Community Organizing Experiences from Tampa Bay : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From: Sharon Joy Kleitsch Sent: Monday, January 11, 1999 11:34 PM To: Steve Davis Subject: Re: [c2000] RE: Community Organizing

Community Organizing Experiences from Tampa Bay

Richard: There are as many methods of bringing the communities together as there are people attempting to do it, so this is my version:

With Tampa Bay Y2K the general theme is "using Y2K as the evolutionary driver toward a higher quality of community" (Barbara Marx Hubbard). It's challenging not to get bogged into the details of our contingency planning to remember where we're going - toward more sustainable communities. Secondly, there's an invitation to recognize one's inner reflections and choices in the face of outer experiences. So there are many dimensions going on, even when we're not aware of them.

Our approach has been to reach out to individuals and groups and find allies. That process grew while we planned a gathering around Y2K for education, sharing and moves to action. The organizational meetings had other components, sometimes feeling like a 12 step meeting, as new people joining were compelled to tell 'what they knew and when they knew it'. Yet we recognized that as part of the ongoing process of learning and assimilating the information, while exploring "what can I do?" We supported that. Many dropped out - for many reasons. The organizational process is like nothing any of us organizational folks have experienced. It was our choice to do things in a more organic way, finding structure amidst the chaos, allowing each to share their chosen expertise. It came together better than any one person could have ...directed.

Our big event was all day Saturday, Jan. 9 at St. Pete's USF campus. The results also were a model of shared leadership, which is the message we're trying to convey. We can do this - Us!! We don't have to bring in some expert from out of town, pay them a lot of $ and they will show us the way. WE are the experts about our communities. We invited leaders from around the region and anyone who was drawn to it. Flyers were posted, mailed, faxed and emailed, asking people to make their own copies. We mailed a Special Y2K Issue from the Suncoast Community Institute of Noetic Sciences, which included two pages of web sites, categorized by government, business, community building, local and preparation and articles by Meg Wheatly et al, Tom Atlee, Robert Theobald and Paul Von Ward - all about working together. PSA's were printed and broadcast via radio and TV.

The morning was designed for information, personal sharing and updates on Y2K compliance from county representatives. Pinellas County Commission Chair, Barbara Sheen Todd, and MIS Director from Hillsborough County, Pat Cosgrove, announced the completion and progress, respectively, of their efforts. Barbara Marx Hubbard gave an inspirational talk about how Y2K is an opportunity, while a major and serious challenge. The stages of grief were described and related to Y2K. The afternoon was spent identifying areas of concern, and small groups formed plans of action. So now over 100 people are out sharing their gifts - and there are many - around Y2K in some specific ways. We meet again on Feb 6 to report and define next steps. We will soon have away to access via web-chat the summaries of the six working groups, as well as the presentations. It's about connecting, networking and sharing. Everyone has a piece of the puzzle. In the meantime we're sponsoring a video conference with Robert Theobald and Margaret Wheatley at Hillsborough Community College on Friday, Jan. 22 in partnership with several organizations. 100 communities around N.A. will particpate to learn about why systems are failing and what WE can do about it. New kinds of leadership is required - look in, look out as well as looking up.

The trick is to START, attracting others of like mind, not wasting time trying to convince people or challege government and business groups. Those who don't hear now may later. Move on... We don't need Y2K evangelists! Keep including, expanding the circle. Invite people to find and share their gifts, as we're all part of the whole community. Y2K invites us all! Maybe this will help some other communities...

Sharon Joy Kleitsch Tampa Bay Y2K

-- Critt Jarvis (Wilmington, NC) (, January 12, 1999


I live in the Tampa Bay area; how can I contact Sharon Joy Kleitsch?

Thanks, Critt.


-- jhollander (, January 12, 1999.


Here's the email address:

Thanks for responding. ~C~

-- Critt Jarvis (Wilmington, NC) (, January 13, 1999.

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