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News from the Redwood Empire
2001-2002 Annual Report

Town Hall Coalition Launches New Organizations in 2001

Since 1999, Town Hall Coalition has maintained an Environmental Resource Center where citizens can come for information about government regulations and to learn about participating in the public decision-making process. At the Center, staff and volunteers receive complaints from members and residents concerned with pesticide drift, forestry practices and water contamination.

As the number of citizen complaints grew, the Town Hall Coalition identified the need for additional water quality and quantity testing to supplement the data collected by regulatory agencies, and as a means to release important water quality information to the public. Having received two grants for the purpose of water testing, the Town Hall Coalition formed a new 501 (c)(3) entity – the Community Clean Water Institute (CCWI).

Incorporated in March 2001, CCWI’s mission is to protect water resources and public health by identifying sources of pollution through water testing programs, public outreach and education programs. CCWI’s staff now investigates citizen complaints, and maintains a list of areas requiring air or water testing. Contact CCWI at (707) 874-3803 and

The Town Hall Coalition, through its Community Action Committees, still works closely with community members and regulatory agencies to identify environmental and public health risks – and to provide Action Alerts or position papers to our members and grass roots citizen’s groups. In 2001, Town Hall Coalition received a grant from Pesticide Watch to distribute written information, including a letter, to people who live adjacent to vineyards with information on pesticides and pesticide drift.

As a grassroots social movement of citizens, we identified another need in 2001 – and launched our Participatory Democracy Campaign. And, in 2002, we’ll be publishing our Participatory Democracy Manual.

Turn the page to learn about our year of water activism, and our Public Forums and outreach program, including Town Hall Coalition’s major launch for 2002 – the Youth Activist Alliance.

Upcoming 2002 Events

Youth Activist Convergence
April 12-14, 2002
Sebastopol Community Center/Teen Center

On April 12-14, Town Hall Coalition is co-sponsoring the Youth Activist Convergence. We expect over 1,500 high school and college students to join in on this action-packed event. Through the Convergence, we’ll catalyze individuals into becoming activists, as well as to facilitate alliance
building among youth, increase youth involvement in political processes, and explore social and environmental dilemmas as they relate to young people.

This three-day event will bring together young and youthful activists to engage in workshops, demonstrations, speakers, film festival, creative presentations, and skills training. Keynote speakers will include activists from several generations who will share their experiences and provide insight for becoming an effective activist. While the Convergence will provide ample opportunities for the creation of intergenerational alliances, many of the speakers and workshop leaders will be emerging youth activists.

For more information regarding the Youth Activist Convergence or to register for this conference, please call the Town Hall Coalition office at 707 874-9110 or check out our web-site at

Education and Outreach

In 2001, Town Hall Coalition launched its Participatory Democracy Campaign, providing information to help citizens participate in local decision-making. Town Hall Coalition focuses its policy development efforts on the Board of Supervisors, City Councils and Special District elections. For the November 6, 2001 election, Town Hall Coalition sent notices to people who live in an area and let them know about openings on special community service districts. Town Hall Coalition’s 2002 Participatory Democracy Manual will provide information to every registered voter in Sonoma County on how to run for office or serve on Special District Boards.

Town Hall Meetings and Education Forums
Since its formation in 1999, the Town Hall Coalition has sponsored 10 Town Hall meetings or community education forums. In 2001, our March 9th Water Forum spurred a year of building water alliances among the environmental community, politicians, regulatory agency staff, and restoration groups.

Over 350 people participated in our hugely successful water forum titled: Your Water, your Wallet and your Health. As an outgrowth of this event and through continued action by grassroots citizen’s groups, we marshaled a letter writing campaign generating several hundred letters backing Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin’s AB 38. The study and comparative analysis of how water agencies are governed throughout the State initiated by AB38 is currently in progress.

The formation of the North Coast Water Coalition was another successful outgrowth of the Water Forum. Starting in July, this diverse group of
environmental organizations formed a coalition strategy focused on Political, Legal and Watershed Action, and planned a Water Action Forum. On February 9, 2002 over 100 activists, representing all the major rivers in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, watershed restoration groups, and other water-impacting interests such as gravel, wastewater and forest practices participated in this action-packed Forum. We created a coordinated action network to redirect public policy and water politics along the North Coast. The group chose water as their unifying theme for 2002 because water speaks to all of us on an emotional level and is integral to health – people hear this theme and are compelled to act. See our website for information about the actions identified at the Forum.

The Water Action Forum drew a brain trust of the key North Coast public interest and environmental lawyers – Kimberly Burr, Dotty LeMieux, Jack Silver, Michael Symons, and Steve Volker had the unique opportunity to share strategies in the Legal Action Forum. In the Political Action Forum, activists defined ways to leverage political strategies.

And, in the Watershed Action Group, organizations joined in the effort to form the North Coast Watershed Network. This Network is launching a pilot project to “Enhance Communication, Collaboration, and Effectiveness Among Partners – Protecting and Restoring Water Resources in California’s North Coast Region.”

Town Hall Coalition Financial Report Year End December 31, 2001

Donations and Membership Fees $13,790
Corporate Donations $70,000
Restricted Foundation Grants $33,765
Non-Restricted Foundation Grants $1,500
Total Income $119,055
Donation to Community Clean Water Institute (CCWI) a 501(c)(3) non-profit $97,496
Net Income to Town Hall Coalition $21,559

Town Hall Coalition Expenses
Administration $9,787
Fund-raising Expense $1,500
Program Expenses
Formation of CCWI $6,269
Education Forums $2,659
Pesticide Education Program $1,500
Youth Activist Alliance $1,443
Unclassified Expenses $45

Total Expenses
Net Income $-1,475

Please, help Town Hall Coalition achieve its 2002 Goal of 500 new members. We need your financial contributions to continue and expand our valuable programs, including the launch of the Youth Activist Alliance and Convergence event. We welcome donations from anyone who loves the wonderful nature of Sonoma County and who wants to preserve the beauty of this county for future generations. Support the Youth Activist Convergence – Make a difference.

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Town Hall Coalition
6741 Sebastopol Ave. Ste. 140 Sebastopol California 95472
T: 707-824-4371 / F: 707-824-4372