North Quabbin Green Economy Task Force – Dec. 2

North Quabbin Green Economy Task Force

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT AND NEWSLETTER

Dear participants and others,

The next meeting of the North Quabbin Green Economy Task Force will be held on Tuesday, December 2 at 7:00. We are hoping to hold this meeting at St. Mary’s Church in Orange. You should assume that this will be the location unless you hear otherwise. Maggie Herzig, who is a Senior Associate of the Public Conversation Project and facilitated our last meeting, will also facilitate our December meeting.

The agenda for this meeting has not yet been finalized. However, among other issues, I anticipate that a good portion of our discussion will focus on what the different Committees are doing and what kind of help they might need from other Task Force members to carry their plans forward. What follows is a summary of where four of the five Committees are at currently and some of the specific needs they have:

· Public Education Committee: This group has secured commitments from four people to begin writing articles and is exploring establishing a column in the Athol Daily News. They need more people to work on their Committee and more people to write articles. If you can do either of these, please let me know and I will convey your offer to Committee Chair Maureen Blasco.

· K-12 curriculum Committee: Athol-Royalston School Superintendent Tony Polito has held several meetings in his District designed to get his administrators and teachers ready to focus on the question of how to build in green issues to the curriculum. Once this process has been completed (their last meeting is on November 10) Tony and Middle School Principal John Dotty will be ready to work with Committee members on this effort.

· Mutual Support Network Committee: Karen Warner, Director of the North Quabbin Time Bank, is exploring the possibility of creating a sort of “one stop shopping” web site where residents can list their resources and needs and the different terms under which they are willing to exchange them (i.e. for cash, barter, “time dollars” or for free). Karen wrote the other day that “one way members of the Task Force can offer support is to agree to look at a draft version or two of the website and offer feedback/ideas.” Karen may also need help from a web designer.

Related to this, Donald Frye of Petersham contacted us recently and offered to help establish a “ride sharing” listing for our region. The first thing that Donald needs to create this listing is clarity about how to address the liability issues. Anyone with information on this should contact me. (Besides the newspaper, the resource and needs “website marketplace” that Karen Werner is exploring would seem one of the logical places where ride sharing opportunities could be listed.)

Another part of this Mutual Support Committee’s work is to engage students in doing community service for people in our community needing help getting through the winter. Last week (thanks to Father Lunney for arranging this), I spoke to St. Mary’s youth group and John Dotty met with Athol Council on Aging Director Cathy Savoy about developing some different service projects. Manuel King and Karen Otto also plan to involve their students in this effort.

Strategic Planning Committee: This Committee will be meeting in the near future to determine what they want the strategic plan to focus on (e.g. green jobs, or the development of alternative energy sources, or both, or a much narrower sub-category of one or both of these). Once they have determined the focus, the Committee will be meeting with Chris Donelan, Steve Brewer, John Olver and representatives of different universities to see whether they can help us secure the resources needed to carryout this plan.

Vision, mission and principles statement: At our last meeting, Manuel King presented a first draft document that he and his wife Mary worked on which describes the Task Force’s vision, mission and principles. To attract new participants to your Task force, people will obviously want to know what you stand for. A copy of this statement was attached to the first newsletter you received. Please review this and be prepared to comment on it at our next meeting.

The importance of stretching beyond all of our comfort zones so that we can build a constituency with the capacity to succeed with its mission: The Hands Across North Quabbin Network was founded to strengthen the way our local democracy operates. Specifically, we support dialogue and action that leads to the formation of constituencies with the capacity to address the tough challenges our region faces. To achieve this capacity, constituencies first need to develop creative ideas that have a real chance of solving problems. Then they need to acquire critical resources (money, technical assistance etc.) and mobilize political support in order to move their plans and policies forward. The larger and more diverse your Task Force is in terms of age, economic background, race, political perspective, and where people live, the more likely your group will be able to achieve the high level of creativity, resources and political support you will need to begin to shift our region’s economy. So please try to invite new people to our next meeting who not only care about the issue, but who are also different in some way from the people who have been participating in the Task Force so far. Don’t hesitate to invite someone like yourself, but please also consider reaching out to someone you might not normally work with.

I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting of the North Quabbin Green Economy Task Force, which will be held on December 2 at 7:00 at St. Mary’s Church in Orange. Anyone willing to help plan the agenda for this meeting or wants a copy of the vision. mission and principles statement, should contact me at 978-249-9901. Best,

Mark Shoul, Coordinator
Hands Across North Quabbin Network

Back to North Quabbin Energy home.

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