After its membership expired in February, the city of more than 200,000 became the latest community to back out of the global scheme. Lawmakers across the nation, the Republican National Committee, and countless activists have warned with increasing urgency that Agenda 21 and ICLEI represent a radical socialist plot at odds with individual liberty and private property rights. Their efforts are now bearing fruit.
As a growing array of experts and organizations throughout America work to expose the global body and its agenda, the number of cities and counties rejecting ICLEI and UN “sustainability” schemes is quickly becoming a stampede. Well over 50 local governments and counties have already expelled ICLEI in recent years, with membership in the international organization declining from over 600 members in America in 2009 to less than 535 today. And the pace is accelerating.
According to recent reports, Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and Mayor Beth Van Duyne officially announced that the city would no longer be a member of ICLEI — effective immediately. The decision comes in the wake of growing activism in Irving and around the state to expose the true nature of the UN’s Agenda 21.
In January, Irving Republican Women’s Club treasurer Joyce Howard spoke to the City Council about ICLEI and asked that Irving cancel its membership in the controversial group. Other concerned citizens joined the battle, too.
Speaking to the Irving City Council recently, Lone Star Tea Party member Robert Kecseg, a financial adviser, asked whether anyone even knew what the letters in ICLEI stood for. Nobody responded. So Kecseg explained — it’s “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives” — and offered a brief summary of the organization and its agenda.
"What this city has joined is an organization that is a political organization founded by the United Nations with a specific agenda," he told the City Council. "When you read a little bit about it and you learn what they're all about, it goes well beyond the wonderful things of ‘green’ this and ‘green’ that."
Kecseg then proceeded to read from official UN Agenda 21 documents that, among other controversial positions, reject private land ownership as contributing to "social injustice" and call for all land use to be determined by authorities under UN guidance. The vast majority of Irving residents, however, hold much different views, he said.
"I'm concerned about my property and I think everyone who owns property should be concerned as well," Kecseg explained as attendees listened intently. "My point is, as representatives, if you're representing the people, you cannot represent at the same time an outside organization such as that."
Kecseg was hardly the only Irving resident to draw attention to the UN scheme. But the activism paid off: The Mayor appeared to take the concerns very seriously, asking Kecseg for a follow-up summary and promising to look into it.
And now, thanks to the hard work of activists, taxpayers in Irving will save well over $1,000 per year in membership dues. Plus, the city government will no longer be paying for the implementation of the UN’s radical Agenda 21. Activists hope its influence will be completely expelled from the community in the coming months.
“Agenda 21 is becoming a hot issue in Texas because of its connection to the United Nations,” noted activist Frank Koch, the founder of the grass-roots group Stop Agenda 21 in Texas working to expose and fight the UN scheme in the Lone Star State. “I applaud Irving, Texas, for having the wisdom to join the growing number of cities rejecting this insidious program. Thank you Tommy Gonzalez and Mayor Beth Van Duyne for your wise decision.”
The so-called “alternative media” celebrated the news, too. “The Achilles Heel of ICLEI is exactly what has been targeted by Tommy Gonzalez, the Irving City Manager, and Mayor Beth Van Duyne; namely that local implementation is susceptible to public pressure and principled local officials who can resist the globalist march into their communities,” wrote Joe Wright in an article about the victory for the Activist Post.
“The resistance must spread, for the world that is planned under the co-opted term of sustainability is nothing short of a futuristic dystopia of people herded into high-density living spaces, rationing of infrastructure and services, removal of personal property rights, and strict government monitoring and control over every aspect of the lives of individuals,” Wright added, citing ICLEI’s own statements. “It is a collectivist model that is distinctly anti-American.”
But as awareness of the UN schemes grows, officials and communities are dumping ICLEI and Agenda 21 in droves. Just in recent weeks The New American has documented several examples. Lawmakers in the Tennessee House of Representatives, for instance, overwhelmingly approved a popular resolution blasting Agenda 21. And Ocean County, New Jersey, passed a similar measure attacking the scheme last month.
“This United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called ‘sustainable development’ views the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms all as destructive to the environment,” the two resolutions explain, echoing a measure adopted earlier this year by the Republican National Committee (RNC).
College Station, Texas, meanwhile, also withdrew from ICLEI recently. “I am truly excited to announce that the proposed 2013 College Station budget will not include funding for this organization,” wrote College Station City Councilman Jess Fields. “It is an insidious, extreme institution that does not represent our citizens, and for our taxpayers to continue to fund it would be ridiculous.” He, too, cited the UN’s own documents in a blistering report exposing Agenda 21.
Of course, as numerous experts have noted, expelling ICLEI is only the first step in ridding any community of Agenda 21 and the influence of controversial UN “sustainability” schemes. Decisions made on the basis of its recommendations must be reversed, boards must be abolished, and care has to be taken to avoid allowing the dangerous measures to creep back into local policymaking.
But according to activists, Irving, College Station, and the dozens of other communities that have already ended their involvement with ICLEI are now on the right track. Even as the UN prepares for its next global summit to build support for its “sustainable development” agenda, resistance in the United States is growing at a phenomenal pace. And Texas appears to be among the states that are leading the way.
Photo: Las Colinas office towers in Irving, Texas