Join us for an afternoon with Paul Cienfuegos, a leader in the growing national movement to empower communities to assert their right to local self-governance. Listen, learn, and engage with cutting edge ideas and actions to take our rights back as a community.

Did you know that it is often illegal for a city, town, or county government to pass laws that protects the health and welfare of the people when it inhibits corporate activities? Currently “corporate rights” often supersede “community rights” in a court of law.

No wonder it has been so difficult to stop corporate mines, pipelines, and factory farms, even when an entire community opposes such activities!

Since 1999, over 200 communities in 9 states have passed groundbreaking Community Rights laws that are locally-enforceable and establish the right of a community to govern itself. These laws have banned fracking and oil drilling, water withdrawal for bottling, toxic sludge dumping on farmland, corporate-managed infrastructure, unsustainable energy development, harmful chain stores and more. The best part is, 95% of these laws have led to predatory corporations moving out of locally-empowered communities. 

While walk-ins are welcome, we encourage you to reserve a seat as we have limited capacity and expect to fill quickly.

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During this immersion we will…

  • Dive into the history of state government and community rights in the United States
  • Introduce the Community Rights Movement as a bold response to unjust laws and how we can breathe new life into civic engagement by reclaiming the structures of law that have made real democracy near impossible up until now
  • Engage in an exciting World Cafe session to see how this all applies to our home community of Asheville, NC! This session will be facilitated by Cynthia Tina and Nicholas Joyce, Asheville unConference organizers and global community builders


As voting day is quickly approaching, we will have Darlene Azarmi share the ins and outs of new rules for the election and briefly context voter suppression in NC with an update on the congressional redistricting of political maps, which has resulted in an additional election being held in June. Darlene is an organizer with Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and achieve a government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

In addition to an inspiring presentation and workshop, this community gathering will also feature a tea lounge space arranged by Jacquelyn Leonard and donation-based massage offered by Marina J. Santosuosso of Balanced Bodhi.

Paul Cienfuegos

Paul Cienfuegos is a leader in the Community Rights movement, which works to dismantle corporate constitutional so-called “rights” and assert the people’s inherent right to govern themselves. He has been leading workshops and giving public talks across the US since 1995 when he founded Democracy Unlimited in northern California. Paul moved to Portland, Oregon in 2011, co-founded Community Rights PDX in 2012, and helped to launch the Oregon Community Rights Network in 2013. David Barsamian’s internationally syndicated show ‘Alternative Radio’ has broadcast five of his speeches.

Paul produces a weekly radio commentary & podcast , that any station can broadcast at no charge. He also produces a national ‘Community Rights Update’ newsletter with the latest news and analysis on the Community Rights movement, with more than 1200 subscribers. More info at And starting in February 2016, check out Community Rights GroundWork – Paul’s newest project in collaboration with other movement leaders.

Reserve Your Seat