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Y2K resources for local governments

Important note: Although this page is filled with great references, the most current information related to community preparedness will be found at sites such as Y2K Community, The Cassandra Project, Coalition 2000 and Robert Theobald's website on community resilience. This field (community preparedness) is developing too fast for me to keep up and I will be focusing on Y2K transformational issues. So, if you want the latest in community preparedness, do familiarize yourself with these excellent sites. -- Tom Atlee

This page is a compilation of material located or referred to elsewhere on his site which may be useful to local government officials, politicans and interested community activists.

For an introduction to the Y2K problem

The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation by John L. Petersen, Margaret Wheatley, Myron Kellner-Rogers -- a good overview, with good collaborative advice.
"Rachel's Environmental & Health Weekly" on Y2K - a compelling compendium of facts.
Community impact of the Year 2000 problem - possible scenarios for the next few years.
And if you want more evidence, try Is this Y2K problem for real? which includes information from the first two articles, plus much, much more, in a stripped-down, intense compilation.
All Together Now: The "Y2K Neighborhood" takes on the "Millennium Computer Bomb" by Larry Shook - an excellent intro to the whole problem, from an emotionally-compelling building-community perspective.

Must-read articles of specific interest to governments and politicians

What Local Government Should be Doing about the Year 2000 Problem by Steve Davis
Y2K Contingency Planning Notes - how to think about community preparations for Y2K.
The Y2K Political Action Project featuring Mapping out a creative political perspective for Y2K now - which describes what the national political priorities should be for supporting local communities in their efforts to deal well with Y2K
Synergistic Mitigation and Contingency Preparation by Harlan Smith. Since 100% remediation cannot be completed in time, we need to ensure minimal support systems ("austere infrastructure" for food, water, etc.) are in place.
An Open Letter to State Legislators (and other politicians) by Victor Porlier
Model cover letters to send to government officials by Roleigh Martin
Questions for Meeting with Officials
More Y2K Questions for Campaigning Politicians and Elected Government Officials
To learn about some of the potentially catastrophic consequences of Y2K that all government officials should work together to prevent, please visit our Toxics/Nukes Page.

Other relevant articles for officials


Has the Y2K bug bit your PC? Find out with tools that analyze, report, and sometimes fix this date dilemma. Read Y2K Revisited.

Dealing With The Year 2000 Problem: The International Compliant Community Initiative by Steve Davis -- a good overview of what's needed at all levels.

Government's Role in Reducing "Year 2000" Risks by Leon A. Kappelman, Jerry L. Johnson and Kathy Rosmond

Y2K v. 2: Time for Triage by Jim Seymour of PC Magazine -- what it's like to make the tough decisions about which programs to make Y2K compliant.

What can I do about Y2K? outlines actions citizens can take in their local communities and with their local governments (see especially Reaching out to local authorities by Ed Alpern)

Reweaving Community Resilience by Robert Theobald

Why Community-Based Responses Make More Sense than Survivalism by Tom Atlee.

The Year 2000: Who will do what and when will they do it? by Douglass Carmichael. A sophisticated look at what could happen, under a variety of conditions, sketched out by an experienced, high-level scenario-spinner.

Thoughts about Community Preparedness Plans, Requirements, and Self-organization by Doug Carmichael, Harlan Smith, Ian Wells and Tom Atlee

Y2K Awareness Days and Holidays - guidance for creating local Y2K events and activities.

Why Are Year/2000 Projects so Difficult and Risky? by Ed Yourdon

Eight Steps to U.S. Y2K Food Security by Carla Emery and her "Farmer Direct" project

ITAA's Year 2000 Outlook is published every Friday to help all organizations deal more effectively with the Year 2000 software conversion. To create a subscription to this free publication, please visit ITAA on the web at:

Progressive, sustainable and transformational Y2K community visions and resources:

Grassroots and Governments Collaborate to Prepare Their Communities for Y2K
Protecting Ithaca from Computer Chaos by Paul Glover gives a vision of how a community can grow more sustainable through its efforts to deal with Y2K
A call for a progressive Y2K agenda by Tom Atlee
An Alternative Community Response Vision by Tom Atlee
How one community made it: Looking back from the future by futurist Robert Theobald
Local currencies and Y2K community organizing by Tom Greco
Y2K Movement Analysis and Recommendations by Laurence Victor, a book-length manuscript describing what it would take to midwife a new, sustainable post-Y2K civilization.
Website links about community and sustainability
How to get a Mayor's or Governor's Proclamation about Y2K
Why Your Organization Should Educate People about Y2K
Corporate/Government Pledges of Cooperation -UK and NZ
Input to U.S. FEMA survey
The entire Y2K Environmental/Sustainability materials page on this site

Resources for local governments

The Millennium Salon's incredible "tools you can use" section
Coalition 2000 Preparedness Plan Review/Link
Preparedness plans for counties and cities

Santa Cruz County's Y2K Community Planning Document

Senator John Vasconcellos' Y2K Plan for California
National Civic Associations' Y2K Programs
to support local communities in dealing with Y2K.
The Cassandra Project: National Y2K community organizing resources and co-ordination
Community-Building Organizations
Local community preparedness group web sites
Cyntha Beal's very informative and homey Y2K site oriented to small businesses and communities

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility are recruiting programmers for small businesses and non-profits and trying to assume real responsibility for this side-effect of their profession. They are a good starting place for unofficial, expert technical information on Y2K.
The Small Business-Owners Year 2000 Readiness Checklist.
What's needed by small businesses and organizations who want to try getting their computer systems ready for Y2K.
Visit the Small Business Administration's Y2K web site at
How to push for Utilities' Y2K readiness - a guide for citizens and officials
Examples of useful Y2K community news articles: The LA Times on Gov't helping communities organize and Tech Week on Community Y2K action

Y2K web sites having to do with government and politics:

For information on what the role of government should be in reducing Y2K risks, check these sites:
Info Tech Assn of America testimony to Congress 5/7/98

For official state and county Y2K web sites, see

For a guide to official federal Y2K web sites, see

To see the Republican's estimate of the federal government agencies' Y2K compliance see House Majority Leader Dick Armey's site:

"The purpose of the federal database is to share vendor
compliance information. Initially it was developed for federal
government use only. In January or so of this year the federal
government opened access to all. It has the usual disclaimers on the
accuracy of the data but the database contains a large amount of
information and has a great search engine. The web site address is:
<> . Another good
web site is the State of Washington's. They also maintain a vendor
compliance database. The Washington web site address is:
<> "

Chris Apgar, Year 2000 Project Manager
Multnomah County, OR
Phone: (503) 248-3749, X-26068
Fax: (503) 248-5009

For information on global Y2K status, check the Global Millennium Foundation's site.

Year 2000 Community Preparedness Listservs

Here are two community preparedness listservs hosted by Oregon Public Networking in Eugene, Oregon. These lists discuss community preparedness issues resulting from potential century-date-change (CDC) complications impacting the nationally and internationally shared infrastructures of power, fuel, food, telecommunications, currency, and community services through several means. There has been quite a bit of traffic (30 messages/day in early June) on the unmoderated one. Try them both and see which serves your needs. They're free, of course.

UNMODERATED: HOW TO SUBSCRIBE to the Regional Preparedness Listserv:
Send email To:
Message: subscribe year2000 [type your name in here] ----end

MODERATED: HOW TO SUBSCRIBE to the Northwest Year 2000 Regional Preparedness Listserv:
Send email To:
Message: subscribe y2kforum [type your name in here - no brackets]

Although the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility listserv is not specifically about community preparedness, it often has information useful to people working with organizations in their communities. To subscribe send a message to In the body of the message, write: subscribe cpsr-y2k yourfirstname yourlastname

The Millennium Salons

The Millennium Salons Forum allows many people to ask and answer questions about Y2K -- including many about community preparedness. The questions and answers get sorted out into a reference library for everyone. There is also an excellent tools you can use section. To find out more about it, click here.