Connect with Other Activists in Your Community
Replacing the growth machine with a sustainability ethic
"We want to protect and preserve. Frankly, to love rather than destroy."
The Importance of Friends
You cannot hope to win against the Growth Machine without help from others,
both inside and outside your community.
It is extremely important to establish relationships with other activists whose interests
also benefit from controlling growth and development.
A good network is a rich source of diverse information (intelligence) and critical advice,
of help for getting work done, and of political clout.
These relationships deserve your care, respect and attention for they provide you with
close allies and best friends, both of which you will need.
Local contacts are more important than state-wide organizations, which have less focus on,
interest in, or time for local issues.
Building Your Network
Start with the following organizations, go to one of their meetings, make a friend or two,
and get their contact information. Don't stop with one contact;
ask to be referred to others in other organizations or control-growth advocates
who may not be affiliated with any organization.
- Local organizations whose mission is proactive growth control.
If your community has one, then the network you need may already exist.
- Organizations in your community that are focused on fighting a specific development project.
As pointed out in our "Actively Participate" section, the project may already be too far
in the approval process and these organizations may be too late.
However, some individuals involved in these organizations will understand the need for proactive,
comprehensive, long-term growth control in their communities.
- Sierra Club - Start at the Chapter website in your state
and, if you can, find the local Group for your community.
Contact the conservation chair and the chair of the population committee,
if there is one, in the local Group.
If that doesn't work, contact the group chair or the conservation and/or population chair in
the state Chapter.
- Local conservation & preservation groups - Some are focused on land conservation
while others are interested in conserving local watersheds and waterways such as streams,
rivers or lakes. The following organizations may be able to refer you to local contacts:
- Conservation-minded, local politicians - Your other contacts will know who they are, if there are any.
- Green Party
- Even if the Greens in your community are not fighting growth
(a few local Green Party organizations are), they may know local activists whom you want to contact.
- Local or state taxpayer and taxpayer education groups - These organizations can be important allies for
confronting government subsidies to developers.
- Public education advocates - Developers often try to avoid the full cost of adding capacity to
public school systems and may even try to swallow existing school facilities to maximize their economic returns.
Letter-to-the-Editor as a Networking Tool
Another way to network is to write a letter-to-the-editor about conservation or overdevelopment
in your local newspaper. Like-minded people may contact you.
Be forewarned, however, that newspapers are allies of the Growth Machine
(see Be Knowledgeable About Growth Issues).
And so the newspaper may not print your letter or worse, humiliate you by publishing a butchered remnant of it.
And if you insist that the letter be published only if it is unaltered, they may not publish it.
Creating worthy places for our great, great grandchildren