I live in a small town in the Sierra Foothills in Northern California. In general Nevada City, CA is an extremely charming and picturesque town and at one time was the third largest city in California during the gold mining days in the late 1800s. When the mines closed down it was the surge of a new generation of artists, musicians, community activists and such who renewed the vibrancy of the community.
Over the years, like many small rural towns, we are experiencing the challenges of a tough economy and our dependence on oil is putting a pinch on our pocket books. However, the pioneering spirit continues in our small town as one women works to unite our community and change the world for the better.
Reinette Senum, co-founder of Power-Up NC and Vice Mayor of Nevada City is determined to create a town that is both sustainable and energy efficient. Inspired by the model offered by Transition Towns, she invited our entire town of almost 3,000 to participate in the planning and implementation process. The kick-off event, named appropriately, the Community Congress included over 150 people who packed the Miners Foundry to create a strategic plan together and establish key goals and objectives.
It was both inspiring and energizing to participate in such a powerful event. Folks such as contractors, teachers, students, business owners, parents, non-profit managers, community organizers and more collaborated together to identify five key goals:
1) localize our food,
2) create a low interest revolving loan fund,
3) create a sustainable transportation infrastructure,
4) reduce energy consumption by 30%,
5) increase public awareness and involvement in reducing energy.
Since part of the mission of See Jane Do is to put the “tips to the test” and discover sustainable solutions, Leta and I took on our part too. It made sense for us to focus on objective #5 and increase public awareness and involvement in reducing energy in our community. We’ll keep you posted on the outcomes.
I truly believe that the interest in the Community Congress reflects the good intentions of people all over our nation and that there really is a need for all of us to work together in order to create a healthier planet.