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

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)


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?