Promoting Sustainability in East Jefferson County, WA
The Economic Localization Action Group was formed in 2006 with the understanding that the more locally our economy is based, the more vibrant our community becomes and the less susceptible to the vagaries of the global economy.
Initial efforts of the group were focused on encouraging people to “Buy Local”: producing two community forums on “Think Local First” with BALLE’s Michael Shuman, and collaborating on the creation of an annual newspaper-insert coupon book promoting local businesses.
In 2006 a man with a passion for alternative currency drummed up interest in the creation of a modified barter system that allows community members to exchange goods and services using “life dollars” in cyberspace. The North Olympic Exchange (NOE) was formed as a chapter of The Fourth Corner Exchange in Bellingham.
In 2008 small group with yet another vision catalyzed the formation of LION, or Local Investing Opportunities Network. Now used as a model for other communities across the country, LION facilitates investment into our local community, connecting those with money to invest with those seeking to open or expand their business here.
LION and NOE have grown to be pretty much independent and autonomous entities. Both are going strong, and both welcome more participation. But the “mother matrix” which served to spawn them, the Economic Localization Action Group, is currently inactive. It sits waiting for yet another visionary with yet another passion to take a lead.