Organizers Training for the Community Rights Movement

Please consider registering for a weekend intensive June 30-July 1, led by Paul Cienfuegos and Paul's colleague Matt Guynn in Portland, Oregon. This training will help you become a more confident and capable leader in the growing Community Rights movement in the Pacific Northwest.

The schedule for the training is still tentative, as we are still seeking the right space to use. (Can you help us find a suitable workshop location?) Our proposed schedule is:

Saturday, June 30, 9am to 9pm

Sunday, July 1, 930am to 530pm 

Please register for this training ONLY if you are able to attend the entire event.

Quite a few folks will be coming from distant PNW communities, and will need basic sleeping bag accommodation, most likely for both Friday and Saturday nights. Would anyone like to offer housing to these out of towners?


Please see the bottom of this page for Sliding Scale Fee and registration information.

There are now 150 communities in seven states which have successfully passed Community Rights ordinances over the past decade. Developing and passing a Community Rights ordinance takes tremendous stamina and focus. It took the Bellingham, WA, folks almost two years between their introduction to the Community Rights movement, and the launching of their Coal Free Bellingham campaign. It took the Spokane, WA, folks three years of intensive community-building and educational work before they launched their Community Bill of Rights campaign. We need to be in this for the long haul if we are to witness the kinds of structural pro-democracy changes that are so desperately needed in our society today. And I believe that the Community Rights movement offers our best hope to accomplish this big task.


Outcomes you can expect from this training:


* Strengthen your Community Rights group internally and externally, considering key perspectives on both group life and organizing theory. Groups need to effectively communicate, have healthy conflict, and make good decisions - and do all that “activist stuff.”  Skill-building segments will include skills and perspective in two broad categories - organizing and group life, including: information-gathering, strategic thinking, campaign-building, mapping allies, decision making, public speaking, and more.


* Root your leadership in a broader context of nonviolent social change movements. Examine a framework for nonviolent social change emerging from the US Civil Rights movement (Kingian nonviolence), as well as other key strategic perspectives for insights relevant to your organizing. (For more on the direct relevance of nonviolent social change to the Community Rights movement, click HERE.)


* Develop a strategy for outreach and information-gathering to help address the Chicken and Egg Dilemma (Pick an Ordinance Issue First or Do Outreach First?). Think through a process by which an ordinance issue can be developed through relationship-building and social action investigation.


* Practice speaking about the Community Rights movement in ways that excite and inform people. Whether in conversations on the bus or presentations to community groups, how can you maximize interest and spread the word about this growing movement?


* Network with others in the region and get the latest news and analysis about the Community Rights movement, including a report on Paul's three-week east coast workshop tour in May 2012.


We are offering this two-day training on a quite affordable sliding scale fee structure of $60 to $260. (We raised the fees by $10 because we'll be including three meals as part of the workshop.)

We can't reserve a spot for you in the workshop until you pre-register. To do so, please review the Sliding Scale Fees, below.


Lastly, here's a brief bio about each of us...


* Matt Guynn (Portland, OR) is an activist and nonviolent social change trainer grounded in the philosophy and methodology of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the broader US Civil Rights movement. Matt works with the church-based nonprofit On Earth Peace, working with church and community groups around the United States to offer leadership development for efforts to challenge violence and build reconciliation. Since 1993, he has been involved with Training for Change, an international training center working with social change activists. Matt previously worked as co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, preparing people to carry out nonviolent direct action and unarmed accompaniment in conflict zones, and served as an unarmed bodyguard in Chiapas, Mexico. Matt's leadership is rooted in direct mentorship from women and men involved in the US Civil Rights movement, the pacifist and anti-war movements of the WWII and Vietnam eras, the feminist and LGBTQ movements, and the Quaker-inspired Movement for a New Society, which through its Life Centers across the United States inspired and equipped generations of environmental, anti-nuclear, and other activists. In 2010-2011, Matt consulted with both Greenpeace USA and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), providing skill-building and resources on topics including facilitation and nonviolent direct action.



* Paul Cienfuegos (Portland, OR) has been doing grassroots community organizing since the late 70's. Paul moved to Oregon in 2011 to work full time on building a Community Rights movement across the state to enshrine authentic local democracy and end corporate constitutional so-called "rights". He is a founding member of CommunityRightsPDX. Over the years, dozens of Paul's articles and speeches have been published in journals and online, and broadcast on "Alternative Radio". Paul co-founded Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (California) in 1996. He is the co-author of 'Measure F: The Arcata Advisory Initiative on Democracy and Corporations' which was passed by the voters in 1998. Paul was a founding member of the City of Arcata Committee on Democracy and Corporations which had its origins in 'Measure F'. It is the first committee of its kind in US history, and works to "ensure democratic control over corporations conducting business within the city". Paul (and co-author) are currently working on a book for mainstream Americans on how to dismantle corporate rule. Trained by Joanna Macy, Paul spent three years in Scotland in the early 1980's leading "Despair and Empowerment" workshops to help people to learn how to deal with their painful feelings about the state of our world. During that same period, he created a new workshop titled "Active Listening For Activists". Paul owns, an online bookstore, which carries thousands of books to help create a better world. More info at


Sliding Scale Fees:


We are asking everyone to pay between $60 and $260 for this workshop. (We added $10 to each of the sliding scale fees, to cover three simple nutritious meals.)


We'd like you to consider paying a bit more than you are used to paying if you are in an upper-income bracket, and a bit less than you are used to paying if you are in a lower income bracket. In this society, we tend to forget that lower income people have much less disposable income for extras of any kind than do higher income people. So what ends up happening is that lower income people actually end up subsidizing the participation of higher income people at events where everyone pays the same price to attend..


If you have lots of dependents, please consider paying a bit less than the amounts listed below. If you have few or no dependents, please consider paying a bit more than the amounts listed below.


If you are at all uncomfortable with our suggested fee scale, please pay whatever amount you feel is right for you to pay. YOU are the best judge of what you can afford to pay.


If you make less than $15,000 per year, please consider paying $60 or more.

If you make $15,000 to $25,000 per year, please consider paying $90 or more.

If you make $25,000 to $40,000 per year, please consider paying $120 or more.

If you make $40,000 to $70,000 per year, please consider paying $160 or more.

If you make $70,000 to $100,000 per year, please consider paying $210 or more.

If you make $100,000 or more per year, please consider paying $260 or more.


If paying by check, please make check payable to our fiscal sponsor 'On Earth Peace', and include your email address, mailing address, and phone number. Please mail it to Paul Cienfuegos, POB 86605, Portland OR 97286.


If you'd prefer to pay online via credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx), we have set up a direct payment link to our event's fiscal sponsor, 'On Earth Peace". If you pay via this method, please pay close attention to the following directions:

1. Click HERE.

2. Under "Privacy Preference", click on the first option.

3. Under "Dedication", click the first box and type "Organizers Training".

3. Our sponsor will keep 3% of your payment as a processing fee, so please consider adding 3% to what you pay. See "Giving Option" for both options.

4. Fill in all required fields.


Thank you!

We'll be getting in touch with everyone in advance, with lots more info and a reading list, once you register.

Still have questions or concerns? Contact Paul at 503-233-1166 or <>.

For a one-time donation click here:

To support Paul with monthly donation, select and click here:
Monthly Donation Options