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Learning About Community Rights

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osted by Katie Singer

In Eugene, I began learning about Community Rights. More than 200 communities in nine states have passed legally-binding and locally-enforceable community rights laws that

* ban harmful but currently legal corporate activities like fracking, dumping sludge on farmland, unsustainable energy development, water withdrawal for bottling, etc.;

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* strip corporations of all of their constitutional "rights;"

* restore a municipality's right to govern itself and protect its public health and environment.

Could your town apply Community Rights ordinances around "smart" meters, Wi-Fi and telecommunications equipment? YES...with a public vote at the ballot box.

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Because our federal laws grant corporations "First Amendment free speech rights," telecom corporations claim, for example, that a municipality cannot require them to post SAR labeling on mobile devices. Because that would violate their right not to speak about a product's potential harms.

Community Rights ordinances nullify existing state, federal and corporate trade-treaty pre-emption laws when those laws violate our inherent right of local self-governance.

A community could declare that its neighborhoods shall have the authority to deny any industrial, residential or commercial project proposed by a corporation. A community could create an ordinance banning Wi-Fi in schools, "smart" meters, distributed antenna systems, new cell towers.

What's the catch? Your community has to reach majority rule at the ballot box; or your city or county councilors have to pass such an ordinance. (And so, public education continues.)

For more info, visit,, and 'Community Rights TV' on Youtube. Here's a recent talk from Community Rights leader Paul Cienfuegos: click here

Posted by Katie Singer

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Katie Singer works on public policy with the Electromagnetic Radiation Policy Institute. A medical journalist, her books include The Garden of Fertility; Honoring Our Cycles, and An Electronic Silent Spring: Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits. 

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