Youngstown voters have rejected the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s (CEDLF) so-called Community Bill of Rights five consecutive times, and efforts are underway to bring the measure up for a sixth vote. Now, despite already costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars for these measures, and in a desperate cry for help, activists have reached out to Hollywood fracktivist Mark Ruffalo for guidance. Because surely Ruffalo knows what is best for the local population that has voted down the measure five times already, right?
Recently, local activist and Youngstown State University (YSU) professor, Ray Biersdorfer asked Ruffalo for his take on the City of Youngstown’s continued efforts to push the Community Bill of Rights to which the millionaire said, “Do I think you should give up? No!”
Spoken like an out-of-touch outsider who has no real reason to care that the Community Bill of Rights measures have cost the taxpayers (so far) at least $80,000.
Hollywood activists know what’s best for Ohio? Wrong.
What brought about such a discussion? Recently, a group of students, faculty, and members of the community gathered at Youngstown State University to screen Ruffalo’s new film “Dear President Obama,” which calls on the president to “take action in the remaining months of his presidency to end hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.” Allegedly, the film crew for the documentary interviewed Biersdorfer, but he didn’t make it into the final cut, and actually Ohio isn’t even mentioned the movie at all.
If you missed this film, you aren’t alone, as it hasn’t gotten much traction in the press. But that’s not surprising considering that – like the Gasland films before it – “Dear President Obama” simply rehashes claims that the nation’s top scientists (and indeed the world’s top scientists) have thoroughly debunked.
Now despite cutting any discussion of Ohio and these ballot measures from his film, and the overwhelming disproval of them by local taxpayers, Ruffalo still stated in the recent question and answer session to the film that the voters of Youngstown would eventually pass the so-called Community Bill of Rights ordinance. This delusional willingness to push an agenda despite the needs and desires of the local population is exactly what the Youngstown Vindicator discussed previously, stating,
“We have presented every argument we can think of against the charter amendment, and while the voters have made up their minds, the advocates continue to turn a deaf ear to government and business leaders who have warned of the economic fallout if the Community Bill of Rights is enshrined in the Youngstown Home Rule Charter. A reasonable person — with emphasis on the word reasonable— would conclude, therefore, that the outcome of the general election should be the final word on this self-serving issue. After all, the people have spoken, over and over.” (emphasis added)
CELDF reveals “rights of nature” agenda (yet again)
Interestingly, CELDF’s Ohio organizer Tish O’Dell thinks that Mark Raffulo hasn’t gone far enough in his latest film, despite his support of the extremist group’s efforts. While the documentary encourages federal agencies to become 100 percent reliant on wind and solar power by 2050, Ms. O’Dell contends that even this is a problem because even those efforts will violate the “rights of nature”. So to recap that’s no coal, oil, natural gas, wind or solar to power America’s homes, according to CEDLF.
O’Dell contends that because corporations would need to use property to build—well, everything—those actions would violate the CELDF authored Community Bill of Rights and therefore the “rights of nature” sections that are include in all these charter amendments nationwide. For example, according to CELDF’s own website,
“Under the current system of law in almost every country, nature is considered to be property. Something that is considered property confers upon the property owner the right to damage or destroy it. Thus, those who “own” wetlands, forestland, and other ecosystems and natural communities, are largely permitted to use them however they wish, even if that includes destroying the health and well-being of nature. When we talk about the Rights of Nature, it means recognizing that ecosystems and natural communities are not merely property that can be owned. Rather, they are entities that have an independent and inalienable right to exist and flourish. Laws recognizing the Rights of Nature change the status of ecosystems and natural communities to being recognized as rights-bearing entities. As such, they have rights that can be enforced by people, governments, and communities on behalf of nature.”
O’Dell said, “We are going to have to take hold of our country ourselves.” And they intend to try and do so even if it requires abusing taxpayer dollars (such as the case in Youngstown) and forcing municipalities into bankruptcy. As CELDF founder Thomas Linzey said to Reuters, bankrupting a community might be “exactly what is needed.” Reuters reports:
“And if a town goes bankrupt trying to defend one of our ordinances, well, perhaps that’s exactly what is needed to trigger a national movement.”
Neither Hollywood activists nor out-of-state groups, like CELDF, speak for Ohioans. That’s why voters in Youngstown continue to reject their antics time and time again.