Santa Rosa and Y2K - Part 2 of 2 : LUSENET : Sonoma County : One Thread

Dear Members and Friends of Santa Rosa Neighborhoods:

In a previous posting, I mentioned my belief that widespread organization of Santa Rosa for Y2K (and other communities as well) will not be effective, and we should begin to implement backup plans of working with those people who have "gotten" Y2K to make extensive preparations, since the majority of people have not and probably will not get the message. Nevertheless, I still believe it is important to spread the word as widely as possible, in the hope that some good can still get accomplished even at this late date.

Here are some other ideas for what can be done:

1) Write the mayor, city manager, city council member, county executive, members of the board of supervisors of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County or your own city and county. In Santa Rosa, they think Y2K means, for example, that the power might go out for 24 hours and they are prepared. They don't realize that Y2K may very well mean a wide variety of systemic problems for a long period of time - months and years. Send them articles that will get them to see what the problem really is. Only an outpouring of concern by the citizenry will get their attention.

Do the same for the editorial board of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat or your local newspaper. Let them know people are interested and they care.

2) The last Friday of every month the mayor and city manager of Santa Rosa meet with a group of neighborhood leaders to review common concerns. At the end of August, Donna and I went to the meeting as representatives of Santa Rosa Neighborhoods. I talked for five minutes about what we were trying to do and why we thought Y2K could be serious. We passed out the Utne Citizens Action Guide, several flyers, including the California OES Y2K guide, and eight articles showing why Y2K would probably be more serious than most people think. I thought it was interesting that not one of the 25 people there came up to ask us a single question, when we had just made a case that the city could be in serious jeapordy. Maybe I will take a public speaking course. The same group of people meets at noon this coming Friday, September 24. Donna and I will be out of town and will not be able to attend, so we need other people to go and make a case for what the city needs to do. Only if they hear strongly from informed and committed people will they begin to act. If you can attend, call Harry Skandera at 526-3268 and work with him to coordinate who will be going to the meeting, and what you want to say.

3) Raise consciousness in the community. Contact the Chamber of Commerce. Go to your local supermarket and ask them if they know they may have a buying panic on their hands in December. Contact neighborhood groups in your community. Work with people who care for the vulnerable population - the elderly, those in nursing homes, the poor, the homeless, and help them see what might happen. Above all, find people who "get it" wherever you can and work with them.

4) If you need Y2K literature to pass out, call me at (707) 527-8509.

5) On and around October 15, in Boulder Colorado, there is the first (and only) national Y2K organizers conference. If you are intersted in attending, let us know.

6) We might want to revive the Sonoma County Y2K Forums to try to reach some more people when the time is right. If you have an interest in working on this, please let me know.

If any of these ideas appeal to you and you want to do something, please let me know via phone or e-mail so we can be appraised of what is going on in the community. Please act - time is short, and people willing to do something are few.

Alan Jones

-- Alan Jones (, September 18, 1999

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