Benton County Community Rights Coalition

Benton

We believe that as free citizens, we must elevate our community’s rights above the corporate “rights” and state preemptions that currently usurp our ability to decide the face of agriculture in our own community. We assert our community’s right to a sustainable food system, seed heritage, and the inalienable rights of nature to exist, persist and flourish.

Our Mission:
Implement the legal foundation to create and maintain a sustainable and resilient environment, ecosystems, economy, and human community by asserting the right to local self-government in Benton County.

Contact Info

Email: Info@BentonCCRC.org
Phone: (541) 929-5782

Projects

  • Benton County Community Rights Coalition (BCCRC)

About

Brief History

The Benton County Community Rights Coalition (BCCRC) was established in 2012. Since inception, as the name implies, BCCRC is a coalition of groups and individuals who are committed to community self governance to protect our health, safety, and welfare and that the community those decisions through local law making or charter amendments.

Since the beginning it had been the intention to write, qualify, and pass a local ballot measure to protect and defend our local, sustainable food system. The founders spent their time, energy, and resources crafting a local food bill of rights ordinance that would assert, create and defend our right to a local sustainable food system, seed sovereignty, natural communities, and our right to govern. The Local Food System Ordinance is currently circulating the Petition, and will be qualified for a ballot measure in January and on the May 2015 ballot if all goes as planned.

With the help and assistance of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), while drafting and shepherding the ordinance through the initiative process, we have consistently engaged the community through education and community events, Democracy School and workshops, and building collaborations and coalitions that are apolitical, diverse, and include all groups that care deeply about community, food and farmers, the environment, and the peoples’ right to decide. As an example of coalition building, with CELDF as a cosponsor with BCCRC, the Rural Organizing Project, Oregon Tilth, Friends of Family Farmers, and Oregonians for Farm & Food Rights also co-sponsored the first Willamette Valley Farm & Food Rights Summit in March of 2013. Over 30 organizations, farms, food related businesses, granges, and health groups from 8 counties were represented. Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds, and of OSGATA v Monsanto fame, was the keynote speaker and is now a member of BCCRC. BCCRC has also been working collaboratively with other community groups doing community rights work through the Oregon Community Rights Network.

Our Goals

  • Educate residents of their inalienable right to local self-government for their health, safety, and welfare, free from corporate or governmental interference or impediments.
  • That right to local self-government must enable communities to reject unsustainable economic and environmental policies set by state and federal governments.
  • Empower our community to challenge and overturn legal doctrines that have evolved over time to eliminate their right to self-government, including the doctrines of corporate constitutional rights, preemption, and limitations on local legislative authority.
  • Recognizing and establishing in law the inalienable rights of natural communities to exist, persist, and flourish.
  • Establish a legal framework for residents to ensure       environmental, agricultural, and economic sustainability.
  • Promote civic engagement by all community members and stakeholders to collaboratively make decisions and create local law that protects the rights of natural communities, promotes steady state economic vitality, assures community resilience, food and water security, social justice, and sustainable energy production within Benton County.
  • Access to sustainably grown and managed local food and water systems, and assures these benefits to all the future generations that will claim Benton County as their home.
  • Reach out to other Oregon communities to join with Benton County to recognize and exercise their right to local self government through local law making.
  • Promote the creation of the legal foundation for our community to exercise our inalienable right to decide the future of the place were we live and that generations to come will inherit.