Merrily Mazza is running for re-election to her second term on the Lafayette City Council.
She has served as president of the Colorado Community Rights Network; a board member of East Boulder County United, a local chapter of Colorado’s statewide network; and a city councilor in Lafayette, Colorado, a community of 27,000 located 20 miles north of Denver in Colorado’s Front Range urban corridor (the north/south populated region of Colorado just east of the Rocky Mountain range and extending from Cheyenne, Wyoming, south to Pueblo, Colorado, near the New Mexico border).
Colorado’s Front Range is an oil & gas fracking zone. Like many other communities across the nation, local residents, attempting to protect their health, safety and welfare from toxic industrial activity, have come to the inevitable intersection of democracy and corporate power.
In 2013 Merrily worked with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to craft a local charter amendment. Proposed and helped get on the ballot Colorado’s first local community bill of rights. Lafayette’s Community Bill of Rights and Obligations established the right to community self-government, the rights of ecosystems, and the residents’ right to clean air and water. And it banned all oil and gas development within the city limits as a violation of those rights. The city charter amendment passed with 62% of the vote. The city was immediately sued by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), the industry’s trade and lobbying group in Colorado. State courts sided with COGA.
Earlier this year Merrily proposed Lafayette’s Climate Bill of Rights ordinance which specified a right to a right to a healthy climate and banned fracking as a violation of that right. The ordinance passed and has so far not been challenged by the state or industry.
She has also worked on two state constitutional amendments in 2014 and 2016, both of which would have guaranteed the right to local self-government. (Colorado’s state constitution can be amended by ballot initiative.)