Community Rights

New Section: Community Rights

by: 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.

 


One Response to “New Section: Community Rights”

  • Port Townsend Washington is working on a community Rights Ordinance as well as getting the right to vote on it by changing our process of local governance to "Home Rule" charter. The revolution has begun and it is being led by the people! Thank you Paul and CELDF.
    by: Ellen O'Sheaon: Wednesday 19th of December 2012

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