Do you think we live in a democracy? Well, think again.
In 2017, the people of Lincoln County voted to ban the timber industry practice of spraying toxic chemicals from helicopters to kill plants that compete with the growth of newly planted fir trees.
The day after passing this protective law, Lincoln County was sued by timber interests. But for two years, the spray ban had remained in effect until, on Sept. 26, a circuit court judge ruled for big timber and against the people.
The initiative system exists to provide citizens a way to participate in a “would be” democracy. When our elected officials fail to represent us — to act in the community’s interests — we engage in the time-consuming hard work of writing initiatives, gathering signatures and getting these potential laws to the ballot box for the citizenry to vote on.
Clearly, those democratic principles, upon which the initiative system rests, are under attack by those who would prefer that the people remain silent.
Not so fast, corporate interests (and the judges who do their bidding). There are consequences when the will of the people is disrespected.
We should all be inspired that the good people of Lincoln County have no intention of backing down from protecting their collective home from corporate harm and greed. They will appeal the ruling.
Stay tuned. The struggle for justice is far from over.
Locally, check out communityrightslanecounty.org.