Preempted by the state in 2015, the fight for local democracy in Denton lives on
Today, activists in Denton and across the state continue to fight for local control through civil disobedience and advocacy. Denton’s fracking ban has also inspired communities in Colorado and elsewhere to consider similar bans.
See our interactive case study on Denton’s grassroots movement and the ongoing battle against preemption.
Related: NBCnews.com national reporter Zachary Roth’s newest book, The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy, exposes a national campaign to undermine American democracy using preemption and other tactics.“What happened in Denton wasn’t just about oil and gas interests and their outsize influence in Texas’s government. It was also a particularly ruthless example of a new kind of conservative power grab. In recent years, Republican-led states from Arizona to Florida have declared war on local democracy. Backed by deep-pocketed business interests, they’ve launched a coordinated campaign to push state laws that preempt those passed by cities and counties, undermining efforts to protect the environment and public health, help workers, and combat inequality….
“’I think it is the time of greatest risk to local democracy that has probably ever existed,’ Mark Pertschuk of Grassroots Change, which supports local democracy efforts around the country, told me in reference to the push for preemption. ‘I see it as a fundamental threat.'”