Kai Huschke is the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). Over the last 50 years a cosmically shifting legal reality has been emerging whereby nature has gained enforceable rights. From rural Pennsylvania to South America to New Zealand to the Oregon Coast to the Rust Belt, people have been successfully securing legal rights for ecosystems and non-human natural communities. Like peoples’ movements of the past, the rights of nature movement is serving the function of both challenging and changing the legal system, directly confronting the devastating effects of climate change, standing up to corporate power, and charting a new course in how — culturally, economically, legally — people associate themselves to the places that sustain them.
Bio: Kai was centrally involved in the first-in-the-nation Community Bill of Rights, Worker Bill of Rights, and Voter Bill of Rights campaign efforts in Spokane, Washington. He supported the first law in the nation banning aerial pesticide spraying in Oregon. Kai facilitated the second-in-the-nation and first-in-Hawaii rights of nature conservation easement. He is the chief advisor to the Oregon Community Rights Network and the effort to constitutionalize local self-government in Oregon. Kai is also a national lecturer for CELDF’s Democracy School.