One hot summer morning George, Jane, and Dave were having coffee on Dave’s front porch across from Swanny Park. George gazed wistfully across at the leafy oasis and observed: “You know, if I could cut down some of those trees, I could make good money selling firewood.” “That’s nothing,” responded Dave. “There might be a lot of natural gas under there if we could just drill for it. We could strike it rich.” “Well,” said Jane, “natural gas is not a sure thing, but look at all that grass. I bet we at least could graze a few cattle or sheep over there. Why not? Moab was settled and built by stockmen. It’s what we have always done around here.”
The friends were silent for a while, but then George asked: “Why aren’t we allowed to do any of those things? Who’s stopping us?” Jane had a quick response: “Why, it’s the tyrannical government. You know: the mayor, the city council and the county council.” Dave expressed some skepticism: “But Jane, didn’t we elect those people?” “No, of course not,” she answered. “They were elected by outsiders.” “I don’t understand,” Dave said. “Don’t all of us local people have a say in who gets elected?” “No. We locals are outvoted by the outsiders.” Dave, now deeply confused, persisted: “But then … who are the locals if not Moab and Grand County people?” Jane, seeing that question coming, had a quick reply: “We are the locals — that is, anyone who lives no more than two blocks away from Swanny Park. The park is — or should be — ours. Why should we take orders from a distant government elected by folks who live on the other side of town, much less from snobby elitists who live in places like Navajo Ridge!” “Right you are,” added George. “We should take back our park and get rid of all these restrictions — let loggers log, ranchers ranch, and drillers drill. If people want to swim at the Aquatic and Recreation Center, skateboard, or have farmers’ markets, let them pay a lot more for it — to us, the locals, of course.”
George, Jane, and Dave resolved to go home, call their neighbors, and organize an occupation of the park until the distant, tyrannical governments of Moab and Grand County acceded to their demands and returned Swanny Park to the real locals.