I just returned from a long annual meeting of the Bloomington Food Policy Council, where we learned from representatives from County Planning, City Planning and City Council what is and is not the case regarding current and possible future ordinances that either expand or restrict our ability to grow food locally. Since Bloomington is right now in the visioning process for a new comprehensive plan and a revised UDO, we are now smack in the window when we should be giving massive sustained input to city and county officials.
The meeting featured three presentations plus provocative questions sprinkled throughout that made nonsense of the kind of legal framework that currently exists. The city and county officials agreed, and eagerly sought our input.
But of course, it’s not enough. It’s never enough. We have to keep going, at full speed ahead, but we must do so while gearing down for the long haul up a steep slippery slope. Here’s organizer Ryan Conway’s invitation for today’s event:
At the end of our time together, Ryan spontaneously moved into a fiery rant on why he’s so determined to activate all of us for the long haul. Given what Councilman Dave Rollo — who inspired Bloomington’s Peak Oil Task Force Report in 2009 — shared about the terminal state of the world’s fossil-fuel-based economy, Ryan’s rant seemed entirely in order.
Throughout, the looming figure of Trump floated like a big scary ghost over the entire proceedings. Though I didn’t say it, I am glad for Trump. It took a wild, bloviating egomaniac to finally show us the American collective shadow. The result, a simmering, boiling emotional energy, has surfaced and infected the body politic so much that those of us who are awake enough will find our passion and act. We simply can’t stay in our pajamas and eat popcorn on Sundays anymore.
And always, our focus must be local. For that is where we have at least a chance of, if not directing, then at least influencing the future.
Speaking of which, my brother-in-law John called this morning to say that a next door neighbor who, he says, “used to be a social narcissist,” knocked on his door yesterday and asked to visit (that request alone, was a shock to John). This neighbor, John says, has been activated by Trump’s ascendancy, so much so that he decided to return to work, this time not for big bucks, but to advocate for the homeless and others most in need of help in the Seattle area.
Then, John, at work, last week, was called in by his boss who said, “I want you to develop some kind of program that will get people to start meeting their neighbors.” John about fell off his chair.
Everywhere, all across this land, if we are not feeling enraged, and then unconsciously projecting that fury out on someone with a different “identity” in politics, we are becoming engaged with one another, with those who live close at hand, knowing that we must muster our courage to act in profound and deep ways to shift the forces that threaten to divide us further, and that keep the death-dealing matrix system rolling along until the end of the world. Even now, according to one statistic, since the 1970s, 80% of the species that once flourished on this planet have now gone extinct. The entire Pacific ocean is both too warm to support sea life and radiated from Fukushima all up that coast. Species beach and die by the thousands — animal, fish and birds — over and over again. Not a word about this from the MSM. What fools still eat ocean fish?
Listen to the latest Carol Rosin interview: