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Announcements

CELDF partner Paul Cienfuegos speaks in Portland, OR

Posted by on May 27th, 2013

CELDF's Thomas Linzey - Speech at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

Posted by on May 2nd, 2013

Listen to CELDF Executive Director Thomas Linzey deliver his plenary speech - Corporations, Communities & the Environment - at the University of Oregon's Public Interest Environmental Law Conference this March. 

The speech will be aired on Alternative Radio over the next several weeks - check your local listings here.

Also, you can purchase a digital copy of the speech here.

Democracy School in Yellow Springs, OH, May 17-18. Click here to learn more.

Posted by on April 26th, 2013

RETHINKING CORPORATIONS, RETHINKING DEMOCRACY

You are invited to a  DEMOCRACY SCHOOL
Presented  by  the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund


Friday, May 17th 6:30-9:30 P.M., Saturday, May 18th 9-5P.M

Unitarian Universalist Church on  Route 68  approximately  2 miles south of Yellow Springs, Ohio

Teachers: Emelyn Lybarger and Chad Nicholson        

An enlightening walk through American History, revealing the roots of corporate "rights".  Explore how it came to be that corporations have more "rights"  than American people.  Learn how communities across the nation are challenging corporate constitutional privilege.  A chance to reframe ideas about how to protect local rights and the environment – a toolkit to act locally.

Cost: $125 – includes lunch and curriculum book

We will reserve some space for students and others in need at a discount.  Donations above the registration fee will be appreciated to fund scholarships.

Registration Deadline:  Wednesday May 1st- limited to 25 students

To register, sponsor a student or donate to scholarship fund,  please send name, address, email and phone number with your check payable to:  Dimi Reber at 180 Park Meadows Drive, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

For further info and inquiries about scholarships, discounts, donations,  sponsoring a student and housing,  contact Dimi Reber-937 767-1078 – or dimireber@rocketmail.com

Democracy School in Yellow Springs  is sponsored in part by: Antioch University Midwest Sustainability Program, Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Yellow Springs ,GODAE, and Greene Environmental Coalition


The Community Environmental Legal Defense fund is a national organization that has assisted more than 140 communities in the U.S. to draft ordinances to protect them from fracking, factory farms, GMO’s, pollution of drinking water, and community rights abuses.

CELDF's Pennsylvania Community Rights Workshop - March 29 - 30th in Pittsburgh. Click here to learn more.

Posted by on March 15th, 2013

Community Rights Workshop and a Pittsburgh Community Bill of Rights Referendum

Not to be missed by those who are committed to Community Empowerment for a Sustainable Future

Space is limited to 35 maximum. Sign up early and please forward this to people you know who would find this a useful workshop.

Friday evening, March 29, 6pm - 9pm Saturday, March 30, 9am - 6pm
located in the Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh

  • Wondering why corporations have more power than those of you living in your community?
  • Wondering why Harrisburg licenses and permits corporations to harm your community?
  • Wondering why Harrisburg routinely prevents you from making decisions that are in the best interests of your community?

The Pennsylvania Community Rights Workshop takes an in-depth look at how Pennsylvania's political and legal structures have been set up to protect the interests of an elite minority, at the expense of the majority of Pennsylvanians. We'll look at how Pennsylvania's constitution has continually evolved since the American Revolution to protect wealth and privilege over community self-government; we'll look at how corporations in Pennsylvania have received more rights and protections than those of you living in your community; and we'll look at how Pennsylvanians have pushed back against these oppressive structures to reclaim democracy in their communities.

We will explore how to strengthen a Referendum Campaign in Pittsburgh that will place Community Rights on the November ballot.

We will also consider what it would take to create a Pennsylvania constitution that protects the rights of people, communities, and nature by securing our inalienable right to local self-government, free from corporate and state interference.

TO REGISTER SIMPLY EMAIL: environment@thomasmertoncenter.org and let us know how you will be paying.

The total cost of the workshop is $60 per person.

A partial payment of $25 must be paid by March 25 unless a special arrangement is made (call Wanda at 724.327.2767 or 412.596.0066) or email environment@thomasmertoncenter.org. It is possible to PAY BY CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL ACCOUNT! Log on to Thomas Merton Center Donate and scroll down to Environmental Justice.

Checks should be made out to the Thomas Merton Center, with a memo notation “Community Rights” Please send to Thomas Merton Center, 5129 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15224 The balance should be paid in full the evening of March 29 at the workshop. We are keeping our expenses to a minimum to ensure affordability for everyone. 

Santa Monica City Council introduces California's first community rights ordinance, recognizing the right to self-governance, clean air and water, sustainable food and energy systems, and the rights of nature. Click here to read more.

Posted by on March 14th, 2013

RIGHTS OF NATURE ON THE SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL AGENDA

Rights of Nature is included [in] the City of Santa Monica, California’s proposed Sustainability Rights Ordinance that recognizes “Natural communities and ecosystems possess fundamental and inalienable rights to exist and flourish in the City Of Santa Monica.”  The Introduction and First Reading of the ordinance is on the Santa Monica City Council Meeting Agenda for March 12, 2013.

The rights described in the Ordinance will be advanced in part by Santa Monica’s model Sustainable City Plan, which is being updated now and which sets out specific sustainability actions and goals.

The Executive Summary introducing the Ordinance Establishing Sustainable Rights for Santa Monica residents and the natural environment states “Following previous direction by Council, staff has prepared an ordinance that codifies the commitments made in the Sustainable City Plan and asserts the fundamental rights of all Santa Monica residents regarding sustainability. The ordinance also establishes the rights of natural communities and ecosystems to exist and flourish in Santa Monica and asserts the rights of residents to enforce those rights on behalf of the environment.  The ordinance establishes that corporate entities do not possess special privileges or powers under the law that subordinate the community’s rights.”

The Ordinance also articulates the rights of people to self-governance and sustainable living. It declares that “all residents of Santa Monica possess fundamental and inalienable rights to: clean water from sustainable sources; marine waters safe for active and passive recreation; clean indoor and outdoor air; a sustainable food system that provides healthy, locally grown food; a sustainable climate that supports thriving human life and a flourishing biodiverse environment; comprehensive waste disposal systems that do not degrade the environment; and a sustainable energy future based on renewable energy sources.”

Alliance members from Earth Law Center, Global Exchange and Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund are pleased to have been partnering with the City of Santa Monica staff and Task Force on the Environment since its inception.

CELDF partner Paul Cienfuegos is leading his two-day intensive workshop, "We The People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe: First Steps in Dismantling Corporate Rule" in Port Townsend, WA, on the Olympic Peninsula, 2/23 - 2/24. Learn more here.

Posted by on February 7th, 2013

Paul will facilitate a series of focused discussions and small and large group exercises to assist participants in:

  • understanding the history and root causes of the rise of corporate power, and corporate usurpation of our democratic authority to govern ourselves
  • examining the local impacts of corporate rule, how citizens are currently challenging corporations locally, one corporate harm at a time, and how these efforts could be reframed to be more effective
  • decolonizing our minds and our language from the firm grip of corporate culture
  • taking time to express and feel our sorrow, anger, despair, etc about living in a society drenched in corporate culture
  • learning the art of 'democratic conversation'
  • beginning to craft strategies to recover our democracy from corporate rule (with specific focus on existing local campaigns)

Pre-registration required.

More workshop details here: http://paulcienfuegos.com/node/3#firststep.

Contact Paul for timing and location, and to register: paul@100fires.com or 503-233-1166.

CELDF's Tom Linzey on Thom Hartmann TV Tonight - January 31. 7pm ET/4pm PT. Watch online.

Posted by on

January 31, 2013  Don't miss CELDF's Executive Director Thomas Linzey on Thom Hartmann's television show tonight.  7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific.  

Check here for local listings.   You can also watch live online here.

When the Law is on Their Side: What Communities are Doing Differently to Change the Game against Corporate Domination - Join CELDF's Community Organizer Kai Huschke in Moscow, ID this Friday, 2/1. Click here to learn more.

Posted by on January 25th, 2013

When the Law is on Their Side: What Communities are Doing Differently to Change the Game against Corporate Domination

CELDF's Kai Huschke facilitates this workshop in Moscow, ID - Friday, February 1st, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  Join us!

Location:

1912 Center - Fiske Room
412 East Third Street

For more information, contact:

wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com
208-301-8039



Slaves, Suffragists, and Civil Rights: Changing the Law Through Disobedience to the Law - a workshop led by CELDF's Kai Huschke on Tuesday, 1/29 in Spokane, WA. Click here to learn more.

Posted by on January 24th, 2013

Slaves, Suffragists, and Civil Rights:

Changing the Law Through Disobedience to the Law

CELDF's Kai Huschke facilitates this workshop on Tuesday, January 29th, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Join us at the Community Building - Lobby, 35 W. Main St in Spokane.

  • Why does the law favor corporations over people?
  • Moving from defense to offense with our activism
  • Reframing the problem: Community Bill of Rights

Find out how communities are kicking corporate bullies to the curb by refusing to the play by their rules.

FREE TO THE PUBLIC! 

Check out:

https://www.facebook.com/envisionspokane

For questions:

info@envisionspokane.org


WeArePowerShift.org: Matt Damon's "Promised Land": The Good, Bad, and Misrepresented

Posted by Alexander Lotorto on January 8th, 2013

Matt Damon's new flick, Promised Land, is a delightful melodrama of Hollywood proportions set in a fictional, southwest Pennsylvania farming town called McKinley. Having grown up in a small, rural town in Pennsylvania and spent my share of time working in fields, I was impressed with the cinematography that presents McKinley as I've experienced my life exploring twisting rural roads, living at a slower pace, and having small businesses named after the folks who run them. I believed the exposition, though no one in the local dive bar is smoking despite ashtrays present at every table.

Matt Damon's character is a gas industry land man who is deployed to McKinley by his billion-dollar company, Global Crosspower Solutions, to sign leases with local residents to allow shale gas drilling on their land. Shale drilling employs a process commonly called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", where silica sand, chemicals, and millions of gallons of water are blasted down a well bore to break up deep rock layers to release methane and other gases to the surface. Ultimately, I was disappointed that few technical facts or images of drilling were presented in the film, despite the set location in Washington County where hundreds of well pads, pipelines, processing plants, compressor stations, and access roads scar the landscape.

Knowing the Tennessee Pipeline is about to cut and dredge its way through my hometown across the Delaware River, bisecting gas leased land and eminent domained properties, this plot hit home for me. Ironically, Promised Land State Park here in Pike County has a hunting camp in the middle that's leased to Chesapeake Energy. If the Delaware River basin, drinking water for 15 million people, is finally opened to drilling and if the state park was leased by the governor, over 3,000 acres would be opened for development near my childhood home. I can't fathom the kind of disrespect for our rural heritage the gas industry landman, not unlike Damon's character, must have, who looked at a place like that and pictured a future chemical-laden industrial site.

Here in northeast PA the industry has tried to improve its community relations by sending out glossy mailers, holding their own picnics, sponsoring the Harford Fair, the Scranton St. Patrick's Day Parade, and various cultural events in a similar way Global sponsors McKinley's little league team and town fair in the film. Corrupt officials abound and gas workers express woes about missing their families at home in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The environmentalist depicted in the film very much reminded me of myself except I usually sing "Thunder Road" instead of "Dancing in the Dark" at kareoke.

In many ways, Promised Land is dead on representative of what we're facing here in Pennsylvania.

However, I'd like to vary this review from many I've read by environmentalists with some major critiques.

The first, and my biggest problem with Promised Land, is the depiction of Pennsylvania women in the film as disempowered observers in the debate over the town's vote to ban drilling.

In the film, Alice, the schoolteacher played by actress Rosemarie DeWitt, doesn't verbally express her opinion of the drilling even once and is simply depicted as a cautious romantic squeeze for Matt Damon and John Krasinski, the out of town environmentalist, to war over. The waitress at McKinley's local greasy spoon isn't given any lines regarding the controversy and the nameless mother who is approached for a lease by Damon's land agent counterpart, Sue, is bright eyed and silent as she absorbs the industry talking points without a single question or concern.

In 2010, I participated in the initial drive to pass the world's first drilling ban in Pittsburgh that has snowballed into local legislative successes in small towns, states, and even the entire country of France. From the very beginning when we met at the Lincoln Place Elk's Lodge to hear the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund's director, Ben Price, explain his draft ordinance to our group, powerful mothers, grandmothers, and many young women have been the tireless engine of our movement.

City Councilman Doug Shields, who represented the ward, had initially presented the drilling issue at a West Mifflin Elementary School town hall and claimed there was nothing he could do. At the urging of newly engaged mothers, namely Loretta Weir, and with the encouragement from Doug's wife Briget, he attended our Elk's Lodge meeting and was persuaded over beers to introduce the drilling ban to City Council.

At the subsequent public hearing on the ban, woman after woman stood up and testified against drilling within the city limits with well-informed, researched points and were the most vocal "boo's" and mocking laughter as industry suits testified how safe their operations were to the unconvinced audience.

My second objection is the broad representation of the townspeople as unable to organize themselves without Dustin the environmentalist going door to door and rallying them to the cause. In fact, the Pittsburgh ban ordinance was passed completely because of the grassroots efforts of Pittsburgh residents who organized a bar crawl, a march, and rallies at City Hall without the endorsement or staff support of any Big Green environmental organizations, including Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, PennEnvironment, or PennFuture, all of whom still reject banning drilling as a realistic policy.

We sent the industry away, licking its wounds, by talking to our neighbors with our own organization, Marcellus Protest Coalition, and that kind of unfunded, volunteer effort is how our anti-fracking movement is winning battles again and again.

As a Film Studies major in another life, I had some very big problems with the desperate plot twist at the end that is nowhere foreshadowed and is not nearly the worst-case scenario that every screen and dramatic writing professor demands in a work like this. Without giving up the ending, I'll say that Damon and Krasinski, who wrote the film clearly without researching the actual conflicts and resistance in rural PA that have occurred in recent years, wimped out on a truly riveting denouemount, or conclusion, to the story.

If I were to offer a screenwriter's critique, I would have had the drillers move into McKinley and the locals decide to resist them, as has happened throughout our region. I would have delved into the destruction of community relationships like has happened in Dimock, PA among pro- and anti-drilling residents.

In Pennsylvania, a township supervisor in Lycoming County dropped trees and a farmer parked his pickup in the road to block the trucks in Jefferson County from destroying their respective roads, someone blasted a newly installed waste pit liner apart with their shotgun in Indiana County, and civil disobedience has been used to shut down gas infrastructure construction for over 12 days in the case of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park eviction. On a Hollywood scale, the possibilities are endless, but rural Pennsylvanians have already been writing this film with their actions, so there wouldn't be much of a stretch.

Finally, Damon's predictable role reversal in the end could have been a lot more powerful by having him meet with Global's executive team one last time to explain what happened. I feel like abandoning that scene was a lazy way of sending Damon off with a clear head, confident he'd get the girl. In my experience, rural women are a lot more skeptical of gas workers than Alice is.

What's my overall rating of the film? The soundtrack is great. I appreciate that it makes it a lot harder for land agents to operate door to door among families that have seen Promised Land, although it doesn't equip the families with many technical arguments against fracking. I welcome the income the film production brought to the area, although I wonder if any of the box office revenue will be diverted by Damon and Krasinski to support our movement organizing. Most of all, I am glad that the film rejuvenated the national debate about fracking that had stagnated during the elections, even with its somewhat inaccurate presentation.

CELDF's Executive Director Thomas Linzey exposes the truth about the PA Commonwealth Court's recent decision regarding Act 13 and fracking. Read more here.

Posted by Emelyn Lybarger on August 22nd, 2012

Why the Recent Act 13 Decision Won’t Help to Stop Fracking
How Environmental Groups Keep Leading Communities into Dead-Ends


Submitted by:
Thomas Alan Linzey, Esq.
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
P.O. Box 360
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania 17236
(717) 977-6823 (c)

Recently, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania struck down key parts of Act 13, the now-infamous Pennsylvania state law that sought to nullify municipal zoning restrictions on natural gas extraction and gas “fracking” across the State.

Newspaper headlines comfortingly trumpeted that local control had been restored. A lawyer for the municipalities that brought the original challenge even proclaimed that the ruling “reaffirmed that gas company profits do not trump the constitutional rights of Pennsylvania residents and property owners.” Environmental groups crooned that the ruling protected communities and the environment.

But as Paul Harvey was fond of saying, “and now for the rest of the story.”

While the Commonwealth Court did rule to limit the reach of Act 13, the decision was not based on the right of communities to stop fracking. Instead, the Court ruled that the State couldn’t use the Act to force gas extraction operations onto land not locally zoned for it, because such coercion would interfere with the rights of neighboring property owners. It was thus a property rights decision, not a community rights one.

While some might argue that that’s a distinction without a difference, they would be wrong. Instead of validating the right of community residents to control harmful activities within their borders, the Court treated the dispute as merely one between two sets of property owners – the corporate owners of the minerals to be extracted, and landowners adjacent to that extraction.

The municipality itself – ostensibly the representative of the people in the community – failed to even register on the Court’s scorecard.

Leaving that aside for the moment, left unsaid in this debate is that zoning for gas extraction isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Municipal zoning power controls surface use, which means that while a municipality can zone drilling pads into suitable areas, it cannot control what happens under the ground through zoning ordinances. Because fracking operations are drilled horizontally, up to two miles in length from the original vertical drillbore, using even the most restrictive zoning controls still guarantees that the community will be fracked. Thus, the only real thing that zoning provides is a false sense of security that sensitive areas are immune from being fracked.

Regardless, kudos should be given to the municipalities who filed the lawsuit in the first place – after all, Pennsylvania municipalities – unlike in other states – have been almost completely silent as the Pennsylvania legislature has systematically dismantled local control over the past thirty years. And the governmental associations ostensibly representing municipal interests in the legislature – like the Boroughs Association and the State Association of Township Supervisors – have been more interested in not rocking the boat than in confronting a legislature out of control.

And completely out of control the State has been. As a result of three decades’ worth of stripping away local control in favor of State preemptive power, communities are now banned from saying “no” to corporate factory farms, large-scale water withdrawals, dumping of sewage sludge, genetically modified seeds, commercial timbering, and a slew of other harmful corporate projects.

Not surprisingly, when community control conflicts with corporate interests, corporate lobbyists routinely take charge in Harrisburg and help write preemptive laws that  move communities out of the way.

The recent ruling by the Commonwealth Court returns our municipal communities to where they were before Act 13 was adopted. They are to maintain their status as well-worn “creatures” of the State - to be controlled like puppets on a string at the whim of the legislature. But is it a victory for them to return to a time when zoning merely allows them to decide which parts of the municipality to surrender to the frackers? Let’s get real.

If the deck is stacked, you don’t ask for a new hand. You demand a new deck, and if you don’t get one, you leave the table.

Over one hundred municipal governments across Pennsylvania – including the City of Pittsburgh - have begun to do just that. Whether faced with corporate plans for factory farms, sewage sludge dumping, or fracking, those communities have begun to say “no” - not just to those projects, but to the very structure of law that has granted more governing power to corporate decisionmakers than to us.

They are rejecting a structure of law that recognizes the right of corporations to use our legislature to tell us what laws we can pass and when; that recognizes corporations as having the same constitutional “rights” as we do; and which treats our municipal governments as merely administrators of state policies. They are rejecting a legal system that has enslaved our community majorities to corporate minorities; and has transformed our legislature into a handmaiden of those interests.

They understand that structural change only occurs when people and communities stop obeying the laws that unjustly bind them. In doing so, they’ve joined communities in nine other states who have arrived at a common conclusion – that our 1800’s structure of law is all about elevating the rights of property and commerce over community and nature. They have begun to recognize that such a system has made true environmental and economic sustainability impossible, and even, in many cases, illegal.

Those communities are way out in front of the big environmental groups who should be the ones talking about sustainability and local control. Unfortunately, those groups still believe in the regulatory fallacy that says we’re allowed to slow down accelerating environmental destruction, but we are forbidden to stop it. They continue to spend their time and dollars trying to trick the existing system into protecting communities and nature, rather than helping to create a new system.

Their efforts are akin to being an activist in the 1840’s, attempting to regulate the number of daily lashes a slave master could inflict on a slave, while refusing to challenge slavery as a whole. The Abolitionists, after all, didn’t create a Slavery Protection Agency – they worked instead towards a new system of law in which people couldn’t be treated as property.

We need a similar movement – one focused on structural constitutional change which recognizes our right to govern our own communities. It’s happening already across Pennsylvania – with townships and boroughs writing their own local ordinances that read like constitutions. It’s time to stand up, and like our 1776 predecessors, build a new system of government that actually benefits us. It’s not too late.

On Democracy Matters - two podcasts for your listening pleasure - 1st Amendment rights of tobacco corporations, oil corps suing enviro groups, fracking, and much more

Posted by on March 16th, 2012

March 21.  Tobacco corporations argue that their First Amendment free speech rights are violated if they're required to include images of the health impacts of smoking on cigarette packages.  And, community organizer Ben Price on fracking.

March 29.  Oil corporations are suing environmental groups, to stop those groups from suing them.  It's a new tactic by corporations as they seek to drill off the Alaskan coast.  And community organizer Kai Hushke, on moving a "Community Bill of Rights" initiative forward in Spokane, WA.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.

Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This week on Democracy Matters - corporations try to exempt themselves from international human rights violations, and communities fighting fracking.

Posted by Mari Margil on March 13th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, corporations have for so long sought to expand their constitutional "personhood" rights - now they're trying to argue that they're not persons...at least when it comes to suing them in court for international human rights violations.  We take a look at how corporations are seeking to exempt themselves from the Alien Tort Statute.  And, Ben Price on organizing against fracking in states across the U.S.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.

Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This week on Democracy Matters - putting the NO in NOrthern Pass - New Hampshire communities take on Big Hydro.

Posted by Mari Margil on March 6th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, grassroots organizer Gail Darrell of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund on community efforts to stop the Northern Pass hydro electric project in New Hampshire.  This month N.H. towns will vote at Town Meeting on ordinances which establish Community Bills of Rights, secure a right to a sustainable energy future, and ban unsustainable energy projects.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This week on Democracy Matters - legalizing marijuana in Washington State and reforming the Supreme Court.

Posted by Mari Margil on March 1st, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, legalizing marijuana in Washington State - we speak with Seth Walser of the November Coalition.  And, the U.S. Supreme Court - the Constitution requires only one justice to sit on it. That, and other changes, debated in our roundtable discussion.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

Today - CELDF's Tom Linzey on Thom Hartmann - Talking Fracking in New York State.

Posted by Mari Margil on February 22nd, 2012

Don't miss CELDF's Thomas Linzey on Thom Hartmann's radio program, discussing the recent court decision in New York and what it means for communities facing fracking.

This Week on Democracy Matters: Obama swallows a bitter pill for the Pill

Posted by Mari Margil on February 19th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, President Obama compromises on contraception, swallowing a bitter pill...for the Pill. And Part II of our interview with Global Exchange's Shannon Biggs, on organizing for community and nature's rights in California.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

Thursday, Feb. 16: Tom Linzey on Thom Hartmann - talking fracking.

Posted by Mari Margil on February 15th, 2012

Thursday, February 16

CELDF's Thomas Linzey will be interviewed on Thom Hartmann's radio program - the two will talk fracking and what communities are doing to protect themselves from energy corporations - and the state governments that are paving the way for them - that are expanding their reach across the Marcellus Shale region and across the country.

Don't miss it!

To stream it live on-line or check for local listings, click here.



This Week on Democracy Matters: Big Green gets Big Green from Corporations, and GX's Shannon Biggs

Posted by Mari Margil on February 13th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, when major environmental groups accept corporate money, does it affect what they're advocating for?  And, organizing for a right to sustainability in California, we speak with Shannon Biggs of Global Exchange.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters: The Keystone XL Pipeline - a Win/Win for Enviros and the Right? And future lawyers of America are being taught what?

Posted by Mari Margil on February 7th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, ripped from the headlines - the Republican presidential nomination process and the win-win politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  And an interview with law student Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin on what's really taught to the future lawyers of America.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters - Continuing Our Month-Long Series on the History of Corporate "Rights" & Part II of our Discussion on Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State

Posted by Mari Margil on January 29th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights." And, Part II of our discussion with Dr. Kim Thorburn - who along with Rick Steves and other notables - is sponsoring a citizens' initiative in Washington State to legalize marijuana.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters - our series on the History of Corporate "Rights" & Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State

Posted by Mari Margil on January 23rd, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights." And, a discussion with Dr. Kim Thorburn - who along with Rick Steves and other notables - is sponsoring a citizens' initiative in Washington State to legalize marijuana.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

CELDF's Projects Director Ben Price will be interviewed by David Bacon of KSFR 101.1 FM -- "Living on the Edge" 6:30 PM MST, Thursday, January 26, 2012

Posted by Emelyn Lybarger on January 22nd, 2012

CELDF's Projects Director Ben Price will be interviewed by David Bacon, "Living On The Edge" on KSFR 101.1 FM in Santa Fe, New Mexico this Thursday, January 26th, 2012, 6:30 p.m. MST streaming live on the web at www.ksfr.org

This Week on Democracy Matters - Part III of our Month-Long Series on the History of Corporate Rights

Posted by Mari Margil on January 16th, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights."  And, Part II of our interview with author and activist John Stauber on how corporate and governmental propaganda manipulate what we think about food, sludge, and even war.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

- KMRE, 102.3 FM in Bellingham, WA - every Saturday at 3pm Pacific

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters: Part II of our month-long series in the History of Corporate "Rights" and John Stauber on corporate and gov't propaganda

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This week on Democracy Matters, the second in our month-long series on the history of corporate "rights."  And a conversation with John Stauber, founder of the Center  for Media and Democracy, on how corporate and government propaganda affect what we think about agriculture, sewage sludge, and even war.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters: We begin a month-long series on the History of Corporate Rights

Posted by Mari Margil on January 2nd, 2012

This week on Democracy Matters, with the coming second anniversary of Citizens United decision, we begin this year with a month-long series on the history of corporate "rights" and how those rights interfere with sustainability. And Part II of our interview with Stoney Bird and Rick Dubrow of No Coal in Bellingham, WA, where there's growing opposition to coal trains. Why fighting the traditional "site fight" won't help them. 

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Tuesday at 6am Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters - Payroll Tax This! And, coal trains - they'll be coming across the country - will they come?

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This Week on Democracy Matters - Christmas Corporatized! And Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance.

Posted by on

This Week on Democracy Matters: Part III of our three-part series on "Why Corporate Rights Matter" & Lierre Keith on building a culture of resistance

Posted by Mari Margil on December 12th, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters - Part III of our series on "why corporate "rights" matter" - looking at how corporations are able to wield their constitutional rights and protections against efforts to protect air quality and climate health.  And Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance on building a culture of resistance to protect the planet.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters - Part II of our series on "Why Corporate Rights Matter" & Brad Read of Envision Spokane

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This week on Democracy Matters -  Part II of our three part series on why corporate rights matter.  Last week we focused on how corporate rights affect the food we eat.  This week, we look at how they impact the water we drink.  And, Brad Read, president of the Envision Spokane organization which brought a "community bill of rights" citizens' initiative to the 2011 Spokane ballot.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

CELDF's Gail Darrell on the talk radio show The Pulse

Posted by Emelyn Lybarger on December 1st, 2011

CELDF's Gail Darrell spoke about creating local self governance and recognizing the Rights of Nature through rights-based organizing around the Northern Pass project in New Hampshire. Listen to the talk radio show The Pulse with Brian "Bulldog" Tilton -- click here.

This Week on Democracy Matters - the first in our three part series on the question "Why corporate constitutional rights matter?" And, State College, PA, is the first in the U.S. to ban fracking through citizens' initiative.

Posted by Mari Margil on November 27th, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters, the first in our three part series focused on the question "Why do corporate constitutional rights matter?"  This week we examine the question with respect to the food we eat.  Next week and the following - we'll look at why corporate rights matter, when it comes to the water we drink and the air we drink.  Also this week, State College, PA, is the first U.S. community to ban drilling and fracking through citizens' initiative.  We talk with the lead organizer, Braden Crooks.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters: Does Occupy Wall Street Matter? What needs to happen to have it become a true rights-based movement.

Posted by Mari Margil on November 21st, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters - Occupy Wall Street - what do the Occupiers need to do to make the kind of changes they seek.  And Jeff Reifman of Envision Seattle and co-author of the just released book This Changes Everything:  Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement published by YES! Magazine and Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters: Republicans plan to rip a giant hole in the social safety net, and Occupy Wall St.

Posted by Mari Margil on November 15th, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters, Occupy Wall Street and how the Republican presidential candidates plan to rip giant holes in the social safety net.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters - the growing disillusion of progressives with Obama, and communities fighting fracking

Posted by Mari Margil on November 7th, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters, the growing disillusion among progressive groups with the Obama Administration.  And, Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund on how communities fighting natural gas fracking are coming up against their own state governments and a systemic corporate state. 

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

The Organic View: When Civil Rights Matter: The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Posted by June Stoyer on November 3rd, 2011

Taking Action!
When it comes to taking action against a corporation that has violated your rights, it seems as though it is going to be an uphill battle. The corporations are equipped with an army of attorneys, have very deep pockets and seem to have mastered the art of manipulation, especially when it comes to dealing with beaurocracy. However, there is hope. Citizens can actually take matters into their own hands at the local level, where justice can be served. Enter the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. The CELDF works with communities across the country – from New England to California, from Pennsylvania and Virginia, to Spokane, Washington.


Justice CAN be served!
Building Empowered & Sustainable Communities
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, the local economy, and quality of life.  Their mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

Established in 1995, the Legal Defense Fund has now become the principal advisor to community groups and municipal governments struggling to transition from merely regulating corporate harms to stopping those harms by asserting local, democratic control directly over corporations.

Through grassroots organizing, public education and outreach, legal assistance, and drafting of ordinances, they have now assisted over 110 municipalities in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and Virginia to draft and adopt new laws with over 350,000 people living under these governing frameworks.  These laws address activities such as corporate water withdrawals, longwall coal mining, factory farming, the land application of sewage sludge, and uranium mining.

Ben Price, is the Projects Director for the CELDF.  Ben coordinates community organizing across Pennsylvania where over 100 communities have adopted Legal Defense Fund-drafted laws. He serves as adviser to Pittsburgh City Council members, assisted in drafting Pittsburgh’s Protection from Natural Gas Drilling Ordinance, and is working with other communities in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio to adopt community-rights ordinances that subordinate corporate privileges to human and civil rights. He offers free organizing assistance and training to municipal officials and residents for adoption of local laws that protect communities from corporate assaults. As Projects Director he assists strategic organizing in all areas of the country, and travels as needed to jump-start organizing and support movement-building. He is a certified first-chair Democracy School Lecturer.

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer talks to Ben Price about how citizens can take action at the local level!

Listen to internet radio with The Organic View on Blog Talk Radio


Thomas Linzey - How Things Change

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Thomas Linzey - How Things Change

            The recent “occupy” movements across the country – including a now bundled-up contingent in the center of Spokane – continue to raise one of the major political questions of our times: “How do people fix a clearly broken system?”

            Disillusionment with both government and big business is at an all-time high. Whether you’re a Tea Partier whose focus is on stopping free-for-all governmental spending, or an Occupier whose focus is on stopping a corporate few from deciding transportation, energy, environmental, and financial issues for the rest of us, both movements have one thing in common: they seek to overhaul how the system currently functions.

            And we all know how it functions, even if we haven’t seen it in person. Governments living within their means seem to be such a part of our ancient past that we can’t remember what they look like; and we all know how rare it is for an energy law to pass Congress that doesn’t have the support of Exxon/Mobil, or a drug law that doesn’t have the support of Merck.

            In fact, over the past forty years or so, it seems that we’ve thrown in the towel on actually trying to change the underlying structure of how things operate, and instead, live our lives by finding ways to work around the system.

            That is, until things get so bad that we can’t work around the system anymore – like when our governments come closer to default, making individual financial situations more precarious; and when banking corporations decide to play Russian roulette with our economy.

            If we know the system no longer bears any resemblance to the “of the people, by the people, and for the people” envisioned by folks like Tom Paine, then the question becomes how do we overhaul it so that it begins to work for our common good?

            As the old saying goes, real change begins at home.

            For the past four years, a diverse coalition of community, neighborhood, and labor leaders have tried to make that saying real, by working to create a Community Bill of Rights (appearing as Proposition 1 on this year’s ballot) within the City of Spokane.

The power imbalance within the City is stark. Our neighborhoods have no rights against corporate developers; our rivers and drinking water aquifers have no rights against corporate polluters; and workers have no rights in the workplace against employers. It’s nothing unique to Spokane, of course – such is the “law of the land” across the country.

            The Bill of Rights would change that – establishing that neighborhood residents have the ability to say “no” to proposed re-zonings necessary for major new development projects; recognizing that the Spokane River and aquifer should be given the highest legal protections available under our system; and restoring constitutional rights to workers in the workplace.  And, perhaps the most important (and controversial) piece of the Community Bill of Rights would elevate those rights over “rights” claimed by corporations.

            In essence, the Community Bill of Rights would create a check on both governmental and corporate power, by elevating the rights of neighborhoods, the Spokane River, and workers over the rights of development corporations, corporate polluters, and employers.

            Predictable opposition to the Bill of Rights? All of those corporations who are accustomed to having their interests override ours. And, since it serves as a check on governmental authority (requiring citizen approval of major property re-zonings that are currently routinely granted by City government), it should come as no surprise that elected officials – who are used to having their way with decisionmaking and spending public coffers – would be uniformly opposed to it.

            Do we think the system is going to change because we write more letters to Congress? Do we think the system is going to change because we ask nicely? Do we actually think that the current system benefits us?

            Prior movements in this country’s history didn’t think so. They recognized that real change occurs only when people refuse to live under a structure of government and law, which guarantees that they’ll get the short end of the stick. And this nation’s history has changed time and again when enough people have refused to move to the back of the bus.

            The City of Pittsburgh, through a unanimous vote of their City Council last year, became the first major municipality in the country to adopt a Community Bill of Rights. Let’s make the City of Spokane the second, while also joining over a hundred smaller communities across the country who are asserting rights of local control over both governments and corporations.

            Vote “YES” on Proposition 1, the Community Bill of Rights. I have.



Thomas Linzey is an attorney and the Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. He also serves as an advisor to Envision Spokane, the coalition which drafted Proposition 1

This Week on Democracy Matters: Occupy Wall Street, and Spokane takes on Corporate Rights

Posted by Mari Margil on October 30th, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters - Occupy Wall Street.  And Kai Huschke on Spokane, Washington's, Proposition 1 - a citizens' initiative calling for community rights over corporate rights.

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.

This Week on Democracy Matters - Gov Scott Walker of WI faces a recall, and the Koch Brother who back him face their own troubles.

Posted by Mari Margil on October 24th, 2011

This week on Democracy Matters - the fight in Wisconsin continues this fall as Governor Scott Walker faces a recall effort after he spent the spring stripping collective bargaining powers from workers.  The Koch Brothers - big backers of Walker's - have made billions in manufacturing and other industries around the globe.  Are they doing business in Iran?  And Part II of our interview with Rod Fletcher of Peters Township, PA, where he's part of a campaign to ban natural gas drilling in his community.  Why did his own municipal government - not even the corporations - try to stop them?    

Each week on Democracy Matters we bring you stories from the frontlines as communities bring rights-based organizing to their communities - asserting their local self-governing authority to make the critical decisions that affect their lives and their community.


Podcast & Broadcast

If you're in the Spokane listening area, you can listen live to Democracy Matters every Sunday at 11:30am Eastern/8:30am Pacific, and 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific on Wednesday, at 89.9FM, best heard at 92.3FM.  Or you can listen online at KYRS, Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio.

You can also listen anytime by podcasting the show.


You can also listen to Democracy Matters on:

- Public Reality Radio, WPRR, 1680 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids - every Friday at 8pm Eastern

- Radio Free Moscow, KRFP, 92.5 FM  in Moscow, Idaho - every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

- WAZU, 90.7 FM in Peoria, Illinois - every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central

- KDRT, 95.7 FM in Davis, CA - every Wednesday at 11:30am Pacific

- Skagit Valley Community Radio, KSVR, 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Up River Radio, KSVU, 90.1 FM, in Hamilton, WA - every Wednesday at 4:30pm Pacific

- Geneva Community Radio in Geneva, NY - every Friday at 6:30pm Eastern

If you are interested in having Democracy Matters broadcast on your local community radio station, give them a call and let them know.


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