The battle between corporations and real people seems to invading every inch of America, and Brooksville, Fla., is the next location where this fight is being waged.
At the center of the debate is a piece of undisturbed land north of Fort Dade Avenue on Cortez Boulevard.
CEMEX corporation wants to blast the location into an open-pit mining operation, which opponents say will devalue their property, and pollute their water and air, while failing to add a “single job” to the community.
The only thing currently stopping CEMEX from being the next corporation to profit from open-pit mining is the Hernando County Planning Commission, which must first grant an exception to zoning laws that prohibit industrial mining on the 728 acres of privately owned land that CEMEX would be leasing for the next 20 years.
What some members of the community are questioning is why a corporation should be granted special treatment?
DeeVon Quirolo, who helped organize Neighbors Against Mining (NAM) and started an online petition to stop the CEMEX mining operation, said in a recent email, “This is really an uphill battle.”
Quirolo also said that it’s “crazy to think that you would have open pit mining so close to an historic town like Brooksville and across from a hospital.”
The big question is whether or not the Planning Commission will side with the people of the community who oppose granting the land use exception, or CEMEX corporation?
This is where the nationwide battle of real people against artificially created corporate “people” is being fought, one town at a time.
According to Open Secrets, CEMEX spent more than $7 million on lobbying between 2007 and 2013, and has so far this year, added another $328,600 to that influence.
Neighbors Against Mining is a grassroots organization with few financial resources.
So, this may indeed be a test of the fundamentals of democracy vs. money and the influence it can buy.
The Planning Commission Hearing for the CEMEX land use exception will be held at the Hernando County Government Center at 20 N. Main Street in Brooksville, on Monday, July 14th. The meeting begins at 9 am.
For more information, call (352) 754-4002.
Hernando County residents are encouraged to attend if they would like to have their voices heard on this issue.
Author’s note: The opinions and commentary included in this report are based on the author’s original reporting and independent analysis of public information.
Related: Hernando residents start petition to stop new mining operation