After months of planning with our tour partners and local community hosts, the Earth Week tour of California Communities Rising Against Fracking seemed to fly by.
Although expectations were high, we couldn’t have predicted how much our message and speakers would resonate with California residents from Chico to San Diego (and beyond). In total, we:
- Brought together 18 speakers on the road with each stop tailored specifically to meet local needs and assist local efforts. In San Diego, our youngest fractivist ever took the stage.
- Spoke to well over 1,000 people—standing room only in most communities—and we’ve been inundated with new requests from Mt. Shasta to Palm Springs;
- Signed up over 100 local volunteers to assist with moving their campaigns forward;
- Engaged with one state senator, two mayors, seven city council members and two Democratic Convention delegates. See Doug Shields addressing Culver City Council.
- Hit the local airwaves and mainstream media and blogosphere before, during, and after the tour. For a good report back of the tour listen to the Silicon Valley Voice podcast.
- Had a lot of fun, good conversations, met new friends and were even serenaded in Chico by Los Caballitos de la Cancion.
A special appreciation to our guests, former Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields, who led his community to pass the first ever local rights-based ban in the country, and his wife Briget Shields who works with affected communities in Pennsylvania and beyond through Marcellus Protest.
With their help at the Culver City Council, and following a special Fracking Democracy School, we deepened our organizing, where residents are putting forward a rights-based charter amendment to ban fracking.
In San Luis Obispo, our Town Hall presenting a rights-based ordinance was filled to overflowing, as City Councilman John Ashbaugh said “I haven’t seen that many people gathered around an environmental issue in over a decade.” Four municipalities in the county are exploring passing a similar ordinance.
And in Santa Barbara, following a Democracy School and a crowded public event, residents have decided to work with Global Exchange explore what a rights-based ordinance could mean for their community.
More tales from the tour to come.
Thank you to all who made this fracking tour possible. Let's keep the momentum going by supporting the Community Rights program.
Together, we can stop fracking!
Director, Community Rights Program
P.S. Many thanks and farewell to our fracking tour interns, Emily, Anna and Alina!