By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO
“The era of big government is over. But we cannot go back to the time when our citizens were left to fend for themselves. Instead, we must go forward as one America, one nation working together to meet the challenges we face together. Self-reliance and teamwork are not opposing virtues; we must have both.” President William Jefferson Clinton, January 23, 1996 State of the Union Address.
In reading these sentences I’m captured by their irony and contradiction. Almost a quarter of a century later, do you see as I do these virtues of self-reliance and teamwork replaced by the failings of entitlement and division?
Right now, one look at our current local political circus can provide an answer to this question.
Our Alaska Constitution established all political power is inherent in the people, not the ever-increasing size of the political state and the immeasurable costs to our citizens.
Eaglexit seeks to renew these virtues by establishing the Alaska constitutional vision of local government decentralization.
Our 1955 Alaska Constitutional Convention stated that “states have the constitutional responsibility for the future development of local government. This responsibility has two important aspects. One is to create local units of government that are efficient units for providing governmental services. The second is to maintain a system of local government that achieves the traditional American goal of extensive citizen participation in the affairs of government.”
What does that mean?
As one of our local Assembly members pointed out, our communities would be a better sister city to Anchorage than being under dominion to it.
Local government decentralization is a long phrase which means a large local government cut into more bite size manageable pieces for its community members.
It doesn’t mean higher taxes, more regulations, incompetent education systems, ineffective and non-responsive representation, and petty bureaucracies. It also doesn’t more costly, and intrusive local government.
Too often, the apprehension of far-reaching implications of decentralization focus on ideas which may be irrelevant to the outcome.
The Eaglexit outcome is “the traditional American goal of extensive citizen participation in the affairs of government” or more commonly known as “Liberty”.
Local government decentralization is our state’s and our nation’s last defense against postmodern neo-Marxism and its excesses in social justice, virtue signaling, and identity politics. This is actively depriving our progeny, our children, our future, of the single benefit of our traditional American goal, individual lifestyle.
When public policy in jurisdictions of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of citizens are regulated through the actions of a small collective hegemony, local policy makers, a city or county or borough assembly, which is controlled by politically non-regulated public sector unions, education and healthcare organizations, the results are obvious, ambient and ubiquitously anti-American.
Control and power are centralized, and prosperity and wealth are redistributed.
The question is do you want to return to the traditional American goal?
Or are you constantly finding yourself insulted because of your beliefs, ridiculed for your actions in support of your beliefs, then as an effort to take action, organize and community activate for a single issue effort only to be denied or patronized by these policy makers and other authorities?
Even worse, if push comes to shove and you end up in court having spent tens of thousands of dollars only to find your issue lost to judicial activism. This is new case law. The consequence of this effectively makes your issue illegal as a matter of law.
We’ve seen it time and time again in Alaska. Some of us are at the point where we’ve hit our heads so repetitiously against the wall, we’ve stopped because the pain has been too much.
The problem with the “Golden Rule” is they, who have the gold, rule. As long as these institutions have control over public policy, public money and public property, our efforts to fight effectively will be scoffed and defeated.
Local government decentralization is an exercise in timing, method, and opportunity. Local government decentralization aims to give citizens and their elected representatives more power in public decision making.
UAA Professor Forrest Nabors stated in his article in Must Read Alaska, “Our American system rests upon the cornerstone of self-government and the belief that if you give people authority and responsibility, they will do a better job of governing themselves.”
He rightly observes when given decentralized authority, greater independence and self-government, people will do a better job of governing themselves than distant bureaucrats.
Professor Nabors goes on, “When delegates to our federal and state conventions drafted their constitutions, they confronted a practical problem. They knew that many communities might not be ready for self-government at that moment. But they foresaw that those communities would grow and mature, and that they ought to be able to cast off outside rule.”
Assembly District 2 is ready “to cast off outside rule” and incorporate its own self-government.
- Provide improved local involvement and control of land-use.
- Maintain and operate a smaller and more accountable school district.
- Allow for a locally controlled public safety sector.
- Protect community tax base through a smaller taxing district and greater local community involvement in tax decisions.
- Limit government to local constituency enabling home-grown representation of the people and creating collaboration between citizens and elected officials.
- Mitigate over-zoning, excessive fees, high density housing, parking, traffic, and unnecessary services.
- Simplify the permitting process.
- Produce an effective and responsive small municipal government.
Visit the website at www.eaglexit.com.