SOCAN Monthly Meeting

Tue May 28 - 6:00pm-7:30pm

Why do we need the Oregon Coalition for an Environmental Rights Amendment?

Presentation by Mel Martin, OCERA Strategy Committee

Efforts to hold governments responsible for applying the Public Trust Doctrine to protecting our environment for future generations have been unsuccessful where state constitutions do not explicitly guarantee residents the right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment free from climate change.  This is in contrast to states where the presence of such a guarantee has been correlated with judicial success.  Oregon is one of the states that lacks such a constitutional guarantee.

A newly formed group of collaborating individuals and organizations, with which SOCAN is a collaborator, is attempting to redress this oversight.  The Oregon Coalition for an Environmental Rights Amendment (OCERA) is developing a plan to amend the state constitution via ballot measure (the only way such an amendment can be undertaken). For more information, visit OCERA’s webpage.

It seems that a constitutional amendment is necessary if Oregonians are to achieve responsible protection of our natural environment, including clean air, clean water, and a stable climate. While no right is absolute, an appropriate constitutional amendment could provide an enforceable right requiring the State to do its best to protect the environment, in the public interest, based on the best available science. The justification for such an amendment comprises both legal and moral imperatives.  The coalition held its kick-off in Salem on May 4th and now seeks Oregonians interested in promoting the effort.

At the monthly SOCAN general meeting on Tuesday May 28th at the Medford Public Library (205, S. Central Avenue) Mel Martin from the OCERA strategy committee will deliver a presentation introducing the efforts of OCERA and inviting Southern Oregonians to join the campaign. SOCAN’s general meetings are free and open to the public.

Time commitment: 1.5 hr
Sponsoring organization(s): Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
Solution Area:
Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Justice
Finance & Economy
Food & Agriculture
Governance & Leadership
Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
Land Use & Restoration
Mental Health & Mindfulness
Public Health
Renewable Energy
Storytelling & Art
Tribal & Indigenous
Waste Prevention
Listing created May 6, 2024