SOCAN: Reaching a new level of Climate Action

Local Group Reaching for a New Level of Climate Action

Alan Journet, SOCAN Press Release, September 11,2023



Press Release: For immediate release





Eleven years ago, among the wide array of local non-profits in Southern Oregon, something was missing. SOCAN was the first organization to step in to fill the void in the grassroots climate action arena.

For over a decade, SOCAN (Southern Oregon Climate Action Now) volunteers have dedicated themselves to accomplishing its mission of promoting awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate change consequences and, within the framework of promoting social justice, to motivate individual and collective action to address it. They have marched in the streets, given presentations throughout the region, held monthly meetings on topics related to climate change, run for local office, established climate action teams in communities across the Rogue Valley, developed a Master Climate Protector course, lobbied the Governor and state legislators to take climate action, and taken the tools, inspiration, and dedication they learned at SOCAN to establish other climate organizations in the region. The impact of SOCAN and its volunteers has been so pervasive regionally that one can hardly attend a local public event without seeing a sea of the non-profit’s trademark orange t-shirts.

SOCAN is now ready to move from its grassroots origins as a volunteer-driven organization, led by co-facilitators and co-founders Kathy Conway and Alan Journet, by hiring its first Executive Director. To hire its first full-time staff member, the board has initiated a Fall 2023 fundraising campaign entitled ‘SOCAN: Reaching a new level of Climate Action.’ The strategy involves enhancing their grant-seeking activities and encouraging greater support from individual donors and regional businesses. With an initial, substantial grant from the Portland-based Oregon Raindrop Fund, the group is already making good progress.

On Saturday, September 9th, members of the Board of Directors were joined by long-time SOCAN friends, volunteers and supporters in the delightful backyard of two local super-volunteers in west Medford. Oregon House District 5 Representative Pam Marsh, who serves on SOCAN’s advisory board and is one of the most stalwart climate champions in the state legislature was on hand to help make the case for an expanded, sustainable SOCAN. Representative Marsh gave a brief history of her connection to Kathy and Alan, while emphasizing the impact SOCAN has had on elevating the discussion of climate change locally and urging passage of climate legislation at the state level.

SOCAN has now raised over $50,000 towards its $90,000 goal. In the coming months, SOCAN will be holding further fundraising activities, notably a donated concert on November 11th at the Bellview Grange in Ashland, by the local, Grateful Dead cover band, ‘Shine On’.

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