Making the World a Better Place For All of Us
Our mission is to support and empower communities to secure local self determination and self-governance rights, superior to corporate power, in order to protect fundamental rights, quality of life, the natural environment, public health, and safety.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion…
We assert that Community Rights are either inclusive, diverse, and equitable, or they’re non-existent. Our mission is to support and empower communities to secure local self determination and self-governance rights. These rights also exist at the personal level: we believe all people have the right to exercise personal autonomy and agency, and to decide for themselves who they are and how they identify.
We are working on building and nurturing a culture where inclusiveness is expressly intentional, not just an initiative. Different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas are what protect and promote our fundamental rights, quality of life, the natural environment, public health, and safety.
Revision: 03/2022 (reassessed annually)
What We Do
Our goals are to:
- Create a strong rights based movement across the state, and
- Change the laws at the highest levels of both the State of Oregon and eventually, the U.S. Government.
Very important to the achievement of these goals is the spread of rights based organizations.
Both ORCRN and CELDF are ready to assist individuals and groups with getting a rights based organization started in their area. This usually works best when there are tangible ways in which your community’s fundamental rights are being violated. These violations can have to do with a variety of issues such as pesticides, giant polluting pig and tree farms, transportation and extraction of fossil fuels, contamination of agriculture by GMO agriculture, toxic mining practices, wages that are not livable, union issues, and other rights violations.
Where we began…
On September 12, 2013, community members from eight Oregon counties gathered in Corvallis, Oregon, to draft and sign the Corvallis Declaration of Community Rights, the founding document that launched the Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN) in January 2014.
The Declaration, as does the work of the ORCRN today, calls upon communities across the state to join together in a movement to elevate the rights of people, their communities, and nature above the claimed “rights” of corporations.
The Oregon Community Rights Network joins Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Colorado and Washington as states with community rights networks, all receiving assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.
The Corvallis Declaration
By the authority of the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes that governments are instituted to secure the rights of people and derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and of the Constitution of the State of Oregon, Article I, Section 1 Natural Rights Inherent in People, which states,
“We declare that all [people] when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.”
Therefore, as all power of governance is inherent in the people, we the people of Oregon, gathered in Corvallis, Oregon, this 12th day of September 2013 declare:
We the people recognize that our communities are under siege from the corporations that cause economic, cultural, environmental, and public harm;
We the people recognize our confinement in a system of laws that grants greater rights to corporations than to residents of our communities;
We the people recognize that this system grants corporate minorities the legal authority to override the community majority right to choose that which secures its health, safety, and welfare;
We the people recognize that the legal system has conferred unequal power on the basis of property ownership so that those holding the most property obtain and wield superior rights;
We the people recognize that this system of law hinders and obstructs our ability to adapt to economic, cultural, and environmental change;
We the people recognize that corporate control of legislation and governance denies our right to an authentically democratic local, state, and federal representation necessary to protect our communities from corporate harms;
We the people recognize that our health, safety, welfare, and survival of our local businesses, farms, ecosystems, and neighborhoods depend on restructuring the current system of governance, because it favors corporations over community-based, democratic decision-making;
We the people recognize that, because democracy means “governance of, by, and for the people” and “consent of the governed”, democracy does not exist in our communities or in the state of Oregon;
Therefore, we now exercise our inherent and inalienable right to create authentic democracy in our communities, municipalities, and counties within our State; and
We the People call on communities across the State of Oregon to:
- Enact local laws and adopt charter amendments that recognize community rights for residents of Oregon and preserve the inherent rights of natural ecosystems to exist and flourish;
- Include in those local laws and charter amendments direct challenges to the system of laws and legal doctrines that secure greater rights for corporations than for residents of our communities or natural ecosystems;
- Build a statewide network of local rights-asserting communities involved in changing our state constitution to incorporate the inherent self-governing authority of the people.
- Join together with other state community rights networks in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Washington, Colorado and all other states demanding changes to the federal Constitution that will elevate the rights of people, communities, and nature above the illegitimate “rights” of corporations and the governing authorities they control.