We the undersigned Board of Directors of the National Community Rights Network declare:
Whereas, the political, economic and legal systems of the United States allow an elite few to impose policy and governing decisions that threaten the very survival of human and natural communities:
Whereas, the goal of those decisions is to concentrate wealth and power through the exploitation of human and natural communities; while promoting the belief that such exploitation is necessary for the common good.
Whereas, the survival of our communities depends on replacing this system of governance by the privileged few with new community-based democratic decision-making systems and that all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent of the governed, and instituted for the general good;
Whereas, our communities are under siege from a structure of law that has bestowed greater rights on corporations than on the communities in which they operate, and it is that system of law that enables the corporations to do what they do;
Whereas, we recognize that economic, social and environmental sustainability have been rendered illegal under this system of law, that nature is treated as property and as having no rights, and that this system is not democratic;
Whereas, given the control by those corporations over our elected representatives, we have given up hope that either our state governments or the federal government will help protect us from these corporations;
Whereas, we recognize that such a system— which grants a corporate few the legal authority to override our community majorities— constitutes tyranny and usurpation, we are therefore duty bound to oppose such tyranny and usurpation;
Whereas, we declare that if democracy means “majority rule” and “consent of the governed,” that a democracy does not exist in our communities or in the states, and that we must now create democracy in our municipalities and within the States and our Nation.
Therefore we call on communities across the United States of America to:
transform local struggles into new frameworks of law, establishing sustainable and democratic systems while dismantling the old;
revoke the authority used by a privileged minority to impose political, legal, and economic systems that endanger our human and natural communities;
overturn the legal and political doctrines used by corporate and governmental officers to override community decision-making, including preemption, subordination of municipal governments, bestowal of constitutional rights upon corporations and relegating ecosystems to the status of property and to:
openly and frontally challenge all attempts to subordinate the rights of ALL people to the rule of the privileged few;
adopt local laws that recognize community rights for residents of all municipalities and the natural environment;
include in those local laws direct challenges to the legal doctrines that currently mandate that corporations have greater rights than the residents of our communities, the national workforce or the natural environment;
We therefore declare:
That we, the people, must transform our local community struggles into ones that resist and dismantle the existing undemocratic systems while codifying new, democratic, rights-securing and sustainable systems;
That such a movement has begun in the municipally incorporated as well as the unincorporated communities of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Colorado;
That communities across the nation that have already begun this work shall stand together and exercise our inherent and inalienable right to create authentic democracy, demanding change to the federal constitution that will elevate the rights of ALL people, communities, and nature above the claimed “rights” of corporations and the governing authorities they control;
That such a movement must grow and accelerate through the work of people in all municipalities to raise the profile of the work and effect a new constitutional structure at state and national levels.