Community Rights is a movement, not a moment.
Rather than looking at single issues we embrace a systems approach - empowering communities to say 'no' to corporate permits, projects, and harms that threaten their access to clean air, safe water, a thriving economy, and true democracy. Our community partners have proposed local laws (community bills of rights) to assert and protect the Rights of Nature and our legal right to self-governance.
We need sweeping structural change - this change must be pushed from the grassroots upward into higher levels of our legal system and governing structure in order to protect the places we call home.
This involves working with community members and elected officials to recognize how the structure of law works and for whom – and how communities are beginning to make changes through local self-governance to protect the places where they live.
Change will not come from one organization, lawsuit, local election, or protest - with each action we fuel the cultural shift required to inform the legal shifts we seek.
This is not your typical activism. We realize our current legal system is fixed - designed to allow harms at a regulated rate. This system prioritizes the claimed rights of corporations above the rights of people and Nature. Our work seeks to challenge the status quo, call out illegitimate laws and legal practices, and expose the system for what it is. Traditional environmentalism alone will not protect our communities or Nature.
We must strip corporations of their rights and empower local voices as decisions makers by asserting our rights to self-govern and recognize the long ignored rights of life-supporting Nature.
We are a Network
The Ohio Community Rights Network is proud to be part of the National Community Rights Network - alongside Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, and New Hampshire. Learn more about this growing network here.
Just Getting Started?
Check out the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. This nonprofit public interest law firm offers free and low-cost legal services, organizing support, and educational materials to help advance Community Rights and Rights of Nature.