We got started like so many others in November of 2016.
Overwhelmed by our anger and sadness following the election results, a group of twelve West Seattle neighbors met for coffee and Salvadoran pastries (and some lunchtime vodka).
Some of us were old friends, and others total strangers, but all that mattered was what we had in common: the commitment to being a part of the solution, and the understanding that we could not tackle it all alone.
Inspired by the cathartic, calming, conversational dynamic of our first meeting, we decided to meet again. We made a facebook group and named ourselves “Cascadia Rising” as a tongue-in-cheek nod to FEMA’s worst-case disaster scenario for our home, the Pacific Northwest.
At our second meeting, we had 15 concerned citizens show up. At our third, nearly 60. At our fourth, we had to book a venue to accommodate 125. That’s when we came to the following realizations:
1) We weren’t totally crazy – lots of people felt the same as us.
2) We wanted to make a real impact, but didn’t have the know-how or skill.
3) Our small group meetings were productive, encouraging, and inspiring.
4) Our group was growing too quickly to be effective.
Our main takeaway was simple: we needed a way to keep the groups small, focused locally, but loosely-coordinated, with a minimum of bureaucracy.
To accomplish this, we turned to the Snowflake.