California cities want independence and some fish want legal value

in December 17th, 2021

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California cities trying to avoid state law

Mon Nov 29

Tired of U.S. laws? Throw them out and make a new set! That’s kind of what one California city did last month, declaring itself a “constitutional republic.” In its simplest terms, a constitutional republic is a state that limits the government’s power by having its people vote in official leadership — e.g., the United States. That said, the city of Oroville’s recent vote doesn’t do much since they are not attempting to secede from the state (or country).

As such, the resolution is nothing but symbolic. Oroville’s declaration follows protests against the state’s strict COVID-19 restrictions, such as the most recent requirement that all schoolchildren must be vaccinated. Oroville’s 6-1 vote attempted to override this vaccination rule, even though the state — not its cities — controls schools.

What's more interesting is the growing number of sanctuary cities (SCs), a different trend picking up in California. This particular status under federal law allows sanctuary cities to prioritize solving local problems with local resources and limit the extent to which they support federal immigration law. Though, becoming a sanctuary city is being put to other uses as well:

  • Keeping businesses open during lockdown. The two California cities that did so, however, were stripped of emergency COVID-19 funding as a result.
  • Enabling looser gun laws. One town declared themselves a SC in 2019 and asked for exemption from the “unconstitutional regulation” of guns in the state. They cited reduced tourism from neighboring Arizona and Nevada (where gun laws are less strict) as a primary reason for the move.

Fishy distinctions are threatening freshwater ecosystems

Tue Oct 26

As it turns out, some fish are more “valuable” than others — and a fish’s desirability to humans determines their fate. For example, one can legally fish for sport and leave behind a large pile of the dead fish as long as the fish are the undesired types.

What even makes a fish valuable? As of now: their visual appeal, how challenging they are to catch, and how they taste. Problem is, these definitions were determined primarily by White men who catch fish for sport. But to everyone else — especially Indigenous, Black, and immigrant communities — the remaining undesirable fish are desired as precious food sources and as a important part of the ecosystem. However, the laws do not extend protection to those fish, threatening the biodiversity of our freshwater ecosystems and access to them.

In fact, 83% of California’s native fish are now in decline. That’s why a new study seeks to redefine desirability, grant legal protections to critical fish, and conduct further research. Learn how to help in this week's action below.

Below The Fold Bytes

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The Next Bitcoin: Unvaxxed Sperm

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🎬 Action of the Week 

All fish deserve legal protections, whether considered desirable or not. Wanton waste laws can specifically help by no longer allowing such intentional and negligible waste. Contact your local representatives about enacting wanton waste laws for the fish in your area.

This Week's Resources

  • LA Times: Oroville’s declaration 25 days old | 14 minutes long
  • Kiddle: Constitutional republics 1 minute long
  • LA Times: Cali SCs lose funding 4 months old | 14 minutes long
  • Fox News: SC for gun exemptions 7 months old | 8 minutes long
  • The Counter: The "value" of fish 2 months old | 14 minutes long
  • Vox: Fish for minorities 6 months old | 18 minutes long

ASCII-ing About the News

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You know this declaration doesn’t exempt state law, right?

Keep palm and carry on avoiding those mask mandates!

Art Credit: Christopher Johnson

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