Two Y2K Organizers Say Goodbye
We need all the grassroots organizers we can get. I wonder how we can
protect them/us to do this work. Here are two statements from Y2K organizers,
one of whom is burned out from overwork, the other of whom is burned out
from attacks. I don't know the full story of either of these people, but
I notice that the dates given are one day apart.
There are many different ways to do this work, all of them challenging.
How can we support each other? How can we avoid wasting our individual
and collective life energy? How can we use our differences creatively --
or, if we cannot do that, then at least keep out of each other's way? Is
there room for all of us? If there isn't, what happens then?
All we have to operate with is the life energy within each of us. When
that is gone, we've got nothing.
-- Tom Atlee
February 11, 1999
I know you are busy, but I hope you will indulge me for a few moments.
After more than nine months of earnest effort in Y2k world, I am stepping
down from my position as Executive Director of the Rogue Valley Y2k Task
Force. This decision did not come without meaningful consideration as this
has been one of the most significant (if not arduous) works of my lifetime.
Regrettably, I'm experiencing a serious case of burnout. While it has been
a unique privilege to serve alongside many wonderful people here in the
Rogue Valley - and the Global Y2k Community at large - I have neglected
many personal matters (including some important family and neighborhood
preparations). The scope and demands of this position are greater than any
one person can provide, so it's time for me to regroup and let others
surface in leadership roles.
The Task Force will "downsize" and narrow its focus, yet continue
great efforts under a less-structured and more volunteer-oriented effort.
There is a certain dynamic in a "volunteer-run" organization that
imagination and invokes strengths that may not occur as spontaneously in
"staff-driven" organization. If you live in this area, why not
what you can do to bring fresh enthusiasm and renewed commitment to this
exciting and meaningful work.
Many of you have become friends and like extended family to me. I will miss
my frequent communications with all of you -- whether by phone, e-mail,
in person. Thank you for your personal support and encouragement as well
the under-girding of our Task Force efforts in one of the most unique
moments in our history.
At the request of the Steering Committee, I have agreed to continue in a
limited capacity, as just one of many capable RV-Y2k Task Force
spokespersons. Additionally, I will help with some of the media and public
We have an extremely capable volunteer who will continue (on a limited
basis), to send e-mail updates of local and regional events, and on
occasion, provide news briefs with a more national/global perspective. As
there are many good web sites and Internet services that adequately fill
the role of reporting news, we will primarily focus our efforts on local
Our gifted new Webmaster (following in the tradition of talented
predecessors), has been refreshing and reorganizing our web site and soon
will feature more localized information. Check in from time-to-time to view
these new additions. We will maintain and update many of our universal
links and hope that our Internet site, along with many other wonderful
community-oriented web sites will help to serve a variety of needs in
helping you develop safe and solid readiness strategies.
Being the "first" Y2k community grassroots effort made us trailblazers,
suppose. That's a legacy and responsibility we've taken seriously, yet with
humility. Any accomplishment we've made is attributable to an entire cadre
of devoted volunteers.
Additionally, we owe a particular debt of gratitude - to Paloma O'Riley
"The Cassandra Project," and Shaunti Feldhahn of "The Joseph
their faithful corps of volunteers) - for their inspiration and tireless
dedication, and for leading the charge in their respective areas of
While we applaud their work, let it be said loud and clear that we
celebrate ALL of the unique and outstanding community efforts that have
sprung up across the globe. For those we've encouraged as well as those
have inspired us, there is deep gratification knowing that many are playing
a unique and meaningful role. It has been my experience that we may be
completely unaware of the extensive reach our efforts have forged in other
people's lives. It's so satisfying to receive a letter saying that a new
preparedness group was birthed because of some tiny little seed: planted,
watered and tended; and now bearing fruit in a community you've never even
heard of before. How exciting!
If each of us, whether in a group, or action on our own, will provide
accurate, balanced information, and make our message broad-based in terms
of emergency preparedness, our efforts will multiply. Just keep pluggin'
away here a little, there a little. Eventually, these honorable efforts
For each one of you, my hope is that every day will bring you greater
wisdom and understanding along with a deep sense of hope and peace.
Regardless of how Y2k eventually rolls out - how it affects the
infrastructure, the economy, or our lifestyle, I pray that each of us will
find significant and satisfying ways to serve our friends, our families,
and our neighbors - not just in preparation for potential problems, but
carry that mindset into all avenues of our lives.
In many ways, Y2k has served as a catalyst -- to create in us a new sense
of community. However, looking through my lens, it is not the pivotal point
of societal or governmental reform. Rather, I think it will be a
transitional time. Whatever your viewpoint, my hope is that it will propel
each of us to reconsider how we live in relationship - to one another, and
to our Creator that we will work to find common ground and build strong
foundations based on the principles of integrity and trust, truth and
Thanks for hearing me out. for letting me say goodbye. Once again, I thank
you for the confidence you have placed in me and our team.
I wish you the very best!
Liza K. Christian
February 10, 1999
Dear Friends and Y2K Colleagues:
Loveland 2000 began in October 1998 as a grass roots Y2K
community task force with the goals of building
awareness, encouraging food storage, and urging neighbors to help
neighbors in the Loveland, Colorado area. Since then we have held
three town meetings and have reached approximately 550 people at
those meetings. Additionally, we have provided a website for
residents to obtain free information on the year 2000 problem, such
as the American Red Cross Y2K Checklist; and thanks to other
websites that have linked to our pages, we currently average 3000
hits a week and distribute a free Y2K e-mail newsletter--reaching
people all over the world.
Despite these blessings, and after careful
consideration, I have decided to shut down Loveland 2000.
As some of you may or may not know, Loveland 2000 has
been falsely labeled as alarmist; and I have been falsely
characterized in the local newspaper as a doomsayer. A reporter who
attended one of my meetings stated incorrectly in his article that I
"assured" the crowd Y2K would be bad. In a slanderous letter to
editor, one local woman accused me of selling "mass hysteria"
using "scare tactics of impending doom." In another "guest
piece, an IT manager from the local Hewlett-Packard suggests the
"horrible disaster predicted by the presenters" might cause the
formation of "an elite group of people hoarding gold, food and
Compounding the problem, a Y2K community organizer in
the next town has been portraying me as an alarmist in
conversations with other Y2K organizers. This is especially disturbing
considering he has never attended any of my Loveland meetings. I can only
guess why he might be doing it. Nevertheless, it has served to
give a false impression of me and Loveland 2000.
Unfortunately, as a result of all this negative
publicity the effectiveness of Loveland 2000 has been substantially diminished.
Attracting panel members for future meetings now would be difficult, to
say the least; and because the local newspaper reaches thousands
compared to our 550 meeting attendees, my credibility has been
irreparably damaged as a Y2K speaker. People have already begun to
distance themselves from me--that's hard to ignore. So now, by
continuing, Loveland 2000 would only risk being falsely accused of
contributing to a panic.
Fortunately, Loveland residents can still attend one of
the many Y2K meetings now being held in neighboring towns and get
their questions answered about Y2K.
For the record, my presentations consisted of facts; and
despite my claim of factual information, I encouraged my audience
to disbelieve me and check it all out for themselves. I simply read
current news items, and quotes--in context--made by our political and
business leaders. I encouraged preparation at least in accordance
with the American Red Cross Y2K Checklist. And at the first two
meetings, when we had the resources, I provided a copy of the
checklist along with additional information. That's all.
Does that sound alarmist? Could it have just been that
some people found the facts alarming? It doesn't really matter, I
guess, the messenger is dead.
Thank you for your support,