Transition Laguna Beach: ready, set, go!

 
Here's a lively update from Michele McCormick, Core Team Member of Transition Laguna Beach:

Transition Laguna Beach is off and running, in an organic way!

Core Team

Our core team has been meeting since November 2008! The group meets once a month. We also hold extended meetings on weekends as needed. Our team is consolidating and learning to work together, using our diversity of skills as we introduce Transition Town to our community.
 Not only have we identified our strengths as a group; but we have also been courageous enough to identify our limitations and notice obstacles as they arise. We have found our members resilient enough to adjust by bringing in new energy and ideas. We are growing and learning from one another. The process is proactive and enlivening!
 
Members of the core team attended a Training for Transition (T4T) December 17 and 18 in Los Angeles, CA. The group came back inspired and equipped! Clearly they "got it" showing a readiness to "live it" as they took on their new roles as change facilitators.

Awareness Raising

Our first community event was Earth Hour, last March. Almost 100 people joined our march down our main street, Forest Avenue, to the oceanfront to celebrate this global event. The city, police and fire departments supported our cause as we invited residents to turn off their lights for one hour as a way of showing solidarity and understanding around the critical impact we might have in energy consumption not only in Laguna Beach, CA but also around the world. Participants carried signs and candles from City Hall to the major intersection at our Main Beach and Pacific Coast Highway. Cars and pedestrians honked or called out their support. After the march, we returned to a local “green” store in town for a celebration of drumming, conversation, and community building.
 
On a monthly basis, we hold “movie nights” and “Intro to Transition Town” talks with a nice PowerPoint presentation to educate the community about peak oil, climate change and this amazing opportunity to make a difference in our community. The turnout has been substantial and our mailing list is growing. In fact, after one of our first movies, a group of residents wanted to move right in to action-planning by creating a food work group.  So we unleashed The Food Work Group in June, they are at the beginning steps of planning a project they can all sink their shovels into.

The Great Unleashing

We continue to build momentum toward our celebration of The Great Unleashing event in the fall 2009 / winter 2010. Our next core team meeting will focus on planning The Great Unleashing in Laguna Beach.

Web site

Our Web site is up and we are using this as a tool for networking and education. Also a place to announce upcoming events. See www.transitionlaguna.com.

Forming Relationships with the Town Council

Two of our core team members are on our City Council’s Environmental Committee and are making inroads at the level of local government. Other core team members recently met with the former mayor, a current city council member, to brainstorm about the Great Unleashing and key areas to target in work groups that emerge from our Open Space workshop.
 
We are learning that given the politics in our city here in Orange County, CA, it is critical for us to stress that we are a non-political group of concerned citizens. We desire to transcend the social categorization that is inherent in identifying with “isms”. Transition Laguna seeks unity of purpose, in the midst of a city with rich diversity, for the common good of all residents.

Networking with Existing Organizations

Transition Laguna Beach has begun the process of setting goals for further expansion of our contacts & future networking with several groups and individuals in town already making a difference in the following areas: 1) Community Gardens and Permaculture,  2) Management Information Systems, 3) Heart & Soul: The Psychology of Change, 4) Joining with the schools, educators, children, and teens, 5) Tapping the wisdom of the elders in our village. In fact, one of our core team members, a psychologist heading the Heart & Soul work group, is working on an educational book project entitled, "Legacy's Gift: Honoring the Wisdom of the Elders" (see www.legacysgift.com).
 
We are encouraged about the progress made in Laguna Beach and we are beginning to have a “felt-experience” about the nature of change and the organic, circular, process of transitioning to a new way of living that will sustain us in generations to come.

Transition Laguna Beach Steering Committee photo

Photo: Here are some of our Core Team members in the lobby of a local hotel that sponsors our once a month, Thursday morning meetings. From left to right: Becky Prelitz, Max Isles, Ron May, Michele McCormick, Sean McCracken.

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