STATUS: APPROVED BY CONSENSUS
1. Basic Info
Date proposed: 6/25/15
Name of the sponsor(s): Andrea Merida, co-chair Denver Greens; Harry Hempy, co-chair Greater Boulder Greens; Lawrence Dunn, co-chair, Adams-Jeffco Greens
2. Title: GPCO Endorses Colorado Community Rights Amendment (Amendment 75)
Resolution of Support for the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, the Right to Local Community Self Government
Whereas: The Sixth Key Value of the Green Party of Colorado calls for the right of local communities to protect the environment and workers’ rights; broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our “quality of life.”
And Whereas: The Colorado Constitution states, “All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”
And Whereas: Legitimate government is instituted to secure the inalienable rights of all persons, and that if government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.
And Whereas: Under the current structure of the law, Colorado communities are denied their right to local, community self-government, and local laws created to protect the health, welfare, and safety of our communities are being routinely overturned by corporations using legal privileges afforded them by state and federal law.
And Whereas: These state preemptions and corporate “rights” serve the financial interests of the offending corporations at the cost of people, community and environments; and result in communities being unable to ban projects and activities harmful to them.
And Whereas: The Green Party of Colorado agrees that the citizens of Colorado must be able to secure their rights in the most immediate and important locations, that is, in the communities where they work, raise their families, and live.
And Whereas: The Green Party of Colorado believes that when corporate interests conflict with the health, welfare, and safety of Colorado communities, that local laws enacted to protect the rights of the community should be elevated above claimed corporate powers, and that communities must have the authority to curtail, define, or remove the corporation’s powers in that community.
Therefore Be It Resolved: That The Green Party of Colorado supports the principles and powers established by the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, and its recognition of the people’s right to local, community self-government.
And Therefore Be It Resolved: That The Green Party of Colorado endorses the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, will promote it, and will assist the Colorado Community Rights Network campaign for a ballot initiative in 2016.
4. Background: From the cocrn.org website:
On a state level, we are advancing constitutional change through the campaign for ballot initiative #75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment. This historic effort, now working its way into the petitioning stage, asserts that people’s rights are fundamental and superior to court-conferred corporate “rights.” If enacted, it would enable local governments to define fundamental rights and prohibit activities that violate those rights. It would give local communities “the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering, or eliminating the rights, powers, and duties of corporations and other business entities operating or seeking to operate in the community.” It would bar the State of Colorado from forcing unwanted corporate projects onto unwilling communities. This binding amendment will begin the fundamental legal changes we see as necessary to build genuine democratic community rights and ensure Colorado’s sustainability.