When Washington Goes Low, We Go Local

20170120inaugurationOn this inaugural day of 2017, a billionaire climate-denying demagogue and his corporate cronies move into the center of our democracy, rebuking the norms, traditions, and institutions that allow us to pursue a more perfect union. We must brace for the worst: heinous policy agendas and an all-out assault on basic, democratic tenets. But we must also move forward.

At the Ecology Center, we put our vision into practice and move forward where and when we can. We start at the local level and try new ideas. Those that work, we seek to make everyday, mainstream, and ubiquitous. Recycling and farmers markets are examples from our past. Healthy food access, soda taxes, and plastic bag bans represent current successes. With nearly 50 years of experience, we know how to weather a storm –although these newly empowered climate deniers will undoubtedly make the storms more frequent and intense!

But let’s remember, the Ecology Center launched the nation’s first curbside recycling program under President Richard Nixon, we launched our first farmer’s market under President Ronald Reagan, and we implemented our pilot plastic bag ban under President George W. Bush. Some of our moments of greatest innovation have come when the national climate was grim. So when Washington goes low, we go local.

Going local does not mean enclosing ourselves in a bubble, but rather pushing our local agenda and linking it to similar efforts across the state and nation. It means locking arms with related movements for mutual support and defense. It means committing to deeper partnership with and support for vulnerable communities. It means tying together disparate issues so we present a united front, marching towards a new society.

We have publicly endorsed the National Women’s March on Washington and will be marching at the Oakland Women’s March on January 21st. Please get out to one of the local marches and look for our banner!

We are also joining forces with Unstoppable Together, a new coalition building a national community of mutual support and defense.

These efforts are designed to send a simple and clear statement that there is no Trump mandate – every effort against our shared mission and vision will be met with coordinated, strategic, broad-based resistance. These efforts will remind us of our power to aggressively proceed in our numerous, diverse, progressive communities. We’ll be honing our strategies, innovating new solutions, laying deeper foundations, and forging new paths towards the sustainable, healthy, and just future we all deserve.

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