CELDF

Common Sense: A Community Rights Organizing “Primer” from CELDF

Do you wonder why you and your neighbors can’t get what you want in your community?

You follow the rules by attending your local government meetings and letting your elected know that you don’t want environmental harms such as fracking, or social justice harms such as unfair elections. You attend the public permit hearing (if there is one) to voice your concerns and explain why it is so important to protect your municipality. Or you attend a Board of Elections meeting to share your concerns about unfair elections. Perhaps you even gather signatures and submit them to your local government, state environmental agency, Board of Elections, or your state representatives.

But somehow, your community’s right to say “no” still is not recognized. Your elected officials tell you that their hands are tied, while the folks running the hearing thank you for your testimony, and then issue the permit anyway. Or the Board of Elections assures you that electronic voting machines are safe or that there is nothing they can do about outside money influencing elections. And all those signatures? They get recorded as a matter of record and are then disregarded.

What’s going on?

We examine exactly what is going on in Common Sense. You’re facing:

  • A system of laws that authorize and protect inherently unsustainable activities such as fracking, factory farming, and GMOs; electronic voting machines and outside funds in local elections; unjust immigration raids and family separation; and innumerable other environmental, social, and political practices causing harm
  • Corporations and government that are working hand-in-hand to define and enforce these laws, ensuring endless growth, extraction,  development and suppression; and
  • A legal structure, including key legal doctrines such as corporate constitutional “rights” and state preemption, that both corporations and government wield to override community decision-making and environmental protection.

Common Sense explores how, in response to these barriers, a new people’s movement is forming. It is a movement, made up of hundreds of communities across the U.S., that is elevating the rights of communities and nature over corporate claimed “rights” and state preemption. It is a movement seeking to transform our existing system from one aimed at endless growth, to one that has environmental and social justice and sustainability at its core.

Check out Common Sense here

(Note: the pdf is designed for 11X17 paper). 

Read it, order free copies to share, and contact us to help you bring community rights to your community today. Community Rights begins with you.

 

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