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"Who Decides? Our Communities or Big Corporations?"

Community Rights Lane County educates and mobilizes citizens about our rights to local community self-governance. We believe decisions affecting communities must be made by community residents – the people directly impacted by these decisions and laws that authorize harmful corporate activities. We believe corporate structures should not have privileges that elevate corporate interests above those of the local community.

Oregon Community Rights Network

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Learn how others in Oregon are using community rights-based lawmaking to end corporate harms in their communities. Stay up to date on the latest campaigns!

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Check out the Events page for more information!

Every Third Monday of the monthVirtual Community Rights Action meeting!
Email us for Zoom details. Or sign up for our newsletter.

Rights of Nature Campaign

Rights of Nature Campaign

Protect Our Watersheds is taking the lead in getting the Rights of Nature initiative on the ballot in 2021.

Please visit their website to learn more and volunteer.

Be the Change - Join the Action!

Will Falk - Oregon Book TourCommunity Rights Action

Our monthly general meeting of community rights supporters in Lane County.  Learn more about our work and stay updated on the latest developments in local, state, and national Community Rights efforts.

Each month’s agenda is different, and we feature speakers, videos, and engaging group activities. We have opportunities for everyone to participate in!
Take our CRA Survey Here!

Third Monday of each month
6:00 – 8:00 pm

First United Methodist Church
1376 Olive St, Eugene.

Restoring Democracy in the Fight Against Fracking

From Ecowatch.com Same story. Different day. People are threatened by an activity that will injure them, and they work overtime to pass a law that bans the activity. An affected corporation—or industry association—then sues the municipality, contending that the community can’t prohibit what the state allows, and that the ban violates the “rights” of the corporation. Read More ...Read More

Barnstead, NH: Establishing the Community Right to Water and Self-Governance

From ReadTheDirt.org If you were to drive through Barnstead, NH you would not suspect that there was anything special about the people who live here. It’s a typical small town in New Hampshire, with a country store with a “guns for sale” billboard, a post office, a fire station and a community church that line both sides of Route 126 as the road quickly takes you through and out of the town’s center. The community looks much like many others in our small state. If you attended a selectmen’s meeting—of our local elected officials—you’d hear all of the same conversations you might hear in any small town in New England—discussions on which roads to pave, how to appropriate town funds, and appeals from taxpayers who need a break on their tax bills. Our population hovers around 4,000 and we are almost equally divided, politically. We’re almost all of European decent, with some welcome exceptions to that rule. Read More ...Read More

The Right to Self-Govern

by: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Kai Huschke Posted on: March 29, 2012 http://readthedirt.org/the-right-to-self-govern By Kai Huschke, Washington organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Campaign Director for Envision Spokane – working to pass a Community Bill of Rights that recognizes the rights of neighborhoods, the environment, and workers as superior to corporate rights in the City of Spokane. Editor’s Note: This piece by Kai Huschke speaks for itself and gets at the root of our reality. It’s election night 2011, 8:45 in the evening in a small neighborhood situated along the Spokane River near downtown Spokane. An excited roar erupts from around the kitchen table. Fifteen seconds later an even larger explosion of cheers booms from the basement. Delayed as it was (the difference between website and television election results), what each group saw was that local Proposition 1 – A Community Bill of Rights was deadlocked at 50:50 against corporate rights. Quite stunning, considering at that same time in that same house on virtually the same date two years earlier many of those same people watched a similar measure to elevate community rights over corporate rights being torched by the influence of corporate powerbrokers 3 to 1. The citizen-lead ...Read More

Statement on Efforts to Amend the U.S. Constitution following Citizens United

CELDF January 2012 http://www.celdf.org/citizens-united-v-fec---celdf-statement A great deal of activism has emerged in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC.  In that case, the Court declared that corporate First Amendment “free speech” rights were violated by federal law which limited corporate spending in elections. Following the ruling, several groups began working to propose amendments to the U.S.  Constitution to overturn Citizens United. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund was invited to participate in those efforts based on our ongoing legislative work on corporate “rights.”  For nearly a decade, we have taken the lead, assisting several dozen municipal governments and communities – in Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia – to adopt first-in-the-nation local laws which refuse to recognize the legal privileges erroneously bestowed by the courts as “corporate rights.”  The first such ordinances were adopted into law by two municipalities in Clarion County, Pennsylvania, in 2002 – making those communities the first in the country to elevate the rights of people above the claimed “rights” of corporations. Municipalities are now coalescing at the grassroots level to begin to envision what state and federal constitutional changes are necessary to liberate them ...Read More
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Film Showing in Florence Oregon – Invisible Hand

Community Rights Lane County  City Lights Cinema Invisible Hand When: Tuesday, Sept. 17th Where: City Lights Cinema Florence, Oregon (1930 Highway 101) Check back often as the event gets closer for more details. In the fall of 2014, for the first time in United States history, an ecosystem filed to defend itself in a lawsuit claiming its ‘right to exist' in Grant Township, Pennsylvania. For attempting such a radical act, Grant’s rural community of 700 people were sued by a corporation, then by the state government, and are now locked in a battle to defend the watershed they call home, the water they drink, and enforce the local laws they enacted that gave legal Rights to Nature. Half a continent away in Standing Rock, North Dakota, the same industry threatening Grant Twp. is using militarized force against indigenous tribes and allies fighting to protect Mother Earth. The two, Grant Township and Standing Rock, are joined in an international fight to protect more than just water. They fight for their community, democracy, and for Nature as a living entity unto itself. Produced by award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo, INVISIBLE HAND takes you behind the curtain of the global ...Read More
/ / Blog, Events, Local, Uncategorized

Fundraiser for Freedom from Aerial Herbicides Alliance!

Freedom from Aerial Herbicides Alliance is raising money for their campaigns to secure out Right in Lane County to say NO to corporate harms. The Axe & Fiddle is donating 10% of sales to our campaigns! ...Read More
/ / Blog, Events, Local

Democracy School *** NEW*** Early Bird Registration!

Lane County Democracy School WHEN: October 18th (6pm-9pm) & 19th (9am-4pm) WHERE: Eugene Garden Club This year's two day event is offering early bird registration for the first time ever! Register early, get a great deal, then tell all your friends to join you for this revolutionary new way of thinking and organizing. REGISTRATION REQUIRED - Sliding Scale Cost: $85 - $150 (Limited Scholarship funds.) ***EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION - $65 - ENDS AUGUST 15th*** “If you take no other training this year, do the Democracy School. It is a superlative unfolding revelation of how corporations have hijacked democracy. It meticulously deconstructs the historical arc that brought us to this precipice. But most importantly, it then departs into the highly pragmatic and inspiring work now underway that is slowly turning the tide . . . This Second American Revolution may be the most important political work going on anywhere in the country or the world.“ -Kenny Ausubel, Founder and Co-Executive Director, Bioneers ...Read More
/ / Events, Local

Volunteer of the Year Award

Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way! At April's Community Rights Action gathering, we honored stellar volunteer, Barbara Bochnovich, with the newly created Lynn Bowers "Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way" award. The award honors the memory of Lynn Bowers who was one of the chief petitioners of the Freedom from Aerial Herbicides spray ban initiative; a tireless activist and an exemplary human being. Barbara's dedication to the efforts of Community Rights Lane County makes her fully deserving of this award. Thanks again, Barbara ... and all CRLC volunteers! ...Read More
/ / CRA, Local

Community Rights Action in April

Action Plans & Rights of Nature It's no surprise that we plan on pushing the Lane County Commissioners to refer our initiatives to a vote of the people. So this month we'll be talking about, and planning, our future interactions with those commissioners. Let's all gathering together and let them know we aren't going away anytime soon. Also in the works is a Rights of Nature initiative. We've done some initial research, but we also want input from our volunteers and supporters. We hope to help start collecting signatures this summer, so time is of the essence! WHEN: Monday, April 15th, @6pm WHERE: First United Methodist Church ...Read More
/ / CRA, Events, Local

Impact of our Consumption

When we think about global warming many of us immediately think about cars and industry ruining the planet, but does this tell the whole story? While transportation, including travel by road, sea and air, contributes over 13% of our annual CO2 emissions there is another factor, which we may not initially consider, but which has a bigger impact. Figures highlighted by Farm Machinery Locator show that there are nearly 8.3 million cows in the UK alone; cattle which provide us with hundreds of thousands of litres of milk and thousands of pounds worth of beef every day. We often assume that agriculture is natural and therefore can’t be damaging to the environment, but that assessment is wrong. - See more at: https://www.farmmachinerylocator.co.uk/impact-of-our-consumption/#sthash.9qDMD4ts.dpuf Thanks James Smith for pointing this insightful page out! ...Read More

Mendocino County, CA. Makes History and Passes Law Establishing Local Self-Governance

November 5, 2014 “The sacred rights of mankind, are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records.  They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”   ~ Alexander Hamilton Mendocino County, Ca Makes History by Jamie Lee Mendocino County, in the pristine northern lands of California, where the magnificent ancient coastal Redwood trees meet the inland California Oaks, has voted itself into the constitution writing (righting) business. Yesterday, by a significant margin, they became the first county in California, and only the second county in the country to pass into law a very powerful local ordinance that declares local self-governing rights in their communities over state and federal jurisdiction. Over 67% of the votes cast were in favor of the measure. The ordinance provides for waters free from toxic trespass; preemptively bans all fracking activities countywide with heavy fines and penalties for violation of the ordinance; and establishes a Community Bill of Rights to, for, and by the residents of Mendocino County while checking corporate powers as well. In addition, the newly created law gives the Rights of ...Read More

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Against Secretary Of State

Decides in favor of communities’ right to initiative; bars chief elections officer from keeping duly qualified initiatives off the ballot – even those involving fracking COLUMBUS, OH:  Today, the people’s constitutional right to vote on local County Charter initiatives was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court. The Court ruled that Ohio Secretary of State John Husted – who claimed “unfettered authority” to keep Home Rule county charter initiatives off the ballot – has no such prerogative. On August 13th, Mr. Husted blocked citizens from voting on Home Rule Charter initiatives in three counties, declaring, “I find nothing to materially limit the scope of my legal review,” including ruling on the substance of the initiatives. The measures included provisions on fracking infrastructure development, alarming the oil and gas industry. Mr. Husted handed them a victory in his decision to remove the measures from the ballot. In doing so, he trampled on the rights of the people. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Secretary of State on behalf of community members in Athens, Medina, and Fulton Counties, seeking to restore the initiatives to the November ballot. In addition to barring Mr. Husted from keeping community ...Read More

Putting corporate power in perspective

Before America’s colonists declared themselves independent from British domination in 1776, the motherland’s corporations dominated their trade. It took a revolution to end British control and the settlers’ fear of corporate power. Ever since, corporations have played a major role in business, but they could not influence elections. As the states began curbing big government, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively for activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly if laws were violated. Corporations could pursue only the activities needed to fulfill their chartered purpose. They could not own stock in other corporations or own property not essential to their chartered purpose. Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm. Owners and managers of corporations were held responsible for criminal acts they committed on the job. Corporations were not allowed to make political or charitable contributions nor could they spend money to influence legislation. For a century after the American Revolution, legislatures maintained tight control of the process of chartering corporations. Early on, lawmakers granted few corporate charters, and that only after extensive ...Read More

Your View: Kudos from the other end of the LNG pipe

From the State of Colorado, we would like to take this time to thank you for your coverage of the people fighting for community rights, and against the dangerous and inherently undemocratic Jordan Cove LNG facility. We write this as people in daily struggle with the production side of this issue, which here in Colorado has become widely known as a statewide battle against fracking. We see your efforts to protect your communities as an extension of our own, and would like to extend our gratitude and support in every way. The latest communications Oregon press and government may have received from politicians and industry representatives in Colorado do not convey the sentiment of our people fighting the fossil fuel industry. And because all congratulations you receive on the Jordan Cove facility can be tied to oil and gas money, we would advise you regard these words with the credibility of any infomercial. Here in Colorado we know what it means to fight an industry with seemingly all power, politicians and legal privilege on its side. Our conflict with the fossil fuel industry is drawn along parallel lines as your own. Communities, faced with a nonstop assault of oil and ...Read More