United States

Jan 27, 2022

Guest Blog: Community Rights in Buffalo, NY

Guest Blog: Community Rights in Buffalo, NY

Systems change doesn’t hinge on electing the right candidate – it’s advanced most forcefully when organized communities engage in direct action.

Read More | Blogs

Jan 5, 2022

Glen’s Parallax Perspectives – Interview with Kai Huschke

Glen’s Parallax Perspectives – Interview with Kai Huschke

Glen Anderson interviewed two experts — Kai Huschke and Elliott Moffett — who have savvy insights and practical experience working to protect environments and establish legal rights for nature.

Read More | In The News

Dec 17, 2021

Lessons from Ecuador

Lessons from Ecuador

What will it take to advance the Rights of Nature in the United States?

Read More | Blogs

Dec 15, 2021

Portrait of a water guardian – WT Interview with Tish O’Dell

Portrait of a water guardian – WT Interview with Tish O’Dell

What is the force that propels a woman forward in taking a courageous stand for water and the environment water creates?
Here is what Tish O’Dell told WATERTODAY Ohio.

Read More | In The News

Dec 8, 2021

Local Democracy Denied: Informational Session

Local Democracy Denied: Informational Session

It has been a long road for Lincoln County in their search for protection from the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides by big timber.

Read More | Events

Dec 6, 2021

Restoring Mother Earth Law

Restoring Mother Earth Law

Restoring our relationship to nature means restoring our human systems, including the legal system, to function just as healthy ecosystems do. Learn and discuss how we’ve gotten to this point, what is happening now to transform deep structures, and how traditional ways and the efforts to include justice into law for humans and non-humans is moving more and more into reality.

Read More | Events

Nov 25, 2021

Newsletter: Washington Update

Newsletter: Washington Update

The WACRN is now working to operationalize the network to be that change agent it set out to be nearly 10 years ago.

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Nov 24, 2021

PA Constitutional Change

PA Constitutional Change

House Bill 1716 is a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. It would secure the right of self-government to every community in Pennsylvania.

Read More | Blogs

Nov 21, 2021

New Hampshire Municipal Outreach Campaign

New Hampshire Municipal Outreach Campaign

As a means to gain feedback from local elected officials, the NHCRN launched a municipal outreach campaign this September.

Read More | Blogs

Nov 19, 2021

Newsletter: Oregon Update

Newsletter: Oregon Update

Justice continues to be denied in Oregon. Community rights efforts in Lane and Lincoln counties have, quite wrongly, found themselves mired in the Oregon court system on issues that should’ve been considered and resolved by the people of their respective counties.

Read More | Blogs

Nov 18, 2021

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Ohio communities have worked hard over the past eight years, proposing charter amendments and ordinances recognizing local self-governance and rights of nature.

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Nov 16, 2021

Community Rights Lane County Issues Values Statement

Community Rights Lane County Issues Values Statement

Community Rights Lane County educates and mobilizes citizens about their rights to local community self-governance. They believe decisions affecting communities must be made by community residents – the people directly impacted by these decisions and laws that authorize harmful corporate activities.

Read More | Blogs

Nov 11, 2021

BOOK: One-Block Revolution

BOOK: One-Block Revolution

CELDF’s ​​Kai Huschke was centrally involved in the first-in-the-nation Community Bill of Rights and Worker Bill of Rights. His chapter for the new book One-Block Revolution, details the community building behind the efforts.

Read More | Publications

Nov 5, 2021

Q&A with SUNDANCE, Executive Director of Cleveland A.I.M.

Q&A with SUNDANCE, Executive Director of Cleveland A.I.M.

How do we unite to create a more just and sustainable vision for the future. What are the possible next steps?

Read More | Events, Uncategorized

Nov 2, 2021

Shifting the Lens: Energy & Environment Series

Shifting the Lens: Energy & Environment Series

Would recognizing Rights of Nature affect you, the community and possibly the planet? Instead of looking at nature as mere property and as resources, what if we shifted the lens and the law to recognizing nature as living and therefore entitled to rights to life, to flourish and thrive?

Read More | Events, Rights of Nature

Oct 7, 2021

Columbus Free Press: Beware the Brine

Columbus Free Press: Beware the Brine

Members of OHCRN have called on Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, to open an investigation into the violation of Ohio law and the criminal actions of state officials and industry who were and are well aware that this brine is highly radioactive, yet still approve and allow it to be spread in Ohio communities.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, In The News

Oct 4, 2021

A Tribute to Gail Mills

A Tribute to Gail Mills

Gail Mills of Nottingham, NH, passed away this month, having paid forward a legacy of community activism that inspired local activists across the country. 

Read More | Blogs, News

Sep 27, 2021

Playing Demolition Derby with Our Democratic Rights

Playing Demolition Derby with Our Democratic Rights

Please join us October 6th for a deep dive into 21st Century democracy with our presenters, Kai Huschke, Community Organizer and Terry Lodge, attorney for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

Read More | Events

Sep 23, 2021

Corporation Asks Nottingham, N.H. For Legal Fees After Suing Over Climate Ordinance

Corporation Asks Nottingham, N.H. For Legal Fees After Suing Over Climate Ordinance

The Freedom From Chemical Trespass Rights-Based Ordinance asserted residents’ rights to a healthy climate and banned corporate activities that would interfere with those rights, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 per day.

Read More | Community Rights, Extraction & Pollution, In The News, Issues, Water Privitization

Sep 17, 2021

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Ohio communities over the past decade have worked hard to protect ecosystems and their communities from various harmful projects. They did the work of asserting democratic rights to alter and reform their government. They collected signatures, argued in court, battled in lopsided campaigns and even won a few only to have the courts overturn their… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Chemical Trespass, Community Wires, News

Jun 10, 2021

Judge Rewards Corporation for Suing to Halt Implementation of Climate Ordinance, Orders Town to Pay Corporate Attorney Fees

Judge Rewards Corporation for Suing to Halt Implementation of Climate Ordinance, Orders Town to Pay Corporate Attorney Fees

As global carbon dioxide concentrations hit their highest level in 4 million years, a New Hampshire Judge has rewarded a local corporate actor in Nottingham for opposing a democratically adopted ordinance, the Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance, that recognized a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.”

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Releases

Jun 3, 2021

Whose Constitution Is It?

Whose Constitution Is It?

Join CELDF attorney Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin for a presentation and discussion on the history and current significance of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution. The presentation’s content inspired by Eric Foner’s 2019 book “The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.”

Read More | Uncategorized

May 28, 2021

Rights of Nature, Rights of the People vs. State-Authorized Corporate Toxic Practice in Front of Oregon Courts

Rights of Nature, Rights of the People vs. State-Authorized Corporate Toxic Practice in Front of Oregon Courts

NEWPORT, OR: Arguments on the assertion of local democracy over state-sanctioned corporate public health violations and a Rights of Nature law will be presented on June 1. For over two years, the Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides Ordinance of Lincoln County successfully banned corporate aerial spraying of pesticides as a violation of natural ecosystems’ rights and people’s rights to clean air, water and soil.

Read More | Uncategorized

May 21, 2021

Newsletter: Community Justice

Newsletter: Community Justice

In a small living room in one of the most economically neglected neighborhoods in the State of Washington emerged the work of Envision Spokane. A handful of local activists and residents asked themselves the question “why?” Why, after so many years of advocacy work on behalf of neighborhoods, renters, the houseless, small businesses, the uninsured,… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, News, Worker Exploitation

Apr 27, 2021

High Stakes For Democracy — Lawyer to Court: Are the People Equal to the Government or Not?

High Stakes For Democracy — Lawyer to Court: Are the People Equal to the Government or Not?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tish O’DellCommunity Environmental Legal Defense FundCommunity OrganizerCELDF.orgtish@celdf.org440-552-6774 Oral arguments presented in civil rights appeal in the critical case for direct democracy arising from suppression of Rights of Nature and local democracy petitioning. Cincinnati, OH: Oral arguments took place last week in Beiersdorfer v. LaRose, et al. (No. 20-3557), a case that begs fundamental… Read more »

Read More | News, Press Releases

Apr 26, 2021

Financial Threats to Rights of Nature Lawmaking

Financial Threats to Rights of Nature Lawmaking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Michelle SanbornCommunity Environmental Legal Defense FundCommunity Organizermichelle@celdf.org603-524-2468 Corporate ‘person’ uses constitutional rights law to justify attorney fees from the Town of Nottingham, targeting people’s use of direct democracy for climate action. NOTTINGHAM, NH: Corporate personhood “rights” are once again being weaponized to financially punish and intimidate a local community that took a… Read more »

Read More | Community Rights, Press Releases

Apr 18, 2021

ADVISORY: Oral Arguments in Civil Rights Appeal Advancing Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

ADVISORY: Oral Arguments in Civil Rights Appeal Advancing Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

Oral arguments in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio have been scheduled. Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature laws and other measures protecting local democracy from corporate special interests. Plaintiffs are petitioners for local initiative campaigns that were all successfully qualified various measures that were blocked from the ballot.

Read More | Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases

Apr 9, 2021

Columbus Free Press: Lawsuit To Protect Direct Democracy In Columbus During The Pandemic Dismissed By Court

Columbus Free Press: Lawsuit To Protect Direct Democracy In Columbus During The Pandemic Dismissed By Court

A lawsuit seeking a temporary suspension of Columbus’ one-year petitioning time limit due to the pandemic was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio on April 14, 2021. The lawsuit was filed in June 2020 by our group, Columbus Community Bill of Rights (CCBOR), arguing that the city’s time limit during the COVID-19 pandemic was unconstitutional and placed a severe burden on ballot access for our initiative, which sought to ban harms from the fracking industry within Columbus and it’s watershed area.

Read More | Democratic Rights, In The News, Issues, News

Mar 17, 2021

Clara Township Residents Move to Ban Frack Waste Dumping

Clara Township Residents Move to Ban Frack Waste Dumping

Clara Township residents move forward with a Home Rule Charter initiative to protect vital waterways and assert the democratic rights of the community. Nearly half of all registered voters have signed on in support of the measure. Roulette Oil and Gas LLC (ROGC) applied for a Class II Injection Well Permit.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Issues, Press Releases

Feb 15, 2021

For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings

For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings

In 2019, Nottingham residents passed a Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance securing the rights of ecosystems and of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” Now New Hampshire courts have sided with corporations who infringe on those rights, revealing a pattern of bias embedded within the New Hampshire judiciary.

Read More | News, Press Releases, Rights of Nature

Feb 2, 2021

Protect the Protectors: Stop Line 3

Protect the Protectors: Stop Line 3

Tribal nations, community and environmental groups in Minnesota have fought to stop the Line 3 Enbridge pipeline in Northern Minnesota. The pipeline violates several treaties with the Ojibwe people that establish their right to hunt, fish, and gather along the proposed route. The pipeline would cross 200 bodies of water, including the Mississippi River twice.

Read More | Corporate 'Rights', Extraction & Pollution, Issues, Rights of Nature

Jan 18, 2021

Newsletter: New Hampshire Pamphlet

Newsletter: New Hampshire Pamphlet

To advance political education in the Granite State, the New Hampshire Community Rights Network (NHCRN) has compiled an in-depth pamphlet to explore a transformation of New Hampshire’s form of government.

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, News, Water Privitization

Jan 8, 2021

Newsletter: Momentum for Constitutional Change in Pennsylvania

Newsletter: Momentum for Constitutional Change in Pennsylvania

In 2020, members of the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network engaged in a statewide support campaign for a state constitutional amendment to place the rights of people over the interests of private corporations – empowering communities to heighten state protections for civil, human and ecosystem rights.

Read More | Blogs, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, News, Rights of Nature

Dec 28, 2020

Observing Revolution: Pennsylvania

Observing Revolution: Pennsylvania

Newsletter: CELDF has supported the efforts of Grant Township, PA as they engage in local lawmaking to successfully resist corporate contamination of water. Despite years of legal attacks by the private corporations, PA regulatory agencies, and the oil and gas industry, local residents of Grant Township have reasserted and continued to defend local lawmaking and protect the natural systems that sustain them.

Read More | Blogs, News

Dec 24, 2020

‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments

‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments

New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to hear arguments on Rights of Nature and the right to a Healthy Climate. Amidst ecological catastrophe, movements for a paradigm shift in law have made global gains in 2020. Granite State judges have chosen to reject a request for a people’s defense of a municipal Rights of Nature and healthy climate law.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases

Dec 15, 2020

BREAKING: Gas Company Files Federal Lawsuit To Overturn Small Pennsylvania Township’s Rights of Nature Law…Again

BREAKING: Gas Company Files Federal Lawsuit To Overturn Small Pennsylvania Township’s Rights of Nature Law…Again

Gas company PGE sues Grant Township over democratically enacted law. The PA Department of Environmental Protection also sued Grant in 2017, making this filing the third lawsuit against the Township (pop. 700) for trying to protect its drinking water.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, Issues, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Dec 11, 2020

Truthout: The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Truthout: The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Over the past five years, organizers in seven Ohio communities (three cities, four counties) have qualified ballot measures to recognize enforceable rights of ecosystems and human rights to water. All take the historic and bold step of elevating these basic rights above the legal privileges currently enjoyed by private corporations in the United States.

Read More | Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Corporate Agriculture, Extraction & Pollution, In The News, Issues, News, Rights of Nature

Dec 2, 2020

Oregon: How Corporate Constitutional Rights Came to Be and How They Control Our Communities

Oregon: How Corporate Constitutional Rights Came to Be and How They Control Our Communities

Save the Date! Join the Oregon Community Rights Network in this upcoming event on corporate constitutional rights.

Read More | Community Wires, Events

Nov 27, 2020

Virtual Democracy School in Ashtabula

Virtual Democracy School in Ashtabula

Register today for this virtual Democracy School in Ashtabula, Ohio! Co-sponsored by Ashtabula County Water Watch and CELDF.

Read More | Events

Nov 10, 2020

Observing Revolution: New Hampshire

Observing Revolution: New Hampshire

Building statewide momentum across New Hampshire. A 2020 organizing update featured in our fall newsletter.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

Nov 4, 2020

CELDF Statement on Orange County, FL ‘Rights of Nature’ Law

CELDF Statement on Orange County, FL ‘Rights of Nature’ Law

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has prepared the following statement in response to the passage of the Wekiva River and Econlockhatchee River Bill of Rights.

Read More | Blogs, News, Rights of Nature

Oct 9, 2020

Defending ‘Peaceful Change’: Friend of the Court Briefs Representing Over 500,000 Supporters Filed in Ohio Civil Rights Lawsuit Appeal

Defending ‘Peaceful Change’: Friend of the Court Briefs Representing Over 500,000 Supporters Filed in Ohio Civil Rights Lawsuit Appeal

Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature and corporate control ballot measures, sued the Ohio Secretary of State and Boards of Election officials in trial court for repeatedly keeping binding citizen-proposed laws and charters off the ballot. Several national organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of the appeal.

Read More | Press Releases, Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 6, 2020

CENSORING THE BALLOT: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

CENSORING THE BALLOT: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

Ohioans are taking a stand against evasive and oppressive tactics used by the State to suppress local ballot measures and stifle democracy. Plaintiffs from seven counties have filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio.

Read More | Press Releases, Press Releases & Blogs

Sep 24, 2020

Press Release: Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit

Press Release: Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit

Despite recognizing the Grant Townships local law to ban injection wells the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continues to sue the township. CELDF files motion to dismiss on behalf of the community.

Read More | Press Releases, Press Releases & Blogs