Moveon house party, Sierra Club Cool Cities campaign
Tonight there were MoveOn house parties all over the Bay Area, to watch “An Inconvenient Truth” and write postcards to Congress. And one of them was in my house. Our movie-viewing filled up quickly. 10 total strangers, mostly from our same zip code, signed up on our Moveon invite. They came over to watch this political documentary, eat popcorn, and do some letter-writing.
We ended up talking for a while after the movie. Peter, a friendly young eco-fanatic, turned us on to Treehugger.com and then he made me feel all warm and fuzzy by saying that he thought Metroblogging SF had more of a political conscience than SFist. (oooOOOOooo! But actually I love SFist and they happen to have a great article on possible mayoral candidates for SF at the top of their site right now.)
We all wondered if sending a postcard to our Congressperson, Anna Eshoo, was going to help anything, since surely she is already fairly green and also is aware that her constituency is heavily composed of progressive-to-liberal eco-hippies. I think that yes, it is good and right to let your Congressperson know that you’re there and what you think, even if they seem to agree with you already. Let them know the level of support and involvement they can expect. Don’t buy into the apathy people express so often on this point about Bay Area politics – as if it’s so automatically progressive here that we don’t need to do anything. Far from it!
The folks at our house party said that there were many other parties in the area that had all filled up. We were the last one left with any space.
Anyway, then Rick, a guy from the Loma Prieta chapter of the Sierra Club, showed up to talk with us about the Cool Cities Initiative, which organizes city councils or mayors to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol. Palo Alto has signed, but Redwood City hasn’t. All 9 of us in the room perked up and talked about what to do and who to talk to, and I think we all liked the idea of our city signing onto the Kyoto Protocol. Now, how rare is that – this dude could have spent 10 hours at a table in front of Safeway trying to talk to people and get them to sign a petition or something, and not gotten good results or had any fun. But he came to this party of people who are obviously motivated and who are exactly the sort of people who would like to hear his message. Smart! (There’s an example of Web 2.0 tech being used well, with sponteneity, ease, and effectiveness. And note that I’m probably posting this before he even gets home.) I advised Rick to contact the local moms’ clubs and also the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, and he then mentioned City Trees and Cool Families, two Redwood City groups that are very active in fighting global warming by tree-planting and conservation.
I think local activism like this is important. Take a look at your own city on the Cool Cities site and see if they’ve signed on – and if they have, fire off an email to your Mayor and cc it to the City Council in support. If they haven’t, tell them they should!
If you think for a second about how nice it feels just to get a comment on your blog, then imagine being Mayor. You’d probably hoard any citizen feedback like gold. You’d be mentally in your giant Duckburg bin of comments and emailed letters and postcards, wallowing joyously like Uncle Scrooge.