Democracy starts at the bottom, not at the top. Every Cedar Countian here at the bottom, needs to see “Right to Harm,” screening Thursday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m., at the Opera House Theater, 105 N. Main Street, El Dorado Springs.

This timely film exposes the devastating public health impact factory farming has on many rural citizens throughout the United States, people like us, considered disadvantaged. Filmed across the country, the documentary chronicles the failures of state agencies to regulate industrial animal agriculture.

Known formally as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – or CAFOs – these facilities produce millions of gallons of untreated waste that destroys the quality of life for nearby neighbors. Fed up with the lack of regulation, these disenfranchised citizens band together to demand justice from their legislators. In our case, our Cedar County Commission, as part of a small coalition, filed a lawsuit on Aug. 19, alleging Senate Bill 391 is unconstitutional and does not operate to rescind previously adopted county health ordinances. SB 391 became law on Aug. 31. The next scheduled hearing for our case is Dec. 9 in Jefferson City.

The people of Cedar County salute our county commissioners for courageously standing up for our country lifestyles, our health, our clean air and water, and our property values, after our state legislators threw us under the bus and Governor Parson enthusiastically signed SB 391 into law.

I have yet to meet anyone who wants to live 2,000 feet from 17,499 hogs forced to exist in concentrated conditions, smell the stench of decaying carcasses and untreated liquid manure spread just 50 feet from their property line and breathe airborne particulate manure.

Panelists familiar with the failures of our state agencies and expertise in dealing with the impact of CAFOs will speak and answer questions following the screening.

Reserve free tickets online now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/right-to-harm-documentary-screening-tickets-78017926719. At the Opera House Theater outside ticket window, show your printed ticket or the ticket saved to your Smart phone.

The only power stronger than corporate power is people power. It is up to we the people to hold our elected officials accountable.

Democracy starts at the bottom; show up, learn, speak up.

Cheryl Y. Marcum Cedar Countian for Local Control

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