Sunday, April 10, 2011

We're live at a new site. Other news: we've got a simple, doable business plan, a new way of looking at writing, and, well... check out the new site!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A 'Home Next Door to Home'

In response to last block party's survey, where over 80% of neighbors surveyed checked the box for a 'gathering place' INSIDE our little SoZoo area, we've made room for a 'clubhouse' of sorts, that is not anyone's living room, nor a religious or otherwise alrady dedicated space. So you can host a get-together with neighbors without cramping your style at home. We've got a large garage that we've committed to the neighborhood as a potential gathering space, art studio, party space, and 'un'school. We're putting a nice floor in it and finishing the walls as soon as we (financially) can.

Interest inventory: One (still unfinished) wall has 3 giant bulletin boards now. By pinning up notes on the bulletin boards, we can share our responses to the 3 purpose-sharing and local-living-economy-priming questions (see column on right: "good questions elicit good news") and see what thoughts and needs are alive in our neighbors right around us... and how the needs and assets overlap! Your privacy is protected, as you much be from SoZoo to see the names on the backs of the cards and get help getting in touch. If there's many names on a particular topic/card, we can host a little get-together.

Asset mapping: Also, there will be a map on the large (still blank) white curtain where everyone can stitch on a picture of their house and pin up what basic skills are housed in our 'hood (first aid, carpenter, babysitter, CPR, baker...) A fun and quite litteral way to do "asset mapping"! 'Un'School I'll tell you about the Montessori-inspired-Reskilling-preschool-for-all-ages part of the space another time, and post pictures.

Note: The space is as of yet furnished with a game table and benches, a library shelf, and first aid stuff. We might need your help to convince the property management company that a different (temporary) door-opening (temporary wall, door, and windows so you can see inside and join in the fun) (which we are able to make and remove) should be aesthetically pleasing to the property owner.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The newsletter is out

There has been lots of progress on visions and dreams of a neighborhood-centric life-long-learning center... it's coming into being:

  • our space is transformed into a neighborhood gathering center,
  • neighbors are inviting neighbors to gatherings in each other's living rooms,
  • the first micro-local neighborhood newsletter is circluating.
Newsletter content heralds news of goings-on on within 2 blocks from our homes. Newsletter content corresponds to postings on our 3 special lamp posts, the SoZoo neighbohood's private social networking site ( and a calendar of events in the new "un-school" and theater space in our dedicated residence (see previous post for pictures).

Sunday, October 10, 2010


We now have a Facebook page with a photo album!
"Friends of Neighbors On Purpose"

Today is 10/10/10 - a great day to go 'live' at and deliver the first Neighbors On Purpose newsletter to 300 residences of unsuspecting SoZoo neighbors (all within a 2 block radius!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Carbon Neutral Neighborhoods: Getting Clear On Purpose

Seattle City Council asked some point people who were known to be thinking constructively about carbon and carbon neutrality, to reach out to their communities and garner citizen input on the following question:
"Given our commitment to be a carbon neutral city by 2030 (the first in the nation), which goals would be wise to set for within the next 1-3 years?"
On September 14th, 2010, citizens presented recommendations Seattle City Council, garnered from input and processing from over 400 citizens - a good beginning to ongoing collaborations.

At 37 minutes, the first citizens' group presents: Land Use advisory group
At 48 minutes, the second group (including me): Neighborhoods
At 59 minutes, the third group: Energy
At 72 minutes, the fourth group: Green Careers
At 83 minutes, the fifth group: Transportation
(explaining Peak Oil and pointing out that funding mega-projects for cars is taking money from where we need it to go, see minute 139 for THE controversial question regarding transportation, and the council's politically intelligent response.)
At 93 minutes, the sixth group: Food Systems
At 105 minutes, the seventh group: Zero Waste
At 114 minutes, the eighth group: Young People

Start listening at 142 minutes, for (IMHO) the most important response of the evening: how we move forward:
Mike O'Brien said
"There were a lot of ideas that were presented today. There are a lot more ideas which are in the whitepapers, which (...) are on the city council website right now (...) One of the next steps that I think needs to happen is: we need to have council members identify projects they want to take ownership of, and we need to have community members identify council members that they want to work with on this and bring those folks together. I know that some folks have already had conversations, and some of these are projects that people - council members - have been working on for a number of years, and it's just a continuation of that. (...) I encourage everyone who worked on it , and everyone in the audience, and everyone watching it on tv, to take part in that effort, to engage council members, leaders across the city, your neighbors and co-workers, and start to create public demand and start to collaborate so that we can really create the space so we can move quickly on a lot of these (ideas/projects) because we don't have a lot of time."

At 146 minutes, a request to keep in mind that there are professionals and organizations who can help integrate the stakeholders into the process in a meaningful way.

At 148 minutes, a great wrap-up by a council member, confirming that we're all on the same page, and there's collaboration ahead of us.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Carbon Neutral Seattle is a Neighborly Seattle

The event we've been working toward is here!

Hear short presentations by each of the sectors -- Energy, Transportation, Waste, Youth, Food Systems, Green Jobs, Land Use, and Neighborhoods -- to the full Council, with our respective recommendations for steps that can be taken in the next three years to move Seattle toward a carbon neutral future. This is the culmination of all of our recent contributions and efforts thus far, and the beginning of what we hope will be an exciting collaborative journey toward a carbon-neutral Seattle.

September 14, 6 - 8:30 p.m.

Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave.

Bertha Knight Landes Room (on the main floor)

Our Neighborhood recommendations hinge on 3 core themes: Livability & Resiliency in Neighborhoods; Building Community though Improved Communication and Collaboration; and Better Mobility Within and Between Neighborhoods.

We do hope you all can join us at City Hall at 6:00 pm on Sept 14th (see calendar below for details), when we present our recommendations. Or you can watch live on the Seattle Channel!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Skill Building

I just found out about Thriftcamp, September 19th 2010.

"ThriftCamp is a one-day unconference discussing how to live well while living cheap. Discussions may include how to repair your clothes, how to budget your money, how to make your own soap, how to cook great meals on a thin budget, how to fix your electronics, or how to brew your own beer. Because ThriftCamp is an unconference, its content will be determined by its participants."

Seems like a more social way to learn great skills than from internet or books alone, if your own neighbors seem to be too busy to teach you/do thrifty things with you. I lucked out and learned many of these skills from a thrifty neighbor, so I might attend with her (going as Neighbors, on purpose,) and share what we know! Her super-power is recognizing when do-it-yourself is NOT cheaper. A very important skill can save more than just money!