What if we told you that ACTORS were being used to help NH’s 9 Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) spread their sustainability propaganda to NH towns on behalf of the corporations, NGOs, special interest groups, and federal government agencies (HUD/EPA/DOT) for whom they now seem to work?
You would probably accuse us of concocting a conspiracy.
But this is no conspiracy and it’s certainly not a theory. You couldn’t make this up!
Up until now, few in NH had ever heard of these shadowy well-funded taxpayer supported agencies that operate in a sort of gray area, denying having any authority, yet threatening to replace local control with regionalism while using your tax dollars to lobby for more power.
In the past, few knew what an RPC was, or what it did, let alone about any of its public listening events. And it is no wonder, since these boards are unelected and enjoy little oversight by the legislature or the voters.
Those few who are beginning to wake up, and who consequently are showing up at their Charrettes and Listening Sessions have been asking good questions and bringing up subjects that the RPCs just haven’t anticipated.
And so it’s no wonder that the producers of these Delphi Sessions have decided their “facilitators” must undergo more training to learn how to better deal with and deflect the ideas of these challengers.
In case you still are unaware of these unelected boards known as Regional Planning Commissions, know that they are duly authorized state governmental agencies under NH RSA 36.
RPCs have ideas to sell, ideas they want towns to incorporate into their master plans. These ideas come directly from the federal government. Such is the case with the Granite State Future program, deceptively billed as a “community-based program starting with a public dialogue about what we want for the future of our communities, our regions, and our state.” The majority in the “community” usually have no idea about any public dialogue, and they aren’t the ones who came up with the ideas presented, even when they are aware.
In order to satisfy HUD grant conditions that the public be made aware of and approve of these plans, the RPCs enlist public relations firms such as Action Media, to “facilitate” the few who attend their listening sessions. They are able to gain token approval by engineering the meetings and presenting the findings as a consensus. A recent report bragged about how 600 NH residents had participated in these listening sessions across NH which in reality is a very small percentage of the population.
From Action Media’s website we see them brag of being the masters of the guaranteed outcome:
“Action Media provides communications for positive social change. Our clients’ work is about power: how are resources used, and who gets to decide? Our work is about the power of communications to shift the advantage, to mobilize support and neutralize opposition.
We address a wide range of issues, mostly relating to the built and natural environment: how we use our land, how we live together, and what we do with our resources. Our recent and current work includes issues of clean water, the food system, community development, land conservation and land-use planning, housing, transportation, energy, and civic engagement – our capacity to be a self-governing people.”
This my friends, is classic Delphi Technique.
If the ideas introduced by the RPCs had come from the community, why are facilitators from companies like Action Media needed to steer the conversations at public listening sessions?
So what is going on behind the scenes?
Under the guise of “sustainability” towns are asked to urbanize their neighborhoods and restrict building on rural land, among other things. The carrot for the towns to adopt new zoning to allow for these plans is grant money from HUD (Housing and Urban Development — a federal agency of questionable legality). While it is true that residents decide at town meetings what zoning options will be adopted or changed, this may not be so in the future, as legislation is pending, supported by the RPCs to allow selectboards and councils to make these decisions.
Just which special interest groups are propping HUDs foreign-inspired agenda? Groups such as the “Sustainable Communities Network” which promotes the Agenda 21-inspired federal “Partnership for Sustainable Communities”, are the driving force behind federal government grants. The monies procured by the RPCs are dangled in front of the towns in return for following through on the RPCs’ “recommendations”. But once a contract is signed with HUD, recommendations become mandates.
Recently Smart Growth America sent out this alert about the release of a new study that will conveniently shore up its goals:
“Join us for the launch of Measuring Sprawl 2014. Smart Growth America and the Metropolitan Research Center will hold an online event to detail the findings of the new report and to discuss growth strategies with communities highlighted in the new analysis. Join us for this free event on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM EDT.”
The term “sprawl” is simply the terminology of propaganda that seeks to put single family home ownership in disfavor. Claiming that compact neighborhoods and public transportation reduce global warming, the group pushes for “walkable cities”, and “vehicle miles traveled” taxes. Recently an attempt was made to tax the residents of Dover based on the square footage of their “impervious surfaces” (roofing, driveways, parking lots, and walkways).
When we look at Action Media, we see that Smart Growth America and the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Leadership Institute are both among its clients.
Carsey Leadership Institute is the corporate foundation running out of our taxpayer funded UNH. This seems to be the umbrellas that includes all the groups that promote the “smart growth, new urbanism” agenda.
From the Smart Growth website we also learn that Plan NH is an affiliated NGO in NH. According to their mission, they are a “Foundation for Shaping the Built Environment (Plan NH), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 1989.” Special interests (pay-to-play businesses) abound in their list of officers and members. This seems to be where the bridge is made between certain commercial interests and government money.
And now that the sell is becoming more difficult, ACTORS have been called in to train facilitators on how to better handle the “tough participant” that may show up at meetings and ask the tough questions…
This is an invitation to the actual workshop from “The Facilitation Laboratory” slated to take place on April 28th and May 5th sponsored by UNH, Carsey Institute, and UNH Theatre and Dance:
What does it say when the government has to get ACTORS to impose its will upon the people? How do you feel about the unholy alliances and influences of NGOs and private foundations using your tax dollars to impose the will of outsiders upon your town? How do you like certain pay-to-play companies getting all the benefits of new projects that are concocted while you watch your property, travel, energy, water, and educational rights be trampled?
Still want to cry conspiracy? We could not have cooked up a better one. Unfortunately this is reality.
For more information, please visit Granite State Future(s), a website and blog that examine the situation as it unfolds in NH and across the nation. The website and blog are a product of ‘we the people’, a group of concerned citizens who understand the goal of central planning and regionalism and how those ideas are working toward an end that is detrimental to human rights.
Addendum of October 2, 2014: Sign up for a training session for Saturday November 15, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM in Claremont.