Upcoming Community Rights Schedule

Want to learn more about this creative, transformative, and effective strategy for making systemic change toward a sustainable society? You’re invited to:

November 5, 2015, in Portland, Oregon:

I will be giving a presentation to the Thirsters group. Details soon at:


November 20, 2015, in Gresham, Oregon:

I will be giving a presentation and answering questions at an evening event. Details soon at:


December 11-13, 2015, in Portland, Oregon:

Paul will be leading my weekend workshop intensive, titled “We The People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe: First Steps in Dismantling Corporate Rule”. Registration is now open. Very affordable Sliding Scale fee. Preregistration required to hold your spot. Click HERE for all workshop details.

Paul Cienfuegos is a a leading Community Rights expert in Portland and other states.

Contact Paul Cienfuegos, –  for more information.  He says, “I would love to hear from you!” 


Please contact me for additional information about:

* Upcoming schedule of talks, workshops, and consulting
* Published articles
* Book business, 100Fires.com
* and absolutely anything else you’d like to discuss with me

You are also welcome to sign up for my blog posts,
by clicking on Sign up for updates.

(please call only between 10am and 5pm daily – Pacific Time)


POB 86605, Portland, Oregon, 97286, USA
(I moved here April 2011 from Humboldt County, CA)

Press Release: New Commentary and Coverage of the National Community Rights Movement from Portland, OR

Weekly commentary and coverage of the National Community Rights Movement by Paul Cienfuegos available now for broadcast

“Paul Cienfuegos’ commentaries go to the heart of defining and prioritizing community rights. He says, ‘We are all living in a corporate state, where it’s difficult to figure out where our government ends and our large corporations begin.’ That is the crucial dilemma We the People face. Paul’s observations are incisive and pithy and are linked to citizen action. Keep listening.”

                                                                   –David Barsamian, Director Alternative Radio  

January 21, 2015
CONTACT: Jen Forti

Did you know that there is currently an ecosystem in Pennsylvania suing a fracking corporation?  Did you know that 200 communities in nine states have already passed locally enforceable laws that strip corporations of their so-called constitutional “rights” in order to protect their communities from harmful corporate activities? If you were listening to our weekly Community Rights commentary you would know that the Little Mahoning Watershed in Grant Township, PA is exercising its right to flourish. How will this case play out?

Since August of 2014, the Community Rights Movement has been the focus of a weekly commentary created by Paul Cienfuegos and broadcast every Tuesday on the KBOO Radio’s Evening News in Portland, Corvallis, and Hood River, Oregon.

The Community Rights Movement calls upon neighbors across the country to join together to elevate the rights of people and the rest of nature above the claimed rights of corporations.

Already available for download through Audioport, by featuring this six-minute weekly commentary on your radio station, you will be bringing the latest news about this exciting new movement in civil empowerment to your station’s listeners. Visit http://communityrightspdx.org/podcast.

If you’re a station manager with access to Audioport, find us using the keyword “Paul Cienfuegos”.

If you’re a listener, contact your local radio station manager and request that they begin airing this broadcast.


“We the People” Weekend Workshop Nov. 21-23

“We the People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe: First Steps in Dismantling Corporate Rule”
presented by Paul Cienfuegos


The fee is $60 to $260 sliding scale, based on your ability to pay. Scroll down to the end of this page to determine how much to pay, and where to send payment to. Workshop location is in SE Portland.

Workshop Details:

We the People are more powerful than we dare to believe. For almost two centuries now, since large corporations started winning Constitutional “rights” via the US Supreme Court, We the People have been slowly forgetting who We are. And forgetting that the Founding Fathers designed corporations as a subordinate legal fiction, chartered to serve a specific public need and to cause no harm. How far we’ve strayed from that reality!


But it doesn’t have to be that way.


If we relearn our history, if we understand again that in this democratic republic, corporations were designed to serve us not rule us, then we can reclaim our sovereignty. Once we understand this, the sky’s the limit. We can reign in corporate constitutional “rights” with legally binding ordinances, as have more than 160 communities in nine states: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico. We can get back to governing ourselves, collectively determining what a majority of us wants, in this nation founded on the principle of majority rule.


-What would this look like at the municipal level? How can we mobilize local residents towards these much larger goals of actual democratic self-governance?


-Do we even know what the majority of local residents want regarding water policy, health care policy, land use policy, cell phone tower policy, energy production policy, economic development policy, etc? We’re so used to thinking that all of these key decisions are out of our hands, so why even bother?


-Corporate constitutional “rights” tend to be one of the PRIMARY barriers against citizens having any relevant control over local decision-making that affects us all. Are local residents prepared to shift their activism towards more effective tactics and strategies that incorporate this reality?


This is the focus of my transformative workshop. I’m honored to present it to a body of local residents who are tired of losing again and again, when corporate interests interfere in our capacity to act as citizens.


After an initial presentation, I will facilitate a series of focused discussions, and small and large group exercises, to assist participants in exploring the first steps to dismantling corporate rule:


1. Understanding the history and root causes of the rise of corporate power, and corporate usurpation of our democratic authority to govern ourselves.


2. Examining the local impacts of corporate rule, how citizens are currently challenging corporations, and how these efforts could be redesigned to be much more effective. Decolonizing our minds and our language from the firm grip of corporate culture.


3. Taking time to express and feel our sorrow, anger, grief, despair, numbness, etc about living in a society drenched in corporate culture.


4. Learning the art of ‘democratic conversation.’


5. Beginning to craft strategies to recover our democracy from corporate rule (with specific focus on issues local to YOUR community).


This is a workshop lasting an entire weekend:

-Friday, from 7pm to 9pm (with a 6pm potluck)

-Saturday, from 9am to 6pm

-Sunday, from 930am to 530pm


A maximum of 20 people this go-round, so please pre-register soon if you want to be assured of a spot. No previous experience or knowledge is necessary to attend. All are welcome.




Sliding Scale Fees:

I would like you to consider paying a bit more than you are used to paying if you are in an upper-income bracket, and a bit less than you are used to paying if you are in a lower income bracket. In this society, we tend to forget that lower income people have much less disposable income for extras of any kind than do higher income people. So what ends up happening is that lower income people actually end up subsidizing the participation of higher income people at events where everyone pays the same price to attend..


If you have lots of dependents, please consider paying a bit less than the amounts listed below. If you have few or no dependents, please consider paying a bit more than the amounts listed below.


If you are at all uncomfortable with my suggested fee scale, please pay whatever amount you feel is right for you to pay. YOU are the best judge of what you can afford to pay. I can’t hold your spot in the workshop until you send payment.


If you make less than $15,000 per year, please consider paying $60 or more.

If you make $15,000 to $25,000 per year, please consider paying $90 or more.

If you make $25,000 to $40,000 per year, please consider paying $120 or more.

If you make $40,000 to $70,000 per year, please consider paying $160 or more.

If you make $70,000 to $100,000 per year, please consider paying $200 or more.

If you make $100,000 or more per year, please consider paying $260 or more.


If you want or need your fee to be considered tax-deductable, or if you simply prefer to pay online:

Make a “donation”, and then email me, so I know that your donation was a registration fee for this November 2014 workshop.


Or make your check payable to my fiscal sponsor ‘Co-Intelligence Institute’, and send it to the address below.


If you don’t care about your fee being tax-deductable, and do not wish to pay online:

Please make your check payable to Paul Cienfuegos, and send it to me at the address below.

Or you can make arrangements to hand me cash (in advance please) to hold your spot.

Please include your email address, mailing address, and phone number.

Please mail checks to me at: Paul Cienfuegos, PO BOX 86605, Portland OR 97286.


Thank you!

I will be getting in touch with everyone about ten days in advance, with lots more info and a reading list, once you register.

Still have questions or concerns? Contact Paul at 503-233-1166 or paul (AT) 100fires.com

PDX People’s Climate March

Community Rights PDX officially endorses the PDX People’s Climate March.

When: Sunday, September 21
Location: Gathering begins at 3pm at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park (park bowl just south of Hawthorne bridge @ SW Naito Parkway & SW Madison)

For more information, email PCMinPDX AT gmail.com.

This is an invitation to change everything. To change everything we need everybody.

A better world is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

Join us for the largest climate justice mobilization in history as people take it to the streets across the country and world on September 21, including here in Oregon. With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the arc of history.

The time is now. Scientists say that action to save our planet in the next year and a half is critical to our survival. This September, World leaders are gathering in New York City for a UN summit on climate change. Across the country, from New York to Portland, OR, the People’s Climate March will show that we stand together, demanding a better world for ourselves and for generations to come.

This calls for unprecedented collaboration—that’s where you come in.

Join us in solidarity for the People’s Climate March in Portland.

To make a donation to help cover the costs of the PDX People’s Climate March:

Facebook event

We the People are Rising Up – Thomas Linzey in Eugene on June 4th

DATE: Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
TIME: 7:30 PM
LOCATION: The Shedd | 868 High St. Eugene, OR
QUESTIONS? info AT orcommunityrights.org

Everyday people in 200 communities across the United States are beginning to rewrite American constitutional law to elevate the right of local, community self-government above corporate “rights” and powers.

Come listen to their stories, including ones from Oregon, on how they are stepping forward to assert their right to say “no” to GMOs, pesticides, and harmful energy projects like fracking.

Community by community, people are forging their way towards state and federal constitutional change to liberate communities from corporate control and protect the rights of people and nature.

Thomas Linzey is an attorney and the Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). His work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, The Nation, and he was named, in 2007, as one of Forbes’ magazines’ “Top Ten Revolutionaries.”

Sponsored by the Oregon Community Rights Network and Community Rights Lane County


Becoming We The People – A 3 Day Workshop in April

Community Rights + Song + Theater = Finding our Voice as Citizens

A weekend with Paul Cienfuegos presenting the workshop content, Laurence Cole leading singing and Kelly Hogan offering ‘games of dialogue’ using Theater of the Oppressed techniques.

April 4, 5 & 6 at Tryon Life Community Farm, Portland, OR

What is it that most deeply matters to you? What kind of town/landscape do you want to create for our children? For our grandchildren? We invite you to spend a weekend with us as we learn more effective ways to protect our local communities and the rest of the living world by learning about and exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves. Your voice is the carrier of what matters to you. Imagine using that voice to both speak and sing, as an empowered member of your local community.

Beginning in Pennsylvania, and now stretching across nine states from Maine to New Mexico, 160 communities have passed legally binding, locally enforceable Community Rights laws that for the first time in U.S. history enshrine the inherent right of a local majority of residents to protect the health and welfare of their local places. Each of these new-paradigm laws defines what the community wants, reins in corporate so-called “rights”, and stops legal but harmful corporate activity dead in its tracks.

What is Theater of the Oppressed?

By utilizing the Community Rights legal strategy, and by blending our voices with others, we actually CAN empower ourselves as citizens to achieve goals regarding water, air, energy, frack sand mining, cell phone towers, land & economic development, education, etc…

We the People really are more powerful than we dare to believe.

If you think of yourself as a non-singer who would be uncomfortable in the singing, know that you can just listen to others. You might then find yourself humming along, and maybe later, trying out one of the easy-to-learn parts that carries you into harmony with the group, contributing to a ‘whole that is greater than the parts’.

No previous experience or knowledge of any sort is necessary to attend. We hope you’ll join us!

For workshop details and payment options, please visit http://www.motherearthschool.com/adult_education.shtml

Registration is required in advance. The fee for this workshop is a sliding scale between $100 and $300 depending on your means.

Our workshop leaders:

  • Paul Cienfuegos has been leading workshops, giving public talks, and organizing local communities towards dismantling corporate rule and strengthening local democracy, since 1995 when he founded Democracy Unlimited in northern California. Now living in Portland, he co-founded Community Rights PDX in 2012, and the Oregon Community Rights Network in 2013. He continues to expand his life passion: to help communities near and far to rediscover their power to govern themselves. He has great faith in the inherent wisdom and capacity of everyone to strive for a better world. His talks have been broadcast nationally on Alternative Radio. More info at PaulCienfuegos.com.
  • Laurence Cole is a choir director and composer from Port Townsend, Washington. A long time eco-villager and advocate for the whole natural community, Laurence is known for leading many kinds of groups into the power and convivial pleasure of group singing; an ancient human process for investing a space and a community with beauty, meaning, connection, and the cohesive motive force “that helps shy people get up and do what needs to be done.” More info at LaurenceCole.com.
  • Kelly Hogan is a co-founder and preschool teacher at Mother Earth School. Her passions include teaching children and adults in an outdoor setting, utilizing a fusion of current, regenerative educational philosophies while weaving in her deep commitment to anti-oppression work. She has been attending Theater of the Oppressed trainings and researching topics of diversity and accessibility for the past 7 years. In July, 2013 she attended a Theater of the Oppressed facilitator training with the Mandala Center for Change and is now spearheading an effort toward creating a forum theater group for Portland educators.

Registration is required in advance. The fee for this workshop is a sliding scale between $100 and $300 depending on your means. Please choose a payment that honestly reflects your ability to financially support this event.

Download and Share the flyer:

What’s on the calendar?

  • No upcoming events
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Tune in to Community Rights TV

Aside from our appearance on Portland’s Public Media station, you can now tune in to our youtube channel. Plenty of interviews, speeches, and events that will help you understand the work of Community Rights. Tune in!

You can also find more in-depth information through our Watch, Listen, & Read section.

And don’t forget to attend a 2-hour introductory workshop to join us in planning a Community Rights strategy for Portland.

  • No upcoming events
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Local Community Rights Efforts Undeterred: A Response to the Passage of SB 863

Oregon Community Rights Network

October 4, 2013

CONTACT: Kai Huschke
oregoncrn AT gmail.com

Paul Cienfuegos
paul AT 100fires.com

On October 2nd the Oregon State Legislature voted to adopt SB 863, which imposes state preemption on local regulation of agriculture. SB 863 specifically says that, “exclusive regulatory power over agricultural seed, flower seed, nursery seed and vegetable seed and products of agricultural seed, flower seed, nursery seed and vegetable seed [will be reserved] to the state.” It becomes law when signed by Governor Kitzhaber. The full language of SB 863 can be found here.

The sole purpose of SB 863 is to eliminate local control over seed, including genetically modified seed (GMOs). This new preemptive law was not adopted to protect local communities but has been enacted to protect the interests of corporate industrial agriculture against local decision-making with regard to farm and food systems.

A version of SB 863 (known as SB 633) was first introduced in the Oregon Legislature’s 2013 Regular Session in direct response to a duly qualified initiative to ban GMOs in Jackson County and efforts underway in Benton and Lane County to protect the right to a local food system. Besides protecting a right to seed heritage and the ecosystems required for sustainable agriculture , the initiatives in Benton and Lane County also prohibit corporate and governmental entities from engaging with GMOs.

“From where we stand, SB 863 doesn’t change a thing,” says Michelle Holman, member of Support Local Food Rights of Lane County and the Oregon Community Rights Network. “We are more committed than ever to bring the right to a local food system ordinance out to the people of Lane County. This action by the legislature just makes it crystal clear that our system of governance isn’t for the people, but exists to protect big corporations by undermining community rights.”

Support Local Food Rights of Lane County recently received the go ahead from the County Clerk that their initiative met the review requirements. The next step in the process will be the issuing of a ballot title before signature gathering can begin. The Benton County Community Rights Coalition is looking to refile its local food system ordinance by mid-October.

The Oregon Community Rights Network was launched on September 12th on the foundation of the Corvallis Declaration of Community Rights. The declaration calls upon communities across the state to join together in a movement to elevate the rights of people, their communities, and nature above the claimed rights of corporations. This comes with an understanding, as stated in the Declaration, that:

“We the people recognize that our health, safety, welfare, and survival of our local businesses, farms, ecosystems, and neighborhoods depend on restructuring the current system of governance, because it favors corporations over community-based, democratic decision-making …”

Corvallis Declaration

The formation of the Oregon Community Rights Network comes out of ongoing and emerging community rights campaigns in eight counties in Western Oregon, including Benton, Lane, and Josephine. In Josephine County their community rights effort is about protecting the right to clean air, water, and soil from toxic pesticide use.

More information on the active community rights efforts can be found at the following links:

Benton Community Rights Coalition: BentonCCRC.org

Support Local Food Rights: localfoodrights.com

Freedom from Pesticides Alliance: freedomfrompesticidesalliance.org

The Oregon Community Rights Network receives assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Paul Cienfuegos. CELDF, headquartered in Mercersburg, PA, has been working with people and communities across the United States and internationally since 1995 to assert fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, recognize nature’s rights, and end destructive corporate actions aided and abetted by state and federal governments. Paul Cienfuegos is a longtime community rights organizer based out of Portland, Oregon.

CELDF: celdf.org

Paul Cienfuegos: paulcienfuegos.com

Join us on Oct. 12th at Bees and Seeds Festival

Add it to your CALENDAR

Portland will join other cities in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. and throughout the world to commemorate World Food Day 2013 on Saturday, October 12, Holladay Park, 10 AM to 4 PM

The Portland Bees and Seeds Fest is designed to bring people together to celebrate pollinators, seeds, farmers and the healthy, sustainable local foods that nourish us. Without pollinators and a diverse and plentiful supply of seeds we would not have the broad variety of fruits and vegetables we all enjoy. The festival also is a gesture of respect and support for seed savers, those who preserve our biological and cultural heritage.

The festival will be held at Holladay Park at NE 11th Ave. and Holladay St.) from 10 AM-4 PM, October 12. The park offers a family-friendly expanse of grass and trees located across the street from the Lloyd Center, ideal for a picnic and an afternoon of classes, speakers, music and the debut of the first-ever Inconvenience Store.

Visitors can participate in classes on bee keeping, gardening, foraging, a kids corner focusing on bee activities, and a seed exchange – and enjoy live entertainment and learn from special guest speakers.

Speakers include:
George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety
Scott Bates, GMO Free Oregon
Julia DeGraw, Food and Water Watch
Ed Edmo, the Shoshone Bannock Storyteller
Paul Cienfuegos, Community Rights PDX
Brian Lacey, Live Honey Bees
Rebecca Lerner, Dandelion Hunter author

Live entertainment:
Raging Grannies
Michael Blind and the Moonshine
Bloco Alegria

Event sponsors include: Biosafety Alliance, Center for Food Safety, Create Plenty, Food and Water Watch, GMO Free Oregon, March Against Monsanto, Nontoxic Media, Showcall Event Services and So Delicious.

Contact: Tiffany Ayers, 971-221-3156 | tiffany@gmofreeoregon.org

Oregon Community Rights Network Launches, signs Declaration

On September 12th, community members from eight Oregon counties gathered in Corvallis, Oregon, to launch the Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN).

Attendees of the Oregon Community Rights Summit released the Corvallis Declaration of Community Rights, calling upon communities across the state to join together in a movement to elevate the rights of people, their communities, and nature above the claimed rights of corporations. This comes with an understanding, as stated in the Declaration, that:

“We the people recognize that our health, safety, welfare, and survival of our local businesses, farms, ecosystems, and neighborhoods depend on restructuring the current system of governance, because it favors corporations over community-based, democratic decision-making …”

The formation of the Oregon Community Rights Network comes out of ongoing and emerging community rights campaigns in eight counties in Western Oregon.

The Network is helping expand community rights organizing to communities across Oregon. Kai Huschke of the Community Environment Legal Defense Fund – an organization working with communities across the country to advance community rights and bring communities together to form state “community rights networks” – explained, “As a growing number of communities face threats including GMOs, coal trains, and corporate water withdrawal, they are reaching the shared conclusion that corporations, along with our state and federal government, have more power to decide what happens in our communities than the people who live there. They are now coming together through the Oregon Community Rights Network to organize for local self-governance to elevate community rights over corporate rights.”

The Oregon Community Rights Network joins Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Washington as states with community rights networks supported by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. CELDF, headquartered in Mercersburg, PA, has been working with people and communities across the United States and internationally since 1995 to assert fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, recognize nature’s rights, and end destructive corporate actions aided and abetted by state and federal governments.

Media Contact:

Paul Cienfuegos
paul AT 100fires.com

Democracy School – Enroll for Nov. 15/16/17th

Daniel Pennock Democracy School

Named for a boy in Pennsylvania who died after exposure to sewage sludge, Democracy Schools are intensive seminars that examine how communities across the U.S. are beginning to assert local control to protect the rights of their residents, their communities, and nature.

November 15 (6:30-9:30pm), Nov.16 (9am-5pm) and Nov.17 (9am-4pm)

Price for attendance will depend on number of attendees (~$200 per person). Democracy Schools are a key piece of our community organizing. We’re excited to welcome presenters Kai Huschke, Envision Spokane campaign leader and CELDF staff organizer; and Gail Darrell, CELDF New England lead organizer.

Online registration coming soon. Class limit is 25 people max, so to ensure you have a spot, please send a deposit of $100 by check,
payable to CELDF
Address envelope (not check) to: Patra Conley, 4324 NE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97211.


Join Us Sept. 21st and 22nd

Be the Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community

Thomas Linzey, a founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and co-author of “Be the Change” is coming to Portland for events on Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22:



Saturday, September 21st

Ballot Initiative Campaign Kickoff Event
Ban Growing of GMOs in Multnomah County

Fundraiser Dinner (5 PM, ahead of Thomas’ Talk, RSVP only)

(Having trouble getting tickets?)

Sunday, September 22nd

Topic: Why Not Local Democracy?

On Saturday night, join Community Rights PDX in a kickoff party to launch a ballot initiative campaign banning the growing of GMOs in Multnomah County! There will be a pre-event catered dinner with limited seating at 5:30 PM (doors open at 5) followed by a presentation and discussion with Thomas Linzey at 7 PM that is open to the public (doors open at 6:40 pm).

Community rights dinner image

Fundraiser dinner

Enjoy an intimate, locally-sourced, seasonal dinner (allergen-friendly) with Thomas Linzey from 5-6:30 pm.  The seats for this dinner are filling up fast, so be sure to register and buy your dinner ticket now through the Permaculture PDX MeetUp. It includes dinner, a drink, and a chance to chat one-on-one with Thomas Linzey. The food will be served by a top-notch local caterer. The cider is provided by Reverend Nat’s Cidery in NE Portland. It is also locally-sourced and gluten-free.

Thomas Linzey image

Thomas Linzey

At 7 pm, Thomas Linzey will give a presentation about how he has helped over 150 communities to reclaim their rights from corporations. There will be a chance to ask questions afterwards, and local beer and cider will be served while you have a chance to talk and mingle with people interested in this groundbreaking movement.  Entry is a sliding scale from $5-50 with no one turned away for lack of funds. The proceeds for this event will help Community Rights PDX to prepare for a ballot initiative campaign to ban the growing of GMOs in Multnomah County.

The very next night, don’t miss a rare opportunity to listen to and ask questions of the nation’s leading expert on dismantling corporate constitutional “rights” and creating in its place truly democratic governance structures. Thomas Linzey will talk at 6 pm, doors open at 5:30 on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 at First Unitarian Church.

There will be local organizations tabling, and a chance to meet local people who are interested in campaign finance reform and reclaiming political power for our local community and limiting corporate harm.  Entry is a sliding scale from $5-20 with no one turned away for lack of funds.

Our Co-sponsors:    


Thomas Linzey events flyer

Help us spread the word. Print and share the flyer.

Having trouble RSVPing for the fundraiser dinner? Follow these instructions:

To purchase tickets for the dinner or lecture:
1. visit http://www.meetup.com/Portland-Permaculture-Meetup/
2. Click the green button that says “Join us”
You will become a member of the Portland Permaculture Meet-up Group, which is designed to be an interface for community building and educational opportunities such as the Thomas Linzey event.  The meet-up group sends 2 initial welcome emails and then another event confirmation email.  After that, you should only receive one email about every 2 weeks giving information about upcoming events.  If you do not wish to remain a member of the Meet-up group, you can unsubscribe by clicking that option at the end of the next Meet-up email that you receive.  
3. If you are already a member of Meet-up, log in.  Once you are a member and logged in, go to the home page of the Meet-up group.
4. Click on the event for which you want to purchase tickets.  On the right side of the screen, there will be a green button that says “Yes” to the question ‘Will you attend?’  Click the green “yes” button.
5. Once you click “yes”, payment/rsvp instructions will appear on your screen and will walk you through the registration process.
If you have trouble with registration or if you are receiving more emails from Meet-up than indicated above, please email Kelly at talonyarrow AT gmail.com.  We hope to see you next Saturday!

Does Food Sovereignty Exist in the U.S.? Food and the Community Rights Movement


Originally Posted on Readthedirt.org on: May 08, 2013

Editor’s Note: Trisha Mandes speaks to the deficiencies of U.S. food activism and proposes an adaptive way forward. Trisha has worked with community-based food projects in Oregon and Pennsylvania, and is now pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition and Sustainable Development at the University of Eastern Finland.

“We need to make fundamental changes to the structure of law that is working against us, not work around it.” –Trisha Mandes

By Trisha Mandes

The International Peasant’s Movement—La Via Campesina, defines food sovereignty as “the human right of all people to healthy, culturally appropriate, sustainably grown food, and the right of communities to determine their own food systems” (1).

Are our current food movements working to not only empower local control of food, but to takedown the forces that are preventing it? Food sovereignty strives to dismantle the neoliberal political powers that stop communities from deciding what food is imported or grown in their localities. Unfortunately, U.S. food justice and food security strategies are stuck battling these neoliberal harms from within corporate constraints that fail to fundamentally change the barriers faced by localities.

Despite the well-intentioned efforts of farmer’s markets and community gardens, this article aims to demonstrate how food security and food activism movements, especially through the regulatory system, are not moving towards food sovereignty.

Continue Reading →


Everywhere we look provides excellent evidence of just how smoothly our existing legal and governmental structure is operating. As Bill Moyers says,

“The system isn’t broken; it’s fixed.”

Corporations are neither “good” nor “bad” but simply fiscal vehicles functioning in perfect accord with legal doctrines that have been carefully constructed for over 100 years. It’s past time for us to craft municipal laws that publicly reveal and challenge those specific doctrines that currently allow a corporate few to override community democratic decision-making authority. And it has to start at the local level. Our state & federal levels of government are utterly captured: elected officials that don’t subscribe to the belief that commercial interests must have veto power over all other interests do not remain in office for long.

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

But 150 communities are leading the way, demonstrating that “deep democracy” change is possible when we the people enact rights-based municipal laws first and then drive those changes upward.  Pittsburgh’s done it. Spokane is doing it. So is Benton County, Oregon. Why not Portland?