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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 19, 2021 04:37 PM
From: Representative Danielle Friel Otten and Rep. Dianne Herrin
To: All House members
Subject: Securing the Right to Community Self-Government
When first adopted, the Pennsylvania Constitution was widely regarded as one of the most democratic of its time, but some of the most important values in this document have been rendered virtually meaningless due to the powerful influence of special interests on our governmental bodies. Under our current system of law, Pennsylvania communities are often denied the legal authority they need to protect the inherent constitutional rights of their residents, making it nearly impossible to protect their own health, safety, environment, private property, and economic interests.

It is time we correct this failure. This is why we are proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that will recognize the fundamental right of the people to protect their health, safety, and welfare through local community self-government. By recognizing this right -- while simultaneously ensuring that the local government continues to protect rights already secured by the U.S. and State Constitutions and international law -- we will empower communities and their local governments to enact protective local laws that put an end to the overreach of multinational private corporations seeking to profit at the expense of our communities, our environment, and our health.

Please support this legislation and join us in securing the constitutional right of our constituents to protect themselves, their families, their communities, and their environment from undue harm.

Introduced as HB1716