Should a few elected officials in one town have the power to approve huge corporate-owned factory farms whose environmental impact will be felt by an entire region or state?
Maybe not. But they often do. And it’s one more example of why local elections matter.
Local officials in the town of Fremont, Nebraska, population 26,500, are in favor of letting Costco build the biggest chicken factory farm operation in the U.S. Costco’s project will be disastrous for Nebraska waterways, and for all those Nebraskans who depend on clean water.
And then there’s the toxic and foul air neighbors living near the 100 chicken barns sprinkled throughout the state will be forced to smell and inhale.
In the seaside town of Belfast, Maine, population 6,668, town officials are enthusiastically behind plans by Norway-based Nordic Aquafarms to tear up 40 acres of forest in order to build a $550-million land-based salmon factory farm—even though the company can’t provide a straight answer as to how much of the region’s water it will suck up for its operations, or what it will feed the fish. Most feed for factory farm fish creates foul waste (which has to end up somewhere), not to mention producing a toxic factory farm food for humans.
OCA is working behind the scenes to provide support, including legal advice, to the citizens in Fremont and Belfast who are standing up for the right to a clean environment and strong, healthy, local food economy.
But make no mistake—it’s not easy to challenge local elected officials who get all starry-eyed when giant corporations come in with big promises and big lies. That’s why our 501(c)(4) lobbying arm, Citizens Regeneration Lobby, is working to identify strong local candidates and to encourage people like you to support them.
We can do this. But we’ll have to work together. Work hard. And work fast.