Ahlburg urgers Commissioners to withdraw from ICLEI at public meeting

July 26, 2011

Clallam County, WA - On Tuesday, July 26, 2011, during the public comment period of the Clallam County Board of Commissioners meeting starting at 10 a.m., Kaj Ahlburg submitted the request for the County Commissioners to withdraw from ICLEI.

Following is his statement, as submitted:

"Clallam County Board of Commissioners                                                  

Dear Commissioners,

Clallam County for three years has been a dues paying member of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI.  ICLEI exists to promote goals directly opposed to the interests of a rural, resource based county like ours.  This membership is contrary to the interests of this county and its citizens and should be terminated.  This is true regardless of whether there are any cost savings the county may have realized as a result of ICLEI publications it received.

The membership application you submitted stated that as an ICLEI member the county will be governed by the ICLEI Charter.  This Charter includes a commitment to “adopt patterns of production, consumption and reproduction that safeguard Earth’s regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.”  I respectfully submit that the patterns of production, consumption and reproduction of myself, my family and my fellow citizens are not what you have been elected to monitor or change.

ICLEI’s website and publications make clear ICLEI supports the United Nations Agenda 21 for so called ‘sustainable development’.  This includes “changing consumption patterns” and “strengthening the role of … trade unions.”  Perhaps even more worrisome is Agenda 21’s clear hostility to private property and local control over land use decisions, given that it “encourage[s] … communally and collectively owned and managed land” and “national land-resource management plans.” None of these matters are within the purview of what the Board of Commissioners should be focusing on, nor are the goals desirable for our county.

The United Nation’s Habitat Agenda, which is also promoted by ICLEI, has as its stated goal to move people out of rural areas into cities, again a goal directly opposed to the interests of a rural county like ours.

No one can be mistaken about ICLEI being a moderate organization.  Their own strategy document states that they will “pursue more radical solutions” and requires its “members commit to … radical action”. 

It also becomes quite clear when you read ICLEI’s outreach and communications guides that its main goal is to influence people through propaganda toward a predetermined goal, rather than provide balanced and factual information.  They say that “not everyone needs to know every particular detail” and that rather than talking about “scary” topics like global warming ICLEI apologists should talk about “traditional American values” to achieve their stated goals to “change the way people think and feel” and to “change behavior.”  It neither is your job to change how we think and feel nor to change our behavior.

It makes no difference that the county joined ICLEI USA, which is a fully integrated part of the international parent organization and does not diverge from its goals.

I believe Commissioner Doherty when he said a few months ago that the Commissioners when they decided to join were not aware of all the ideological baggage ICLEI membership brings with it.  Many other counties were not aware either.  But as they became aware many other counties have taken the appropriate action: withdraw from ICLEI.  In February this year Carroll County in Maryland and Amador County in California withdrew.  In March, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  In April, Edmond, Oklahoma.  In May, Las Cruces, New Mexico.  In June, Albemarle County, Virginia.  I am aware of at least 10 other cities and counties where efforts to have them withdraw from ICLEI are currently in progress.

Please, do the right thing for the citizens of Clallam County: withdraw from ICLEI and repeal any so called ‘sustainable development’ policies implemented as required by ICLEI membership.  You will be in good company.



Kaj Ahlburg"