Skip to main content

In Colorado, the fight to elevate people's rights over corporate rights has reached the state level with an initiative to add a constitutional amendment to prevent state preemption and enshrine the rights of individuals to self-governance in their own communities.

DENVER — A proposed anti-fracking, anti-corporation initiative moved a step closer to signature-gathering Wednesday after winning a challenge before the state title board.

The three-member board rejected two motions for rehearing contending that the Colorado Community Rights Amendment violated the single-subject rule, which means the measure’s sponsors may soon begin circulating petitions —unless another challenge is filed before the Supreme Court.

“Victory again! Secretary of State unanimously reaffirms decision Colorado Community Rights Amendment meets requirements,” said a post on the Facebook page Colorado Community Rights Network. “Corporations have only one more hope, taking the amendment into the Colorado Supreme Court, before we head to signature gathering!”

The post adds, “We will know if they resort to that in five days. Community rights over corporate power!!!”

The initiative gives towns, cities and counties the authority to pass measures that supersede federal and state law, which would allow localities to ban hydraulic fracturing and even corporate activity within their borders.

~ The Colorado Observer

Although the above news article characterizes the amendment as 'antifracking' and 'anticorporate', the real intent of the grassroots proponents is far more inclusive and comprehensive than that according to the Colorado Community Rights Network which is the umbrella organization advancing ballot measure #75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, and helping local communities create their own protections against corporate activities that interfere with the rights of local communities of individuals.
The intent of this historic initiative is to preserve the people’s right to local self-government, a right that empowers local communities to protect their fundamental rights free of corporate interference and state preemption.

The Colorado Community Rights Network supports the view that our fundamental rights are universal, and that the current legal framework that favors corporations over people and communities threatens the essence of democracy. Ballot initiative #75 addresses the inherent problems of corporate centered law. It is part of a larger strategy to bring full democratic rights and protections to communities across Colorado.

Ballot measure #75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, is a measure that is inclusive. It does not limit a community’s authority to any one particular industry or corporation. It is also comprehensive. It seeks to expand the protection of fundamental rights at a community level, however a particular community chooses to define those fundamental rights. These fundamental rights can be of an environmental, economic, or social nature.

Four Coloradan communities have voted upon and enacted local ordinances asserting their Constitutional rights to self governance by blocking fracking. These small towns are now being sued by deep-pocketed corporations who claim that their rights to extract resources trump the people's rights to protect their own health, safety and welfare.

Ballot initiative #75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment would stop these Goliath corporations from suing small David communities who act for their own health, safety, and welfare. In Colorado, Dillon's Rule may come into play. This 1868 court decision holds the state as a "parent" over the "child" municipality which allows the state to preempt local government from making certain laws without express permission. This concept has been used in Oregon (which does not actually have the Dillon Rule) when the legislature included an ALEC model bill  (popularly known as "Oregon's Monsanto Protection Act" which banned local governments from making agricultural laws) in order to bribe the Republican legislators into finally passing a budget.

Americans have seen the rights of corporations elevated over their own individual rights by the highest court in the land. We watch as state governments appear helpless or unwilling to assist communities who suffer assaults to their health, safety and welfare by factory farming, hydraulic fracturing, genetic trespass, corporate exercise of eminent domain, and a plethora of community harms from Goliath corporations who bulldoze over the inherent constitutional guaranteed rights of flesh and blood persons to act to protect their communities.

Legislative and legal civil disobedience is now the true modern Tea Party. We cannot expect democracy to be handed down by a corrupt federal or state apparatus because it no longer exists on that level. The people need to assert democracy on a local level and drive it up the system.

Since the article linked from The Colorado Observer appears to conflate ballot measure #75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, with an anti-fracking amendment, I thought it only fair to quote the clarifying response from the Colorado Community Rights Network:

The Colorado Community Rights Amendment only protects communities that create laws to protect the fundamental rights. It has no jurisdiction over superficial decisions, and only concerns itself with businesses that both are viewed as a threat by communities, and that are reliant upon State force to operate within those communities. As most businesses are not viewed by people as threats to their fundamental rights, it is telling that the oil and gas industry identifies itself as one of these enterprises that cannot operate within a democratic society.

So if the concern is that ballot initiative number 75 will ban fracking across the entire state, then this would have to assume that the full state of Colorado views oil and gas development as enough of a threat to their fundamental rights as to enact laws to prohibit it in every municipality without exception. The Colorado Community Rights Network has no polling to indicate this, and where communities want hydraulic fracturing, the ballot initiative simply will not apply, as it relies upon people and local communities to decide upon action.

Again, if oil and gas development cannot function within a democratic society, it begs the question about if the corporations that conduct that development should be given higher legal authority than the people our Declaration of Independence professes to be the source of all political power and legitimacy. This is the decision that Colorado voters should be able to address.

Please follow below the orange petition signature for the Colorado Community Rights Amendment ballot language.

Colorado Community Rights Amendment

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado

In the constitution of the state of Colorado, add section 32 to article II as follows:

Section 32. Right to Local Self-Government

(1) As all political power is vested in and derived from the people, and as all government of right originates from the people, the people have an inherent and inalienable right to local self-government, including in each county, city, town, and other municipality.

(2) That right shall include, without limitation:

(a) the power to enact local laws protecting health, safety, and welfare by establishing the fundamental rights of individuals, their communities, and nature, and by securing those rights using prohibitions and other means; and

(b) the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering, or eliminating the rights, powers, and duties of corporations and other business entities operating or seeking to operate in the community, to prevent such rights and powers from interfering with such locally-enacted fundamental rights of individuals, their communities, and nature.

(3) Local laws adopted pursuant to section (2) of this section shall not be subject to preemption by international, federal, or state laws, nor shall they be subject to limitation pursuant to section 6 of article XX of this constitution; provided that

(a) such local laws shall not restrict fundamental rights of individuals, their communities, or nature secured by the Colorado constitution, the United States constitution, or international law; and

(b) such local laws shall not weaken protections for individuals, their communities, or nature provided by state, federal, or international law.

(4) All provisions of this section are self-executing and severable.

Originally posted to occupystephanie ~ Stephanie Hampton on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Rights Movement.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:34:02 PM PDT

  •  The corporate interests are advertising heavily (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

    The oil and gas interests are advertising on the air and on billboards and even over YouTube trying to get ready for whatever ballot measures are on the way. There is not any measures currently in Denver but I am constantly exposed to this campaign.

    •  I'm sure they are. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lencialoo, RiveroftheWest

      Just last week we had a letter into the editor supporting fracking and we don't have any in Oregon. Yet.

      They have money to burn. In the above article, the Gas People are quoted at length with their disinformation and scare tactics. Most of it is based on "people cannot handle democracy. People need the state to protect them from their neighbors."

      This is ground zero for fracking.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tony, since you live there, you may be interested (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, peregrine kate

      in taking another look at the article because I have significantly revised it after speaking to someone involved in the Colorado Community Rights Network who filled me in about the complex situation they have there.

      There are three groups putting forward ballot measures with a total of nine measures. The one I write about here--ballot measure #75 is the one that is rights-based.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:43:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is such a heartening development! (6+ / 0-)

    Dillon's Rule paternalism has served the people very badly, to put it mildly, especially in rural counties and poor communities. It's time to remember Gandhi's words "An unjust law is itself a species of violence." and fight back non-violently with legislative civil disobedience. Corporation are property and have NO rights. They need to be subordinated to the will of the people and if they cause damage, their charters revoked by the state.

    •  White Rose, I could not agree with you more! (3+ / 0-)

      I believe that Colorado has been working with Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) which has helped other communities write their own ordinances. Colorado has a network of these communities as do a few other states.

      This is the first time, though, that this community rights effort has reached a state level. Will be very interesting to come head-to-head with corporate rights and see what kind of press that generates.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:45:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  CELDF rocks, Global Exchange, too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

        also lots of good stuff at poclad.org. I think Jane Anne Morris should get awards for both Best Title and Best Subtitle for this one:

        “HELP! I’VE BEEN COLONIZED AND CAN’T GET UP….”
        Take a Lawyer and an Expert To a Hearing and Call Me In a Decade

        Should be an interesting election. It also looks like Mendocino County may have a CR initiative on the ballot and the frackers in New Mexico have sued Mora County over theirs.

        •  I'm sending you an invite to my group (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          Community Rights Movement. I've been gathering stories of communities fighting back.

          My county group is working with CELDF for a Local Foods Ordinance. We are a few days away from getting out ballot title and gathering signatures.

          Thanks for the other places to look!

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:40:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  R rugosa alba, please take another look... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, peregrine kate

          ...because I have significantly revised it after speaking to someone involved in the Colorado Community Rights Network who filled me in about the complex situation they have there.

          The Colorado Community Rights Network is sponsoring ballot measure #75 which is inclusive and comprehensive to ensure that communities can use their rights of self-governance to protect themselves against any corporate harm and is not limited to fracking.

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:47:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Plank in the platform (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

        of the Colorado Democratic party supports this-I'll be voting for it at state assembly Saturday.Interesting because our Democratic Governor,John Hickenlooper is pro-fracking and a huge extraction industry booster.Thanks for the diary!

        'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable'A.Einstein

        •  Great news! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          It has been remarkable how quickly Colorado has taken this to the state level.

          Not all Democrats are created equal I guess. Our Democratic Governor is not too friendly towards this idea either as counties are claiming community rights on agricultural issues like pesticides and GMO contamination. Perhaps in their position, they see us as rebel counties.

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:45:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Colorado has a Democratic governor? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

            Coulda fooled me. :-/

            He's a Democrat only because the Republicans are so wacko.  Of course, that could be said of many of our Leading Political Figures . . .

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:01:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  unfangus, please take another look (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          especially since you may be voting on this issue. (Let me know how that goes, btw)

          I have significantly revised it after speaking to someone involved in the Colorado Community Rights Network who filled me in about the complex situation they have there with three groups sponsoring nine different ballot measures.

          The Colorado Community Rights Network is sponsoring ballot measure #75 which is inclusive and comprehensive to ensure that communities can use their rights of self-governance to protect themselves against any corporate harm and is not limited to fracking.

          There is another measure Local Control which is backed by national Food & Water Watch and another group which is sponsoring a multitude of measures, none of them apparently rights-based.

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:50:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Please Make Corrections to This Article (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

    To Our Friend at the Daily Kos:

    This article has severely confused several ballot initiatives. Ballot initiative number 75, is what we at the Colorado Community Rights Network is calling the "Colorado Community Rights Amendment". It is the amendment that survived challenges to it by the Colorado Mining Association last week. There are an assortment of proposed amendments calling themselves, "Local Control", but you have started this article speaking about the Community Rights Amendment, which is about Community Rights versus corporate power, and then cited the wrong ballot initiative that is associated with that, and then gone on to point people to the wrong website, one that only deals with fracking.

    The Colorado Community Rights Amendment is not democratic power over ALL corporate projects. It is being successfully advanced by the Colorado Community Rights Network, with our website here: COCRN.org.

    The text of the measure can be ready here: http://www.cocrn.org/...

    PLEASE make these distinctions, and contact us as soon as possible for clarification. The problems are bigger than just fracking, and we need a solution that addresses the root.

    For all else, please follow us on
    Twitter: @CoCommRights
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/...
    Email: CoCommRights@gmail.com

    Get involved! We are going to the roots of the problem here, and you may want to be a part of a historic campaign and a movement that has the analysis to back it up.

    In Solidarity,
    The Colorado Community Rights Network

    •  Thanks for posting this important correction. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

      I've followed the links, both in the diary and the one you supply, and it appears you are correct.
      I hope the diarist follows up with you.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:15:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hello, CoCommRights (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, peregrine kate

      Glad to make your acquaintance! I am following the Community Rights effort in my county here concerning agriculture and have been gathering pieces about this effort nationwide.

      I am contacting you via email right now. DO want to be accurate about what you are doing. Realized that the situation can be very complex as it is here in Oregon.

      Solidarity!

      Stephanie

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:27:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank You!!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

        Accurate and wonderful changes. Thank you. You should know that this idea, that corporate power and democracy itself are in fundamental opposition is getting the concern of major industry publications. This issue, which is far bigger than even fracking, will be an opportunity for people to join a new civil rights movement. We need your help and support!

        The Colorado Community Rights Network
        COCRN.org
        CoCommRights@gmail.com

        •  Thanks, CoCommRights! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, peregrine kate

          Wonderful to speak to you. I have great confidence that you will be successful.

          One more quote:

          The Community Rights Movement is therefore national in scope, and was recently described by the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico in its publication, Energy New Mexico, as, "...the beginning of a social movement that is greater than just the oil and gas industry, it is a potential game changer for all of corporate America.”
          We very much need a "gamechanger" for the corporate world or we will lose the real world!

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:55:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Colorado Community Rights (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

    Unless your community has a community rights ordinance, you really DON'T have community rights. The sad reality is that humans are, in essence, royals subjects (commoners) to the royal (Sovereign) Corporation that can do whatever it wants, wherever it wants....Home rule, community rights and community bill of rights is the answer!

    This video is an 18 minute EYE-OPENER about this reality and what you (we) can do about it. It's empowering:

    http://vimeo.com/...

    •  I'll take a look at this later (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      am putting in an asparagus bed today.

      These community rights efforts are civil disobedience against unjust laws. There is no case law on these efforts; however, they are underpinned by the state and federal Constitutions. We do not need to ask permission.

      From ballot measure #75:

      (1) As all political power is vested in and derived from the people, and as all government of right originates from the people, the people have an inherent and inalienable right to local self-government, including in each county, city, town, and other municipality.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:19:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good work, occupystephanie, on making contact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, occupystephanie

    and taking care of the fixes. I appreciate your commitment and sense of responsibility.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:18:50 PM PDT

  •  Community Rights Challenged to SC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penelope pnortney

    For Immediate Release

    Ballot Initiative Number 75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, Challenged to Colorado Supreme Court

    Contacts:
    Cliff Willmeng 303 478 6613
    Lotus 719 337 0029
    Merrily Mazza 720 556 1286

    Email: CoCommRights@gmail.com
    Website: www.COCRN.org  

    After being defeated in their challenge against ballot initiative number 75 at the Colorado Secretary of State Hearing Board, protesters against the Colorado Community Rights Amendment have appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court in an attempt to claim the text of the amendment does not meet legal requirements. The effort to keep the initiative from the petitioning phase before heading to a full vote became necessary after the Hearing Board voted unanimously that the measure met State legal requirements on April 2nd of this year.

    The ballot initiative asserts, “People have an inherent and inalienable right to local self government,” that the power to enact local laws protecting the health, safety, and welfare of individuals, communities, and nature will not be subject to preemption by larger government, and local governments will have the power to severely restrict the ability of corporations to interfere with such laws. Preemption has been used by the Colorado Mining Association to overturn a five-county ban on the industrial use of cyanide in gold mining and is currently being employed against the communities of Longmont, Lafayette, and Fort Collins in their efforts to protect their people and cities against modern oil and gas extraction.

    The effect of the protests against ballot initiative number 75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, delays its ability to move toward the petitioning phase and ultimately narrows the window where necessary signatures can be gathered to place the amendment to the vote of Colorado’s people. It is the position of the Colorado Community Rights Network that the votes of Colorado citizens are of higher importance than the interests of corporations and that, despite attempts to delay democratic decision making within our state, the people will ultimately be given opportunity to participate in the adoption of this historic and powerful amendment.

    Colorado, like so many other places across the nation, has come to the inevitable conflict between democracy and corporate power, and the efforts to deny our inherent and inalienable rights to health, safety, welfare, and self-determination through legal powers granted to corporations are now playing out at a state level. Ballot initiative number 75 will recognize the right of local self-government to codify the supremacy of individuals, communities, and nature over the corporate power advanced by our state government against Colorado’s people. The temporary delay by forces opposed to rule of the people cannot slow down the community rights movement, which is daily gathering more relevance, power, and understanding.

    As part of this growing people's movement, the Colorado Community Rights Network will continue to advance ballot initiative number 75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment. The challenges to the ideas embodied by this amendment are only a temporary measure to delay its inevitable and necessary provisions.

    Ballot Title Setting Board

    Proposed Initiative 2013-2014 #751

     The title as designated and fixed by the Board is as follows:

     An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a right to local self-government, and, in connection therewith, declaring that the people have an inherent right to local self-government in counties and municipalities, including the power to enact laws to establish and protect fundamental rights of individuals, communities, and nature and the power to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities to prevent them from interfering with those fundamental rights; and declaring that such local laws are not subject to preemption by any federal, state, or international laws.

     The ballot title and submission clause as designated and fixed by the Board is as follows:

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a right to local self-government, and, in connection therewith, declaring that the people have an inherent right to local self-government in counties and municipalities, including the power to enact laws to establish and protect fundamental rights of individuals, communities, and nature and the power to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities to prevent them from interfering with those fundamental rights; and declaring that such local laws are not subject to preemption by any federal, state, or international laws?

     Hearing March 19, 2014:
    Single subject approved; staff draft amended, title set.
    Hearing adjourned 12:23 p.m.

     Hearing April 2, 2014:
    Motion for Rehearing denied except to the extent that the Board made changes to the titles.
    Hearing adjourned 12:59 p.m.

  •  Good diary (0+ / 0-)

    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

    by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 02:51:30 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site