May 20, 2005
5/20 - Playing to the Grassroots (via Mark Dowie)
The kudos are starting to roll in. Not for me (all I did was sit the guy down in front of a camera), but for Mark Dowie who is the star of our new 6 minute short film currently featured on the home page of Grist. Check out this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful e-mail received yesterday from an east coast activitist:
I would love, if I may, to have two dvd copies of your film, one for me and one for the library at my office. I'm a life long environmentalist, who, for entirely different reasons (community organizing around delinquency prevention), studied with Saul Alinski in the late 60s. About two months ago it occured to me that 'we' of whatever bent, civil rights, conservation, world peace, had quit organizing and the christian right had moved in where we had vacated. It's time to take it back and your film is very empowering.
Posted by Randy Olson at May 20, 2005 10:51 AM
I could not agree more, both with the video, the e-mail regarding the religious right, and with the blog from 5/16. There are those who are saying that environmentalism is dead. Its not, but it had better evolve. Although I agree that legislative and judicial action is important, in this day and age, that is not going to be enough. When you talk politics, you're talking money, and you're talking power, too. If the last four and half years have taught us anything, its that, with this administration, there are going to be some battles that we just can't win alone because we don't have enough of either. Ah, but the key is in numbers. We live in a democratic society, and however much some politicians value money, they are still elected officials, and, in theory, when the public speaks up, they have to listen. As such, grassroots is essential to the environmental evolution. Lighting a fire under the public ass is pretty central to getting anything done these days, and that's usually local. Furthermore, we may be dealing with big issues, like ANWR, the Endangered Species Act, and global warming, but we had better not lose sight of the small battles, either. For lack of better community involvement, I have watched golf courses go up where I used to ride, wetlands paved over for Wal-Marts and developers lower zoning limits from 40 acres to 10. We can spend all our time in DC, but what good is it if we come home to parking lots, Wal-Marts, and track houses?