Promoting a healthy community

F4DC had the privilege of presenting our work around grassroots economy development to our friends in the Peace and Justice Network and Transition Greensboro at this years PJN potluck dinner.

Ed spoke about using this moment to build a worker-owned economy that will provide stable jobs rooted in local communities as a response to the runaway capitalist concentration of wealth threatening our country’s – and the world’s – future. Dave discussed the amazing growth of grassroots direct democracy around the country that the Occupy Wall Street movement launched. This movement is directly connected to the economic democratization in which F4DC is engaged.

It was a great evening of food, catching up with old friends, welcoming some who are new, and planning for future work together!

Below are the notes from the small group discussions held at the potluck.

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Imagine what a Democratic, Equitable, Compassionate and Sustainable Greensboro would look like


  • Sense of belonging, everyone participates
  • People smiling at each other, less texting, more speaking to “strangers”
  • Peaceful co-existence of faith communities, shared spiritual spaces
  • More organizational cooperation, respect and openness to diverse points of view
  • Build consensus, trust, reconciliation; reduce fragmentation
  • Organize around oppression to build on common humanity
  • Thinking and doing in systems

  • 75% of people vote in local elections
  • Participatory budgeting, participatory taxation
  • Restorative justice models
  • Marriage equality federal, state and local

  • Local currency, bartering, 60%local banking

  • Fair and full employment, living wage
  • Jobs that directly serve the community on all levels
  • Local, worker owned grocery stores, manufacturing businesses and cooperatives
  • Support of local businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Needs based “gift” economy

  • Sustainable waste management: recycle, repurpose and reuse “trash”
  • Greywater systems

  • Sustainable energy program
  • Localized energy sources
  • Homes with local heat (biofuels)
  • Green architecture

  • Bike and pedestrian friendly roads/communities, bike racks everywhere, sidewalks, bus stops, free mass transit
  • At least half the people commute via public transportation and bicycle

  • Food security: access to nutritious local food for everyone
  • Community and roof gardens, local agricultural infrastructure, farmer’s markets

  • Housing safe and affordable, no foreclosures
  • Shelter for everybody

  • Affordable, adequate health care for everyone
  • Available substance abuse treatment and mental health care

  • Education equitable and responsive, 20 students in a class, holistic curriculum
  • Free higher education
  • Community dialogue about education
  • Re-skilling, new ways of learning

  • Parks and recreation: maintained community areas for exercise, gathering, talking together, eating, celebrating, having fun
  • Singing groups
  • Public art and engagement, street performers
  • More shared storytelling
  • Cooperative child/family raising, more active neighborhoods

  • Communication network to access resources that have already proven to work

  • No basic needs unfulfilled
  • No disparate treatment
  • No extremes of wealth and power
  • Immigrants come out of the shadows. No “illegals”
  • Absence of beggars on street corners

What are the first steps to bring our visions to life in Greensboro?


  • Support current local, sustainable programs
  • Create stronger safety net for vulnerable people

  • Focus on possibility rather than problem

  • Foster Greensboro pride and ownership, promote local individuals
  • Acknowledge the Greensboro “Massacre”
  • Choose to read COMMUNITY by Peter Block for our One City One Book project
  • Establish connection/dialogue with newly elected city officials to make concerns visible
  • Communicate with city staff about participatory budgeting, food regulations, zoning and building codes, use of public lands for food
  • Use initiative and referendum process in city charter
  • Create/join in public ritual
  • Support Transition Greensboro
  • A congress for democratic Greensboro
  • Support the YWCA and other organizations that feature social justice
  • Join the participatory budgeting process

  • Support the local currency project
  • Put money in local credit unions and banks

  • Engage in more bartering, trading, sharing resources
  • Support local businesses and farming
  • Support unionized businesses

  • Use underused land for passive solar energy

  • Promote bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, bus service and ride sharing

  • Use underused land for gardens

  • Use underused land and buildings for housing

  • Start neighborhood group savings clubs for particular purposes e.g. health care

  • Teach old skills; skill sharing

  • Convene people more: outreach, dialogue/conversation
  • Find ways to allow entry points, promote inclusivity
  • Establish a local space for ALL people to come together
  • Listen to ordinary folks: know and share our stories
  • Support local neighborhood organizations
  • Build relationships in neighborhoods by getting together to share resources, eat, garden and have fun together

  • Create accessible communication tools for people to share information and insight
  • Research granting sources to support local projects

F4DC Co-sponsors Peace & Justice Network’s First Annual Concert for Peace, Justice & Sustainability

Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson

The Peace & Justice Network is holding its First Annual Concert for Peace, Justice & Sustainability featuring Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, with opening remarks by author and activist Robert Jensen.

Gilkyson doesn’t pull any punches. She graces the music with her lush and passionate voice; a dark and lonely sound, hope and satisfaction, and edgy lyrics with piercing imagery… – New York Times