program… emphasis of the final plans must address “environmental justice” and “social equity” regarding a vast range of areas, including income, housing, education, health, infrastructure, resource allocations (water, sewer), zoning (mixed use, high density/compact housing) and transportation (bikes, walking and mass transportation).
One of the many mandates of the plan is to document “socioeconomic inequity”. What does this have to do with Land Use Planning?
Another is to reduce “Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).” Take a moment and let that sink in… the government wants to track each of our Vehicle Miles Traveled – and in addition, there are several planned taxes associated with this mandate.
The structure of the program includes many extremely progressive committees and progressive “partner” organizations. One of the committees is a Regional Equity Team – except the name of the committee does not reflect who is on it. The majority of NH residents are NOT represented on this committee – which will have an influential emphasis on the planning process.
One of the partners is HEAL NH (healnh.org). HEAL stands for “Healthy Eating Active Living”. If you read their document “2012 Livable Walkable Communities Toolkit”, you will see this document is more about social engineering than anything else. Make sure to also read the LWC Toolkit’s Appendix A. These documents describe how zoning laws need to be changed so that people will have an opportunity to live in mixed use, high density/compact housing… so that every town will then conform to the Fair Housing Act (according to the 2010 NH Analysis of Impediments).
Another partner is Action Media (actionmedia.org), a PR firm that “provides communications for positive social change.” Their “Get Results” webpage states: “Our clients’ work is about power: how are resources used, and who gets to decide? Our work is about the power of communications to shift the advantage, to mobilize support and neutralize opposition.”
The inclusion of Action Media as a partner elevates my concerns and leads me to question why would our government enable our tax dollars to be used to neutralize any opposition that we, the people, may have? Who serves who? Isn’t it OUR government?
This concern is strengthened further by what is written in the grant application document in the section titled “Strategy to Address Barriers and Incorporate Existing Plans” (see page 17 of the Grant Application Narrative). In this section, it acknowledges “Anticipated barriers include NH’s strong tradition of individual property rights and resultant resistance to planning and zoning.”
The proposed solution (by our “representatives” in this program) to overcome our “strong tradition of property rights and resultant resistance” is to bring this issue to a committee whose members include the DOT, DES and OEP. This committee will “work together to identify potential statewide strategies for reducing and/or eliminating the barriers.”
I want to say that again because this is an extremely important point. By its own words, our government will work towards reducing or eliminating our property rights because they are “a barrier” to the goals of the Sustainable Communities Initiative program.
I find this to be very disturbing. Especially when considering the history of other countries that have used these types of tactics to oppress their citizens.
There are many other partners, and many troubling goals and relationships with the program’s partners. Instead of going on and on, I encourage you to follow this link (http://southernnh912.com/content/nothing-life-free-neither-sustainable-communities-initiative) and download the embedded hyperlinks at the end of that article to see the legally binding HUD documents that define this program – in HUD’s own words. (To make it easier to read, many of the areas of interest are already highlighted)
As I read through those documents and learned many of the details of this program, two thoughts kept coming to mind: (1) James Madison’s warning that Liberty and Property are inseparable, and (2) Karl Marx’ statement “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
According to James Madison, the term property encompasses “every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to everyone else the like advantage.” Property, therefore, encompasses far more than material possessions. It includes such things as a man’s talents, intellect and personal security. Under this definition, any government that seizes a man’s rightful property is violating that man’s liberty.
The Selectmen who voted in favor of the program justified their votes by saying this is only a planning program, they wanted “a seat at the table”, and that it is advisory only. With the troubling framework, partners and goals of the program clearly spelled out, I have serious concerns why any of my elected officials would want a seat at this table and participate in this type of centralized planning program whose goals include (by their own words) dismantling our property rights and redistributing our wealth – which leads to a reduction of our liberties and freedoms.
The SCI program is a massive new entitlement/welfare planning program that goes against every principle of our founding documents. To dismiss concerns by saying this is only planning… and then include our town in this program is a reckless disregard for the fundamental values that our liberties and freedoms are based upon.
Our Selectmen approved by a vote of 3 to 2 to commit Windham to participate in this planning program, with Ross McLeod, Kathleen DiFruscia and Roger Hohenberger voting in favor of the program, and Bruce Breton and Phil LoChiatto voting against.
I am grateful to Mr. Breton and Mr. LoChiatto for standing by their principles and voting to protect our Constitutional Republic.
For those who wish to know more, please feel free to call me.
The contract Agreement is comprised of the following instruments. To make it easy for the reader, many areas of interest are highlighted.
5. Grant Application Work Plan/Logic Model (Tasks within Work Plan are considered deliverables)