Appalachian Basin

Youngstown Anti-Fracking “Bill of Rights” Defeated for the Fifth Time

Last night, the City of Youngstown again rejected the Pennsylvania based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s (CELDF) so-called “Community Bill of Rights” for a fifth consecutive time.

Youngstown voters have already been forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have these failed measures on the ballot five times, yet CELDF has continued to abuse the city with its job-killing “rights of nature” campaign. Luckily, Youngstown voters again spoke up and made their voices heard at the polls. As Guy Coviello, the chamber’s vice president of government affairs said,

“Youngstown’s hard-fought economic recovery avoided another set-back with the defeat of this dangerous amendment. We hope the individuals behind this ill-conceived proposal finally get the message. The Mahoning Valley wants more jobs and opportunity, not less.”

The “Bill of Rights” measure lost with 51.47 percent of city voters casting their ballots against the amendment, and 48.53 percent voting for it. Over the past few months several groups have mobilized to defeat the measure, bringing together bipartisan bedfellows from political parties, business, and labor groups, who together have stood hand-in-hand to fight against what they have called an “economically crippling measure.” As Butch Taylor of Local 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters put it,

“Tonight we celebrate another victory over those who want to limit the jobs available to the hard-working men and women in the skilled trades. We thank the voters and say to amendment organizers: enough is enough. The trades will rally against this terrible amendment whenever it is before voters. However, we would rather spend our time training our people for good paying jobs.”

Now the question becomes: how many times do the voters need to reject CELDF’s abuse of their city, while footing the bill?  Jaladah Aslam, Community Mobilization Coalition vice chairwoman noted,

“Youngstown voters wanted no part of this deceptive and destructive charter amendment. That was clear from our discussions with thousands of residents over the course of this election. Voters saw this amendment as a poor attempt to block progress and deny workers job opportunities. I am confident voters will again reject this amendment if its organizers continue to press this bad idea.”

While out-of-state groups like CELDF may not give up, voters continue to remain vigilant in defeating these job-killing antics, like these “Rights of Nature” campaigns time and time again.



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