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Media & Y2K community - the wake-up connection

It is really exciting to contemplate what might happen if the media did finally see and report the incredible vision and energy of Y2K creativity at the grassroots. The pot would come to a boil and the sweet smell of the next era would spread throughout the house
-- Tom Atlee

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Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 04:27:04 EST
Subject: Fwd: y2k practice

Dear Judy, Tom, Eric, and Bob:

Y2K Practice Day (next Friday and Saturday the 29th and 30th) is coming along
well. Sonoma County Y2K e-mailed it to local groups in the Bay Area and
around the country (all the orgs on the Napa Valley site), as well as various
Y2K Websites.

Judy Laddon sent it to her network with a classy leader. Thank you, Judy. It
was presented to 180 people at the January Sonoma County Forum, 60 people at a
food storage workshop, etc.

Press response has been good - one reporter from KRON TV in San Francisco
(Anthony Moore) who wants to film a family doing practice day (we will see if
any Sonomans respond to his request), a reporter from the Santa Rosa Press
Democrat who interviewed my wife Donna about practice day and her "Practical
Y2K''er column on the Sonoma County Website (, and Michelle
Locke from the Associated Press in Berkeley who is coming up to Sonoma County
next weekend to do a story on Practice Day and other Y2K phenomena (see
below). Please pass on any feedback you receive from peope and organizations
re: their experiences and whether it helped in their preparedness. Please
note that Practice Day repeats the last weekend of every other month all
during 1999 (see the Rules of the Game). Hopefully the participants and
publicity will increase each time until it speads to organizations and becomes
a truly national practice. I think the idea conforms to Tom's idea of things
that are self-organizing and self-sustaining. Practice Day came from nowhere,
requires no organization to advance it, and will succeed to the extent it
meets a real need and people do it. It is also meant to be playful and non-
threatening. Your help in spreading the idea is appreciated. Eric - how about
printing it in the next Utne Reader Y2K coverage?

I received the correspondence below from Michelle Locke. I spoke to her and
liked her focus - she wants to do stories on community based response to Y2K.
...A sympathetic reporter is hard to find. She wants her next
community based story to be national.

You are all doing yoeman work. I get wildly frustrated and wildly inspired by
turns. In the last seven weeks, I have met some of the finest people I have
ever met in my life and I am inspired. The "technological trance" is being
broken, we have to work and pray that the results will be positive. Keep in



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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 11:15:37 +0000
From: Michelle Locke <>
Subject: y2k practice
Organization: Associated Press

hi. my name is michelle locke. i am a reporter for the associated press.
i would like to get a little more info on your practice day 1-29/30. do
u have some contacts i could visit to see how they're coming along, what
surprises they find etc. i'm interested in the event and also am
gathering info for a story about the increasing trend toward community
response to y2k (as opposed to heading for hills). i'm particularly
interested in people who previously were involved in traditional
community orgs. like neighborhood watch and are converting those
fence-building skills over to y2k.


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Subject: Our conversation/Practice Day
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 03:23:12 EST

Dear Michelle,

Enjoyed talking with you today. I commend you for your community
based coverage of Y2K - this is the real story, not the "head for the hills"
stuff. As I mentioned, the "me first" attitude that caused Y2K won't
work as the solution. A true solution always has to come from a
different place than the problem. What has impressed me most about the
Y2K groups here is the extraordinary selfless cooperation between
people who only recently were complete strangers. It is amazing how
quickly people are bonding together to fight a threat to the collective
good, sacrificing their time and money for no reward except meeting a
need. It is the true "barn raising for the neighbor" pioneer spirit come
back to life. Once you get a flavor of the extraordinary things that are
going on among people you might feel that there could be something
good that could come out of Y2K - because it is already happening. If
you go to Y2K meetings and hang out with people you will see what I

I am enclosing some books I have found helpful. Awakening, the
Upside of Y2K
completely changed my attitude from negative and
defensive to positive and "maybe it's an opportunity". See especially the
"I Once Was Lost" article by Judy Laddon and the Acknowledgments at
the end to get the spirit with which many people are approaching Y2K.
You might enjoy talking to Tom Atlee in San Francisco and Judy Laddon
in Spokane. The Y2K Citizens Action Guide is a guide to the type of
community based response you want to write about. We are distributing
hundreds here - I and two people I know independently ordered 100
apiece. I think they printed 350,000 the first run alone - a best seller!
Eric Utne could probably give you a good idea of what prompted him to
produce it. The Preparation Manual was done by Grace Fellowship here,
Bob Busha and his church have been a real force with their educational
workshops, resource center in the church offices, etc. See the Sonoma
County Website at for the schedule of what they do. Bob
would really be worth spending some time with.

I hope these books are helpful. I think they will give you an idea of what
is happening here. Hope to see you at some point when you are up here
next weekend for practice day.

Best Regards,

Alan Jones