New Section: Community Rights
by: Read The Dirt Posted on: December 19, 2012
Introducing Read the Dirt’s coverage of the American Community Rights Movement. Collaboration with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has made this possible. CELDF advises communities across the nation on how to win the right to local self-government, so as to “place decisions affecting communities in the hands of those closest to the impacts” (CELDF mission statement).
When we first launched Read the Dirt, we envisioned an online network where ideas concerning the Northwest’s essentials for life (soil, air, water, flora, fauna, ideas) could interact and spread. We wanted to help the Northwest communicate with itself about the common quandaries facing its future. Internal debate and the interaction of ideas, we believed, was the fundamental characteristic of a living human community.
Though our core motivation remains, our understanding of what is required to live has expanded. The ability to implement and test the ideas we devise is essential; what good is a good idea if there exists no power to implement it? A big idea that empowers the implementation of ideas is emerging within communities across the US in response to a big challenge to their core essentials: the idea that communities have inalienable rights to protect and sustain their essentials for life in the face of currently superseding corporate “rights”.
Through CELDF’s expanding network Read the Dirt has come in contact with citizens from Washington, Oregon, California, New Hampshire, Maine, Ohio and New Mexico who have either passed laws or are working to pass laws that elevate what they believe are the inalienable rights of their communities above corporate “rights” within their jurisdiction. We have worked with these citizens to tell their stories and share their lessons learned. By hearing directly from the people conducting the experiments we hope to make available an objective archive for the curious citizen and those interested in conducting an experiment of their own.
Rights derive from needs. Humans have an inalienable right to food, water and shelter because we need them to live. Life has an inalienable right to implement and test its ideas. Read the Dirt launches this new section to focus on Community Rights that similarly derive their power from the inalienable rights of life.
Much more to come.
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Articles On Community Rights
- May 19 Part 2: Jordan Cove LNG Backers Spend Huge Money to Sway Tiny Oregon County Election
- May 2 Part 1: Oregon County Faces Gas Industry Funding, Lobbyists in Battle to Halt Jordan Cove LNG Project
- Jan 12 For Teachers and Citizens: How to Respond to Federal Immigration Raids
- Jan 5 How To Respond When Your (Local) Government Gets Sued By A Corporation
- May 25 Interview: The Working Class Movement Fighting for Local Authority
- Apr 29 Interview: Challenging Corporations’ ‘Right’ To Grow GMOs in Rural Oregon
- Nov 3 Cancer Clusters Spark Historic Pesticide Vote in Oregon
- Dec 8 The Devil In The Details of Local Law
- Dec 8 Don’t Tread On Us-A Message from Colorado
- Dec 8 Making Sense of Recent Legal History
- Dec 8 Where Push Is Coming To Shove, USA
- Nov 8 The First Big Win for the $15 Movement
- Nov 8 A Legal Definition for ‘Unsustainable Energy’?
- Oct 8 When The State Pushes Back
- Oct 8 This Crow Won’t Fly
- Oct 8 A New County Constitution
- Sep 8 Homeless Bills of Rights-New Narratives
- Sep 8 Colorado Anti-fracking Movement Heating Up!
- Sep 8 Local Initiative Process Gutted
- Aug 8 Obstacles to Asserting Rights
- Aug 8 Benton County, OR Moves Forward with Nation’s Potential First Food Bill of Rights
- Jul 8 Spokane Continues to Fight for the Right to Vote
- Jul 8 Foster Youth Bill of Rights, New Narratives
- Jul 8 Santa Monica Passes West Coast’s First Rights of Nature Ordinance
- Jun 8 Housing Justice: Fighting for Rights
- Jun 8 A Community Rights Ordinance For South Puget Sound
- Jun 8 County Government Writes History, Hydrocarbon Ban is First of its Kind
- Jun 8 Food Bills of Rights and Monsanto-Speech
- Jun 6 GM Wheat Discovered in Oregon, Benton County Continues Work on Food Bill of Rights
- May 8 Does Food Sovereignty Exist in the United States? Food and the Community Rights Movement
- May 8 Washington Community Action Network Talks Rights
- Apr 7 Under the Radar: How a Multinational Corporation Quietly Bought a County-Wide Election
- Apr 2 Day One of the Occupation of Detroit
- Mar 25 Crude Oil Trains Proposed for Grays Harbor, WA: Citizens Challenge Permitting Process
- Mar 18 Middle School Elevates its Rights above Corporations’
- Mar 12 What a Difference a Degree Makes
- Mar 2 The Story of Broadview Heights, Ohio
- Feb 17 Democracy Denied in Small Town, USA
- Feb 4 The View from Plymouth, NH
- Jan 27 Benton County’s Fight to Protect Our Seed Heritage: A Food Bill of Rights
- Jan 16 Fighting for the Right to a Sustainable Food System: Benton County, Oregon
- Jan 6 Rivers and Natural Ecosystems as Rights Bearing Subjects
- Dec 31 Case Study: The Community Right to Sustainable Energy
- Dec 24 Barnstead, NH: Establishing the Community Right to Water and Self-Governance
- Dec 19 New Section: Community Rights
- Sep 23 Changing ‘Fundemental Law’, a Case Study: Bellingham
- Mar 29 The Right to Self-Govern