Why do we need community rights?

Why do we need community rights?

pipeline_construction_williams_Today corporations have more power to decide the future and fate of communities than the people in those communities. Corporations are legally protected and have greater “rights” over people, communities, and the environment that permits them to:

  • Build LNG pipelines
  • Spray toxic pesticides
  • Grow GMOs
  • Gentrify neighborhoods
  • Factory farm animals
  • Take private property for corporate use
  • Silence workers
  • Transport unwanted coal and oil
  • Maintain poverty wages

Helicopter_Spray_2_croppedOver the last four years in Oregon, county-level community rights efforts have been underway to confront an array of corporate projects from LNG pipelines to pesticides to GMOs to coal and oil trains. In each community the aim has been to adopt a Community Bill of Rights law that secures the rights of the people and nature over that of unwanted corporate harms. Oregon communities join over 200 communities in nine states who have adopted community rights laws. But statewide constitutional change is necessary in order to give these local community rights laws the legal protections they need to withstand the all-but-certain legal challenges that corporations will mount against them.