Launch of the Local Commons Survey Project

From David Bollier:

“We’re inviting interested citizens and civic groups to conduct commons surveys for their hometowns. Each independently managed project will make a formal inventory of a community’s commons and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each. Then it will publish an interpretive report for the benefit of fellow citizens, the press, government bodies and politicians.

If communities all over this country were to conduct audits of their hidden common wealth, the commons would soon become a topic of local concern – in politics, in the media, in informal conversation. There would be a broad new basis for local organizing, one that cuts across conventional issue boundaries. Voters would start to hold politicians to account for their stewardship of the commons.

For the short term, the Local Commons Survey Project has two goals: 1) To help local groups in several pilot communities complete reports that will have impact in their communities; and 2) To establish a framework and methodology that groups can use all across the country – and even internationally.

Why participate in such a project? Your metro area, county or neighborhood will gain a brief and clear statement about its local common wealth. It will become part of a group of kindred efforts which, taken together, could have a catalytic impact. Participant-communities will assume a leadership role in a growing movement to name, document and protect the commons. The Tomales Bay Institute plans to help citizen groups frame their surveys, identify local data sources, as needed, and publicize their finished report.

We already have several communities that are interested in identifying and assessing the health of their local commons. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Joshua Skov, an environmental sustainability consultant at Good Company, based on Eugene Oregon. Josh’s email is [email protected], and his phone number is 541-341-4663 x11. I’ll post more details about the various Surveys once they get underway.

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