Community Rights Amendment

(current draft language from LC 2625 2019 Regular Session)

 

Whereas all power is inherent in the people and all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and instituted for the people’s peace, safety and happiness; and

Whereas the people have at all times the right to alter, reform or abolish their government should it become destructive to their fundamental rights or well-being; and

Whereas the people have a fundamental and inalienable right of local community self-government in each county, city, town or other municipality; and

Whereas Oregon courts have not generally recognized that this right includes the right of community self-government at the county and municipal level; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

PARAGRAPH 1. The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section 47 to be added to and made a part of Article I, such section to read:

SECTION 47. Right of local community self-government.

(1) The people find and declare that the people have an inalienable and fundamental right of local community self-government in each county, city, town or other municipality.

(2) The people and their governments may enact and enforce local laws that:

(a) Protect health, safety and welfare by recognizing or establishing the rights of natural persons, their local communities and nature; and

(b) Secure those rights using prohibitions and other means deemed necessary by the community, including measures to establish, define, alter or eliminate competing rights, powers, privileges, immunities or duties of corporations and other business entities operating, or seeking to operate, in the community.

(3) Local laws enacted pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from preemption or nullification by state or federal law and shall not be subject to limitation or preemption under section 1 (5), Article IV, section 10, Article VI, or section 2, Article XI of this Constitution, or ORS 203.035 (2017 Edition), provided that such local laws do not:

(a) Restrict fundamental rights of natural persons, their local communities or nature secured by this Constitution, the Constitution of the United States or international law; or

(b) Weaken protections for natural persons, their local communities or nature provided by state law, federal law or international law.

(4) All provisions of this section are severable.