Carbondale Summer

Dear friends and supporters of the Carbondale Spring,

We’ve been quiet, but we’ve been working hard.

Last March, the stage was set for the elections in Carbondale to ignore the deep problems of our time. The candidates were prepared to continue the illusion that a narrow concept of “economic development” is the only path forward. We all expected that the election would sideline our knowledge that as a town and as a species, we are facing crises that those in power have no intention of resolving.

We’re proud that our contribution defied expectations. We said what residents of Carbondale know to be true: the town is dying, and the current understanding of economic development does not have the tools to save it. We need to rethink what a city can be.

We proposed a place where the city was overspending — the police force — and a way to redirect those funds to create a place that breaks away from the current trend of development. We outlined a path for building a compassionate, resilient Carbondale. For transforming our town into an oasis from a world gone mad.

It didn’t shock us that our neighbors loved the idea. We knew they would — that’s why we did it. What has been surprising has been the flood of support and interest from beyond Carbondale, as well as the support from local political figures. It turns out that no one actually has a decent plan for the future of this town, and the folks who are making money off its collapse understand that they can jump ship whenever they need to. So people who care about the town are willing to entertain ideas that previously they may have dismissed. This is an amazing opportunity.

This summer, our aim is to deepen and broaden our vision. We put forward a sketch that captured the imagination. Now we have to fill that in to make a real plan. And we need all the help we can get.

We need your research skills, your listening skills, your dreaming skills, your making skills. We need your time and your energy and your commitment. This is not something that a small group can accomplish. It is something that has to ignite the imagination of the whole town, and we have to build it together and struggle for it together.

Of course, almost everything in the world is stacked against us. That goes without saying. The most likely futures are the awful ones each of us are fully capable of imagining. But if you are reading this, you are among the lucky few to live in a town where a sliver of hope has punctured through. We have a real chance to transform things.

This summer, let’s work like our lives depend on it. Let’s be our best to each other: listen, reflect, question our assumptions, and think together about the city we deserve.

Please send us an email if you want to get involved: carbondalespring@gmail.com

Thank you for your support and trust thus far,

Carbondale Spring

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