My Hometown Joins Transition Movement

Apr 19, 2012 by

My Hometown Joins Transition Movement

I’m sharing a column I wrote for our local newspaper that was published yesterday. Enjoy!


This Earth Day, Local 20/20 is celebrating its official recognition as Washington state’s 11th Transition Initiative.

“Transition?” you might wonder. “From what? To what?”

Glad you asked. This is about making the transition from “the era of cheap oil,” to a future dependent on conservation, a thriving local economy, locally produced food and building materials, sustainable transportation choices and renewable energy alternatives.

We’re in the early stages of what ecologist Joanna Macy calls “The Great Turning” –  “the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.”

“Adventure?” you might mutter. “Sounds kind of scary to me.”

Indeed, it requires a paradigm shift of the tallest order to see the coming changes as opportunities rather than threats.

There’s no going back to “the way things were.” But take heart. Many of us in Jefferson County are already working on collectively shaping the future we want to see. That’s why we’re joining 425 other communities around the globe in this movement to increase local self-reliance and resilience.

The Transition Movement represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of peak oil, climate change and economic instability.

Transition Initiatives, designed to achieve re-localization at the community level, are also designed to result in a life that is more fulfilling, more socially connected and more equitable than the one we have today.

While we’re joining a widespread movement with momentum—Jefferson County’s Transition Initiative is No. 111 in the nation and No. 416 in the world. We’re not exactly newcomers. In 2006, the same year that the first Transition Town was launched in England, grassroots organizers here formed Local 20/20. The mission statement developed then still guides the group today: working together toward local sustainability by integrating economy, ecology and community via action and education.

Both education and opportunities for action can be found this Saturday, April 21, at our local Earth Day 2012 celebration.

Learn more about Transition and Local 20/20 at a public presentation from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the upstairs of the Port Townsend Community Center. (Childcare is provided downstairs.) See the Earth Day calendar of events for other opportunities to learn about this movement.

A successful transition for Jefferson County will depend on individuals who possess a strong sense of place, a belief in local empowerment, and a shared optimism for a better future.

Does that sound like you? Join us!

By Shelly Randall, Contributor

Shelly Randall is a freelance writer, editor and publicist who volunteers on Local 20/20’s steering council, is helping to organize Jefferson County’s Earth Day 2012 celebration, and blogs at

First installment in the “Earth Matters” monthly series of columns on sustainable living choices for Jefferson County residents, coordinated by Local 20/20.
First published in the April 18, 2012, edition of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader, our independently owned and community-minded weekly newspaper (
I considered it part of my EcoChallenge to volunteer to organize Earth Day festivities this year. After all, it was my brilliant idea to use the occasion to announce Local 20/20’s recent recognition as an official Transition Initiative. Please join me Saturday at the Farmers Market, hear me and three other speakers at the 10:30 a.m. presentation, and pray for no rain!

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