Friday, September 17, 2010

ALERT - Membership Action Needed - Livable Communities Act of 2009

Introduced in August 2009 by Senator Chris Dodd, the Livable Communities Act of 2009 cleared the committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development last month. Senator Dodd has vowed that he will see it passed before he leaves the Senate, and it’s possible that it may come to the floor of the Senate for a vote as soon as next week. Campaign for Liberty asserts that Nancy Pelosi has sufficient votes to pass it in the House, and Obama is certain to sign it if it reaches his desk.

The official summary of the bill is as follows:
Establishes in the executive branch an independent Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities. Requires the OSHC Director to establish a program to make comprehensive planning grants and sustainability challenge grants to eligible entities (partnerships between a consortium of units of general local government and an eligible partner, which may be a metropolitan planning organization, a rural planning organization, a regional council, or a state).

Requires the use of a comprehensive planning grant to carry out a project to:
  1. Coordinate land use, housing, transportation, and infrastructure planning processes across jurisdictions and agencies;
  2. Identify potential regional partnerships for developing and implementing a comprehensive regional plan;
  3. Conduct or update housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy, and environmental assessments to determine regional needs and promote sustainable development;
  4. Develop or update a comprehensive regional plan or goals and strategies to implement an existing comprehensive regional plan; and
  5. Implement local zoning and other code changes necessary to implement a comprehensive regional plan and promote sustainable development.
Requires the use of a sustainability challenge grant to:
  1. Promote integrated transportation, housing, energy, and economic development activities carried out across policy and governmental jurisdictions;
  2. Promote sustainable and location-efficient development; and
  3. Implement projects identified in a comprehensive regional plan. Directs the OSHC Director to study and report to specified congressional committees on incentives for encouraging lenders to make, and home buyers and homeowners to participate in, energy-efficient mortgages and location-efficient mortgages
Details on the bill and related articles can be found here:  Livable Communities Act of 2009

The bill would give the government sweeping authority to oversee new development. The Feds could also use local zoning and other code changes to deciding what your neighborhood looks like by using your tax dollars to bribe state and local governments into forcing your community to fit federal guidelines. It is in direct violation of our principles of smaller government and government as close to the people as possible.

The biggest danger in this bill is that the implementation is left to the bureaucrats that will staff the new federal agencies and write the regulations that implement the law. Once again, unelected bureaucrats working in secret offices will write the rules that affect you. They’ll decide what your neighborhood and your home should look like, how much energy you can use, and how much space you can occupy. All of these things are best left to local control and the free market, but Obama, Reid and Pelosi are all about federal control of every part of your life.

The best place to stop this is with a filibuster in the Senate. Please contact your two Senators and ask them to oppose this bill. Contact information is here:  Online Congressional Directory

Then, please call Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at 202-224-2541 and/or email him (click here), Fax: (202) 224-2499 (Washington D.C. Office) and insist he organize the Republican caucus to filibuster this federal power grab.

Please also call Senator John Thune, Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, at 202-224-2321 and/or email him (click here) , Fax: (202) 228-5429 to demand the Republican caucus adopt opposition to this agenda as its official policy on the Dodd Homeowner Control Act or any similar future attempts.

Jim DeGraffenreid
Douglas County Republican Central Committee Legislative Chair

Editorial Board Note: We ask citizens to be aware that many Congressional offices use Email filtering software that only allows delivery of Email originating in the home districts of the Congress Members.  To ensure your important voices are heard, it is suggested that you either place a phone call to the Washington D.C. office of the official or send a fax to ensure delivery of your message.

Please consider sharing this post with your friends and relatives across the country and asking them to consider voicing their own opinions to their elected officials.

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