Olympia Social Forum

Bringing Global Issues Home

Saturday May 20th 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

The Olympia Center 222 N Columbia Street Olympia

The Olympia Social Forum is being organized by students in the Global Citizenship program at The Evergreen State College to help foster discussions about the future of the South Sound region and its relation to the rest of the United States and the world.

Everyone with an interest in the local region -- and beyond -- is welcome! Please join us for presentations and community discussion.

The program will include informative panels and workshops covering a range of topics. Although the final program may change slightly, we are currently planning sessions related to Fair Trade, Education and Global Issues, Activism and Citizen Skills, Health and Welfare, Sustainability, War and Peace and several others. Attendees also will have the opportunity to learn more about local organizations.

Keynote presentation by community leaders:

Explorations in Community Participation and Leadership: News and Views from Two Continents

For more information see http://www.olysocialforum.org/ Or send email to contact@olysocialforum.org

The Olympia Social Forum is modeled on the World Social Forum that has been convened annually since 2001. A social forum provides a space where people who are concerned about the future of their communities can share concerns, ideas, information, and strategies for making another world possible.

Gregoire chooses quarter design

Governor Gregoire has announced her choice for the Washington state commemorative quarter. The design is know as Design Two, a leaping king salmon with Mount Rainier in the background along with the slogan "The Evergreen State". 


If the Litter Bunny hops back into Town

Ideally the bunny would bring us flowers and treats, but if it brings litter, we can dream up all sorts of innovative responses. If your neighborhood is littered, check in with your neighbors and make sure everyone is okay.

Some ideas:
  •  recycle everything possible
  • fold paper into paper airplanes and have a neighborhood paper airplane event
  • craft origami animals such as peace doves
  • collect up and send to their headquarters at National Socialist Movement, PO Box 580669 Minneapolis, MN 55458
  • write their Commander Jeff Schoep at nsmcommander@hotmail.com
  • write here on OlyBlog about it
  • contact The Olympian, Works in Progress, KAOS radio, FRO, and other media
  •  hold a safe public bonfire with neighbors
  • set up a large trash can so as to properly circular file the litter material
  • remember to thank the police or any other city and state workers that assist you

Legitimate Government Functions

I'm writing this on the fly, so if I don't include everything I'll be sure to update.

A lot of people have put forth what they believe government should be funding (e.g. Procession, health care, education, etc.) but I haven't actually said what I think legitimate services are.

Feel free to disagree.

Law Enforcement

I think this is a legitimate state function. I'm not talking about the DEA or Homeland Security, though. I think local and state law enforcement agencies (Olympia Police Department, Lacey Police Department, Washington State Patrol, etc.) are a necessity and work with the idea that government should protect from force and coercion.

I try to separate the law enforcement agency (the officers themselves) from the lawmakers. Right now, and I'm sure Drew will disagree but, these are the only government employees I ever see in the news being held accountable for anything. Do we catch every rule or law an individual officer might break? No, we don't. But for a job where you must make your decision on the spot, I'd say they're held far more accountable than the state office worker who screws up an accounting sheet and ends up costing the taxpayers X-amount of dollars.

In fact in Washington state, errors that cost millions of dollars mean you too can become governor.

Fire Protection

I'm putting this here but it's an area where I'm pretty mixed. Both police and fire responsibilities could be carried out by a private agency but I don't think they should. Using a law enforcement example (but it could be applied to fire as well), I read an article about private companies paying for K-9's for local law enforcement. Now this is all fine and dandy, the police have a dog, the community is happy, etc., etc. The problem? As is obvious, conflict of interest.

Can I be guaranteed to get the same service?

Emergency Response

Basically, Medic One. If you're seriously injured and in need of immediate medical attention, the community should probably deal with it.

Monetary Support for The Procession, 76% and Counting

So, out of 21 people so far, 76% have voted for the City of Olympia to monetarily support The Procesison of the Species. That's great! I wish more people would vote, but this gives a clear pciture to the City Council of what the people want. But, are they watching??? Too bad there isn't a larger forum, like The Olympian, who would come forward and actually take a consensus. I am sure there are a lot of people who don't go to see it and many who haven't ever even heard of it, but for the thousands, children and adults who spend countless hours preparing beautiful works of art, it is a glorius event. It brings families together, processioners and specatators alike. It brings people from outside the community (20,000 to 30,000 all tolled each year). The Illuminated Procession the night before is spectacular. The batik bannners that appear downtown days before are beautiful. The Procession is giving this city something that is one of a kind. Something they can flaunt and be proud of. I suppose I'm opening myself up for attack but, too bad, because if it doesn't get any funding it surely won't be able to continue to happen.

Is it Art or Litter?

One of our NSM fans has written in response to the petition to take nukeisrael.com down. Maybe the NSM really is a performance troupe and this promised blanketing of our community with paper means something postmodern and existential. Or maybe they cannot control their urge to litter.

Get those garbage cans ready.

Because you have been targeting our site We will plaster Olympia soon with tens of thousands of flyers. You will then be able to brag to the media that your actions incited the racialists into action.
Love YA! Not!


Jim Ramm, SSGT

RagDharma at Cultureseed's "Emergence"

RagDharma will be performing the Classical music or North India. The evening will be filled with music, art and celebration. For more information please visit www.cultureseed.org/Emergence.htm!

Olympia's old teen program vs. Tumwater's that is working

Cross posted at Olympia Time

The Olympian this morning pointed out the difference between Olympia's youth outreach efforts and the Tumwater youth program. Olympia recently cut their $30,000 or so program because it didn't attract much of a following and Tumwater's $120,000 program is roaring along.

In addition to the obvious difference in budget, one reason why Tumwater's is working while Olympia's failed is summed up here and with a couple of maps:

Colton Rose, 16, a student at Black Hills High School, walks to the center in the afternoon to get away from his brothers, he said. “It’s a pretty fun place to hang out,

First Annual Trail Day

  • Win prizes!
  • Try out bikes from Olympic Outfitters.
  • Explore the County Trail System.
  • Learn about health, safety, and the trails.
  • All ages and abilities welcome.
  • Walk, bike or blade.

For more information:
Thurston County Parks and Recreation
(360) 786-5595

Here's a flyer.

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