On July 17th, the Sierra Club's Lightbulbs to Leadership campaign culminated with more than 1000 people attending over 300 house parties nationwide. The campaign's message is that in order to solve global climate change, we need to change more than just light bulbs -- we need to change direction. We need strong, serious, and fast action to get the job done. House parties were open to the public, each with a host and attendees listening in on a national conference call featuring Green For All President Van Jones, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, and Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. Attendees then wrote letters to their governors to encourage green job development through the transition to a clean energy economy.
Throughout the nation people gathered at their local house party. Jenny Coyle, Sierra Club Website Producer and host of a San Francisco house party commented on the varied nature of the parties, "In Denver it was a festive outdoor affair. In Atlanta and Palo Alto, they were quieter gatherings of half a dozen people in a small living room. In Austin, folks packed the city council chambers, while up the road in Dallas they mingled in a café."
The House parties in Colorado, for example, were a huge success. In Denver, the gathering turned into a block party that closed the street and had live music (above). The 100 plus people in attendance continued to discuss the issues late into the evening. "The success of these parties just proves to me that people are interested in hearing about solutions to high gas prices and the continued addiction to oil evidenced in the Bush administration," said Roger Singer, Colorado's regional representative who attended the Denver block party.
City Councilman Chris Nevitt spoke at the Denver house party about local green jobs and highlighted the accomplishments of the Sierra Club and its role in the Blue-Green Alliance. Many attendees also signed a petition to protest The Bureau of Land Management's plan for Oil and Gas drilling into the wild Roan Plateau. The Enos Mills Group of the Sierra Club expects a large surge in volunteering and leadership following this successful gathering.
Besides Denver, there were around ten other house parties throughout Colorado. In Arvada, host Thomas Acampora entertained his 18 guests by showing them his personal energy costs savings from his Photovoltaic installation and resulting net metering payback. He and his guests, just like Robin Hoek and her party guests in Broomfield and other attendees elsewhere, sent their letters to Governor Ritter supporting green jobs. All in all, it was a fitting culmination to a successful campaign with a critical message.
"People want to get out and talk with their friends and neighbors about what changes in leadership need to occur this year to move us towards a new energy economy," said Singer. "These house parties gave them that opportunity, mixed in with a little social fun too. We ate, we laughed, we talked and we came away with plans before the night was through. This was a great way to spend a summer evening."
"Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play." -John Muir