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SPEECH President's Message

by Janine Unsoeld

Celebrating its 22nd year of incorporation as a nonprofit, SPEECH will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, March 22, 2012, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Traditions Fair Trade, 300 5th Avenue SW, Olympia. The public is invited, and cake will be served! Board nominations and elections will also be held during a special board meeting after the forum.

As part of our annual meeting, SPEECH has invited a diverse panel of local media representatives to discuss the challenges facing alternative and corporate media outlets, and to examine the coverage of local events and issues in the South Sound. This forum will serve as the beginning of a conversation on how we can better cooperate to convey our respective messages. Audience and panel participation should be lively! Please see page two for more information.

Combining households with my new husband means that we have a complete 22 year collection of South Sound Green Pages, dating back to 1990. We have each been president of this great organization and, hoarders that we are, have held onto these issues that document the history and evolution of the local environmental movement.

Organizing them into annual chronological order across the living room took several hours, mostly because I kept reading articles, and taking notes about key moments in local history. Seeing so many familar names of members, writers, photographers, artists and local businesses that have sustained our organization for so long was very humbling. A lot of love and effort has gone into giving people of this community a consistently active voice through this publication.

The subject matters have not changed much, but the means for disseminating the information has changed dramatically. I remember using an Exacto knife and a light table to delicately change an errant "a" into an "o" in my early journalism days at the Cooper Point Journal at The Evergreen State College and that's how the Green Pages was first produced.

SPEECH used its first email address in 1995. Now we have a website, www.oly-wa.us/greenpages and a list serv, EnviroTalk. Do we need a blog, which, for some, is sooo - what - 2007? A Facebook account? A Twitter account?The times are a changin’ and if SPEECH is going to grow and change with it, we need your help and ideas.

As an all-volunteer organization, we at SPEECH wonder how we can realistically best serve our community and our members. How can the South Sound Green Pages be more than it is in this age of blogs, online publications, and social media? Our printed quarterly takes a lot of effort to produce, but we see it as a vital, democratic form of communication that reaches across all socio-economic levels. However, we wonder how else can we envision our publication and add to our web presence. No doubt with more contributors, volunteers, and a dedicated committee of community representatives, the South Sound Green Pages could become a more frequently published local news source - online or otherwise. How do we make this happen? What do you think? Come to our forum on March 22 and share your ideas!

I look forward to seeing you there!

Janine Unsoeld, formerly Janine Gates, is president of SPEECH and can be reached at (360) 791-7736 or through her local news blog, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com.

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