Their speakers were four of the dozens of town-level organizers who have brought the campaign's Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances to Selectmen, Town Meetings, or City Councillors. Suzanne Dunham, Jesse Watson, Brooke Isham and Steve DeGoosh each told their stories and inspired listeners with tales of success in varying circumstances, and persistence when confronted by a hostile town government.
There were many good questions from the audience, and Local Food Rules campaign coordinator and Alliance co-Vice Chair Bonnie Preston expects more ordinances will be passed as a result. The ordinance has now passed in 43 towns with at least one town in 14 of 16 counties in the state of Maine.
Three of the Common Ground speakers will also take their stories to a November conference on relocalization for economic democracy--look for more info in our next e-newsletter. The Local Food Rules campaign is also organizing individuals who took charge of ordinance campaigns to talk to people in neighboring towns who are interested in the ordinance.
What has started as very local actions in very small towns has grown into a real drive to ensure food sovereignty for Maine people and communities, to protect and expand the state's small-farm economy, and to protect the health of people, environment, and soil. This is how grassroots organizing works, spreading quietly but inexorably from success to success.