Citizens for Local Governance (CLG) is a Texas general use political action committee comprised of concerned Denton-area citizens. CLG ranks include leaders of citizen volunteer groups, service clubs, charitable organizations and representatives from civic boards and commissions, school boards, churches, social organizations, home owners associations, parent-teacher associations, and environmental groups who believe local control is critical to the ability of municipal and county governments to serve their residents effectively.
This group has been created in response to the local activism of Rising Tide, an international organization that not only advocates and mounts acts of civil disobedience but also trains others to participate in illegal activities. Through its local chapter, Blackland Prairie Rising Tide, this organization seeks to influence Denton's public policy, to make it consistent with Rising Tide's single-focus national agenda.
To achieve its mission, the Rising Tide is attempting to secure seats on the Denton City Council by recalling the City Council member from District 4 and electing candidates sympathetic to the Rising Tide cause. If elected, those individuals would both impact public policy at the Council level and, through their powers of appointment, influence decision-making on Boards and Commissions
WHAT IS HAPPENING:
Rising Tide was founded in 2000 in the Netherlands. Its first direct action in the U.S. came in 2006, the blockading of a coal-fired power plant in Virginia. Rising Tide emerged in Denton about six years ago, when it began establishing a core unit of volunteers in anticipation of a city-wide initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing. Our community, which lies in the heart of the Barnett Shale, was ripe for such an effort, in part, because of industry pressure to expand gas-well drilling within the city limits.
Support for the fracking ban soon included both a broad spectrum of Denton citizens and an amalgamation of outside interests, including International Socialist Organization, Earth Justice, which is based in Washington, D.C., offshoots of the Occupy movement, and other outside organizations whose goals, missions and activities encompass far more than just opposition to the fracturing of gas wells.
Some of these organizations, including Rising Tide, actively support the use of illegal acts as a tool to garner media attention for their activities.
The local movement included a varied collection of individuals, ranging from Rising Tide activists and those want to ban all fracking everywhere, to local conspiracy theorists, to those who simply want current state laws, which were written pre-Barnett Shale, to catch up to today's technology and provide modern health-and-safety protections for homes and businesses, especially in urban settings.
Most local Denton voters who supported the fracking ban had no idea about the extent of outside forces at work on the initiative. Many people of good conscience were taken in by individuals expertly trained to play on genuine concerns.
We are concerned about the foothold this and other outside groups are attempting to establish in our community through current activities, including a push to gain control of the Denton City Council. The CLG recognizes that the City’s history of respect for diverse opinions is under threat in upcoming city elections. Extremist politics do not fix our streets, empty our garbage, clean our water, protect our neighborhoods or provide myriad other daily services for which the City is responsible.
The CLG believes city government must represent all citizens it serves. We urge Denton citizens to be aware of those behind the recall of the District 4 Council member and to vet fully all candidates in the District 5 and District 6 contested races in the upcoming municipal election. Information provided here, including links, will help voters do just that.