Cascadia Forest Alliance to Close itís Office?
Cascadia Forest Alliance may be closing it's doors. There will be an Open House 7pm Wednesday October 22nd at SE 16th and Clinton to discuss the issue. The following is a statement from CFA on the issue.
Cascadia Forest Alliance to Close it's Office?
Open House 7pm Wednesday October 22nd at SE 16th and Clinton
The following is a statement written cooperatively by the people at the last Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) meeting, following several weeks of discussion.
Dear activist community,
There is not currently money, and more importantly, collective energy to maintain the CFA office. There is not a committed group of people willing to be responsible for maintaining the space, and there is only enough money to pay rent for a short period longer.
If there are people who want to see CFA have an office this winter, and who are willing to be apart of making that happen, now is the time to come forward. Otherwise, CFA will close its door on December 1st, 2003. CFA's phone, email, and website will be maintained, but the rest of CFA's physical infrastructure will shut down.
There will be an open house to clarify and discuss the issues for the community at large on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7pm at CFA's office (corner of 16th and Clinton). If you have input, and especially if you are serious about committing to the current office or a new CFA office, please attend, or contact the office at 503-241-4879 ASAP. No final decisions will be made at this meeting - it is only for clarifying the issues and to allow for further community assessment.
There will be a meeting the week after the open house on Wednesday, October 29th to make a final decision on the issue. Unless something dramatically changes between now and then, it is very likely that the current office will close and not reopen at a new space in the near future (see option # 3, outlined below for more details).
Those of us who came to consensus on this statement admit we are not all-knowing and are open to any other alternatives, options and input; this is simply the situation as we see it. We also see winter as a potentially valuable time for restructuring and re-envisioning CFA for the future, a task that may be easier without the pressures of maintaining the CFA office space.
CFA, and all those that care for and want to work with the Portland direct action forest defense community, are faced with the following options. It is important to keep in mind that option #3 is the default option, barring some major change in the next week. Option #1 and #2 are not currently feasible given the state of CFA's collective energy and no one currently involved with CFA wants to see CFA complete dissolve (see option #4).
Option # 1: Keep current space under some new and better formula.
Pros: We know the challenges. Lots of theoretical possibilities.
Cons: We know the challenges! Lots of theoretical possibilities have never panned out, and there is not much reason to think that they will in the foreseeable future. Lots of times CFA has said "let's turns this place around" and everyone is into it, but it has always been lots of talk and no action, leading to burn out and bad energy. Trying to do this over the winter, a slower time for forest defense, could be challenging. There are reports that the current office may be "cursed".
Option # 2: Close office down, open some new space ASAP.
Pros: Lots of possibilities (store front vs. office building), ensures maintenance of continuity and momentum.
Cons: Less time to find more ideal space. High cost of maintenance under what seems to be a low level of commitment to doing things in the near future. Possibility of blowing what little money remains on a risky venture. Trying to do this over the winter, a slower time for forest defense, could be challenging, and it would be bad to have a group of people trying to make this happen burn out on the difficulties.
Option # 3 DEFAULT OPTION: Close office down, everything goes into storage. CFA will start a new office when and if the situation seems right. Phone, email and website would be maintained as long as money exists for it.
Pros: Allows time to work things out in some better way, maintains some continuity. Allows a well needed rest / recuperation / thinking time for CFA, as well as time for the forest defense and activist community to engage in dialogue on CFA's future.
Cons: Big risk of losing winter organizing momentum. Could make people think CFA is dead even if its not. Potential for office not reopening anytime soon. Potential for CFA disbanding from loss of momentum (see option #4).
Option # 4: Disband CFA completely.
Pros: Hopefully a new group would arise free of CFA's baggage; fresh start.
Cons: Creates huge task of starting fully from scratch for some new group; loss of funding base, contacts list, baseline outreach, name recognition, media rapport, and historical continuity. Possibility of long period of total inaction, even years. Could reduce overall viability of activism in Portland, the region, and the forest defense movement as a whole, as a highly visible organization would cease to exist.
Please attend the meeting on Wednesday October 22nd if you want to learn more or contact CFA at 503-241-4879 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
address: 16th and Clinton
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