Springtime’s the Time to Shake Things Up: Here’s How

As we forge beyond the #snowmageddon and #snowpocalypse of #flooduary and #marsh and skip happily into #aprilshowers, I am ecstatic at the sight of melting snow and flowing water springing life into the dormant dirt formerly buried beneath mounds of winter white (I’m feeling particularly alliterative today) – as equally as I am at the sight of new projects, work and movement that is shaking SBC and California (in a good way!…not in a natural disaster earthquake way).

COMM KB Spring Blog 2017 03 1We just submitted an application for the Department of Energy’s Solar In Your Community Challenge that if awarded will help us bring at least 1,181 kWs of solar to the community of Amador County–local governments, businesses and LMI (low and moderate income) households alike. With the help of Optony, Inc. this project can be scaled and replicated to different communities across the nation. How cool is that, (cooler than snow falling from the Truckee heavens, let me tell you!)?

SBC’s Climate Planning team also recently teamed up with our Sierra Small Business Development Center on the Gold Country Broadband Consortium to highlight unserved and underserved areas of broadband internet in the Counties of eastern Alpine, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, and Sierra. I didn’t think it could be so exciting to listen and learn about broadband internet availability and all that goes into making it all work efficiently and effectively (fiber networks, fixed wireless, speed testing, conduit infrastructure, dig once policy…now I’m just throwing out technical terminology, but it truly is a complex and fascinating world!). To think that you wouldn’t be reading this without any of that jargon in place is mind blowing, and to think of the world getting anything done without the internet as it is at this day and age is unfathomable.

Just think, we are hyper-connected by a series of zeroes and ones transmitted through time and space with no physical trace (again, besides the physical infrastructure needed to shoot the information across the world from device to device). And so much of this connection would be lost at the rural level if not for the work of broadband consortiums like the one SBC has inherited. If we are committed to bridging the urban/rural divide we need both the understanding and the infrastructure of modern day communications and the ability to adapt accordingly without sacrificing the quality and character of our communities. We need to lift the voices that aren’t being heard because, well, let’s face it – they can’t be heard under the current conditions we’ve built. With the world at the fingertips of so many, why should anyone be excluded?

If we are to be inclusive, let us be inclusive. I understand now more than ever how important it is to make your voice heard for what you truly believe in. Take the example of representatives, Congressman Raul Ruiz and Congressman Jerry McNerney, among other national rural representatives who attended the broadband hearing this past Tuesday to voice the needs of their constituents, and transfer that empowering energy to the causes that stir you up, because in all honesty–California isn’t moving and shaking out of fear, it’s moving and shaking to get stuff done

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Let’s shake things up and come alive people. It’s spring, after all!

3 Ways that YOU can take action:

1. Attend an Energy Action Plan working group meeting if you belong to the communities of Alpine County, Sierra County, Amador County (including but not limited to Jackson, Plymouth and Sutter Creek), Nevada City, Loomis, or Mariposa County. For more information on how to get involved in these working groups, please contact Kriselda Bautista at kbautista@sierrabusiness.org, 530-582-4800.

2. Sign up for updates from regional and community organizations to keep yourself apprised of local happennings. If you’re not on the SBC eNewsletter list, click here to join!

3. Support your favorite local nonprofit(s)! If you have the time, energy, and/or money to support a cause you believe in, take this as a gentle nudge to show them (yes, the people behind the movement) your appreciation. Conveniently enough, the Big Day of Giving is right around the corner (May 4th)!

All that being said, we appreciate you, dear reader, and all you do to support your local community and our incredible Sierra Nevada region. Thank you.