Before we even got indoors for Petaluma City Council Goal Setting session, friends from WORK Petaluma and Climate Mobilization and others pulled together a rally outdoors. Great, multi-generational crowd! I’d put up fliers downtown. Noticed young folks from Sunrise, NBOP, 350 Petaluma, Daily Acts, Sonoma County Democratic Committee and others. Great rally! Young folks leading call and response songs they wrote! Elizabeth Howland leading a Petaluma version of This Land is Your Land. Sweet fun!

Had anticipated the Goal Setting session for months; not only would a Resolution to Declare Climate Emergency be part of the packet on tables, but the whole room was primed for the changes we need to not only be sustainable (hand on to business as usual) but to consider how in Petaluma we might address what actually has to change in order to heal our land, our earth, and our social justice concerns in one fell swoop ( or thousands of individual actions). That would be regeneration with justice…repair damage done and work toward a real democracy/equality/inclusion…just a start to an uphill climb!

It’s that INTERBEING idea we’ve found in Climate A New Story by Chas. Eisenstein, a word from famed Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hahn, intimating that indeed, we humans, all living beings, are all one – all linked like the roots of aspen trees – and if we don’t care for the health of the whole, we can’t heal the planet or ourselves.

I’d add to that we can’t heal the damage we do to one another without actual democracy, government that works for all and is informed by its public, its consitutiency.

What to say about a packed room of intense neighbors wanting the best for our town?
Glad to see so many friends! Lots of great ideas sketched out and a chance to do public speaking on what matters. At the break out session, I was with Mayor Teresa Barrett, our cross the field neighbor, Claudia de la Pena, City Attorney Eric Danly and more.

Got into a brief side conversation with Claudia about how to build diversity, get every ethnic group in town to the table and seems you make friends just like you usually make friends, going to meet people where they live, worship and are engaged.

So many topics covered: Housing, public safety, leadership trainings, capital improvements, and becoming a more age-friendly town. The tressle got a lot of attention as did dredging.
If we care for the Turning Basin, the whole downtown becomes a stronger tourist destination and the City makes money, at least some, from sales tax.

Bruce Hagen, Citizens Climate Lobby, told us we could receive between $20-30million if the Carbon Pricing and Dividends program now before the US Congress passes.

Natasha from WORK said we need to stop buying so much STUFF…and then we shake our heads.
If 60-70% of our economy is based on consumption – AND consumption is why we have pollution and a major contributor to climate change – well, hey, we have a PROBLEM…and a need to change our whole way of thinking and behaving. REUSE, GROW YOUR OWN, RESILIENT NEIGHBORHOODS come to mind.

So its true, we have a gorgeous spring springing…right now! And that may be partly due to climate disruption which, if unopposed will lead in a few years to a unreversible climate catastropy. No one can predict exactly what that looks like but we’ve seen a preview/trailer for the film: major fires and floods, billions of people made homeless around the planet and it may just be uninhabitable for humans! Ouch ouch ouch.

But there is wiggle room for change. So our little team of Sonoma County Pachamama Alliance with backing from this venerable 30 year old group of fine folks saving a big part of the rainforest (referred to by many as OUR LUNGS), we intend to take the amazing and hopeful DRAWDOWN workshops to each city in SOnoma County, working closely with Climate Mobilization and other efforts to bring a Resolution of Climate Emergency to each city and the County so we can address together what can be done in our own community. And, if we are VERY CLEVER and hard working and smart, we may just be the role model many think we can be so that other communities can follow our lead. But first we have to catch up with
Oakland
Berkeley
Santa Cruz
Alameda
Richmond
Hoboken
Melbourne
London
and many more who have Declared Climate Emergency and are working to reverse global warming.
As Paul Hawken says in the videos included in the Introduction to DRAWDOWN, we know the odds are long (to heal the planet), but they are just odds. We can at least make a real difference. You got something better to do? I can’t look at young people realizing we’re turning over a collapsing ecosystem without knowing I’ve got to make it better. We can make our neighborhoods friendier, learn to help each other in deeper ways including growing food together, we can keep abreast of good news and tune out the horrid news when it hurts to hear it; we can keep finding ways to laugh, sing, hug our children.
AND WE NEED A GREEN NEW DEAL OR OTHER MOBILIZATION LIKE WWII TO REVERSE THE DAMAGE AND GET BACK TO OUR GARDENS.