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We are all equal.

Newspaper: Teton Valley News / Valley Citizen

We are all equal

Every single member of this community in Teton Valley has the equal opportunity to participate in the Comp Plan process.

Some people pay higher property taxes.  Some people pay little or no property taxes.  Some people rent homes and their landlord pays the taxes.  Every one of those people has the same right to participate in the Comp Plan process and be heard. 

Some people own thousands of acres in the valley.  Some people own 1 acre.  Some people don’t own any land.  Every one of those people has the same right to participate in the Comp Plan process and be heard. 

Some people come from families that have lived here for 5 generations.  Some people moved here.  Some people have lived here 30 years.  Some have lived here 30 days.  Every one of those people has the same right to participate in the Comp Plan process and be heard. 

Over past two centuries, this country has gone through all sorts of struggles to work out who “counts” as a citizen.  Thanks to 19th century voting reforms,  property ownership is no longer a prerequisite for the right to vote.  With the passage of the 14th Amendment, our county no longer recognizes the voting rights of nonwhites as 3/5 of a person, but that of a whole person instead.  Thanks to the voting reforms of the 20th century, you no longer have to be a man, pay a poll tax, complete a religious exam, or pass a literacy test in order to vote. 

There is no caste system for the right to vote.  In order to vote, you must be 18, a U.S. citizen, a resident of the county, and be registered.  Likewise, there is no caste system in community planning.  In order to participate in the Comp Plan, you just need to be a part of the community.

Anna Trentadue

Program Director & Staff Attorney

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development

 

 

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