Posted by: Tara Escudero
That’s the question I found myself asking many times when I began community organizing. You put all this energy into an event, hopefully get some people out and have a good time, and then it’s over. Things keep going on the way they were, and one or two people stay in touch and work on the next thing.
This summer I slowly realized 1) what organizing really is 2) I’m getting better at it and 3) Organizing around the abolition of fossil fuels is the most important thing I could be doing with my life.
Of course I get frustrated and wonder why I’m not sitting in a tree in West Virginia to stop mountaintop removal or running a local farm or something, both of which are difficult when you’re on a 1000 mile+ bike tour, but just talking to people and having people come together and actually collaborate on the tangible things they are doing is what makes all of our passions and work worthwhile.
Being in New Haven especially has been enthralling, inspiring, and just a great summation of what I wanted out of this summer. We had a great conversation with Tony Resigno of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce about why The U.S. Chamber Doesn’t Speak For Me, we had two meetings bringing New Haveners together who are planning Moving Planet and just doing amazing things for the community, we climbed Giant Steps in East Rock Park and looked at the whole city at sunset, we learned how to blues dance and did a critical mass bike ride, and we did a lot of gardening.
Those are just a handful of the things we did, not even mentioning the lovely and resilient people we met, which would be a lengthy discussion.
I have loved every place we’ve been for different reasons, but I am particularly sorry to leave New Haven because I was able to get such a close look at the small and big picture things that are happening. The city will be the main hub for Connecticut’s Moving Planet event, which will include a state-wide networked bike ride, a teach in, workshops, gardening, bikes, businesses, food, arts, music, speakers, and a slew of wonderful ways we are building our community that are coming together to show our strength, maturity, and seriousness about the effects that fossil fuels are having on our lives and how we so desperately need to move past them as a city, state, nation, and world.
If you have not heard of this event, now you have. If you are not involved yet and live in CT, contact Justin Haaheim at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved now. If you are anywhere else in the world there’s probably an event being planned near you, or you have yet to start one. Learn how to organize, find other people in your community, share and learn the skills necessary to build a better community, and make a strong statement to our representatives to protect, ultimately, each other. I’ll be doing the same thing in Houston, TX in just a few weeks, and am happy knowing we’ll all be working on this in every part of the world.