Rights-Based Organizing

Working with communities to assert local control

While Global Exchange works with communities everywhere to place the rights of people and nature over the interests of corporations, our focus is in California. Everyday communities are being turned into sacrifice zones for corporate profit or find that the law prohibits them from becoming centers of true sustainability.  

For nearly two generations, community organizing has taken a detour.  Instead of rallying people to assert our rights to truly govern in the places where we live—and demanding what we really want—we settle for “mitigating”—or regulating—the corporate assaults that enter our communities.  
Ostensibly, the regulatory system is supposed to protect people and the planet from destruction, but typically it is the industry to be regulated that sets the standards. Like gambling in a casino, we’re playing by the House’s rules. Even when we “win” we don’t get what we want, we can only hope to lessen the damage. 
It is time to change the rules to ensure that the people who must bear the effects of policy decisions are the only ones who make them.  It is time to assert our rights as communities to define the kinds of places we want to live.   
We receive calls everyday from communities facing a wide range of issues including:
  • gas fracking;  
  • water withdrawl; 
  • cloud seeding; 
  • forced fluoridation, 
  • SmartMeters; 
  • aerial pesticide spraying; 
  • toxic sludge; 
  • corporate interference with elections or city planning; 
  • mining;  
  • massive development
  • the list goes on.  What is the issue in your community? 


Other communities are seeking to become sustainable cities, but find that the laws prohibit them from enacting policies such as:
  • local food preferencing and sustainable food policies
  • energy self-sufficiency;
  • maintaining city character 
  • sustainable waste disposal; 
  • creating a viable local economy 
  • ecosystem protection


Learn more about the communities we work with. 


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