Introduction: College Station Withdrawing from ICLEI
At last Thursday’s council meeting, I proposed to the council to withdraw College Station’s membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) – an international organization founded in 1990 by the United Nations. Our city has been paying somewhere north of $1,000 to be a member of this organization, yet it is not to be found anywhere within the budget. Few have ever heard of ICLEI, and fewer still know that College Station has actually been a member since 2009.
I am truly excited to announce that the proposed 2013 College Station budget will not include funding for this organization. It is an insidious, extreme institution that does not represent our citizens, and for our taxpayers to continue to fund it would be ridiculous.
I applaud our management staff for their thoughtful decision to agree to withdraw from ICLEI in the next budgetary year. In particular, I’d like to thank Jason Stuebe, Assistant to the City Manager, for his extraordinarily thorough research into this and many other topics. Our staff has made the right decision here.
I also want to thank a citizen, Mary Oliver, for her steadfast efforts to bring this issue to my attention over the past couple of years. Without her interest in the subject this might not have been possible. College Station is blessed to have citizens like her who care about what goes on with their local government.
Before I knew that our staff would agree to withdraw from ICLEI, I had begun writing a primer on what this organization is and does, as well as some notes on its history and founders. Because ICLEI is an international organization that seeks to impose its policies at all levels of government, and because its policies have been adopted by many local governments, we must be aware of what it is and what it seeks to do, as well as guard ourselves for any future actions to involve ourselves in their initiatives.
This article, therefore, is intended to give a view into what ICLEI is and what its aims are. Given the new information about our withdrawal from ICLEI, let it serve as an explanation to our citizens why this organization is a threat to our individual rights and our local government’s sovereignty in decision-making.
ICLEI’s History and Its Founders
Before even beginning to consider ICLEI’s ideas and policies, and the implications thereof, the history must be understood. ICLEI has a history spanning more than two decades. Along with that history, the key figures behind the organization should be considered.
The history of ICLEI is given rather succinctly on its own website, which can be found here. The first paragraph of “the ICLEI story” is below:
ICLEI was conceived in 1989 when 35 local government leaders from Canada and the USA met with a leading atmospheric scientist to discuss the depletion of the ozone layer. They pledged to establish local laws to phase out chemicals that deplete the Earth’s ozone layer. Larry Agran, Mayor of Irvine, California, USA and Jeb Brugmann imagined an agency that could coordinate local government responses to global environmental problems.
One question immediately comes to mind: who are Larry Agran and Jeb Brugmann? They must be important to the history of ICLEI, considering that they are the first two people mentioned by name on its history page. Actually, there are only three people mentioned on that entire page. Therefore, getting a sense of who these individuals are, and more specifically, what they believe, would perhaps give us some insight on the organization….”