What is Transition? Transition is a movement; it is about communities focused on connection and exploring opportunities for “reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, …
What is Transition? Transition is a movement; it is about communities focused on connection and exploring opportunities for “reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, reskilling themselves and weaving webs of connection and support”, as described in “The Essential Guide to Doing Transition,” on the transitionus.org website.
Some of the principles that guide Local 20/20 as a Transition Town:
• We respect resource limits and create resilience;
• We promote inclusivity and social justice;
• We support self-organizing and self-empowerment;
• We pay attention to balance in responding to urgent, global challenges;
• We are part of a global, experimental, learning network;
• We freely share ideas and power;
• We collaborate and look for synergies; and
• We foster positive visioning and creativity
Examples of how these principles manifest themselves within Local 20/20 in our community include promoting sustainable transportation such as biking and walking, supporting local economy by incubating new local businesses and promoting shopping and eating locally. Neighborhood community gardens, school gardens and food bank gardens are great examples of ways Port Townsend has fed its community with healthy, delicious food while also teaching kids how to grow food, teaching math and natural science skills.
Local 20/20 currently has nine different action groups, focusing on various aspects of community:
1. Beyond Waste supports and educates local businesses, organizations and individuals in reducing their contribution to the waste stream.
2. Climate Action’s goal is to work in collaboration with other local organizations and our other action groups to focus on Jefferson County opportunities to reduce our community’s greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and prepare for climate change (adaptation).
3. Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness assists local residents through education and by example within self-organized neighborhood groups to become self-reliant before a disaster strikes, thus enhancing resilience throughout our community as we work to recover.
4. Energy Action is dedicated to finding practical answers to help us locally to conserve energy, save money, enhance our self-reliance and strengthen our community.
5. Health and Wellness promotes health and healthcare access in East Jefferson County, with a particular focus on local, affordable, quality healthcare, including behavioral and dental healthcare.
6. Local Food promotes the production, consumption and food waste management of healthy, locally-grown food while addressing any systemic barriers to full food security, (including neighborhood community gardens, school gardens, dedicated Food Bank gardens and a local gleaning program).
7. Resiliency Education fosters a local culture of generous, engaged and caring citizens with the know-how and skills needed to do what is best for our people and this place, now and seven generations into the future.
8. Resiliency of Heart’s goal is to bring people together to learn and practice the kinds of skills who can help us connect more deeply to one another, accomplished for example by practicing compassionate communication skills and participating in intergenerational art creations.
9. Transportation Lab promotes a transportation system that minimizes need for personal motor vehicles and emphasizes walking, biking and mass transit.
We are in troubling times. With COVID, and more recently inundating smoke from forest fires, we have been driven inside and people are seeking new ways to connect.
Transition provides a way “to overcome the sense of disconnection people feel … because the world’s huge challenges feel more manageable if addressed at the local scale” (from the guide referenced above).
For more info or to get Local 20/20’s weekly announcements, subscribe on the website: L2020.org.
(Sonja Hammar is a member of Local 20/20’s Steering Council, is keen on energy efficiency and resilience and wholeheartedly embraces the principles of Transition.)