2019 Year in Review

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The year 2019 represented a time of growth and change for the Cascadia movement. With the foundations for the Department of Bioregion laid, we embarked on a journey of action and activity. In the spring of 2019, we held our first Diplomat Training, introducing our organizing structure and preparing our first group of diplomats for the work ahead. That first meeting in Seattle turned into weekly meetings that have grown in attendance and scope. From them, many activities and projects have taken place around the bioregion. This year we’ve hosted a fun run, the focus of which was to highlight the natural character of the urban environment. At Cascadia Convergence, we hosted a forum to address the strengths and weaknesses of our movement and collectively discuss pathways forward. A 30 foot yurt was also raised with a commanding view of the 93 acre property. We launched the Cascadia Passport issuing our first edition and encouraging Cascadian citizenship. During the Seattle Pride parade we certainly made a splash with a muraled Cascadia Bus, flag waving troupe and live drag show during the course of route. Cascadia Day, we focused on handicrafts and celebrated with a BBQ. Summer solstice brought the Solstice Parade and the introduction of our Cascadia Passport station to rousing success. Over the summer we hosted Camp Cascadia in the Willapa Hills. To say it’s been an active 2019 underplays the impressive movement building that’s taken place.

All of this has only been possible because of the dedicated work and enthusiastic volunteerism of our Diplomats, and the support of Cascadians across the bioregion. Cascadian visibility has certainly increased, and 2019 undoubtedly represents  a strong start for the Department of Bioregion. Looking forward, we’re optimistic about continuing to grow the Department of Bioregion and the Diplomatic Corps. A meet up the first week December in Eugene mobilized a local group of Cascadians there, while contacts in Corvallis and Everett indicate meetings there are forthcoming. We’ve created some wonderful founding documents and systems that will help us remain organized as we grow. Perhaps most importantly, our group projects have become more focused around the question “If 10,000 people wished to join our movement tomorrow, how can we be ready?”

It is with that question in our minds that we go into the coming decade. While we can’t predict what the coming year and future will bring, we know some of the challenges facing Cascadia, and can prepare to face them with confidence. A general election in the U.S. will doubtlessly have profound effects on public sentiment and offers us an opportunity to highlight how, regardless of the outcome, Cascadia offers a pathway forward with greater democracy, decentralized power structures and a decolonizing spirit. Meanwhile, the advancing threat of a pipeline across British Cascadia threatening our waterways, ecosystem and overrunning indigenous sovereignty creates a rallying cry to protect all of the principles that define Cascadia and all of the life here. Facing these adversities and opportunities, is what the Department of Bioregion is all about. With a positive message rooted in our love of place, unity through community and a desire to ensure a better future for all life in Cascadia, I look forward to continue building this movement with all of you.