Green Convener Launches in Los Angeles
The core institutions of American society seem increasingly unable to meet the needs of the population. Whether it be housing, health care, families, education, religions, criminal justice, or jobs, many groups in America feel that the hard-won gains from the past 50 years are being rolled back. Is the American Dream still alive? Perhaps for some. Capitalists seem to think it is their right to "move fast and break things" as they accumulate massive wealth for their private use. Young people despair over the prospects of their future, due to a combination of economic uncertainty, poor national investment in developing strong citizenship, and environmental devastation from past industrial policy. Corporations exploit nations and tax regimes in order to enrich their shareholders and shirk social responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates. Oceans are warming and turning acidic. Extreme weather events threaten to bankrupt property owners and insurance providers. The velocity of change seems to be challenging both human and natural systems' ability to adapt.
Almost every aspect of modern life is undergoing upheaval from technology and economic "progress", even as almost every natural ecosystem is experiencing unprecedented degradation and decline. The challenges seem almost insurmountable, and the track record of humanity to collaborate and adapt is spotty at best. How is a concerned citizen to respond? What individual actions can make any difference whatsoever?
The Green Convener movement has been launched to address exactly these big questions, at this point in history. While no single movement or organization can take on "everything", it is possible to strategize around opportunities that can have a meaningful impact in one's personal life and immediate community. One of the core principles for the Green Convener is to engage locally. "Think Globally Act Locally" has been a widely shared aphorism for decades, but too often bandied about and applied with little effect. Green Convener is committed to engage locally in a wide range of social and environmental calls for justice campaigns, while planning for long-term and far-ranging impacts.
Local engagement often requires getting familiar with a wide range of related social structures and government policies, and the manner in which they have been implemented for and in the community. For example, if one takes a primary interest in park space and the extent to which the community has direct access to natural habitats, one quickly has to come to terms with the extent to which (unhoused) urban foragers denigrate and destroy local greenscapes. If one wishes to expand the urban tree canopy, one will need to grapple with the intractable and opaque politics of land use decisions. In order to dismantle the landscapes of despair of many urban centers in America, the private sector and real estate interests must be engaged in the process, otherwise the economic self-interests and dysfunctional status quo will thwart progress one parcel at a time.
In LA County, the Green Convener movement has a tremendous opportunity set of policy tools, government agencies, non-profit NGO's and private sector resources to draw upon and collaborate with. City, county, state and federal programs provide funding for air, water, and solid waste programs intended to improve the quality of our natural commons. Well-funded new programs are launched on a regular basis, and established programs are innovating new ways to serve their mission and constituents. People young and old from across the political spectrum are stepping forward to see how and where they can contribute. The scope and scale of problems facing society today can and is calling forth a response from the entire community to work together towards creating a future that we all would be grateful to live in.
Green Convener is a global movement of transformation intended to rectify the most glaring mistakes of our current consumer-driven hyper-capitalism, and replace them with an economic model that meets the needs of all current residents, while preserving wealth and resources for future generations. By working towards sustainable economic development, in policy and in practice, Green Convener aims to create a world in which everyone has access and opportunity to pursue and fulfill their highest potential, while also contributing to a society that preserves and expands on that opportunity for others. Please support Green Convener and contact us for opportunities to get engaged in your community.