Ohioans have firsthand experience of this truth: The very legal and governing structures that we live under — regardless of the individuals in their corporate and government positions — are preventing us from governing our- selves and protecting our communities.

With that firsthand experience, Ohio residents are working with CELDF and taking the next step in building the Community Rights movement. They are directly addressing those structural issues, such as preemption and corporate claimed “rights,” by growing grassroots efforts in their communities and by using their right to initiative to amend their state constitution.

Through their Ohio  Community  Rights  Network (OHCRN), CELDF assisted community members to draft two state amendments: the Community Rights Amendment and the Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships.

Last fall, supporters submitted their first round of petitions to the Attorney General and received his stamp of approval. Then, on December 5th, the Ohio Ballot Board unanimously approved the initiatives to move forward to step two of the state initiative process. And with that, Community Rights activists are moving full steam ahead. They are developing the Community Rights amendment website (see www.ohiocraction.org), creating a social media presence, developing a brochure, reaching out to local and statewide groups, and organizing and educating in counties across the state.

Community Rights advocates have begun collecting the 310,000 valid signatures required for  each  amendment to qualify for the ballot. They are aiming for November 2019. These amendments provide the systemic restructuring necessary to create the just and sustainable communities they envision. Help gather signatures and learn more about the amendments by visiting www.ohiocraction.org!

The Ohio Community Rights Amendments
  1. The Community Rights Amendment includes the rights of natural persons, such as rights to health, safety, and welfare; democratic rights, such as the right of local community self-government; and Rights of Nature, such as the right of ecosystems to flourish and
  2. The Initiative and Referendum Amendment extends the right of local democracy to residents of counties and townships — the same right that is already available to residents of cities and villages. The Initiative and Referendum Amendment ensures all Ohioans have equal access to direct democracy, regardless of where they

Read more in CELDF’s newsletter, The Susquehanna, Spring 2018.

Photo: Ohio State House Rotunda by Mike King, Flickr Creative Commons

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