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Ben Price: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

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The Organic View

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When it comes to taking action against a corporation that has violated your rights, it seems as though it is going to be an uphill battle. The corporations are equipped with an army of attorneys, have very deep pockets and seem to have mastered the art of manipulation, especially when it comes to dealing with beaurocracy. However, there is hope. Citizens can actually take matters into their own hands at the local level, where justice can be served. Enter the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. The CELDF works with communities across the country - from New England to California, from Pennsylvania and Virginia, to Spokane, Washington. The CELDF is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, the local economy, and quality of life.  Their mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

Established in 1995, the Legal Defense Fund has now become the principal advisor to community groups and municipal governments struggling to transition from merely regulating corporate harms to stopping those harms by asserting local, democratic control directly over corporations.Through grassroots organizing, public education and outreach, legal assistance, and drafting of ordinances, they have assisted over 110 municipalities in PA, NH, ME, and VA to draft and adopt new laws with over 350,000 people living under these governing frameworks.  These laws address activities such as corporate water withdrawals, longwall coal mining, factory farming, the land application of sewage sludge, and uranium mining.

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer will speak to Ben Price, the Projects Director for the CELDF.

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