The issue of YES! you're holding in your hands was created in our new offices! The move has been a joyous event that represents a whole new stage in our organization's life.
It's your enthusiasm that sparked our need to move. Your thousands of gift subscriptions, recommendations to friends and relatives, and generous donations helped catapult our circulation from an average of 14,000 copies per issue in 1998 to 25,000 per issue in 2000. We're expanding our presence on the Web, sponsoring a retreat series for social movement leaders, and assisting thousands of people to find the resources to contribute to creating a world that works for all. To carry out all these activities, we added staff, interns, and volunteers until we just didn't fit in the basement of the residence we occupied since our founding in 1996.
This June, after an incredible outpouring of support from the local community, we moved to our new space. Best of all, we were able to make the move in a way that fits our environmental and community values. Let me share with you some highlights.
Last August, a generous supporter offered to lease us space in an office building under construction at below-market rates we could afford.
We immediately began working with the contractor on energy and materials conservation. As a result, our windows have a “low e” coating that minimizes heat loss; our fluorescent lights are the new, highly efficient T8 variety; and our carpet is from the Milliken Company, which cleans, dyes, and rebacks old carpets, saving them from the landfill. For more details on these conservation measures, see Susan Callan's column at www.yesmagazine.org.
We were also able to move using almost no new materials (aside from the building itself, which, of course, used lots of new materials). Our desks and partitions were donated by the Earth Day 2000 Network, which was downsizing last May at exactly the moment we needed our office furnishings. Our shelving is constructed of wood from our old office; and in moving our stuff, we used old cartons and blankets. So the only new material used for the packing was the tape to close the boxes.
Our new location is in the downtown district where Bainbridge planners are applying concepts you read about in the Summer 1999 issue of YES! (Cities of Exuberance). The district mixes businesses and residences in a relatively small space to create a vibrant, walkable area. Our office is just two blocks from the co-housing community that Sarah and Roger van Gelder helped found, where staff members Audrey Watson and Rod Arakaki live with their families. Five of our nine staff members, including me, walk or bike to work.
Of course none of this would have been possible without the help of members of our local community, who contributed so generously to the moving and rebuilding. Here are just some of those who helped:
Earth Day 2000 Network for their donation of desks and partitions, and for the bargain rate on their phone system; Norm Down, whose advice on real estate helped us recognize a good deal when we saw it; Sally Wilson for countless hours laying out our interior design; Richard Wilson for lending his architectural skills to making our space work; Susan Callan for tracking down “green” lighting, flooring, and paint, and envisioning a beautiful decor; RJ Erminthaler and Sally Lovell for a waste-minimizing move; Sohee Smith and Bill Johnson for patiently responding to our requests for construction changes; Sharon Booth for repainting every last partition; Alan Vogel, Todd Kowalski, Sid Miller, Bob Kincheloe and Steve Matthews for rebuilding old shelving and other carpentry; Rod Arakaki and Audrey Watson for getting our phones, Internet, and local area network functioning on schedule; Leslie Nary for preparing us for our move; Donna Trost for cheerfully coordinating the hundreds of details; Jan and Kevin Seslar for sorting and carting hundreds of pounds of stuff; Lisa Down, Barbara Kowalski, and Barbara Vaile for making order out of the chaos of our library; Alan Vogel, Libba and Gifford Pinchot, John and Andrea Adams, and Jill Bamburg, who donated respectively a handmade conference table, window blinds, shelves, and filing cabinets and chairs; our generous supporter for a lease that can't be beat; and many other volunteers who packed, cleaned, and assembled until everything found its proper place.
We are delighted to be in our lovely new space and grateful to you, our readers, whose enthusiasm has both necessitated and enabled the move.
Come and see us in our new place!
Fran Kortenis Executive Director of the Positive Futures Network.