Archive for April, 2014

Release: Marvin Nichols a fight for all Texans’ local control.

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The following release was sent to over 1500 news outlets throughout Texas today.

Texas Water Development Board Seeks to Overturn Local Control
in Water Planning for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir,
Caring Less for Farm and Timber Jobs in NE Texas

During the campaign for Proposition 6, Texas independents warned voters that the new Texas Water Development Board had become a political tool for Governor Perry and his special interest allies in their efforts to promote uncontrolled population growth. Now, a new independent non-profit citizens lobby – the League of Independent Voters of Texas – is calling out the “new and politically improved” TWDB for its attempt to push the Marvin Nichols Reservoir on Region D, the regional water planning area in NE Texas. Region D and area citizens have long opposed the Marvin Nichols because it would flood 70,000 acres of prime farm and timber land, potentially wreaking havoc on local economies.

Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of DISH and an Interim Director of the League of Independent Voters of Texas who lives in Denton County and Region C said, “There is a conflict in the state water plan between Region D and Region C, which encompasses the DFW area. Rather than resolve the conflict, TWDB tried to move forward for Region C – for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir -- but they ran into a road bump. A court said they had to settle the conflict before moving forward with the project. TWDB’s idea of ‘settlement’ was to order Region D, even before their hearing today and Region C’s hearing tomorrow, to end their opposition now and forever. This is obviously an abuse of state power and portends what is to come. The TWDB is apparently willing to ignore local control in water planning in Texas, plain and simple.”

Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) has tried his best to reason with the TWDB. Simpson recently wrote, “Even the executive administrator has admitted that relying on the Marvin Nichols reservoir is not feasible because it is highly unlikely it can be permitted and built in time to meet the projected needs of DFW Region C. Why, then, has he proposed to eradicate the conflict on paper if it is impractical? Why would he do so prior even to public comment? Besides throwing out local control of planning, his injudicious and unequitable proposal may well cause future investment and development in major industries in Northeast Texas to begin to dry up.”

Linda Curtis, Executive Director of the League of Independent Voters, who lives in Bastrop where citizens, alongside the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, are fighting to hold on to their groundwater in the face of litigation by private water marketers (Forestar Real Estate Group) said, "Politicians often underestimate the extent to which citizens will fight for local control and their heritage. It is time long overdue for the 40% plurality of voters who identify as independents to disassociate with the partisanship that is getting us nowhere. We must now and forever refuse to accept violations of our rights to own and enjoy property, our rights to clean water and air, and our rights to apolitical government."

Citizens across the state are being urged to send the letter at the end of this release, or their own comments, to the TWDB through the comment period ending this Friday, May 2, even if it falls on deaf ears.

The first of 36 “Regional Round Ups” of the League of Independent Voters of Texas will be on Saturday, June 7, starting at 6 pm at the American Legion Hall in Bastrop. The theme of this event is, “Local Control, new Environmentalism…Texas Populism”. It will be a rally for local control and protecting aquifers from increased fracking slated for Bastrop and Lee counties over one of the most sought after aquifers in the state. Mayor Tillman will be a keynote speaker. The League has 36 districts across the state and plans to hold similar events to build its membership before the pivotal 2015 legislative session.

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Dear Texas Water Development Board:

I believe that you are interfering with the rights of Texans to local control and the rights of local communities to have the biggest voice in projects that significantly impact their land, their water and their local economies. I also believe that, in interfering with the rights of all Texans to local control, you are risking a dangerous precedent for all local communities across our state.

In the case of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir, I believe that the Texas Water Development Board is trampling on the rights of citizens and officials in Region D by forcing them to put aside their concerns now and forever, and thereby accept a bad result for themselves and their descendants. How do you ask Texans to virtually give up what makes them Texans in the first place --- the right to question authoritarian leaders who do not have their interests at heart?

I urge you to back off of the Marvin Nichols and listen to the people and leadership in Region D. Their point of view is at least as valuable as those who would deny their voice.

Interfering with the rights of the citizens and officials of Region D will not only worsen the state's water crisis, it will confirm the crisis in confidence in the newly organized Texas Water Development Board. Voters were warned in the campaign for Prop 6 last November that the TWDB had become a politicized agency. I would urge you to not prove those criticisms correct.

John or Jane Q Citizen

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Marvin Nichols Moves Forward, Texans Move Independent

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We formed the new League of Independent Voters last fall because mama told us there'd be days like this.

Remember Mayflower, Arkansas, the little town that suffered a tar sands pipeline breach? Yesterday, they were hit by a deadly tornado and our hearts go out to them. Follow their recovery efforts here.

The Texas Water Development Board is kicking up another deadly storm on all local communities as they seek to assert the state's perceived power over local control. If we don't head 'em off at the pass, the long opposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir in NE Texas will flood 70,000 acres of prime farm and timber land. For what purpose? So Dallas can continue to avoid what everyone in water planning knows is a far more cost-effective way to produce more water than reservoirs that get us 50% evaporation rates. It's called conservation.

This is an abuse of state power -- pure and simple.

The independent-minded Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) in yesterday’s Longview paper here echoes our concerns and says this is way bigger than all the flap about the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) making headlines. The Marvin Nichols is a fight internal to Texas, not a fight with the feds.

What can you do? Do the Texas two-step:

STEP 1:  Go to the little window below and use online letter to send a clear message to the TWDB to back off the Marvin Nichols.

STEP 2:  Saddle up now and join the new League of Independent Voters -- your dues fuels our fight FOR YOU!

[emailpetition id="3"]

Last November a coalition of statewide officials (Republicans and Democrats) together with some of the "Big Green" organizations (Sierra Club, Environment Texas) formed an alliance to pass Proposition 6 based on promises by those in charge to do more conservation. Independents warned the greens that the chickens would come home to roost at the Marvin Nichols Reservoir, the enemy of conservation in Texas. And so it did.

Call it local control, call it new environmentalism...call it Texas populism. It is time now for Texans to unite outside the parties and to move independent. If we can recruit into the League of Independent Voters of Texas 50,000 members (that's only 1% of the 5 million independent Texans) our non-partisan independent voice can be the change agent in the pivotal legislative session in 2015.

That is why we are asking you to become a dues paying member today.

While you're at it, please like and share our new Facebook page too. (See Facebook button on right side of this page.)

If you can get to the Region D hearing in Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday, April 29 at 2 pm, at the Mt. Pleasant Civic Center or to the Region C meeting in Arlington on Wednesday, April 30, at 2 pm at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street. Please bring a rope! That's a cowboy joke you'll be reading more of from us. More info here.

PS MARK YOUR CALENDARS (Central Texas) for our first “Regional Round Up” in Bastrop on Sat., June 7, starting at 6 pm, June 7th. Volunteers are needed now! Call us at 512-213-4511 or email us at Info@IndependentLeagueTX.org

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