Assisting Pennsylvania Communities To Establish Community Rights To Democratic Local Self-Governance & Sustainability

About

The current structure of law in Pennsylvania systematically strips communities of the power to adopt laws to protect their health and safety, particularly when those laws come into direct conflict with corporate decisionmaking. This system thus prohibits communities from banning projects and activities that they consider dangerous and harmful – everything from corporate factory farms to the land dumping of sewage sludge and “hydro-fracking” for natural gas. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania communities have found out the hard way that the existing structure does not provide a remedy for these problems, and that a corporate minority, with the blessing of the state, has almost wholesale control over our communities on almost any issue that really matters.

Folks involved with the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network (PACRN) have seen this system for what it is. PACRN is a democratic, statewide organization focused on asserting fundamental rights to achieve constitutional change that liberates local community self-government.

PACRN has grown out of the local grassroots organizing that the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has assisted Pennsylvania communities with for over 15 years. That work includes assisting communities to draft Community Bills of Rights  – in effect, local constitutions – that assert new civil and political rights for the community, and then prohibit those activities that would infringe on those rights.

Learn More

Recent News

Endorsement, National News, Pennsylvania, Pipelines, Rights of Nature

Pennsylvania: Nuns Protest Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline by Building Chapel on Proposed Route

From an ECOWATCH article: An order of Catholic nuns and the grassroots coalition Lancaster Against Pipelines have built an open-air chapel in Columbia, Pennsylvania along the proposed route of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline to stall construction of the $3 billion project. The St. Louis-headquartered Adorers of the Blood of Christ […]

Article, Fracking, Home Rule, National News, Pennsylvania

How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking: Grant Township, Pennsylvania, population 741, has became the front line of a radical new environmental movement – and they’re not backing down

“Who will fight back? To some extent, we have already seen the answer. It is rural communities, it is poor communities, it is communities of color, places like Standing Rock, and Flint, Michigan, and Grant Township, vulnerable communities that again and again find themselves on the front lines of the […]

Fracking, Local News, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Township First To Legalize Civil Disobedience & ‘Bad Boy’ Tim DeChristopher Has Their Back

A bold move by a community Public Herald has been following for years – Grant Township – just made historic news [again] by legalizing civil disobedience. Last night [May 3], Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania made a bit of history.  The municipality passed a local law legalizing civil disobedience.  According to the new […]