The Right of Local Community Self-Government Charter Amendment
Whereas, we the people of Lane County possess an inalienable and fundamental right of local community self-government that includes a right to a system of government that recognizes that right, and a right to a system of local government within Lane County that secures and protects the fundamental rights of every resident in the County;
Whereas, we the people of Lane County recognize that this individual right – exercised collectively – empowers us to enact laws that protect and secure our rights and our health, safety, and welfare, free from corporate and governmental interference;
Whereas, we the people of Lane County recognize that the current Lane County system of government fails to recognize fully our self-governing authority because corporations may assert their “rights” to override our laws; and our municipal “home rule” authority can be preempted by state or federal legislators and agencies even when our elected representatives and citizens act to protect the community’s health, safety, and welfare;
Whereas, we the people of Lane County recognize that the operation of these legal doctrines renders our municipal government unable to protect our rights, and the application of those doctrines renders us powerless to exercise fully our self-governing authority;
Whereas, we the people of Lane County possess the constitutional right to change our current system of government because it fails to recognize our self-governing authority and it has been rendered unable to secure our rights;
Whereas, we the people of Lane County hereby declare that our current system of government is inadequate, and therefore, we adopt this ordinance to establish a system of municipal governance that recognizes our inalienable self-governing authority, and that is empowered to secure and protect our rights;
Whereas, we the people of Lane County acknowledge that a right of local community self-government is secured by the Declaration of Independence, the Oregon Constitution, and the United States Constitution, and includes the authority to change the government when it becomes destructive to the people’s fundamental rights and well-being; and
Whereas, we the people of Lane County acknowledge that Article I, Section 1 of the Oregon Constitution provides: “all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.”
Therefore, we the people of Lane County assert our inalienable and fundamental right of local community self-government, and hereby adopt this “Community Self-Government Charter Amendment.”
Section 1 – Statements of Law – Local Community Self-Government.
(a) Governmental Legitimacy and Right of Local Community Self-Government.
All political power is inherent in the people, all government of right originates from the people, and the people have the right to alter, reform, or abolish their governmental system whenever they deem it necessary to protect their liberty and well-being; therefore, the people of Lane County possess an inherent and inalienable right of local community self-government in Lane County, and in each municipality within the County.
(b) Power to Assert the Right of Local Community Self-Government.
The right of local community self government shall include the power of the people, and the power of their governments, to enact and enforce local laws that protect health, safety, and welfare by recognizing or establishing the rights of natural persons, their local communities, and nature; and by securing those rights using prohibitions and other means deemed necessary by the community, including measures to establish, define, alter, or eliminate competing rights, powers, privileges, immunities, or duties of corporations and other business entities operating, or seeking to operate, in the community.
Section 2 – Statement of Law – Enforcement.
Local laws adopted pursuant to this Charter Amendment shall not be subject to preemption or nullification by state law, federal law, or international law, unless the local laws restrict fundamental rights of natural persons, their local communities, or nature secured by local, state, or federal constitutions, or by international law, or unless the local laws weaken protections for natural persons, their local communities, or nature provided by state law, federal law, or international law.
Section 3 – Severability and Effect.
The provisions of this Amendment are severable, and this Amendment shall take effect thirty (30) days from the date of adoption.