Statewide Constitutional Change
Currently, Ohio’s governmental and legal apparatus is being used to deny Community Rights. State laws that deny the authority of community governments to protect their health, safety, welfare, and quality of life violate fundamental rights. State laws that exempt agribusiness and fracking corporations from being governed locally place the privileges of wealth and property over the democratic rights of citizens to determine the future of their own communities. The goal of the constitutional amendment is to provide a template for the needed state-level change.
Local officials regularly confess to their constituents that they wish they could do more, but their “hands are tied” by state preemptive law. These officials are told that if they honor their oaths to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community, they will be breaking state law.
Oppressive state legislation and a constitutional structure that favors corporate rights above Community Rights prevent Ohio communities from having a say on the issues that are most important to them. Until Ohio communities are liberated to protect their health and safety, they will remain the subjects of their corporate- driven legislature. Recognizing the need for statewide change, a goal of the OHCRN is to draft both a statewide constitutional amendment and state legislation that will correct the situation. That state-level change envisions the liberation of municipalities and communities to expand civil and political rights for individuals and communities, recognize the rights of nature, and elevate those rights above the “rights” currently claimed by corporations and other business entities.