Laura Kelley’s Address to the Assembly

What I would like to say to the Assembly of Delegates
if given the opportunity about passing The Bill of Rights
written for Barnstable County

spoken by Laura Kelley of North Eastham

I am requesting a vote of 66% or more from the Assembly of Delegates to pass the BOR which

~ won’t add any costs to you or our county or anyone

~ won’t add any more duties for you or a town or anyone

~ won’t give you more responsibility or a town or anyone

The Bill of Rights is a TOOL to be added to the tool box.

It is not a law or regulation and it does not say anything about enforcement of any kind

It will give more ‘bite’ if and when we ever need to protect our natural resources on Cape Cod.

There are over 200 other counties or towns throughout our Country that have written something similar, listing their specific needs where they reside. This is not new, it may be new to us but it has been working ‘for the people’ for a long time now. It is a protective process if put into place.

On February 17th, 2016 a dozen Cape residents came to the Assembly of Delegates with a request that is an improvement to the Barnstable County Charter. By adding this Bill of Rights it will give us more ‘standing’ when our water is threatened by herbicides or radiation or whatever may occur that could bring potential contamination to our drinkable water here.

The BoR was written by Cape residents specifically for Barnstable County.

How did this come about? I, Laura Kelley, enrolled into a Democracy school called CELDF ( 3 years ago in Western Mass that taught how to write Rights, Ordinances, Laws and by-laws. I learned so much I brought the teachers to Cape Cod, rented out the Preservation Hall in Wellfleet and invited a dozen diverse Cape citizens who were interested in local laws to be a part of this learning process.

Upon completing the school we realized we could really help protect our future by adding this Bill of Rights to our County Charter. So we took the time to come together for up to a year to list what we felt was most necessary to protect our natural resources here. Thus, in return it will protect the health of people for generations to come.

The Bill of Rights will give our County more ‘standing’ with issues we can’t even imagine today.

All I am asking is the Assembly of Delegates allow the Bill of Rights to pass by 66% so it can get onto the Ballot in November in order for all Cape voters to decide for themselves if they wish to live by it or not. We have a right to clean drinking water, don’t we? We have a right to farm organically, don’t we? This isn’t about religion or race, we all drink from the same aquifer so we are all in this together.

On March 2nd, 2016 #18 Cape Codders spoke in support of the BOR to the Assembly. It was tabled that day to be voted on by the Assembly very soon.

If the Assembly of Delegates passes the Bill of Rights it will show they are listening enough to care to do all they can to protect the health and livelihoods of their citizens.

If the Assembly doesn’t allow this to pass, it will be a reflection that they are not willing to do what they can to help protect us with the unforeseen or the unfamiliar we don’t understand today.

Prior to their voting, I wish to thank them for the understanding of forethought, for the betterment of our future for us all who live and roam on Cape Cod. The protection of our future is in your hands now, we are counting on you to do the right thing and allow the BOR to get onto the Ballot in November.