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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 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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Democracy in the Courtroom!

Despite our court ruling, we still hold a bill.
You Can Help!

Democracy is a work in progress – and we’re leading the way!

You can help by Contributing!

Upcoming Events

Check out our Events page for dates, times and locations!

March 18th – CRA @6pm
March 28th –
ORCRN Lobby Day
April 4th –
Decolonizing our Activism @7pm
April 5th-6th
– Democracy School – Lincoln Co.
April 9th – Film Screening – Invisible Hand @7pm
April 15th – CRA @6pm

 

Be the Change - Join the Action!

Please join us for our monthly Community Rights Action, our general meeting of community rights supporters in Lane County.  These gatherings advance our work challenging corporate practices that threaten our health, environment and economy. Join us in learning about Community Rights and 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 discuss and help shape the local lawmaking that we are developing to protect the well-being of our community. And we have opportunities for everyone to participate in and advance our work. And we have fun!  Please join us!

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

First United Methodist Church
1376 Olive St, Eugene.

Legal Action at the Ready to Protect People’s Constitutional Rights in Lane County

On August 23rd Lane County attorney and Community Rights activist Ann Kneeland sent a letter to Lane County officials informing them that the initiative change proposal would violate both Oregon and federal constitutional rights and that the county can expect a lawsuit if the proposal is adopted into law. The letter makes it known that adopting such changes would not only violate Federal free speech rights and Oregon state initiative rights, but that procedurally any issues regarding “matters of county concern” can only be addressed after an initiative is voted in by the people.  Not only has a Lane County judge upheld that opinion but the county’s own attorney made that argument in court, asserting that “matters of county concern” are addressed only after an initiative becomes law. Ms. Kneeland’s legal letter is being supported by separate letters submitted to the county by national community and civil rights law firms the CommunityEnvironmental Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Let's Keep Applying the Pressure The County Commissioners are still considering doing the bidding of timber corporations to place a chokehold on the democratic rights of the people of Lane County by granting themselves de facto veto power ...Read More

We were Victorious in Court!!

On June 3, Judge Charles Carlson ruled in favor of the Chief Petitioners for the Right of Local Self-government Charter Amendment, writing, "Just as, on the state level, a statute’s constitutionality is evaluated after its enactment, so too, on the county level, an initiative measure’s constitutionality is evaluated only after it has been adopted." On May 24th, Ann Kneeland, lead attorney for the Chief Petitioners, successfully argued the case for protection and preservation of our initiative process. She maintained that, "Historically, once a ballot initiative passes the County Clerk's requirements (which this Initiative has), it is left to the voters to decide. The courts may be used to challenge the law after the majority of voters have decided to pass it. Bringing this ballot Initiative into a hearing before any signatures have even been gathered is an attack on our rights and an obstacle to the democratic process.” And the judge Agreed! This decision authorizes Lane County voters to assert our right to write and pass laws to protect our community from corporate interference and influence; exactly what we are fighting for!!! Such great news!!!!! And thanks to all of you who attended the court proceedings and to those of you who have supported this effort in so ...Read More

GMOs Have More Rights Than the People of Josephine County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mary Geddry 541-551-1492 [email protected] Judge overturns ban on GMOs; state preemption used once again to deny right of local self-government Corvallis, Oregon — May 17, 2016 Yesterday a Josephine County Circuit Court judge denied the will of the people of Josephine County by ruling that their prohibition on GMO crops, adopted at the ballot in May 2014, is unenforceable because a conflict with state law. The basis of the judge’s decision was SB863, adopted by the state legislature in the fall of 2013 which places all authority over GMO seed in the hands of the state and prohibits local governments from interfering with that state authority. SB863, modeled after similar laws adopted in other states, is intended to protect corporate industrial agricultural practices over that of local, sustainable agriculture. “It hurts to say so but yesterday’s decision is not surprising”, says Dana Allen, board member of the Oregon Community Rights Network. “So long as we allow the laws that favor corporate interests over people and nature we can expect our communities to be treated as wards of the state.” “State preemption is but one of a number of corporate powers, privileges, and “rights” used to keep communities in a subordinate position to both state government ...Read More

Dismantling Corporate Control Isn’t a Spectator Sport: An Interview with Thomas Linzey

By Simon Davis-Cohen Editor’s Note: Thomas Linzey is no stranger to Rural America readers. His Community Rights Papers are a staple on the site. In fact, his essay, "The Spirit of 1773 and the Right to Local Self-Government," was the very first story this project published one year ago. In the months since, we’ve featured seven other of his essays, but until now we have never interviewed the man behind America’s “community rights movement.” For 20 years, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has been taking a stand against the long-held—though rarely discussed—assumption that corporations in the United States have the power to override a community when the locality passes a law that compromises profitability. To date, the Pennsylvania-based, non-profit law firm has advised almost 200 municipalities in 10 states in drafting and defending “Community Bills of Rights.” These documents are often adopted to stop harmful corporate projects by elevating local governments’ authority above anti-democratic state preemption and the legal protections corporations enjoy as “persons” under the U.S. Constitution (and international trade agreements). CELDF has spearheaded the introduction of legally enforceable rights for ecosystems; over three dozen of the communities they work with have enshrined such “rights of nature” into local law ...Read More

Let the People Decide

Submitted by Lincoln County Community Rights, March 8th, 2016 Right now, the right of the people of Lincoln County to decide is under attack. A judge of the Lincoln County Circuit Court will soon determine whether or not to allow gathering signatures for an initiative petition, based on arguments heard in court, representing the profit-driven interests of industry invested in aerial spraying of pesticides in our county on the one hand, vs. the right of the people to use the initiative petition process to propose new law to protect their safety and that of the environment on the other. The answer should be clear – let the people decide. The initiative petition in question is titled “Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides of Lincoln County” and has been put forward by Citizens for a Healthy County. It asks the people of Lincoln County if they want to ban the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides (a practice that has already been banned in federal forests for 30 years) in order to protect our right to clean air, water, and soil and to stop our continued exposure to toxic chemicals. The judge is not considering whether aerial spraying of pesticides should or should not be banned, ...Read More

Film Screening of Invisible Hand

CRLC & The UO Climate Justice League presents.... Invisible Hand When: Tuesday, April 9th @7pm Where: Redwood Auditorium at the University of Oregon 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 economy where ‘Rights of Nature’ becomes “capitalism’s one true opponent.” ...Read More

Frank Bibeau on the Rights of Nature

Community Rights Lane County is privileged to announce that Executive Director of the 1855 Treaty Authority and Tribal Attorney, Frank Bibeau will present to the Eugene community on Friday, March 8, 7pm. at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High Street. Mr. Bibeau represented Winona LaDuke’s Honor the Earth organization in the Embridge Baaken pipeline disputes. He most recently secured the Rights of Wild Rice for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the first Rights of Nature law to recognize the rights of a plant species. ...Read More

Community Rights in Salem – You Can Help!

We Have Two Bills Being Introduced Staff and supporters have been working in Salem to get Community Rights Bills introduced this legislative session. We currently have two bills in play: one in the Senate, one in the House. The next step will be getting committee assignments! We'll keep you informed on our website and Facebook. So stay tuned for more ways to help move these bills forward. Here's how you can help.... Now, and especially once the bill is assigned a number and to a committee, talk with your legislators. Let them know why you support the bill and why you'd like their support (and/or sponsorship) on it. Current sponsors: Senator Monnes Anderson, Dembrow, Representative Noble, Power, Wilde
  • Find out who your legislators are here.
  • Please track any conversations you have with legislators here (or tell me about them via email or phone).
  • Here's a general outline for conversations with legislators
Interested in meeting with your representative in person? ~Power in Numbers~ ORCRN Lobby Day: March 21st For more details contact Corinne: [email protected] (541-731-0397) ...Read More

Year End Community Rights Action!

We're celebrating our volunteers for our last Community Rights Action, with live music and free food. See you at the Taproom.   WHERE: The Taproom - 1030 Tyinn St. Suite 1 WHEN: Monday, Dec. 17th @6pm (till 9pm) ...Read More

Initiatives in Court November 5th

What are we waiting for....? Our Court Hearing - Nov. 5th! November 5th at 10am will be our next court hearing at the Lane County Circuit Court in Eugene. Stay tuned for more information. We'll want you all to wear your RED shirts and to help us pack the courtroom! ...Read More

Film Screening of Invisible Hand

CRLC & The UO Climate Justice League presents.... Invisible Hand When: Tuesday, April 9th @7pm Where: Redwood Auditorium at the University of Oregon 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 economy where ‘Rights of Nature’ becomes “capitalism’s one true opponent.” ...Read More
/ by / in Events, Local

Frank Bibeau on the Rights of Nature

Community Rights Lane County is privileged to announce that Executive Director of the 1855 Treaty Authority and Tribal Attorney, Frank Bibeau will present to the Eugene community on Friday, March 8, 7pm. at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High Street. Mr. Bibeau represented Winona LaDuke’s Honor the Earth organization in the Embridge Baaken pipeline disputes. He most recently secured the Rights of Wild Rice for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the first Rights of Nature law to recognize the rights of a plant species. ...Read More
/ by / in Around the World, Blog, Events, Local

Community Rights in Salem – You Can Help!

We Have Two Bills Being Introduced Staff and supporters have been working in Salem to get Community Rights Bills introduced this legislative session. We currently have two bills in play: one in the Senate, one in the House. The next step will be getting committee assignments! We'll keep you informed on our website and Facebook. So stay tuned for more ways to help move these bills forward. Here's how you can help.... Now, and especially once the bill is assigned a number and to a committee, talk with your legislators. Let them know why you support the bill and why you'd like their support (and/or sponsorship) on it. Current sponsors: Senator Monnes Anderson, Dembrow, Representative Noble, Power, Wilde
  • Find out who your legislators are here.
  • Please track any conversations you have with legislators here (or tell me about them via email or phone).
  • Here's a general outline for conversations with legislators
Interested in meeting with your representative in person? ~Power in Numbers~ ORCRN Lobby Day: March 21st For more details contact Corinne: [email protected] (541-731-0397) ...Read More
/ by / in Blog, Events, Local

Year End Community Rights Action!

We're celebrating our volunteers for our last Community Rights Action, with live music and free food. See you at the Taproom.   WHERE: The Taproom - 1030 Tyinn St. Suite 1 WHEN: Monday, Dec. 17th @6pm (till 9pm) ...Read More
/ by / in Blog, CRA, Events, Local

Initiatives in Court November 5th

What are we waiting for....? Our Court Hearing - Nov. 5th! November 5th at 10am will be our next court hearing at the Lane County Circuit Court in Eugene. Stay tuned for more information. We'll want you all to wear your RED shirts and to help us pack the courtroom! ...Read More
/ by / in Articles, Blog, Events, Local

Frank Bibeau on the Rights of Nature

Community Rights Lane County is privileged to announce that Executive Director of the 1855 Treaty Authority and Tribal Attorney, Frank Bibeau will present to the Eugene community on Friday, March 8, 7pm. at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High Street. Mr. Bibeau represented Winona LaDuke’s Honor the Earth organization in the Embridge Baaken pipeline disputes. He most recently secured the Rights of Wild Rice for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the first Rights of Nature law to recognize the rights of a plant species. ...Read More

Lincoln County: Siletz River Takes Legal Action to Defend Its Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Maria Sause [email protected] 541 574 2961; cell 541 961 6385 Newport, Oregon:  This afternoon the Siletz River Ecosystem filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC v. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County, and Lincoln County Community Rights. This is the third ecosystem in the United States to take legal action to protect its rights, secured in this case by Measure 21-177, which was adopted by Lincoln County voters in the May 2017 election. The two plaintiffs – Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms of Eddyville – claim that their “right” to spray toxic pesticides aerially is greater than the right of the people of Lincoln County to protect public health, clean water, and the rights of ecosystems and natural communities not to be poisoned from the air. Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR) was granted intervention in the case on July 2, 2017, after the county made it clear that their interest lies merely in getting an opinion from the court and not in actively defending the law adopted by voters in May. “I have lived in Lincoln County for 43 years in a home surrounded by river and forest. I am part of the ecosystems of ...Read More

A Powerful Trio

Community Rights Lane County Our Community Our Rights and Freedom from Aerial Herbicides Alliance have been very lucky to co-host three amazing women. If you weren't able to see them in person, we now have video of all three. Follow the links below and enjoy a wealth of knowledge related to the Rights of Nature! ...Read More

Lafayette Community Members Introduce Climate Bill of Rights and Protections

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: January 2, 2016 Contacts: East Boulder County United Email: [email protected] Kristin McLean: [email protected] 303 641-8901 Merrily Mazza, [email protected] 720 556-1286 Legal: Thomas Linzey, Esq, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, 717 498-0054 Lafayette Community Members Introduce Climate Bill of Rights and Protections What: Lafayette Community Members Introduce Climate Bill of Rights and Protections to City Council, Pledge Environmental Defense of Boulder County When: Lafayette City Council meeting Tuesday, January 3, approximately 7pm depending on meeting agenda. Where: 1290 S. Public Road, Lafayette Colorado The people of Lafayette, Colorado have introduced an ordinance for formal adoption to the Lafayette City Council. The measure titled, “Climate Bill of Rights and Protections” is a law that will codify the right to a healthy climate and community member’s ability to enforce this right through community led, nonviolent direct action.  It is based on the First Nation principle of protecting the environment for seven generations. The measure will be introduced by two Lafayette City Councilors, Councilor Gustavo Reyna and Councilor Merrily Mazza, at the January 3rd meeting. If the measure is approved Lafayette will become the second community nationally to adopt such a measure. Grant Township Pennsylvania legalized the defense of their community through nonviolent civil disobedience earlier this year when it was faced with ...Read More

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