Most of the Tenth Amendment Center‘s efforts since its founding have been focused on opposing the federal government’s usurpation of state, local and individual powers. There are certainly plenty of actions on the part of the federal government in the past century that could fall under that category, with both major parties sharing culpability. Unconstitutional wars, the war on drugs, massive government expansion into health care, education, agriculture…the list could go on and on. However, another threat to local, state and even national sovereignty comes from the international community, specifically the United Nations.

Coming out of the 1992 Rio Summit, Agenda 21 seeks to increase the UN’s power over areas of life ranging from farming practices to housing, all under the guise of environmentally sustainable development. What Agenda 21 really amounts to is a threat to private property rights, free markets and local self-government. Ironically, many towns have been gradually implementing Agenda 21 at the local level through ICLEI, which is an organization of local governments for sustainability. Like many power grabs, it is presented as being for the good of the people, but if one looks at the results of centralization of power at the national level, much less the international level, it is difficult to believe their rhetoric about saving the earth will yield any environmental benefit.

Even the establishment in the Republican Party recently came out with a resolution condemning Agenda 21. Like most good things in American life, however, this did not come about through a massive top-down effort from the Republicans in Congress. It was due to pressure from grassroots organizations, a pressure which has begun to have an effect at the state level.

The social networking sites are abuzz with bits on the push back against Agenda 21 from the bottom up. The Facebook page for Tea Party of Middlesex County, NJ (h/t Beth Kercado) recently shared a link regarding a bill introduced in the New Hampshire House. HB 1634 would ban participation, funding of, or receiving grants from ICLEI within the State of New Hampshire. The bill is currently in committee in the House. While this bill still has a long way to go before final passage, it should be noted that even when certain state sovereignty legislation fails to pass in New Hampshire, other states often take up similar issues in their legislatures, as happened in 2009 with the massive push for Tenth Amendment Resolutions across the country.

While no bill of this type exists in New Jersey, there was a time when no such bill existed in New Hampshire either. Our legislators need to hear from us, and the message must be clear. The agenda of the UN is one of control. Ours needs to be freedom and property rights.

Benjamin W. Mankowski, Sr.

The 10th Amendment

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