Forty-three states in the USA, including Iowa, either constitutionally or statutorily allow for Municipal Home Rule. People are beginning to embrace the idea of drafting Home Rule charters as a way to assert in law their communities’ vision for the future, by enumerating the rights of the municipal citizenry, including their right to a certain quality of life, and codifying legal protections of those rights at the local level.
The Home Rule process can serve as an important vehicle for communities that are seeking to challenge the fundamental structure of law which puts the rights of corporations over those of communities; prevents communities from saying “no” to projects that are harmful for workers, the local economy, livability, property values, or the environment; and ultimately prevents municipalities from creating the economically and environmentally sustainable communities they seek.
Fairfield Democracy School Friday 9/14 – Sunday 9/16
Our DemocracySchool is the weekend of September 14th. Class size is strictly limited to 20 people. There are 3 sessions: Friday 7:15 PM to 10:15 PM, Saturday & Sunday 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Tuition is $195. All proceeds go to cover school expenses including air travel, room and board for two faculty members. Location to be announced.
The FairfieldDemocracySchool will be taught by Thomas Linzey, Esquire, Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Co-author of Be the Change: How To Get What You Want in Your Community, and co-author of the Model Brief to Eliminate Corporate Rights. What Is Democracy School? The Daniel Pennock Democracy School is a stimulating and illuminating seminar that teaches citizens and activists how to reframe exhausting and often discouraging single issue work (such as opposing toxic dumps, quarries, factory farms, rf meters, etc.) in a way that we can confront corporate control on a powerful single front: people’s constitutional rights, including how to establish Home Rule in Fairfield.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (http:// http://www.celdf.org) is working with volunteer citizens of Fairfield to establish Home Rule here. Home Rule cities, such as Iowa City, Iowa are finding that the writing of a local charter of governance allows citizens and municipalities a much broader foundation to work from than the framework of a single ordinance. Adopting a rights-based home rule charter is an obvious step toward community assertion of the inalienable right to local self-government, and a fulfillment of the long-postponed ideals of the American Revolution as embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
Educating a community about the advantages of Home Rule is an essential step in the process.
Democracy School explores the limits of conventional regulatory structures and offers a new organizing model that helps citizens come together, such as at the dramatic recent organizing in Pennsylvania by communities confronting agribusiness, sewage sludge, and quarry corporations. Included with enrollment in the DemocracySchool is a 300 plus-page notebook of background reading material.
Created by the CELDF and Richard Grossman, co-founder of the Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy (POCLAD), DemocracySchools were launched with five weekend sessions at WilsonCollege in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 2003. Since then, the number of schools has grown rapidly. Learn more about DemocracySchool here: http://celdf.org/
Watch the video, and sign up for the weekend here: http://fairfieldhomerule.us/