Sunday, September 12th, 2010 | Author:

If you search the title of this post, you’ll get hundreds of links and a screen full of rhetoric from both sides.  So like Joe Friday in the old Dragnet show, I adopted a “just the facts, ma’am” mentality.  What follows comes from usually reliable sources, with no comment from me … at least for now.

S1619 summary from Open Congress:

A bill to establish the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, to establish the Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities, to establish a comprehensive planning grant program, to establish a sustainability challenge grant program, and for other purposes.

S1619 status from govtrack.us:

This bill was considered in committee which has recommended it be considered by the Senate as a whole. Although it has been placed on a calendar of business, the order in which legislation is considered and voted on is determined by the majority party leadership. Keep in mind that sometimes the text of one bill is incorporated into another bill, and in those cases the original bill, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned. [Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 6:34AM]

complete Sec. 3 Purposes from the text of S1619 from Thomas, Library of Congress:

[Please Note:  Most of the links from Thomas, Library of Congress, appear to "time out."  If the link doesn't work, go to Thomas.gov, select "bill number" search, and enter S1619 in the search box.]

The purposes of this Act are–
(1) to facilitate and improve the coordination of housing, community development, transportation, energy, and environmental policy in the United States;
(2) to coordinate Federal policies and investments to promote sustainable development;
(3) to encourage regional planning for livable communities and the adoption of sustainable development techniques, including transit-oriented development;
(4) to provide a variety of safe, reliable transportation choices, with special emphasis on public transportation and complete streets, in order to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on foreign oil;
(5) to provide affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities, and to make the combined costs of housing and transportation more affordable to families;
(6) to support, revitalize, and encourage growth in existing communities, in order to maximize the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure and preserve undeveloped lands;
(7) to promote economic development and competitiveness by connecting the housing and employment locations of workers, reducing traffic congestion, and providing families with access to essential services;
(8) to preserve the environment and natural resources, including agricultural and rural land and green spaces; and
(9) to support public health and improve quality of life for the residents of and workers in communities by promoting healthy, walkable neighborhoods, access to green space, and the mobility to pursue greater opportunities.

selected Sec. 4 Definitions from the text of S1619 from Thomas, Library of Congress:

(2) CENSUS TRACT- The term `census tract’ means a small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county, delineated by a local committee of census data users for the purpose of presenting data.

(4) COMPLETE STREET- The term `complete street’ means a street that enables all travelers, particularly public transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians (including individuals of all ages and individuals with disabilities), and motorists, to use the street safely and efficiently.

(5) COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL PLAN- The term `comprehensive regional plan’ means a plan that–
(A) identifies land use, transportation, community development, housing, economic development, environmental, energy, and infrastructure needs and goals in a region;
(B) provides strategies for meeting the needs and goals described in subparagraph (A), including strategies for–
(i) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities;
(ii) reducing growth in vehicle miles traveled, in order to reduce traffic congestion and regional greenhouse gas emissions from transportation;
(iii) encouraging economic competitiveness and economic development; and
(iv) increasing the connectivity of the region by increasing public transportation ridership and improving access to transportation alternatives; and
(C) prioritizes projects for funding and implementation.

(13) LOCATION-EFFICIENT- The term `location-efficient’ characterizes development, housing, or neighborhoods that integrate land use, mixed-use housing and commercial development, employment, and transportation–
(A) to enhance mobility;
(B) to encourage transit-oriented development;
(C) to encourage infill development and the use of existing infrastructure; and
(D) to reduce growth in vehicle miles traveled and the transportation costs and energy requirements associated with ownership or rental of a home.

(23) SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT- The term `sustainable development’ means a pattern of resource use designed to create livable communities by–
(A) providing a variety of safe and reliable transportation choices;
(B) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all income levels, ages, races, and ethnicities;
(C) supporting, revitalizing, and encouraging the growth of communities and maximizing the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure;
(D) promoting economic development and economic competitiveness;
(E) preserving the environment and natural resources;
(F) protecting agricultural land, rural land, and green spaces; and
(G) supporting public health and improving the quality of life for residents of and workers in a community.

(24) TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT- The term `transit-oriented development’ means high-density, walkable, mixed-use development (including commercial development, affordable housing, and market-rate housing) that is within walking distance of and accessible to 1 or more public transportation facilities.

organizations in support of S1619 from MAPLight.org:

American Institute of Architects
American Public Transportation Association
American Public Works Association
Children’s Defense Fund
Habitat for Humanity
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
National Association of Realtors
National Housing Trust
National League of Cities
Policylink
Sierra Club
Trust for America’s Health
U.S. Conference of Mayors
U.S. Green Building Council

public opinion on S1619 from WashingtonWatch.com:

cover page of Agenda 21 from the United Nations:

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

from the UN Agenda 21 preamble:

1.1. Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can – in a global partnership for sustainable development.

from The United Nations Millennium Papers - Issue 2, page 5 [pdf]

Participating in a UN-advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society such as the National Rifle Association, citizen militias and some members of Congress. This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So, we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or smart growth. [or sustainable development or Livable Communities]

from the Bible, New American Standard Version:

But He [Jesus] replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-3)

It was also given to him [the beast, the antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Revelation 13:7-8)

Further reading:

S1619 The Livable Communities Act of 2009, Library of Congress

H.R.4690 Livable Communities Act of 2010, Library of Congress; the House companion bill

Agenda 21 Table of Contents, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Agenda 21, The U.N. Plan for Your “Sustainable” Community biblical analysis by Berit Kjos, 1998

UN Agenda 21 – Coming to a Neighborhood near You political analysis by Scott Strzelczyk and Richard Rothschild at The American Thinker, 2009

The Bible, NASB, Book of Revelation, Chapter 13

The Bible, NASB, Book of Daniel, Chapter 2

The bible, NASB, Book of Daniel, Chapter 7

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