Update From GRIC Against Loop 202/No South Mountain Freeway Crew!
We have recently learned that the progress to bring the South Mountain 202 extension onto or near our borderlands is moving much faster than we thought.
At this time, we are asking for our supporters to connect with their networks and to help us spread the word that NO BUILD is a realistic, very viable option.
The surveys that the GRIC Transportation Technical Team distributed in the Community over the last several months were not worded in a way that mentioned or promoted NO BUILD. In our grassroots outreach in GRIC, we are encountering the attitude of “the freeway is going to come anyway”. We must combat that attitude. Documents from ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) clearly state “GRIC has sole authority to decide if and where a freeway might be studied and built on its land. Not building a freeway remains an option. If this option is selected, the proposed project would not take place.”A voter initiative is circulating in the Community that rejects the GRIC (on-reservation) alignment. For signatures to be valid, signers must be 1) enrolled GRIC members and 2) registered to vote in GRIC elections. If you are not already registered to vote in GRIC, please take the time to register by calling or writing Tribal Elections.
GRIC Tribal Elections Program
P.O. Box 2204
Sacaton, AZ 85147
We need supporters to vote on the initiative. We will send updates to alert you on when elections are taking place.
However,, as we must keep in mind. We also need to reject the E1/Pecos alignment which blasts through Muhadag Do’ag/South Mountain. We are awaiting the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) from HDR Engineering, Inc., a company that is contracted by the Arizona Department of Transportation to complete the EIS. Once the EIS is out, the Community will have 45 days to review and comment on the EIS. We will need our supporters to voice their opposition to the 202 extension during this comment period. In the meantime, Community members can put pressure on council representatives to uphold the 2000 and 2005 GRIC resolutions which both stated that Gila River does not want the 202 built.Please forward this email to your contacts, and invite them to join our mailing list, keeping in mind that the comment period for the EIS is open to all supporters, O’odham and non-O’odham.
Details will be forthcoming on other 202 resistance measures for which we need Community support. Once again, NO BUILD is the message we need to spread. This is not just for us, but for our children, our ancestors, our brothers and sisters.