Eleven years ago, among the wide array of local nonprofits in Southern Oregon, something was missing. SOCAN was the first organization to step in to fill the void in the grassroots climate action arena.
For over a decade, SOCAN volunteers have dedicated themselves to accomplishing its mission of promoting awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate change consequences and, within the framework of promoting social justice, to motivate individual and collective action to address it.
Multifaceted approach to activismThey have marched in the streets, given presentations throughout the region, held monthly meetings on topics related to climate change, run for local office, established climate action teams in communities across the Rogue Valley, developed a Master Climate Protector course, lobbied the governor and state legislators to take climate action, and taken the tools, inspiration and dedication they learned at SOCAN to establish other climate organizations in the region. The impact of SOCAN and its volunteers has been so pervasive regionally that one can hardly attend a local public event without seeing the nonprofit’s trademark orange T-shirts.
SOCAN is now ready to move from its grassroots origins as a volunteer-driven organization, led by co-facilitators and co-founders Kathy Conway and Alan Journet, by hiring its first executive director. To hire its first full-time staff member, the board has initiated a fall 2023 fundraising campaign entitled SOCAN: Reaching a New Level of Climate Action. The strategy involves enhancing the group’s grant-seeking activities and encouraging greater support from individual donors and regional businesses. With a substantial initial grant of $30,000 from the Portland-based Oregon Raindrop Fund, the campaign is already well underway.
Making the case for SOCAN expansionOn Sept. 9, members of the Board of Directors were joined by longtime SOCAN friends, volunteers and supporters in the delightful backyard of two super-volunteers in west Medford. Oregon House District 5 Rep. Pam Marsh, who serves on SOCAN’s advisory board and is one of the most stalwart climate champions in the state Legislature, was on hand to help make the case for an expanded, sustainable SOCAN. Marsh gave a brief history of her connection to Conway and Journet, while emphasizing the impact SOCAN has had on elevating the discussion of climate change locally and urging passage of climate legislation at the state level.
SOCAN has raised over $50,000 toward its $90,000 goal. In the coming months, SOCAN will be holding further fundraising activities, notably a donated concert on Nov. 11 at the Bellview Grange in Ashland by the local Grateful Dead cover band Shine On.
For further information on the campaign and campaign events or to make a donation, visit socan.eco/2023campaign.
Climate Action Teams are meeting to discuss activities in various communities. You are invited to join these teams.
The Jacksonville Team will meet Monday, September 18 from 4:00-5:00 pm at the Jacksonville Public Library.
Discussions include: Topics for articles submitted to the Jacksonville Review, EV charging stations in Jacksonville, Water Conservation collaboration, Greening the Britt, and Promotion of Community Solar. SOCAN Calendar Event – Contact Gail@socan.eco
Central Point Team will meet on Thursday, September 21 from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pmin the large conference room of the Central Point Library, 116 South 3rd Street, Central Point.
This is the first organizational meeting of the Central Point Climate Action Team. Join us to generate ideas for possible actions, to see what others are thinking, and to share your ideas. Contact Kathy@socan.eco for more information and to make sure that you are notified of details about this climate action team. SOCAN Calendar Event Talent Team will meet Tuesday, October 3 from 6:00-7:30 at the Talent Public Library, 101 Home St, Talent.
This month’s meeting includes a review of the community meeting “Electrify Your Home – Show and Tell” held on September 11 and plans for the Talent Harvest Festival as well as other activities. SOCAN Calendar Event. – Contact Eleanor@SOCAN.eco
Ashland Team will meet on Thursday, October 5 from 6:00-7:30 pm in the Gresham Room in the Ashland Public Library.Current projects include Electrification of school buses, Small Engine Conversion and beginning conversations on how to support Underserved Populations. We will continue to plan actions related to these projects as we discuss ways we can help the city of Ashland move forward on action to address climate change. SOCAN Calendar Event. Contact Kathy@socan.eco.
Medford Team will meet Friday, October 6 via Zoom from 5:30-6:30pm. Discussions focus on supporting the Medford Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CCARP) and other activities to support Medford’s efforts to address climate change. SOCAN Calendar Event with Zoom link – Contact Alan@SOCAN.eco
Grants Pass Team – The Sustainability and Energy Action Plan was presented by the Sustainability and Energy Action Taskforce to the Grants Pass City Council and approved in May. Applications have been submitted to fill the new GP Sustainability & Energy Action Committee. Appointments will be made by the City Council on Wednesday, September 20, 2023. Questions? Contact Tom@SOCAN.eco