The key to establishing and asserting the Right to Local Self-Government is YOU! Experience tells us there’s not much point in begging state legislators, members of Congress, regulatory agencies, or the courts to delegate authority to the people where they live – such that the people are the ones democratically making decisions about issues that directly affect the health, safety, welfare and quality of life in their community. These functionaries point to corporate-friendly laws, lobbyist advocated regulations, and court-bestowed corporate privileges to explain why they can’t help us. They say their hands are tied. But ours are not.
For more than a decade, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has helped people like you and your neighbors to fight for their rights. At the heart of Rights-Based Organizing is a simple idea: that the people affected by governing decisions should be the ones who make them, and that governing decisions made without the consent of the governed are fundamentally unjust.
Whether you live in a community where CELDF is currently organizing…or not, protecting your community from legally sanctioned corporate assault means getting involved with challenging and changing the structure of government and decision-making. It requires that, together, we build a people’s movement of historic proportions…like the abolitionists, the early labor movement, and the agrarian populists, to win not only a few site-fights, but to change the way decisions affecting our communities, environments and quality of life get made. It’s time to raise the banner and ask Who Decides? Until the answer is an unequivocal: the people who are affected! – we have work to do.