The Coalition for Local Sovereignty

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Local Sovereignty means that all matters which can be handled by local communities, must be handled by them. The idea of self-government demands that local communities be allowed to make their own policies, whenever possible, rather than having some outside power dictate policies to them.

Local Sovereignty is based on the principle that people have a greater incentive and a greater ability to recognize and solve problems that directly affect them than do others. Two fundamental facts make this principle true: 1. People closer to a problem have more knowledge of the particulars of the problem and on how to solve it in the most efficient and effective manner. With greater knowledge comes greater ability. 2. People in general are self-interested (which does not mean selfish) and care more about solving their own problems than others do; others have their own problems to concern themselves with. Because of these truths, as far as possible, all laws that affect a local community should by made and executed by that community.

Local Sovereignty is not simply based on utility, but is a principle of justice. For instance, it would be wrong for the government to take children away from parents on the basis that the government could raise them better. Even if the government could raise children better, unless there is actual abuse, it would be unjust for the government to interfere in the workings of the family. The constitution and the principles of justice demand that more powerful associations do not forcibly absorb weaker associations, unless the weaker association is so currupt that there is no other alternative. So the government may not absorb the function of the family, nor the federal government absorb the function of local communities.

The problem today is that rather than governing ourselves, as the founders intended, most laws which affect our lives have been imposed upon us by unelected bureaucrats and judges with no connection to your local community and with little understanding of the needs, concerns and traditions of your community.

It has become increasingly obvious that huge impersonal bureaucracies and one-size-fits-all approaches do not work--and, indeed, are detrimental. Solving the problems that affect most people demands working on the local level, and eliminating the bureaucracies and mandates which hamstring community efforts.

The Local Sovereignty movement works to systematically reduce impediments to local self-government and return control to local communities.

Contact Coalition for Local Sovereignty at 202 544 7000 or e-mail us at