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Dear Friends,

Recently a group of Lake Oswegoians concerned about Sustainability formed the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network. We came together because we want to build a community that will be vibrant for generations to come.

We are inviting you to join us because we believe that you are someone who has been interested in working toward the creation of a sustainable society. Like us, you know that things have changed and will require new actions.

When the notion of sustainability became more visible after the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, there was a growing acceptance that the current and future generations would be greatly affected if we didn’t act. Many communities, businesses and citizen groups have indeed become actively engaged. But as the magnitude of what is required has become apparent there has also been resistance and denial. At the federal level, portions of Congress are resisting what needs to be done. Some citizens are in fear that their rights will be infringed upon. As city councils turn over, some, including our own, question if these efforts are worthwhile.

These concerns need to be addressed and what we are seeing is that the most successful efforts have come from engaged citizen groups:
•    In Milwaukie, a group calling themselves “Milwaukie Understands Sustainability Transitions (M.U.S.T.)” organized a sustainability training for their city council and senior staff, lobbied for a plastic bag ban, successfully convinced the city to install LED street lights and supported the successful election of one of their members to the city council.
•    A citizen group in McMinnville calling themselves “CoolMac” convinced their city council to engage in a sustainability training that led to the creation of a citywide green house gas emissions reduction plan.
•    In Corvallis, the citizen-led “Corvallis Sustainability Coalition” organized a series of sustainability planning workshops that involved over 600 citizens in creating one of the most comprehensive sustainability plans in the state.

Lake Oswego has also been active. For more than a decade successive city councils have endorsed the concept of sustainability. A sustainability coordinator was hired in 2006, a city plan was adopted in 2007 and a Sustainability Advisory Board was created in 2008.

However city councilors come and go with each election. The current council considered eliminating the sustainability coordinator’s position, but decided to fund it for the current budget cycle. This gives the sustainability community one year to prove that this program should be permanently supported. We’ve made the case for the social and environmental benefits. Now we need to sharpen our focus to demonstrate the economic benefits to the city, and the long term viability of a strong sustainability program.

To promote sustainability within our city, we plan to publish a regular newsletter talking about what's going with sustainability within our city and to hold meetings that can help you get involved with and meet others in the community that are working towards a more sustainable future.  

Save the Date: December 11, 6-8pm.   We are please to let you know that Annette Mills, a member of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Steering Committee, is scheduled to come speak to us on December 11, venue to-be-determined.   We'll send out an evite as soon as we lock down the location.

Best Regards,

Lake Oswego Sustainability Network Organizing Committee
Lisa Adatto, Dorothy Atwood, Jan & Duke Castle, and Mary Ratcliff

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