Sunday, May 4, 2008

1st SWS Festival

the great weather drew a huge crowd. here are more pics from the festival.

there are several movies in the album and some shots of the polar bear!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Open Space Nov 17 - Afternoon Forum

These lists were generated at the beginning of the afternoon session of the Open Space, by the participants. (Notes taken by Marilyn Ferguson-Wolf, thanks!)

What can SWS give to its members and to the community?

  • Marketing of its mission
  • Affordable green housing
  • Make it happen to have a green MBA
  • Grassroots, community events
  • Community cohesion
  • Information on how I can be sustainable
  • Connection with others who are sustainable
  • Fun X 2 or 3
  • Community
  • Make a sustainable difference in West Seattle
  • A concrete action for building the change I want to see
  • Build a better model and share it
  • SWS is seen as a strong local resource
  • Connections with like-minded people who take action on their environmental community values
  • SWS as a hub of services for other groups and promotes cultural change
  • Community action, so that all West Seattle residents know of SWS resources
  • Provide me with peace of mind
  • Concretely engaged community
  • Energy
  • Community and networking

What I bring to the table of SWS: (or our super power)

  • Humor, teamwork affinity, big picture thinking
  • Hosting of pot lucks (Ann Morrow, 938-0595)
  • Passion
  • Hosting of pot lucks (Moreah Vestan 938-8385)
  • Non-violent communication training
  • Finding of resources and sharing those resources
  • Commitment to SWS
  • A dreamer
  • Bureaucrat
  • Hope for the future

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Proposed Mission & Vision Statements

Hello all,

The Steering Committee has been working on the following draft Mission & Vision statements for approval at the Oct 15 meeting. We'll next turn our attention to incorporation, formalizing our governance structure, and Goals & Objectives for the upcoming year.

Please review these statements and consider what parts of them you do (and don't!) identify with, and why. We're planning on a basic up/down vote of SWS members present at the meeting to adopt these statements as our working Mission & Vision Statements (with the understanding that they're open to further tweaking in the coming year as we grow our organization).

Thanks everyone!


SWS Mission: Sustainable West Seattle educates and advocates for urban sustainability in our local community.

SWS Vision: We envision a West Seattle community of empowered citizens who actively lead us toward greater self-reliance, local democracy, social justice, and existence in harmony with life on earth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

SWS Steering Committee Meeting Notes, Oct 1

These are the notes from our last Steering Committee meeting. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us with any questions or if you would like to help on any of the noted action items.

Present: Bill Reiswig, Brian Allen, Chas Redmond, Gary Lichtenstein, Andy Silber

1) Our next general meeting (10/15) will revolve around an RTID forum with pro/con representatives. The proposed schedule is as follows:
7pm - Welcome
7:05-7:20 - Housekeeping: Mission/Vision statement up/down vote, call for tabling volunteers, call for sustainability scavenger hunt photos for our tabling exhibit
7:30-7:40 RTID Pro
7:40-7:50 RTID Con
7:50-8:50 Q and A session.
Wrap Up

2) Arranging the RTID Forum.
a) Organize by calling Madeline Ostrander, Sierra Club, Transportation Choices, Sustainable Ballard (Andy Silber - needs to happen Tuesday or Wednesday)
b) Flyer (Bill)
c) Outreach - call out to WS Blog, WS Herald, Chamber, MegaWatt, SW Seattle and Delridge District Councils (Charles)

3) Sharing the SWS Calender of Events
Bill will send Charles the Google calender he already started, and Charles will populate it with the dates we discussed tonight and share this with the SWS Steering Committee (Bill, Charles)

4) Tentative SWS Sustainability Fair
a) will occur on one of three weekends May 4, 11, or 18th, depending on availability of parking lot, ArtsWest, permits etc.
b) will be on a Sunday to leverage WS Farmers market crowds and central WS location, will use Arts West for transportation forum and other discussion events
c) Check parking lot availability/dates with Morgan Junction Assoc. (Charles)
d) Check availability of Arts West (Bill)

e) Need to form SWS Sustainabiltiy Fair Organizing Committee ( ?? )

5) Complete Articles of Incorporation with Washington State - Bill has the paperwork (Brian, Bill, Mary Ellen)

6) Complete and turn in membership with and joining of MegaWatt gathering of Neighbors (Bill)

7) SWS will have table at the Cascadia Convergence Oct 26, 27 (Brian will secure table, get details)

8) Improvement of SWS tabling materials/display for Cascadia Convergence, MegaWatt events
a) energy materials (Gary)
b) food and health materials (Bill/Tom O'hern)
c) transportation materials (Chas)
d) CAN materials (Brian-- can you do this by checking in with Ron and Stan about whether they are carrying them?)
e) Sustainability Scavenger Hunt photos

9) Open Space Forum - Camp Long Weekend Retreat (to be coordinated by Gary)
will be Saturday of Nov. 10,17 depending on Camp Long availability - will be an open space event designed to provoke thinking around Sustainability in WS. Please contact Gary with any questions on this one.

10) Winter Celebration in West Seattle - Multi Green-Non-Profit Gathering hosted on SWS's home turf (options and possibilities for this event being explored by Brian)

11) SWS Monthly Operations... what are those tasks that need to be covered for basic maintenence?
a) monthy SWS email newsletter (Bill)
b) monthly general meeting (Charles to create checklist of those items needed to operate each meeting)
c) monthly steering committee meeting (OK... who's gonna step forward to host the next one on Monday, Nov 5? :) )

12) Final Preparation of SWS Mission Statement / Vision Statement for up/down vote at 10/15 meeting (Brian)
final language of mission statement very close to Laura's #2 statement, with additional sentence discussed at meeting

13) SWS to remain engaged with SCALLOPS - next meeting at Cascadia Convergence (Gary, Brian, Bill)

14) SWS to potentially join SW District Council, and perhaps Delridge district council (Chas, ???)

15) Loosely discussed - Plan formed over the winter to send out emmissaries to all the neighborhood meetings to introduce Sustainable West Seattle, and to promote CAN materials... We would promote neighborhoods to have tallied competition to see who can sign up the most people committing to take climate action (for example).

Well..... thats a wrap. for those of you who missed it, it was a productive meeting with some good ideas... if any of them look appealing and you would like to get involved or add your two cents, email back in or call with a query.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Vision Statements (Draft)

NOTE: If viewing with FireFox, the sentences may be truncated. Use IE.
The same document is also saved as a google document:

At the 8/20/2007 meeting, I proposed a vision, mission and goal statement and
then led the group through an exercise to refine the mission statement.
Below are the notes from the meeting as well as my own exercise in organizing
these thoughts and refining the mission statement.
Mission Statements (as of 8/20/07)
  1. Sustainable West Seattle promotes a sustainable community in the
    neighborhood of West Seattle through education and advocacy of
    urban sustainability.
  2. Sustainable West Seattle promotes and creates a sustainable West
    community through education and advocacy of urban
    sustainability. [but there is no mention of doing projects]
  3. Sustainable West Seattle creates a community empowered to live and enjoy locally with careful use of resources through the education and advocacy of urban sustainability.
Vision (as of 8/20/07)
We seek a community that thrives on a lifestyle of nourishing foods, clean
water, abundant natural resources, safe and convenient transportation, and
healthy homes and that will remain an achievable lifestyle for generations
to come.
Goals (as of 8/20/07)
  • We partner with West Seattle organizations to create a network
    of knowledge in the area of sustainability.
  • We advocate for policy and initiatives that support building a
    more sustainable West Seattle community.
  • We educate the West Seattle community on topics aligned with
    our vision.
  • We lead projects that build community around the goal of a more 
    sustainable lifestyle.

From the SWS General Meeting 8/20/2007:

SWS will promote:

Tangible Products

Intangible Products








Funding options


Thought-provoking ideas

Practical examples






Community building




Clearinghouse/ Conduit



SWS __________ for the community:







Coordinates actions



Searches (on behalf of)

Explores (on behalf of??)


















Facilitates values-driven actions **

Other: Work(s), Questions, Creates**, Facilitates values-driven actions **

** fits in with the theme above related to tangible products.

Laura’s take on this exercise:

I split the words that the group offered at the last meeting up along some themes which fit more-or-less into some of the themes we were talking about on email. It seems to me there are 3 or so main actions that I can see this group engaging in: Advocacy of sustainable practices, Motivating the community to participate in a sustainable lifestyle and providing a support structure for those in the community willing to engage. Further, the “products” that we’d get from these are real-life examples of sustainable practices (i.e. bus maps and local food resources) as well as an environment that will allow the community to succeed in their sustainability endeavors.

From here I think we can derive a mission statement that captures this essence. My first take is:

SWS is dedicated to reducing our community’s use of natural resources through advocacy and education to promote awareness about consumption, facilitation of projects and events that foster conservation and by providing a support network of like-minded individuals, families and organizations.

I believe this is still consistent with the goals and vision that I wrote above.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Welcome to Sustainable West Seattle!

Sustainable West Seattle is a newly-formed group of West Seattle citizens who want to make a difference locally—working within our neighborhood to become more self reliant while using fewer natural resources.

Sustainable West Seattle's shape and activities will reflect the talent and interests of those who come along for the ride, but we aim to provide resources and outreach for the West Seattle neighborhood on issues such as:

· Renewable Energy & Conservation
· Local Transportation Solutions
· Easting Locally, Sustainable Health and Elder Care
· Water & Waste Reduction
· Green Building, Sustainable Landscaping and Gardening
· Community-Based Economics
· Green Space Conservation


You're invited to our next meeting...

Camp Long - 5200 35th Ave SW

You can get involved directly with one of our ACTION GROUPS at any time. Just contact the folks listed below:

Gary Lichtenstein
glichtenstein at

Chas Redmond
credmond at

Food & Health
Nancy Ishii
grace728 at

Water & Waste Reduction
Holly Harris
holly.harris at

Green Building & Planning
Mary Quakenbush
maryquackenbush at