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Relocalization Campaign

Dave Ewoldt, August 2005

   Good evening. My name is Dave Ewoldt, I'm running for County Council, and I'm here to ask for your support and your vote.

   The ideas behind my campaign are not new, but I have a unique approach to put them into action. It's based on the four principals of natural systems: mutual support and reciprocity, no waste, no greed, and increasing diversity--the same principles ecosystems use to thrive and remain healthy. Using these principles will ensure the development of a healthy, sustainable human community that will provide for all of our needs now and in the future. The Earth Charter provides a set of values and principles that mirror these goals; a common bond to unite us across the political spectrum; and a framework to guide our planning and measure our progress toward sustainability.

   "Business as usual" tends to look at a few narrow issues, that benefit a few special interests, through a very narrow worldview. This mindset harms the planet through over-consumption and waste, exploits the fruits of other people's labor, widens the wealth gap, and consolidates power--resulting in the rampant personal, social, and ecological crises we face today.

   I'm taking a much broader view--a view that supports the Greater Good. I'm addressing the root causes of our social and ecological problems and providing healthy, sustainable solutions. My approach has the ability to provide more of the things people say they really want without compromising the health of our environment or our quality of life. I am presenting a viable alternative that contains a systemic and practical vision for our future.

   To begin with, "If we build it, they shall come." Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not anti-growth. Growth is a natural part of life. It is growth for the sake of growth (the ideology of a cancer cell) that is unsustainable. Our local economy can become much healthier and more vibrant than it currently is--not through building more of what we don't want, but through the simple act of relocalization.

   My candidacy for County Council consists of a platform based on this concept of relocalization. It entails creating a community of mutual support that is self-reliant in the areas of food, energy, shelter, health, and the economy.

   How can we create a mutually supportive, self-reliant community?

   First of all, we must be honest about where we need to start. Since Whatcom County is already overdeveloped--it has surpassed its carrying capacity--let's stop frantically building to provide for people fleeing areas that have been destroyed by overdevelopment. Let's begin working together to create a sustainable model that people can use where they currently live. Let's adhere to sustainable development practices and acknowledge that sustainable growth is an oxymoron. Together, let's build a community that is ecologically wise and socially just. Our grandchildren _will_ thank us for it.

   In any community, among the most vital issues is food supply. In a relocalized community, supporting local agriculture is paramount. More family farms are needed. They shouldn't be unfairly penalized by the subsidies given to factory farms and agribusiness. Local farmers and ranchers shouldn't be held economic hostage to the chemical industry for their seeds, feeds, and fertilizers.

   Local industry is also vital. Let's start recapturing the lost skills of an American workforce that has been outsourced overseas and has lost its pride of craftsmanship; some things are simply more important than efficiency. Let's create jobs in clean, zero waste light industry and renewable energy and secure our local energy future.

   The number of new jobs is not as important as the number who can't find work or are underemployed. We can create a local economy that provides living wage jobs--jobs that people can feel good about because they support the local community as well as the web of life.

   I'm running for County Council because it is already almost too late. If we care about our quality of life, we must take steps NOW to plan for and begin implementing a vision of a sustainable community or we'll end up someplace else. In a world facing dwindling energy resources and climate change, and with a real estate bubble about to burst any day, Whatcom County finds itself in a very unsustainable position. It is time to start working to create local self-reliance in interdependent relationships with our neighbors in Skagit and San Juan Counties, and in British Columbia--particularly Vancouver Island and the Fraser River watershed.

   The "business as usual" mindset is about to alter forever the things we've been blessed with and hold so dear here in Whatcom County. I have a viable, practical alternative. Implementing a vision of a vibrant, resiliant, sustainable community will be a challenge, but together we can meet it. In fact, we must.

   I'm asking you to please join me, as it's going to take us all. Because you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone, we must relocalize now for a sustainable future.

   Here's a quote that pretty well summarizes the need for my campaign. "Why is everything that's good for our bodies, our communities, our world, and our planet called the 'alternative'? That means everything bad for us is the accepted norm." - Julia Butterfly Hill

   Again, my name is Dave Ewoldt, I'm running for Whatcom County Council, and I'd like to thank you for taking the time to listen to me this evening.

   If you would like to schedule an introductory consultation session or arrange a presentation or workshop for your group, please contact or give Dave or Allison, co-founders of Attraction Retreat, a call at (360) 756-7998.


"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."
Alan Watts


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