We, a small but aspirational group of rural millennials called Firelands, are hosting The Cost of Living is Too Damn High! Summit on October 26th Aberdeen, WA. Once a booming timber area, Grays Harbor County is now a shell of its former self, and hope is hard to find. We deal with extreme poverty, isolation, an opioid epidemic, and more, with few opportunities on the horizon. Beyond that, there are almost no chances for young people to come together to imagine a different future for ourselves and our community. Firelands is a brand new group, founded to bring hope and imagination back to our community, and particularly to our young people.
The Cost of Living is Too Damn High! Summit will be our first public event, open to anyone who is feeling the stresses of trying to get by, and will invite all the participants to step into their imaginations and think together about how we might make our community better. This event will bring together people from different races, backgrounds, jobs, etc. to overcome the divisions that divide our community and prevent us from working together. In particular, we are interested in discussing the Green New Deal as an opportunity to make real transformative change in our community - to bring back jobs, to restore the ecology of this place, and to ensure that we all have what we need to not just survive, but to thrive.
We will provide dinner because we know a lot of our people are in need of a good meal, and nothing brings people together like food. As we eat, we will engage in participatory activities where we all will paint a picture of what a community of hope could look like. We will do this through storytelling, a collective real-time art project, and music.
After the event, we will maintain an email list of everyone who came, we will continue to host events to bring our community together, and will hopefully find ways to work together to make our vision a reality. We hope to be a beacon of light in a hurting place.
Funded by Seattle, WA (December 2019)