It doesn’t get much more grassroots than hosting a town hall meeting in your kitchen.
That’s exactly what Steveston artist and writer Erika Koenig-Workman did last week, when she organized her own Green New Deal (GND) event and invited relative strangers into her home for soup.
Koenig-Workman posted on Twitter about her town hall, with similar events happening across the Western world on the back of a U.S. Democratic-led stimulus package that aims to address a global climate and economic crisis.
And although she knew a few of the eight people who showed up armed with pizza and salad, she recognized that someone has to get it started.
“It went really well. We only had nine people, but it’s a start,” said Koenig-Workman, who was following the GND facilitation guide for making people aware by hosting your own town hall.
“I did an introduction about why we were there and then we talked about our frustrations locally; the environment, cars, farmland, plastics, housing. You name it, we talked about it.”
Koenig-Workman said that “a lot of people are interested in this” and that she felt compelled to act as “this is a crisis and many people are realizing it’s now an emergency.
“I’m kicking it off at the bottom level by bringing people together to brainstorm, to try and find out what’s on their minds.
“We need to bring attention to the fact we are in an emergency situation. People need to talk about it and start making changes to their lifestyles.
“I took notes and will submit the data to Green New Deal Canada.”
Koenig-Workman has carried out town hall meetings before, including a coal shipping awareness event at Steveston Community Centre in 2012, when there were plans to ship U.S. coal along the Fraser River.
She is in the process of organizing the next GND town hall, a bigger one, in June, most likely at Steveston Community Centre.