How coordination is protecting people locally

f21-banner-4Dan Byfield, of the group American Stewards of Liberty, explained to the assembled conferees how the coordination of local commissions by liberty activists have helped to put a roadblock in the way of a massive transnational project called the Trans-Texas Corridor project.  The corridor is an internationally funded toll road designed to connect Mexico to Canada that will take 146 acres per mile of private property from Texas citizens.

Byfield discussed the important concept of coordination, which is local governments (counties, cities, school districts, water districts, etc) utilizing existing laws that require the federal and state agencies to work with them on a government-to-government basis.

He referenced a number of federal statutes which have requirement for the federal agencies to coordinate with local levels of government, by notifying the community of pending implementation of regulations or programs.  The federal agency must work with and address concerns of the local government units, and if the local government has a plan or policy in place that conflicts with the federal plan, the federal agency must adopt their plan to harmonize with the local plan!

Using this, his organization has been working with those local governments to leverage this requirement to protect private property and individual liberty rights from usurpation by federal bureaucrats.  Their organization is working with several states, mainly in the west, to educate and empower local units of government as to the power this regulation reserves into the hands of local elected officials and local governmental agencies, including water districts, conservation districts, etc.

Byfield discussed the particulars of how this powerful concept was used (and is now being used) to stop the wholesale implementation of the TTC, also known as the “NAFTA Superhighway” whose ultimate goal is to create a corridor from central Mexico to Canada, running straight through the central plains of the United States.  You can read about the background and ongoing efforts on this issue here.

They found language in state statute that mandated that even state agencies must coordinate with local regional planning agencies on any proposed effort, and set to work to create those local planning agencies between five towns, representing multiple county jurisdictions, right in the pathway of the TTC, putting a 30 mile wide gap in the pathway.  These five mayors are actively working to keep the TTC from being implemented, and are reaching out to other surrounding mayors to “coordinate” with them.  American Stewards of Liberty has created eight more of these local regional planning commissions in Texas.

Their continuing efforts led to a signficant change in the desire of the state government to push for the continuation of the TTC plans, actually killing legislation that would have extended authority for this, something that Texas Governor Rick Perry was seeking.

Byfield knows the TTC is not dead; like any bad idea, it has just been repackaged under a new name:  Innovative Connectivity Vision of Texas/2009.  The state wants to split the project into segments, but use the entire route plan as the template, which may violate a number of federal regulations.

Byfield also discussed a grassroots effort to reinvigorate our representation:  GOOOH.  He believes this is a doable option.  I will personally reserve judgment on this until more details are revealed about how to ensure the process.

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