My guest for this episode is Bonnie Preston and we talk about systemic change: how to take action within the current political and social environment in the United States to effect change for the betterment of ourselves, our community, and the world around us. Though the conversation is largely U.S. -centric, the methods and actions apply readily to any democratic form of government where the power of the system arises from the will of the people.
My wife introduced me to Bonnie’s work after attending the Pennsylvania Women in Agriculture Network Woman to Woman conference. There Bonnie gave a presentation “An Activist? Me?” about the way to change legislation through local ordinances and grassroots organizing, in a way that empowers the individual to work towards making a difference.
When my wife got back from the conference Bonnie was the first person we talked about and with the most passion. For my wife, Bonnie struck a chord with the “I can do this!” perspective. With my wife so enthused, I knew I had to talk with Bonnie.
I’m glad I did.
Our conversation, to me, flows with a narrative beginning with her bio and the years before her birth and the multi-generational push that set Bonnie down the road to become a Librarian and to work for change. Moving forward from that time we receive various introductions from the people and organizations that impacted her life and the actions for meaningful change.
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Roger Swain, the man in the red suspenders and former host of The Victory Garden on public television, or read any of his books or articles, but I love his writing for exactly the same reason I liked this conversation: both seem so casual and easy going that I didn’t realize the wealth of knowledge being imparted on me until everything was said and done and a few minutes, hours, or maybe even days later we have that “Aha! Moment.” With Roger this usually related to gardening techniques, but with Bonnie it’s how to engage in a grassroots, bottom up way that brings people together towards that common cause.
If you like this interview with Bonnie and find value in it, please share it with others. Send a link to your friends or family, post it to Facebook or Twitter, or whatever other ways you use to reach people in this wonderfully connected digital age.
The Alliance for Democracy
New England Alliance for Democracy
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)
The Daniel Pennock Democracy Schools
Move to Amend
Rights Based Ordinance Examples (A list from the CELDF)
A Call to Citizens: Real Populists Please Stand Up by Ronnie Duggar
When Corporations Rule The World by David Korten
No More Prisons by William Upski Wimsatt
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Contact the Show
E-mail: show (at) thepermaculturepodcast [dot] com