By NR Staff • 

Community rights group to meet this weekend

An outgrowth of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the movement works to inform residents about how to pass local initiatives on environmental issues that particularly concern them.

“Find out how 140 towns in eight states have already passed binding laws which protect their communities from corporate harm,” a poster for the event states.

Community organizer Paul Cienfuegos of Portland, who travels nationwide giving workshops, will lead the discussion.

The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 to 5:30 Sunday, at 125 S.E. Cowls Street, in the First Baptist Church. Coffee will be served beginning a half hour before the meeting. Light snacks and beverages will be provided, but participants are invited to bring brown bag lunches. Cost is on a sliding scale of $30 to $150, depending on income.

“It’s about establishing a community bill of rights in which the community as a whole, the majority of the community, say what want to see happen,” Spokeswoman Linda Grove said. “For example, it might be safe drinking water; it might be that they don’t want a big box store; it might be that they don’t want (genetically modified organisms). But it’s more about saying what we do want.

“It always includes looking at the environment, not as a resource, or property, but as an entity that we live alongside and with, so that nature has rights, also.”

Groups in five Oregon counties are currently working to pass initiatives, Grove said.

Seating is limited. For more information, or to register, call 503-857-2282, or visit the website, at

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