Adamant Green Party Member Bob L. Gifford has declared a local and sustainability-based campaign for residents of Portage County, Wisconsin. He is targeting his outreach to his wonderful community as he engages within government for the supervisory district 10 county board seat.
The unifying issue of this campaign is sustainability for Portage County, WI. This term is the basis of the "eco-municipality" movement to which Stevens Point, WI subscribed to in 2007; endorsed by the Wisconsin Green Party in that year. In a sustainable society you do not allow systematic inequality, poverty or permanent joblessness. You do not constantly encroach on nature- building up pollutants in the environment.
Bob spoke with Town of Hull Chair: John Holdridge, asking which issues concern Hull residents. The number one issue was groundwater protection. The situation with Well #11 should not have developed, had the two municipalities been cooperating and thinking sustainably with emphasis on environmental precautions regarding the best in mind for our citizens. On his suggestion, protection of private wells is a key issue for the County Board to address. It is administratively sloppy to have the current system of real estate development dependent on home ownership with private wells, given the reason of the current official inability to protect water quantity and quality in those wells.
As County Executive Patty Dreier suggested, when asked of the importance on the issues we are currently facing issues, a common-sense groundwater policy is crucial for the county; the highest groundwater-drawing county in the entire state of Wisconsin.
The other crucial issue is the loss of local control, power and autonomy for our counties, our cities, villages, and towns. The one party rule in the state capitol has done nothing but usurp local control and powers to centralize them in a scheme run by big government and corporate industries.
I'm compiling a list of legislation which has stripped away grassroots democratic local control from our communities, and I hope this will shock you in its scope. All 74 Wisconsin Counties need to unite and push-back against this trend. We should assist the League of Municipalities in their efforts in this as well.
This campaign gives me a chance to stand for the Wisconsin Green Party's key values pertaining to local government – local control, decentralization of political and economic power, community economic development and grassroots democracy. I have been a Green Party member for over a decade and believe that these values motivate most Wisconsin citizens.
The way I summarize these issues is this: “Community Rights Over Corporate Rights.” Corporations must not be allowed to abuse our local communities for their own benefit, the trend since 2010. The corporate agenda—whether unlimited agribusiness high-capacity well usage, frac-sand destruction of farmlands, railroad blockage of community roads, or toxic tar-sands pipelines like Enbridge's-- is unsustainable. Corporations are not people. Money is not free speech. (Bob L. Gifford, Local Green Party Candidate)