Sustainable Development Goals: Local Chokeholds

My dear fellow Americans, recently the American Policy Center (APC) published my article concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) on a local level. Thank you for all the feedback I’ve received. This article will give you a first-person account of what happened as a result of practicing citizen activism. Read, share and let’s band together!


A Local’s Experience.

As many of you may know, I make it a point to speak up in my local government as much as I can. Currently, the town of Mooresville, NC, is conducting a series of town meetings to invite citizens to weigh in on the latest comprehensive planning efforts. 

Now, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I’ve reported Mooresville is in the thick of becoming a United Nations (UN) hub. You also know that I’ve shared how the town has been a pilot for the massive amounts of student data harvesting and tracking; inclusive housing (meaning to create housing for the workforce), and other items which fit right into the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Machine. However, Mooresville is hardly alone in its efforts to become a cookie cutter hotbed of conformity.

When I attended the first citizen meeting, it was held at a citizen center. The meeting room was laid out in almost a maze-like pattern of stations.

Upon walking in the door, there was a place to make a name tag for yourself as well as fill out a short survey which included your address, email, income level and whether you owned or rented a home. You were given a one-page flier at this table which laid out the context: hands-on, interactive conversations where one could share their desires for making the town a place to live, work, learn and play.

As soon as you left that table, you were guided to the first of ten stations. At the first station, you were given three poker chips and a choice between six flowerpots.

Each pot was described by the leader of the entire city project: a non-resident who was hired by the town to head up the “Mooresville Tomorrow” project*. 

The department which hired “Mack” (not his real name) is the Planning and Community Development Department. As Mack introduced us to the concept for our time together, he shared that the focus was to help the town shape its goals and strategies for the future. He also shared that Mooresville “had” to do this. 

I asked why and was told that no matter what town or city Mack goes to, he helps guide plans to fit zoning and rezoning efforts. Again, I asked why this is necessary. The answer I received is a big clue for you to inquire about in your town/city or area (in the U.S. and across the world): state laws (federal and regional, too) require every local municipality to have zones. 

If those zoning laws are not met, funding gets cut and citizens could suffer. So Mack told me, almost comically, in response to my questions, “It’s the law.” I sensed trouble. Any hope of weighing in on what I wanted my tax dollars to support and not being pre-selected for me went out the door.

(*Note: The Mooresville Tomorrow project appears to be an extension of the already approved and in the works “Mooresville One” Plan, which is a comprehensive combination of turning a historic town into a modern, fifteen-minute mess. Some of the same images and plots show up in both.)

This leads me back to the 6 flowerpots. None of the options were something I would even consider worth investing in.

Pot #1: Access to the local lake (the description stated that as a group, town residents highly value the lake and its environmental/recreational benefits). Planning ahead means more rack and stack apartments are built near the lake, maintaining public access is a must. 

I must point out that this lake is the chief water source for the entire area, especially within the town limits. (This pot’s purpose totally glosses over the fact that the lake being built around has been suspected and investigated for causing a tremendously high rate of all types of cancer in the area. Additionally, many citizens do not use the lake or care to access it, because they have their own environment and recreational needs met at their choosing.)

Pot #2: Fostering development of walkable multi-use centers. (This was described as a way to meet the changing needs of workers and households so that a balance between urban and traditional spaces can mesh. The example given was to re-create Charlotte NC’s City Center in Mooresville. The future holds that new development will be built this way while older neighborhoods are redeveloped.)

Pot #3: Focusing on regional and internal mobility connections (in other words, how can traffic become less about your car? How can you travel using more public transportation or by becoming more pedestrian?).

Pot #4: Providing opportunities for developing new housing choices (First off, housing is a defined market including mobile homes, single family homes, apartments and condominiums. So, this begs the question, what other type of housing is there?). 

The description for this pot stated that after several attempts to have affordable housing for the workforce, this is a must to cut down on the 70 percent who commute to work. I can attest that of the new rack/stack apartments, rent starts out at well over $1,000 a month, a number well above what many limited income residents can afford. This counts those gainfully employed as well as those who are being forced out of their single-family homes and into rental properties.

So, is this really about housing “choices,” or reducing your travel?


Pot #5: Leveraging utility and transportation investments to support economic and housing development (described as the city government having been “fortunate” to have more than $1.1 billion in public transportation funds.) These funds are between local bonds (bonds are deferred taxation schemes), state and federal funds. So, the future means we must address new infrastructure.

Note: Any city, town, state or federal entity which holds economics first, over people, is fascist. Go back and read the pot’s point: “economic and housing,” not housing and economic. Also note that if you meet anyone who drives in this part of NC, they will attest that the road planning which exists is scarce. This issue is in immediate need of being addressed, well before anything in the future!

Pot #6: Expanding quality of life through green spaces (the description revealed that town residents have identified parks and trails as important. More greenways and civic spaces are important. Again, Charlotte is the example.)

Note: The problems with using Charlotte as an example are:

  1. a) major population difference, 
  2. b) major city vs town, 
  3. c) Charlotte is among the Climate Mayors.

Over 500 U.S. cities, including Mooresville, are represented. Since the group’s beginning, regardless of local elections, the cities remain on the list. If your town/city is on the list: watch out. Additionally, if you live outside the U.S., The Global Covenant of Mayors, which represents close to 13,000 cities (including at least 185 American cities), is also worth looking into.

The Other Stations.

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, you’re probably wondering when the education component of this will be revealed, since that’s my blog’s purpose. Trust me, we will get there, and it will be something you may not expect in regard to SDGs.

However, let me tell you a bit more about the stations.

For station two of the remaining nine, we were given red and green dot stickers, and we were coached into using them to show our preference for the types of neighborhoods we would prefer. 

There were duplexes (we currently have plenty), row houses (tiny homes), mixed-use neighborhoods (we’re being overrun with these), rack and stack apartments (we are seeing massive amounts of trees and land destroyed for these), and single family homes with postage stamp sized yards (1/4 acre or smaller, no garage and no front yard). 

There was also an option to choose a single-family home with a “large yard,” meaning a garage, front and back yard not to exceed 1/2 acre. So, for all the town’s original city plots, which are well over 1/2 an acre, what is to become of them? What about the homes which occupy these large lots?

In each of the options we were given to choose from, no outward expansion would exist. Instead, homes would be stacked, anywhere from one to three stories for mixed use and homes. Apartments would grow taller. Existing building codes prohibit really tall buildings, yet we’re already seeing projects being considered of six or more stories! 

In some of the other stations, you were to choose between where you’d spend your money locally, under this new footprint. You were to pick out what type of greenspace was best, and what changes you’d make to the town based on all the travels and places you’ve lived. Additionally, you were to share your personal thoughts as to why all this change is or isn’t a good thing. 

The biggest elephant in the room, however, was Station 5. This station consisted of a roundtable with a picture of home in the middle, six destinations surrounding it and piles of purple (public transportation), red (bike), blue (walk) and yellow (car) yarns. The instructions told you to use the color yarn to denote which would be your choice for traveling for a purpose. Note that travel was not to be for pleasure, but for tasks.

If you ever needed an illustration of being hemmed in, this table certainly showed it.

Where the SDGs Come Out to “Play.”

After I got home, I knew I had to find out what company the town had hired to orchestrate this symphony of an agenda. As it turned out, it was the APA (American Planning Association). Mack is one of their certified AICPs (American Institute of Certified Planners). The AICPs are progressive in their tactics. They also go to towns and cities all around the country. APA’s tagline is “Creating Great Communities for All.” Their 2024 top priority is “zone reform” * to address the “housing crisis.”

Meanwhile the AICPs are actively seeking to align themselves to the cities, counties and regions under the guise of “sustainable development.” When you consider that the APA is in full support of (and actively creating) “green communities,” the writing is on the wall.

(*Note: among the reforms being considered in zoning is the use of AI, artificial intelligence. On the Kuby Team blog, you can read about the dangers this brings to every family. In essence, where you live is controlled by a computer, not your personal choice.)

Here’s the “smoking gun” about the American Planning Association: they are a key contributor to the UN Economic and Social Council’s High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development! (*Note: if you are reading this outside the U.S., you not only have seen meetings like I described, but you can now see where your zoning and governments are intersecting the SDGs under your nose.)

When you access the “key contributor” link, scroll down and you’ll see that the SDG #4 lists education first in regards to the APA’s support and devotion to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Be sure to note the other items connected to education. APA also has articles you can read on their blog about zoning, including fifteen-minute cities, twenty-minute suburbs and more.

Bonus Resources for Your Research and Activism in Fighting the SDGs.

1) Here’s a link to the ICC, International Code Council (where it’s revealed that education is impacted not only by the buildings, but what’s taught inside those buildings, when it concerns teaching future planners).

While the ICC’s “international” aspect doesn’t cover every single country outside the U.S., it also uses these same codes for every state of the U.S. ICC also holds the IZC (International Zoning Codes). This is only available in a purchased book form; however, I did find a link which describes the IZC as arranging compatible buildings and land uses; establishing provisions for use in the interest of social and economic welfare of the community. The ICC and IZC promote uniformity in where you live and how you live.

2) The UN’s SEZs (Special Economic Zones) from the World Investment Forum’s website (you’ll see lots of regionalism in adherence to the SDGs).

3) From the SDC (Sustainable Development Code): “Green Zones” which are used by local governments to adhere to the SDGs.

4) “Upzoning” (the ability for the local government to change existing codes for taller buildings or more buildings than historically allowed) in order to adhere your town to the SDGs.

5) From the World Green Building Council, their promotion of dense cities with “green buildings” for health. Almost every SDG is involved in either your inside living or what happens immediately outside the building or further out in the community. If you visit their website, be sure to read how Harvard University joins them in believing it is buildings which help shape our health.

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Lynne Taylor

Lynne M Taylor (aka Common Core Diva) is a published writer, speaker, media guest and freedom loving American. She’s married with 3 grown children and resides in North Carolina.