Guest Commentary: Working Together For Local Healing

By David Abramson

We live in the most interesting of times.

In the era of so much uncertainty there is plenty of reason for despair. But there is also plenty of reason for hope.

Energy has been buzzing to address the greatest challenges of our time in this time of urgent need.

Groups like the Sunrise Movement and the Youth Climate Strike are pushing forward national and local climate action at a pace never seen before. Labor groups are organizing for fair pay, secure employment, and dignity. Right here in Davis, there are groups and individuals developing local and national Green New Deal initiatives and support, and our City Council has passed strong climate goals for the next 20 years.

However, many of these various groups and individuals are still working in silos and there are many people are still looking for ways to meaningfully contribute. I believe that if we find a way to coordinate our efforts in deep collaboration, we can achieve amazing things together.

We are ripe for change as our community sees fit right here where we are, right now. There is space for everyone to participate in what we are building here.

In Davis and Yolo County we can realize social, economic, political, and ecological regeneration if we organize well enough as a community and speak truth in the halls of power locally.

And I think we need to act in these areas locally, which is why I’m running for Yolo County Supervisor. I’m not the 100% ideal candidate to move us forward in all the ways but I have principles and values in line with these movements and causes, I study, I listen, and I know when to get out of my own way enough to elevate voices that need to be heard.

We have yet to realize our collective regenerative vision and our economy still reflects extractive, destructive, and unjust foundations. I don’t blame any elected officials, especially the ones here locally who do indeed care and are seeking to make things better. This is a design problem that’s bigger than politics and persons.

There is a crucial design flaw in the way we address problems as a society. We tend to operate from a process of seeing a problem, diagnosing the problem, and then implementing a proposed solution that we think will work, hopefully based on correct data and assumptions.

A regenerative community design process, surveying communities for their needs, and asking deeper questions about the basis of our economy will lead to much better results that don’t require any one individual to “have the answer”.

Though movement has been often slow on the political front, it’s inspiring to see some of our current elected officials understanding the challenges we face and stepping up to meet them in a meaningful way. The City of Davis passed a Climate Emergency Declaration in May of this year, setting carbon-neutrality goals by 2040 and allocating $500,000 to update our Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The Yolo County Board of Supervisors will likely be voting to update theirs as well in the near future.

Though this is a time of much fear, climate and social despair, and divisiveness there is also much room for hope and inspiration. We are resilient. We come together in times of need. We have the tools required to create a regenerative future. We can achieve the vision of a more beautiful and abundant world if we work together and heal together. The work can be meaningful, prosperous, joyful, and danceable.

We can do this.

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About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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