Sebastopol recently became the 9th official U.S. “Transition Town.” The Transition Culture movement started in the town of Totnes, U.K as “a grass-roots, all volunteer, bottom up response to the challenges of Peak Oil, climate change, and global financial instability.” Transition Sebastopol kicked off things with talk about the Totnes experience in February, followed up by a Community Mapping event on March 11th. A large group gathered in the Community Center to brainstorm and capture many ideas, opportunities, resources, needs and visions of Sebastopol. The evening began with exercises to help define the interests and overlaps within the group, which appeared to run the gamut of economic and social philosophies, and political leanings (albeit mostly to the left of center). Then the group got down to the business of capturing as many resources and perceived needs in variety of areas ranging from arts to emergency preparedness. The conversation continued in a second mapping meeting on March 21st. One of the goals was to put together a comprehensive list of transition/relocalization resources for Sebastopol. These will eventually be available from the Transition Sebastopol website.

Transition United States recently opened their office in Sebastopol, adding to the interesting list of nonprofits calling Sebastopol home, ranging from the Post-Carbon Institute and PublicResource.Org. Though the Transition Sebastopol is an autonomous group under the Transition umbrella, it’s great to see so much local activity in this area.