Hello daily actors!
First, thank you for making Ripple the World an incredible success. It was breathtaking to see a transformed Santa Rosa Veteran’s Hall filled with engaged citizens and leaders, donating from the heart to power us into the future. For more on Ripple the World read below. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves, get dirty and feed the rapidly growing mulch movement, join us tomorrow at Pocket Park in Cotati as we continue to regenerate this once water-thirsty, lawn-covered, neighborhood park by planting more fruit trees and edible shrubs!
From Ripple the World to the California Water Reuse Conference and a powerful training on dismantling racism, it has been a potent few weeks to cap off a huge start to fall. With generous donors who contributed to our Challenge Fund and donated at the breakfast, we raised $100,512. Through 12 new and renewing Stewardship Circle members contributing $1,000 or more for 5 years, we raised an additional $64,000 in future commitments fortifying our foundation!
Daily Acts Board Chair Miriam Volat started us off by honoring the many attending dignitaries. Miriam spoke to how Daily Acts community and our partners are ACTUALLY doing what she has heard people talk about wanting for decades, in regards to their vision of a sustainable future. We then had a visit from Buster Beaver (aka Brock Dolman) who presented Daily Acts with the Eager Beaver Award for our water-wise good works, followed up by inspiring testimonials in our new video showing the multi-faceted impact of our small acts at home, in gardens and neighborhoods. Next, Dave Iribarne from the City of Petaluma and Stewardship Circle member Grant Davis of the Sonoma County Water Agency shared about how together, we are taking these solutions to scale.
Taking the show on the road, just days later, Brock, Miriam and myself presented and facilitated at the California Water Reuse Conference. After sharing this vital work that YOU are powering, attending citizens, organizations and agencies were ready to get these high impact and infectiously inspiring programs into their communities. Meanwhile Miriam, Brock, James Johnson and others helped launch a California decentralized water reuse policy council to catalyze the sustainable revitalization of our communities and the policies that govern them. It was another incredible gathering filled both with difficult realities about drought, groundwater depletion and climate disruption, but also spirited citizens, engineers and regulators stepping up to build resilience in our people and places.
While there’s always more learning, connecting and collaborating to do, a big two-month push culminated with a sobering but empowering training on Dismantling Racism by the Catalyst Project. It was sobering to be reminded of not just the environmental challenges we face, but the depth and pervasiveness of our social justice issues, the trauma, genocide, slave labor and theft of land and resources that underpin so much of the comfort, privilege and societal success we easily take for granted. It was empowering in that we had daily actors and allies from the Transition and permaculture movements as well as groups like Bay Localize directly serving communities most impacted by and vulnerable to the environmental issues we are experiencing. So we learned together, but also strengthened our collaborative fibers and are moving forward with some exciting proposals that would further integrate our communities and work. Locally, an important body of work to learn and build from, A Portrait of Sonoma County, highlights peoples’ ability to live into their potential and the disparities we must address relative to race, ethnicity and gender for this to happen.
All in all, I still feel a bit tired and stretched from it all. But I also feel more inspired, committed and connected from spreading our hands, hearts and heads around more of what needs to be transformed in ourselves, our neighborhoods and communities. Most of all, I feel deeply grateful for you and this community of incredible change makers who have cast your lot with those who as Adrienne Rich penned “…age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”