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Patagonia Hosts Voter Registration Day 9/27-10/22; CFROG at Patagonia HQ 9/30

September 26, 2016

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The other day driving through my hometown of Ventura, which also happens to be the hometown of Patagonia, I saw my favorite bumper sticker of this election cycle, but didn’t get a chance to get a photo. Fortunately, thanks to a Facebook search, I found a sighting in Seattle:

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Yes, Yvon Chouinard for President 2016.

Just in case you don’t know who Yvon Chouinard is, he’s the guy who started the company that became Patagonia, and he owns it today. His wife Malinda and other folks were involved also of course but he’s the main man and he tells his inspiring story in his book Let My People Go Surfing. He’s an industry leader in every way, and if given a choice, I would vote for this humble, not very tall business man with his craggy face that has seen many sunrises out in the wilds, on rivers and on rocks.

As I’m writing this, the GOP and Democratic candidates are preparing for the first debate, and the election is coming up fast: Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016 is the big day across the country.

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The only way we can get government to move, reminds Yvon Chouinard, is for us to push. We can push through demonstrations, writing letters, and other actions, but a key action we must take is to VOTE. In  a blog post titled “Why Voting is Not a Waste of Time” on “The Cleanest Line,” the Patagonia Company blog, Chouinard writes:

“We used to be called citizens. We can still act like citizens by exercising our right and responsibility to vote,” says Chouinard. “It is a very serious time in the story of this planet where we have the potential to destroy our natural world or to save this lovely blue planet—our home.”

“In the United States, only 60 percent of eligible citizens bothered to vote in the last presidential election,” says Chouinard. “Of those, many voted only for president and left the rest of the ballot blank.”

Further, Chouinard points out that “Only 25 percent of young people (18–30) voted in the recent midterm elections…but if they voted in full force, the politicians would have to take seriously their issues, like student debt, fair pay and housing. “

So to do good, we actually have to do something. If you want to do good for our planet, you need to vote for our planet.

And that includes getting out to vote in November. Which you can only do if you’re registered so what better time than tomorrow, Tuesday September 27 to have National Voter Registration Day?

Patagonia is doing their part by hosting Voter Registration Day Events in their stores where folks can get registered and get informed about local and national elections. Events run from tomorrow through Oct. 22. In California, you can register to vote until 15 days before the election which in 2016 is October 24.

Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas was founded in 2013 by community volunteers who saw the need for a watch-dog organization to ensure oil and gas projects in Ventura County are properly reviewed, permitted and monitored according all applicable laws. Now in 2016 we are a non-profit 501c3 organization, have hundreds of members – we are making a difference.

Our goal is to protect our airshed, watershed, oceans, forests, land stability, wildlife, agriculture and human health by ensuring all oil and gas projects are properly reviewed in accordance with all local, state and federal laws.

On Th. Oct. 20, the Ventura Patagonia store hosts activists from SOAR (Save Our Agricultural Resources) who will explain what Measure C and F mean for Ventura County (hint: C for Correct and F for Fail). From 6-8:30pm, the evening will feature representatives from non-profit grant recipients. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Great Pacific Iron Works Patagonia Ventura is located at 235 W Santa Clara St, Ventura, California 93001.

Online, the Vote Our Planet page on patagonia.com provides information on how to register to vote, to sign up to receive local election information, and get voting updates and reminders via email or text.

While there is no national deadline to register as deadlines vary by state, most deadlines are mid-October, if not later. Find out more.

“Put very simply: Without a healthy environment, we are toast,” says Yvon Chouinard.

Voting is the simplest form of direct action. Become involved:  http://patagonia.com/voteourplanet.

While voting is the simplest form of direct action, there is more we can do from limiting our consumption of single use plastic and other consumer acts to getting out into our community to learn more about the issues.

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This Friday, Sept. 30, Patagonia HQ will be the site for a Citizens For Responsible Oil and Gas or CFROG fundraiser where Senator Fran Pavley will be recognized as an environmental watchdog providing 16 years of service to Californians.

“Senator Fran Pavley is an environmental superstar and that is not an exaggeration,” said John Brooks, president of CFROG. She also authored the first fracking specific regulations in California – SB4. “Finally her parting gift to the planet is SB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act signed into law this year. It will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and show the world that solutions are possible.”

According to the CFROG website, the non-profit organization “was founded in 2013 by community volunteers who saw the need for a watch-dog organization to ensure oil and gas projects in Ventura County are properly reviewed, permitted and monitored according all applicable laws…Our goal is to protect our airshed, watershed, oceans, forests, land stability, wildlife, agriculture and human health by ensuring all oil and gas projects are properly reviewed in accordance with all local, state and federal laws.”

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The event includes donated food and beverages from Soulfete, Topa Topa Brewery and The Ojai Vineyard.  John Lacques of DrumTime will loan drums to attendees and guide the group through different beats, tempos and exercises on the drums.  General Admission (includes all food and drink) is $40 per person with kids under 15 free with a paid adult. If $40 is out of your budget, contact Kimberly Rivers about volunteering to set up and cleanup– and maybe to get involved with the group as well. PS You might just see me helping to pour some of that Ojai Vineyard wine!

For more event information: http://www.cfrog.org/rhythm_and_soul_event

 

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