After I got back from Panama and the elections over there somebody asked me how bad was the corruption in that election, by the way not a single ballot was ever counted, but somebody asked me. I had a newspaper the next day that Noriega government paper that said Noriega wins by fifty-five percent. Not a single ballot was ever counted. Somebody asked me how bad the corruption was and I said it was so bad that eventually even Jimmy Carter could see it. I am very pleased to be here today. I thank Carol for having me here. It's been a long journey to get here and to have Jay Lehr do my description on my critique on my book was a great honor particularly for that fact that I agreed with everything you said.
Now, I'm going to talk. Its a little bit different than some of the other talks that you've heard. I'm not a lawyer so that changes it completely.
Audience Member: You tell the truth.
Mr. DeWeese: There you go. And I'm going to skim through a lot of things quickly. Lawrence did a good beginning, going into the deep part of ICLEI and the international policies so I'm going to skim through that and I'm going to give it to you from the viewpoint of an activist because that's what I am and these are my experiences and that's what we've always done.
Now, you know, in 1941, in the darkest days of World War II, Winston Churchill told a gathering of school children, "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never " He said, "Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
In 1992 a dark force called Agenda 21 emerged from the U.N.'s Earth Summit. Its purpose was to provide a comprehensive blueprint to completely reorganize human society into a global scheme of redistribution of wealth and top-down control. Agenda 21 was created by thousands of private, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working behind the scenes implementing their own private agendas into the document. The NGOs got 179 world leaders to sign onto it. The same NGOs got President Bill Clinton to create the President's Council on Sustainable Development to bring it into U.S. policy. By the way, besides the government agencies and the NGO organizations that were part of that The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and so forth you might be interested to know some of the businesses that were represented on the President's Council on Sustainable Development. Most importantly: Enron, making policy for the rest of us. Those NGOs that helped to write the then they went into the federal government the same NGOs that wrote it on the international level went into the to help write grant programs that would go on to fuel the whole process with billions of dollars of tax money from nearly every agency of the federal government. Then those same NGOs got to the states to have them pass regulations that would force counties and cities to impose the policy through comprehensive development plans. And finally, these same NGOs who helped write Agenda 21 at the international level, created the federal grants at the federal level, got the states to require the communities to implement the policy, they then moved into the local communities armed with software, international plans for energy, water, building materials, electricity, plumbing requirements, all in a box, all ready for them, ready for these unaware officials who had no idea what this was all about. Here they are, these local officials, saying, "What the heck is a comprehensive development plan?" No worries. Don't worry about it. We've got it all right here. And guess what? We've got the money for it, too. All they have to do is sign on the bottom line, take the money and watch it happen. Very briefly, that's how it's gotten from the international level into your backyard. As a direct result, the tyranny of sustainable policy builds in town after town, neighborhood after neighborhood. For example, in the Western states the EPA is on a tear to control water making it actually it's not just the West but that's where the main example is making it impossible to run ranches there. The Interior Department is forcing reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies at the peril of livestock, family pets, children, and natural herds of elk and deer. And those in the cities and the towns also are feeling the impact.
In Orem, Utah, Betty Perry was arrested, handcuffed and put in a holding tank because the grass in her front yard was dying. "Violation," said the local zoning enforcement officer.
More recently, as the drought has been raging in California, there is a couple, they were on Fox News not long ago, who've been threatened with fines of $500 because their grass in their yard was dead. That was from the city that they lived in. Now, they told Fox News the reason it was dead is because they were obeying a California state government mandate that told them that they had to preserve water or face a fine of $500. Tyrants always want it both ways.
Julie Bass, in Oak Park Michigan wanted to plant an organic garden in her yard. She even asked the mayor and the city council if it was OK and they both said, "Yes." But as she went to work on it, she, too, was arrested by the local zoning enforcement officer and faced ninety days in jail.
In Montgomery County, Ohio, Jennie Granato's home was rendered basically worthless as the regional government enforced the installation of a bike highway this wasn't a bike path that you take on the weekend to take your kids out and see the outdoors this was a highway. It was designed for the specific purpose of getting people out of their cars and more into bicycles. This went across her front yard. There was a hedge up in front. There was her mother's favorite magnolia tree there. Her swing underneath it. Front yard, house. One day her mother came out when the bulldozers arrived just in time to watch her favorite magnolia tree bowled over. It upset her so badly she had a heart attack and died right then and there. You know what the regional government said? "Stuff happens." This thing went within seven feet of her front door. And to date she has not been compensated a red cent for the land. And as they took it to the regional government they're playing games with the legal system to deny Jennie her day in court. Sound familiar?
Across the nation the Food and Drug Administration is swarming over producers of unprocessed milk, confiscating products and shutting down plants, arresting producers and buyers alike, even though there have been no reports of sickness or deaths. There's not even been a complaint. And the assault on small farms continued in Michigan where entire herds of a certain breed of pigs were destroyed, accused of being feral even though the farmers had raised them for decades. They forced the farmers to go into their own corrals there and shoot them. And, of course, as Martha's just told you her situation with the Piedmont Environmental Council that has colluded with the county government to harass her just for hosting a children's birthday party in her little farm store. Forced her to close it. Threatened her with fines of $15,000 a day.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last summer a decree to make American neighborhoods more diverse. It's called I love this name Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. Calling for the federal government to gather and track data on segregation and discrimination across America before deploying a wide range of social engineering schemes to insure more diversity in U.S. neighborhoods That's right out of the Agenda 21 social equity plank. Bottom line, if your neighborhood lacks the government mandated diversity breakdown you won't be able to sell your home to anyone but the racial quota that they demand.
And on the international level smug, arrogant, well-funded white Sustainablists have determined that it is the proper use of government and its power to insure black residents of Africa continue to live in mud huts without electricity, clean water or an infrastructure to provide jobs. As my friend Paul Driessen reports some 2.5 billion people still do not have electricity or get it only sporadically, so they've got to burn wood and dung for heating and cooking which leads to wide-spread lung disease. No electricity means no refrigeration, safe water or decent hospitals. Happen to notice what's happening in Africa with no decent hospitals? All of this is just fine with the perpetrators of sustainable development because such a lifestyle in their opinion is sustainable. In reality, it's environmental racism. And that is the real outcome of social justice.
These and many more outrages from government attacks on our once-free society are the reasons why Americans are starting to show up at public meetings and demand that their elected officials protect them and their property from such an out-of-control government sprawl. There is no justice, no reason, no compassion under sustainable development policies, just the rush to raw power for power's sake. Americans are now feeling that reality first hand.
Some of you may know that I and a few others have spent most of the past twenty years sounding the alarm against this policy. We fought it because we saw this is a diabolical scheme to dismantle the American ideal of limited government, free enterprise, individual liberty and private property ownership, leaving instead a matrix of unelected boards, councils and regional governments which can only lead in one direction top down control by a few. And ultimately it will result in diminished power and influence by our elected representatives. They are actually signing documents helping put these things in place that ultimately diminishes their own power. Why do I say that? Go to your elected councilman. Go to your county commissioner and talk to them about a policy that's bothering you. You know what he'll say? "Oh, I don't have anything to do with that. You have to go down to such-and-such board," who does not care a whit about your problem. They've directly mocked our stance on freedom by saying, "Hey, you can have all the freedoms you want but what good will they do you if you have no planet to stand on?" That's what they say smugly to us. And so by hiding behind the scare tactic of environmental Armageddon the sustainables have made incredible progress in getting Americans to toss their freedoms on the bonfire like a good old-fashioned book burning.
The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which, of course, changed its name so it could get "international" out of it ICLEI a U.N. sanctioned NGO which was literally created to bring Agenda 21 to local communities has gotten an incredible number of American county commissioners and city councils across the country to sign on as dues-paying members.
For the past two decades, through the guidance of ICLEI and other groups, Agenda 21's sustainable development policy has been slowly filtered into planning policy at all levels of government basically unnoticed and unchallenged. Today, ICLEI networks with hundreds more planning associations which make their living from federal, state, and local grants created for the purpose of implementing sustainable policy. Yet many of these planning groups don't even know that they're implementing Agenda 21. They're just following pre-written plans. Incredibly, as we've witnessed this dastardly scheme begin to transform our nation, its perpetrators have started to deny any such international connection. It's all local, we're assured. Just local. Of course, they may want to hide this document from the American Planning Association's 1994 newsletter that was written to their membership in northern California. 1994 it says, "Various groups have been formed to implement Agenda 21, a comprehensive blueprint for sustainable development." Now, today they say they have absolutely no connection with that.
What we have found is that up until about five years ago they were very proud of what they did with creating Agenda 21 but then we started to make it a national issue. We started to make it controversial. All of a sudden it was like, "No. We don't have that. Hey, don't pay any attention to that guy behind the curtain." Of course that's why this lovely quote from the plannersnetwork.org in its statement of principles get this this is from their statement of principles, plannersnetwork.org, which American Planning Association's a member of. It says quote, "We believe planning should be a tool for allocating resources and eliminating the great inequalities of wealth and power in our society because the free market has proven incapable of doing this." (1)
This is what the planners who are operating in your community believe. And for the record, for the record, that line pretty much comes right out of the social equity plank of Agenda 21. And so, as a result of this drive to enforce what they claim doesn't exist, just three years ago ICLEI claimed more than 600, almost 650 American cities as dues-paying members who have loyally and doggedly implemented these policies in the name of local planning agencies or projects. And ICLEI was driving towards one thousand member cities by 2015. Nothing seemed to stand in their way.
In 2012 the Sustainablists decided to celebrate their certain victory by throwing a celebration called "Rio+20" the summit to celebrate and mark twenty years of Agenda 21 and to discuss how to finish the job. Now some greatly feared the Rio+20 summit and what its results would mean to America. Many of our own freedom fighters believe that this would be the end game to put the lid on American freedom. The U.N. in fact had big plans. It saw the summit as an opportunity to secure binding agreements that would give the United Nations, the European Union and even the EPA and numerous other government agencies massive power to control energy and economic activities. Of course, it was all sold in the name of protecting the environment and controlling economic development and insuring social equity, giving capitalism a human face and reinventing the world. There's nothing new there. In short, they saw Rio+20 as their opportunity to build a major momentum behind their achievements of the past twenty years and to finish the job. "Ah," said a Reuters' news story, quote, "The times seem ripe. Natural resources are at a premium. The global human population tops seven billion. Traditional economies are failing. And the planet is warming." This summit, the article insisted, offers a chance to renew the political will to make the world's economies greener. They could barely contain themselves, giddy with excitement.
I saw it a little bit differently. I believe the Rio+20 summit gave us, gave us a great opportunity to get more people to listen to our message. It would make more Americans aware. It would energize our activists and it would alert more politicians. Above all, it would help remove the tin foil from our hats. Because after all, how do you hide a party of forty thousand delegates and then try to claim it's all meaningless as they've been trying to do recently about the original Agenda 21 in the Earth Summit '92? In fact, I believe this was the opportunity that we had been looking for to actually kill the drive for Agenda 21 once and for all.
Let me show you what I mean. Until 2010 the U.N. and its global forces stake everything on climate change and global warming as the excuse for the need for global governance. Under the threat of environmental Armageddon the U.N. could argue that no individual sovereign nation had the ability or the desire to curtail global warming. Only the centralized force of the U.N. could do what was necessary. And so the stage was set for global control. The final act for the climate change forces was to come at the meeting in Copenhagen as they planned to close the deal, change the world economy to Cap and Trade, end the folly of nation states and free markets and redistribute the world's wealth once and for all.
Then disaster struck. Just before the Copenhagen conference Climategate burst on the scene to reveal private correspondence among the global warming Chicken Littles. It seems even they couldn't find any evidence of warming. Worse, the correspondence revealed how they taught each other tricks on how to hide their lack of evidence so they could keep up their little charade that they so desperately needed. As a result of this shocking revelation, the Copenhagen conference ended in disaster. The first clue was the sight of Al Gore rushing for his gas-guzzling limo to hightail it out of town. Shortly after that failed event there was a second conference in Durban which also ended with the climate forces in disarray.
Today, polls show that the issue of climate change is dead last in the concerns of Americans regardless of the spin Obama and his gang try to put on it.
Then came Rio+20. To avoid disaster of Copenhagen and Durban the U.N. planned to avoid talking about the issue of climate change. Instead, they intended to repackage their failed programs under the banner of sustainable development replacing the label "climate change" with the old Agenda 21 claims that the world needs to insure that economic development will not endanger the resources and environmental quality needed for future generations. According to Brazilian ambassador André Corrêa do Lago this re-branding was being done by design because he said sustainable development is an easier sell than climate change.
To launch its new campaign the U.N. issued a ninety-nine-page report entitled "Resilient People, Resilient Planet, A Future Worth Choosing." This blueprint for sustainable development and low carbon prosperity, of course, outlined the need for yet more government. It included calls for a global council, new U.N. agencies, budgets and power and a genuine global actions in every nation to assure social justice, poverty eradication, climate protection, biodiversity, green growth and an end to unsustainable patterns of consumption and production: Agenda 21. All of this is essential, the report said, to prevent irreversible damage that is predicted by selected scientists, activists and computer models. Now there's a trio with whom to entrust our futures. From that platform they intended to fan out over the world and increase efforts to enforce sustainable constraints in communities, counties, and schools. ICLEI had never been so excited at the prospects of finally fulfilling the dream. In short, they staked everything on fully implementing Agenda 21.
And you know what? I couldn't have been happier. Because, you see, there was a fly in the ointment. Us! I had been working for almost twenty years to create an army of people fighting sustainable development. We were making the word political poison. If the U.N. wanted to choose that word as what their new force was going to be behind, come on! Good! As I mentioned, we were working on this for all those years and we were ignored. We had absolutely no contact with any elected officials. There were certainly no news articles written about our position, even negative ones. In fact, about the only attention we ever got was from the stealth observers from the Southern Poverty Law Center who would sneak into our national conferences. At our last national conference you can hear me on the video saying, "If you're here from the Southern Poverty Law Center will you please buy the video so you can at least quote us correctly this time?" The silence was deafening. About three years ago that started to change.
With the advent of the Tea Party and the election of Obama, people started to question everything. I hit the road taking the message to every corner of the nation. In just over a year I'd given a hundred talks in at least thirty-five states. The response has been nothing short of phenomenal. Hundreds of meetings are now being held in communities across the nation, New spokesmen for our cause stepped up to carry the message. For the first time people wanted to hear what we had to say. And they were shocked to learn not only what a diabolical plan Agenda 21 is but how far it had come almost completely unnoticed. People started to see the dangers and heeded the warnings and began to take action against a powerful matrix of well-funded green zealots, professional planning groups, and powerful government officials.
A true grass movement has risen. Thousands of dedicated freedom fighters now challenge and even stop Agenda 21 policies in their communities. Action is now taking place in every state. County commissioners and city councils are being put under the microscope. Local citizens have become human information sponges rushing to learn everything they can. And we're starting to teach property rights new tactics for fighting back. As we begin to achieve some successes in various communities and state legislatures, just baby steps, really, the interesting result is the absolute paranoia that is taking hold of the Sustainablists. The American Planning Association began to organize boot camps to train its members how to deal with us in public meetings.
Two years ago, the American Planning Association issued a "Glossary for the Public" designed to teach their planners new ways to present comprehensive plans to the public. And in it they flat out say, "Just pretend that it's all just a friendly conversation with the community. We don't mean to do anything here. Just have a friendly conversation." The opening paragraph of the "Glossary for the Public" says, "Given the heightened scrutiny of planners by some members of the public, what is said or not said, is especially important in building support for planning." Then they go through a whole lot of gibberish about how not to say anything but say something and then in the report it gets down to business and it has certain words used by planners that make the critics see red. Don't say these words. Now, what's funny about this list is that in my main talk on Agenda 21, I go through about thirty-five words. Watch out for these words. If you see these words in your community, it's like they took my speech and they said don't say these words anymore. Here is just a few of them that they say don't say anymore. First of all is, of course: Agenda 21, affordable, livable, region-wide planning, organize and facilitate, public visioning, public-private partnerships, regional, regionalism, regional planning, smart growth, stake holders, and are you ready for this, after Rio+20? sustainability. Don't say that word anymore. Now, I've joked that soon the planners are going to have to do all their presentations in sign language because they won't have any words left.
But the main question is, if they're so proud of what they're doing why are they trying to hide it? When I put something together, I believe in it. And I don't care what the criticism is, I keep working on it. Why are they trying to hide it? Driving their hysteria, perhaps, may be our new efforts to train activists to fight back.
We just gave you a very, very brief synopsis of what we're teaching people. First and foremost is research. Know who is involved in your community, what NGOs are operating there or the planning groups. They operate in other communities. What have they done in those other communities? And that can help you know what's coming for yours. Don't rush in breathlessly and accuse your county commissioners of enforcing international policy. They're waiting for you to do that. Instead, focus on the plan, focus on the policy and how it effects residents. Why are you upset about it in the first place? What's happening with it? Focus on that and that will help you recruit more people to your side.
Above all, define your terms. Don't put together state or local legislation that says you're going to protect property rights without defining what property rights are. Too many people have no clue anymore what property rights are. And what's happened in several states, we've gotten some legislation introduced and in some places passed, that's what they say. We're going to protect property rights. Here is the best definition that I've found, written in 1997 by a Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders. They were dealing with a whole lot of, obviously, since all of this has started, a whole lot of property rights issues and they didn't have a good definition on what they were looking at. So, he wrote this definition to help them through it. "Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property to that extent destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right." I haven't found a better definition.
Now, as you may find yourself talking to your elected officials especially ones that you consider to be friendly, people who you think may be just a little misguided but are good guys if they could see the light, here's one way that you can approach them when they're putting some of these plans together. Ask them this: Does your plan increase the size, cost, reach and power of government? That is the "scrap test." The size, cost, reach, and power of government. Use the scrap test to counter their grand rhetoric about community needs. Find an elected official, if you do, who, as I said, is introducing something and ask him, "Is that your purpose? And if it is, if that's what this bill you're putting forth is, if that's what it's about, scrap it."
Finally, we've created the resolution for the protection of citizen's property rights. When you get those precious three minutes to talk to those on high, you know they're always at big benches up here looking down at you. They always have a very comfortable chair and you're down there. And they grant you three minutes to come and actually be in the same room with them and maybe utter something. When you get those precious three minutes to talk to those on high, in their public meetings, instead of rushing in and accusing them of enforcing Agenda 21, ask them this simple question. "Ladies, gentlemen, as your bringing these plans and these planners into our community, what guarantees do I have that you'll protect my private property rights?" I absolutely guarantee you, to a person, they will say, "Of course, I will. Hey, I'm a property owner, too." And then you just smile and say, "Well, I'm really happy to hear you say that. But ladies, gentlemen, I'd like to have it in writing, please." Our document, all it says is, if you're going to discuss plans that will effect your property then they need to bring you into the discussion. If they decide to move forward with the plan, they will compensate you for any loss that you have. And third, they cannot just walk over your property making all their plans without your written permission. That's how radical it gets.
Now, when you've done this, you have not attacked planning. You haven't brought up Agenda 21. You asked the question that every property owner in the county wants an answer to. Now, as I said, I guarantee they will not sign this document. And when they refuse to do so you ask the most radical question in the English language: Why? Keep in mind, behind all of your elected officials in the back rooms are all of these planning organizations, NGO groups back there. The worst nightmare they would have is this document because you cannot implement sustainable policy without at least damaging property rights. It's a fact. And for them to sign a guarantee that they'll try to protect property rights is their worst nightmare. And they will stand there and they will say They won't tell you that these guys are back there pulling the strings but they're going to tell you, "Oh, no. We can't do this."
We had a county commissioner in Southern Virginia who when we had one of the people ask the question said, "Well, I'm not going to sign that document."
And she said, "Well, why?"
He said, "I'm not going to debate it with you."
She said, "I don't want to debate this. I just want to know why you won't sign the document."
Eventually, he says, "I think there's a bigger agenda afoot here."
She says, "What?"
"I'm not going to debate it with you."
What do you do with a guy like this? What are you really doing here is you're putting down the roots to run a campaign to run these guys out of business because you want to get it official that they will not guarantee your property rights. What do you do with a guy like this? Run a campaign to say you know the guy's got some wacky conspiracy theory against protecting property rights. You just flip the whole thing on him. He's got the tin foil hat not you. Let me show you. Everybody stand up for a second. You need to anyway. Everybody stand up. When they say they won't sign this document, you ask the most radical question in the English language: Why? Everybody say "why."
Mr. DeWeese: Say it again.
Mr. DeWeese: Say it again!
Mr. DeWeese: That's the way your county commission, city council meetings have to sound. They've got to get you've got to get their attention. They've got to know you're there because the guys in the back room are saying, "People are nuts. They've got I've got money for you for your next program. For your next reelection. I've got all this for you. Who are they? They're the ones yelling at you." You've got to make your presence known. Thank you.
Now, that is a very fast rundown of what we are teaching activists to do across the nation. There's a whole lot more involved in it but our efforts are starting to have an impact. As a result the opposition's hysteria has exploded. There is panic in Sustainable City. Just this spring, in a two-month period, between the end of March and the end of June, the attacks came fast and furious. It was a coordinated attack designed to vilify, ostracize, and neutralize efforts by local citizen activists for standing opposition of Agenda 21/Sustainable Development.
The terms, "conspiracy theory," "extremists," "fear mongers," and "far right," were all over these attempts to smear any opposition to the agenda of sustainable development. It started the end of March with the American Planning Association delivering yet another report in a continuing effort to understand the fierce opposition to its innocent, locally-driven programs. "Why are they so mad at us?" they keep asking. Apparently it's a mystery to the APA why there would be opposition to its plans to reorganize entire communities which sometimes results in turning people's lives upside down, effecting their jobs, family life, and destroying their private property rights. Such a mystery.
The latest report issued in March entitled, "The Actions of Discontent" was perhaps the most honest of the reports the APA has issued when it said, "The opposition to planning is marked by deep philosophical differences between activists and planning proponents." That's certainly better than saying we're just nuts, unlike most of the usual tacks. Case in point.
The next attack came in April from the Southern Poverty Law Center, yet again. This makes at least four Southern Poverty Law Center reports I'm aware of to specifically focus on me as the ring-leader of the opposition. This report entitled "Agenda 21: the U.N., Sustainability, and Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory," says, "It's time to [finally] call out the conspiracy theorists." They're tough. It demands that politicians who spread falsehoods about Agenda 21 and its effects need to be shamed by other politicians, by editorial boards, and by commentators, and by the citizenry at large. Those are pretty strong words. Apparently they're getting a little bit desperate to stop us. That report was followed by another one by the Natural Resources Defense Council entitled, "Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theorists Threaten Cities' Sustainability Efforts." Now our efforts are threatening the city. Next, came another rant from treehugger.com. And they called me the conspiracy king, thank you very much.
Then came articles in two national news magazines each relying on the Southern Poverty Law Center's attack. Newsweek started it all with a cover article entitled, "The Plots to Destroy America." Then came Fortune magazine and its smear of activist Rosa Koire who's head of Democrats Against Agenda 21. Rosa told me that it started out as an interview. Then, just to even the playing field, reporter David Morris decided to bring ICLEI and the Southern Poverty Law Center in. Yup. Two against one. That's a little fairer odd than we usually get. In its complete exasperation, the Southern Poverty Law Center demands that the business community, the chamber of commerce, local governments and the news media needs to stop reporting on Agenda 21 as if it were a bona fide controversy and plainly state the facts about the plan. Further, the SPLC demands that communities need to be encouraged to return to or start to develop such plans in tandem with responsible groups like the American Planning Association. In other words, just as in the climate change debate the SPLC demands that there be no debate, no discussion, just shut up and do it. Trust us.
What we are witnessing is the panic of a collapsing tyranny which they thought was well in hand. They had the massive war chest. They still do. And the political power. And for a couple of decades it was all going the sustainables way until some of us started to expose their hidden truths. Now, with a little opposition from a ragtag band with no money or powerful connections they become hysterical.
Don't we know what we're supposed to do? We're just supposed to roll over and take it. How dare we? Who would ever have thought that little brats like us could ruin all their beautiful wickedness? Well, again, as Churchill warned, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We didn't. Let me give you just a few of the details of our successes.
It started in January, 2011 in Carroll County, Maryland, when five new commissioners took the oath of office. They had run as a team. And a major part of their message was against sustainable development. Within the first month of holding office, this county became the first in the nation to end its membership in ICLEI. The Carroll County commissioners then fired the county sustainable development administrator. And then they rejected the ICLEI inspired comprehensive development plan, sending it back to the planning board with the instructions to not return until the plan assured that it protected private property rights and it complied with the Constitution of the United States. Those were the first shots fired in the battle to stop Agenda 21. And then things really started to roll in a fast and furious pace.
The next county to take action to revoke their ICLEI membership was Amador County, California. Then Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Then Edmond, Oklahoma. Then Las Cruces, New Mexico. Then Spartanburg, South Carolina. Then Albemarle County Virginia, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Then Plantation, Florida. Then James City County, Virginia, where America basically started. And then Lexington, Virginia. And we can then add; Carver, Massachusetts; Pinellas County, Florida; Garland, Texas; Sarasota County, Florida; Evington, Virginia; Clallam County, Washington; Chatham County, North Carolina; Monmouth County and Somerset Counties in New Jersey; College Station, Texas; and Irving Texas. Even Boston, Massachusetts. All voted to rescind their memberships in ICLEI. And most recently was Roanoke, Virginia. In fact, we can no longer keep up with the count. I believe at least a hundred and fifty communities have pulled out of ICLEI since January of 2011.
ICLEI is in a panic as they can't get more cities to join them. In fact, a close associate of mine who you would know, was told personally by the head of ICLEI USA that they are terrified of our efforts. Every day I get new reports of major battles being fought in local communities across the nation. Last year in York County, South Carolina. The county council voted to abolish their already-approved 500-page Unified Development ordinance that ICLEI had helped write.
In Rindge, New Hampshire, residents learned that their community government was implementing sustainable development policies and they not only tossed them out those policies step two was to get the town out of any regional planning and step three was to force the local government to get voter approval before taking on any new HUD(2) grants. Stop Agenda 21 pro property rights legislation has been introduced in Florida, New Hampshire, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. These bills passed. They didn't pass the full legislature, but each passed in at least one house and sponsors have vowed to come back again, stronger.
Alabama was the first state to pass such legislation and see the governor sign it.
In Washington State the state legislature now has a freedom caucus headed by state Representative Matt Shea. This past legislative session Matt led the coalition in stopping a huge number of damaging environmental policies that would have damaged property rights. I'm very proud that Matt learned about these things at our conferences. And we stay in touch all the time.
In 2012, the Republican National Committee unanimously passed a resolution entitled "Exposing United Nations Agenda 21." And that is helping in a big way to bring formerly reluctant Republicans on board. And as you've heard from Martha in the Virginia legislature her property rights legislation was passed to protect small farmers from sustainable development overreach by local governments.
I fact, the property rights movement in Virginia is one of the best in the nation. They are organized, vocal and they don't give up in the face of defeat. They come back for more and the results are showing.
Regional governments and planning commissions are a major piece to the sustainable plans to change our government and enforce sustainable policies. With enough of these non-elected councils sustainable policy can be enforced almost unopposed. The U.N. Commission on Global Governance defined the reason for a drive to regionalism saying, "Regionalism must precede globalism. We foresee a seamless system of governance from local communities, individual states, regional unions, and up through the United Nations itself." Well, forewarned is forearmed. So property rights activists are focusing on stopping the imposition of non-elected regional government councils that are now springing up across the nation.
In the state of Ohio I don't know why this is such a hotbed there more than anywhere else that I've seen but in the state of Ohio several local county and city governments have refused to join regional planning groups. Geauga County, Ohio, commissioners passed a resolution rejecting the planning objectives put forth by the Northeast [Ohio] Sustainable Communities Consortium [NEOSCC]. A month later the community of Lordstown, Ohio passed a similar resolution. The commissioners in Ohio's Pickaway County refused to join the Central Ohio Regional Planning Commission. And, of course, the outrageous destruction of Jennie Granato's property for the sake of a bike lane exposed the nearly untouchable control yielded by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission in Montgomery County, Ohio. The local property rights activists now understand the power that they face.
Last week I was contacted by residents in Rhode Island looking for help to get an effort underway to start a fight against sustainable policies there. First time I've heard from Rhode Island. Even in San Francisco property rights activists have risen up in planning meetings against a massive regional plan that is designed to be the sustainable poster child example for implementation in every community in the nation. The property rights pushback has shocked the Sustainablists.
Two weeks ago, I attended an international property rights conference in Ottawa, Canada. There were over 150 attendees from all over that country ready to begin the anti-sustainable development fight there. Moreover, after that conference, I and other representatives from the U.S., from Canada, and from Australia, met to create the International Property Rights Association to take this fight worldwide. A day after that when I returned, a lady from Canada called me from a small town just above Lake Huron. She said they started the fight there and her daughter is running for mayor and if elected has vowed to remove the ICLEI membership as her first order of business. It's the first time I've heard this happening in Canada. Almost every day now I receive messages from newly-elected councilmen, county commissioners, state legislators saying, "What can I do to help stop this?" And I'm starting to teach them the new tactics.
Now, the forces of freedom should gain energy from the NGO's panic and increase our efforts to stamp out these self-appointed tyrants once and for all. We certainly have a long way to go to restore our precious republic but it's D-Day on Omaha Beach. Though we have to continue the fierce fighting we've established a beachhead and we're moving inland. And the Sustainablists are panicked.
And finally, there is Baldwin County, Alabama. Property rights activists there rose up in protest against the country's sustainable comprehensive plan, Horizon 2025, and they attended every meeting voicing their opposition and demanding that their commissioners rescind the plan. Eventually, it was brought up for a vote and the county government indeed did rescind it. At that moment, in an effort to make a dramatic statement, all nine members of the planning and zoning commission quit in protest and walked out. Whereupon all of the audience stood up in unison and sang "God Bless America." Never give in. Never, never, never. Thank you.
1. From the website: "We believe that planning should be a tool for allocating resources and developing the environment to eliminate the great inequalities of wealth and power in our society, rather than to maintain and justify the status quo. We are committed to opposing racial, economic, and environmental injustice and discrimination by gender and sexual orientation. We believe that planning should be used to assure adequate food, clothing, housing, medical care, jobs, safe working conditions, and a healthful environment. We advocate public responsibility for meeting these needs, because the private market has proven incapable of doing so.
2. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development