Did you know that nearly one-third of low-income Americans don’t have a broadband-connected computer and can only access the internet by mobile phone?
FPF is committed to making it easy for all Vermonters to participate in their local Front Porch Forum. We’re building a mobile app to make FPF even more inclusive. We need to raise $30,000 by next Tuesday to accomplish this. Please help today:
More than 160,000 Vermonters participate on their local FPF daily. With your help, even more will be able to join the conversation.
Please contribute $200, $100, $50, $27 or any amount. Credit card, PayPal or check: https://frontporchforum.com/supporting-members
Front Porch Forum
PO Box 64781
Burlington, VT 05406-4781
FPF is a Vermont business, with a staff of 18, that serves every community in the state. We are not a charity and contributions are not tax deductible. Most of our expenses are covered by ad sales to Vermont businesses, and your Supporting Member contribution helps close the gap. Thank you!
UPDATE: We surpassed our funding goal by our deadline! Thanks so much to the many FPF Supporting Members who chipped in. Stay tuned for news about the FPF mobile app launch coming soon!
A recent article in New York Times…
Climate Change Insurance: Buy Land Somewhere Else
In case global warming makes their homes uninhabitable, some millennials have a Plan B: investing in places like the Catskills, Oregon and Vermont.
Buried among several examples of people who think the answer to large-scale catastrophe is striking out on their own is the following gem…
Bruce Riordan, program director for the Climate Readiness Institute at the University of California Berkeley, cautioned that it isn’t realistic to expect to live in a bubble. “Sure, you can grow your own vegetables, but what about wheat and grains?” he said. “And what happens when you need medical attention?”
Mastering surgery would certainly be a lot harder than learning to grow tomatoes.
A better strategy, Mr. Riordan suggested, would be to find a community that is intelligently preparing for whatever climate change may bring. He equated the situation to what California has done about earthquakes: They can’t be avoided, but we can build safer buildings, get better at predicting them and establish systems to care for vulnerable populations when they occur.
This jibes with Front Porch Forum‘s experience. When disaster strikes, the most resilient communities are those full of neighbors who know each other, know what’s going on, and who have a record of helping each other and accomplishing things together.
2017 marked the moment when Front Porch Forum saw its one-millionth posting! Celebrating 10 years helping neighbors connect and build community, FPF has experienced tremendous growth and accomplishments to serve every community in Vermont.
Take note of these FPF Milestones:
• More than 1 million postings made by our members
• 3.5 million e-newsletters sent every month
• More than 130,000 membersin a state with only 260,000 households
Co-Founder, Michael Wood-Lewis notes “we couldn’t be happier about the impact FPF has had across Vermont. Once people have an easy and safe way to communicate with neighbors, they do! And that simple act adds up. The cumulative impact is huge… after months of FPF, people often report feeling more connected to neighbors, more tuned in to local goings on, and more a part of their community. And in many cases, people then become more active… organizing a group yard sale, mentoring a local kid, volunteering for a park clean-up, voting on election day, and, most recently, helping each other during Blizzard Stella. That’s what FPF is all about!”
“I believe that access to the financial records of our presidential candidates will help voters decide whether the candidate has a conflict of interest. When I arrived at this realization, it was too late to add this idea to the Town’s warned articles. I am using Front Porch Forum to give my neighbors advance notice of a motion that I hope will be discussed and passed at Town Meeting during the new or other business portion. The motion highlights the efforts already underway in our State Legislature (H. 243 and S. 77) and in the U.S. Congress (S. 26). Here is the proposed motion:
“‘The citizens of Jericho, Vermont support the efforts of our state and federal legislators regarding proposed laws that require the disclosure of federal tax returns before a presidential candidate’s name can be place on the primary and general election ballots and, upon passage, we request that our town employees and/or officials convey the vote to the appropriate persons in our state and federal legislative bodies.'”
• Bill, Jericho FPF
Town Meeting Day is March 7 this year (statewide… actual meeting dates vary by town)… how are you using your local FPF?
“A number of folks heard that Beautyrest mattress calling their names, and we thank them for their interest. The first person who responded will be snoozing on that freebie… and her response came within a couple of hours of our posting the notice! We’re so thankful to the founders and staff of Front Porch Forum for helping us connect with our neighbors! What did we ever do without this great site??!!”
• Linda, Middletown Springs FPF
“I was introduced to Front Porch Forum while living in northern VT… it was used for everything! Rental property, yard sales, items for sale/free, local employment and even loose chickens! I have bought and sold items, found childcare and a place to live… all through FPF! No more scam-filled Craigslist. This is such an incredible resource for our community, if only people would start using it more in southern Vermont. It’s all local, so opportunities and info will be used within our community, therefore strengthening local connections. Please spread the word and let’s just start using it for everything!”
• Kim, Grafton Windham Athens FPF
In most of Vermont, > 75% of households participate on their local FPF. In various southern Vermont towns, membership rates are closer to 20%. That’s changing now, though, thanks in large part to folks like Kim above. People sign up for FPF most often due to word-of-mouth… a friend, co-worker or neighbor telling them to check it out. So… please spread the word! Here’s a collection of flyers, social media links, etc. to put to use in your area.
“A couple of months ago, a community member in my town posted on our Front Porch Forum an invitation for neighbors to gather in questioning how we can become more organized, informed and better able to rapidly respond to current social issues. From that one post, about 40 people showed up. We squeezed into the old South Newfane School House and began an important conversation. Out of this gathering, we are now defining the contours of what we want to do as a group and how to effectively connect with other grassroots efforts in our state. At the last meeting we invited our local legislators and many showed up. FPF has been instrumental by creating the infrastructure that has allowed such a level of individual activism and organization to occur.”
• Heidi, Newfane Townshend FPF
When it’s time to get organized in your community, start with FPF.
“I would like to start a Farmers Market catering to Belvidere and the surrounding area this summer. I am looking for volunteers to help. Those who volunteer would have a free space for the season. I am also, of course, looking for a space. So if you have a field or large parking lot that could be used, please contact me. I’m looking to start in June. If you can help, please contact me.”
• Jill, Cambridge Front Porch Forum
Many farmers markets have used FPF to get organized and launched in Vermont. How about one in your town?
… social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.
I’ve been warning about this since November 2014, when I was freed from six years of incarceration in Tehran, a punishment I received for my online activism in Iran. Before I went to prison, I blogged frequently on what I now call the open Web: it was decentralized, text-centered, and abundant with hyperlinks to source material and rich background. It nurtured varying opinions. It was related to the world of books.
Then for six years I got disconnected; when I left prison and came back online, I was confronted by a brave new world. Facebook and Twitter had replaced blogging and had made the Internet like TV: centralized and image-centered, with content embedded in pictures, without links.
Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside…
One reason why Front Porch Forum is text-based.
“Thanks to all who generously offered to assist me with my small paint job. I’ve now got it covered. I’m astounded at the Front Porch Forum as a network for our communities, but also with the wealth of talent and energy it represents. I feel beyond grateful!”
• Nancy, Randolph FPF
How is your local FPF? Read and post to it today!