I'm sharing this primarily for my Mendocino County friends, but other community/environmental activisits may find the forum interesting esp. if you are considering/planning a similar forum where you live.
The Mendocino Environmental Center recently hosted a community radio forum with the full two-hour show by going to:
An article summarizing the event is attached. We discussed who we are, how we can work better together, and how we can better engage the public. All who attended and listened found it very inspiring.
If you would like to support the work of the Center and it radio station, KMEC 105.1 FM, please become a member. Send a check for $35 to:
Mendocino Environmental Center, 106 West Standley Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
Thank you very much for your interest and support.
Denny" (Dennis OBrien, MEC Board Member)
"The San Francisco Mime Troupe joined several local organizations and activists on July 19 for a Community Radio Forum at the Mendocino Environmental Center in Ukiah. The forum was broadcast live on KMEC 105.1 FM, the MEC’s low-power radio station, and streamed to the world at kmecradio.org.
During the first hour of the two-hour show, representatives from six local organizations talked about their mission, their current activities, and their vision for the future. In the second hour they were joined by activists in the audience, exploring how to better work together, how to better reach the public, and how to avoid burnout.
The MEC began the roundtable, focusing on its role as a nonprofit corporation that facilitates the good work of other organizations and individuals. The MEC’s mission, as stated in its bylaws, is to protect the Earth and to promote peace and social justice. Its touchstone is sustainability, because “if it’s not sustainable, it’s stealing from the future.” It nurtures intentional efforts that help individuals and humanity find meaning and fulfillment, both now and in the future.
KMEC 105.1 FM is the Center’s latest tool. “Community begins with communication” said Govinda Dalton, technical guru and the main force behind KMEC going on the air in 2005. Providing a vehicle for both critical thinking and dispute resolution is essential for growth. Community radio holds the promise of two-way communication, a flow of information and wisdom to and from the collective consciousness.
Transition Ukiah Valley is part of an international localization movement, explained Mary McClanahan-Calvert. It recognizes that resources are finite and that we must act now to provide a sustainable world for future generations. The local chapter has different work groups. The “Food & Feed” group sponsors various garden projects, including schools and senior apartments. They wonder why organics grown in Mendocino County are sent to Bay Area restaurants instead of sustaining a local food economy. A “Skill Share” group offers both special events and the ongoing Mendo FreeSkool. Other groups focus on clean & healthy water and the role of corporations (below). TUV would like to do more internet outreach and is hoping someone with such skills would like to join their efforts.
Move to Amend Mendocino is part of a local coalition that is trying to reduce the power and influence of corporations over our daily lives, reported Robin Sunbeam, one of the coalition’s leaders. With Measure F, Mendocino County voters overwhelmingly expressed their preference for constitutional amendments that would eliminate corporate personhood and declare that money is not speech. Current efforts are focused on creating a county public bank, whose profits would go to the county general fund rather than wealthy investors. Currently county funds are deposited with Bank of America and an investment group that invests in Monsanto, even though Mendocino County voters have banned GMO’s from the county. A public bank returns control of the people’s money to the people. Forty percent of the world’s banks are public banks. To create one, Mendocino County must become a charter county (versus general law county). To get on the ballot for 2014, the new charter must be submitted by early November, then get thousands of signatures. The charter would include nuclear free and no fracking declarations. It would increase the sovereignty of the county and independence from the Federal Reserve.
Occupy Ukiah has similar goals and activities. “We stopped the WalMart expansion,” said Tim Hemlock proudly. Also demonstrated at the “local” branches of national banks and encouraged many depositors to move their money to local credit unions. Helping to fight bogus foreclosures, with actions at the recorder’s office and board of supervisors. Fighting the use of pesticides at schools, seeking a countywide moratorium on use by government agencies. Helping to fight the Willits Bypass. Use of media: OU has a weekly radio show on KMEC (Wed. 5-6) and has produced television shows for UVTV public access, available on YouTube. Distributive justice, economic localization, cooperation with others. “No separation anymore,” Tim said to applause. “If we’re in solidarity, we can’t be stopped.”
“The radiation from Fukushima is the elephant in the room, one you can’t see, hear, smell, or taste.” So began Charlie Vaughn of Fukushima Response Mendocino as he informed folks of the increasing danger from the crippled Japanese nuclear plant. TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, is a private corporation and still in charge of the cleanup (underbudgeted) of three damaged reactors and their spent fuel rods that are stored onsite. They will not let independent experts like Yastel Yamada and the Retired Service Corps of Engineers lead or even help with the cleanup. There is apparent fraud and mis-information by the contractors hired to do it. Radioactive water and fumes are leaking out. If a hydrogen bubble exploded, the cooling failed, and all the reactors melted down, the radiation released would be 80 times that of Chernobyl. Pressure from the international community, especially Pacific Rim countries, is needed to force the Japanese government to take over the cleanup and replace corporations motivated by profit with professionals motivated by safety. We must avoid a genetic catastrophe that would affect many future generations. “If the Pyramids were a nuclear reactor, they would still be hot today.”
“How do we fit into the communities we visit?” asked Pat Moran of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. For 54 years they have brought political street theatre to the Bay Area, and more recently Ukiah. This year’s performance focused on the effect of corporate greed on the environment. Over 300 people attended, compared to the 100 or so at most activist events. The Mime Troupe hopes to aid local efforts by charging the batteries of local activists, inspiring others to become involved, and providing channels to bring them all together. “We want to get everyone on the same page,” he said, learning how to stay engaged with the community and each other while avoiding burnout.
After a break, the panel engaged with the live audience. Topics included:
* A focus on fiscal, social, and environmental “equity”.
* Integrating the various components of the local activist community; development of comprehensive strategies; episodic activism (e.g., tree sit support).
* Encouraging discussion, not avoiding necessary conflict; a diversity of causes, priorities, and methods that allows individuals to find a group that best suits them (avoiding unnecessary conflict).
* Outreach to youth; going to them (e.g., the Spring House events) rather than expecting them to come to us.
* Increased use of media (radio, television, print).
* Ongoing meetings and discussions, but must actually do something, not just talk.
A splendid time was had by all. By the end of the program, spirits were high and discussion continued off the air. All the participants were encouraged and excited by the possibilities of collaborating to achieve our shared goals. We agreed to continue the process, including a return by the Mime Troupe for another community radio forum next year. Our collective thanks to all who made the program possible.
Photo: Pat Moran of SF Mime Troupe, Mary McClanahan-Calvert of Transition Ukiah Valley, Tim Hemlock of Occupy Ukiah, Robin Sunbeam of Move to Amend Mendocino, Charlie Vaughn of Fukushima Response Mendocino, and Govinda Dalton of the Mendocino Environmental Center & KMEC 105.1FM with members of the community. Smokin’ Joe Rocha in the studio.