You're Invited to Monday's Exciting Events, Obama- Spine Up! and A Big Update from Team Backbone


The Backbone Rises Again & We The People March Onward!

Backbone’s 1st ever CSO and New Staff Join Team Backbone
Upcoming Actions & Workshops:
Monday January 21st in Washington, DC

Backbone Campaign in Washington, DC with Giant Backbone Puppet, first appearance since 2007. Evan Simmons and Doug Skove are supporting the Arch of Justice Rally & Parade. Email Doug Skove if you can help out in DC. Evan and Doug have led many Backbone Campaign actions over the years and we are grateful to them, Coralie Farlee for her hospitality, and our DC area allies with whom collaboration is always a pleasure. DONATE to support this action.

Monday January 21st in Seattle

Backbone’s We the People at MLK Jr. Day march in Seattle. Come celebrate the legacy of MLK and our role in the arch of Justice by mobilizing our We the People and possibly other imagery. Email Eric Ross if you can be part of the team.
Thursday January 24th in Bellevue
PSCCU  (Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union) is holding their annual membership meeting is 5:15 PM, January 24 at the PSE Auditorium (MAP) in Bellevue, WA.

Tuesday January 29 in Beacon Hill
Eviction Blockade Nonviolent Direct Action Workshop in Seattle. We need to skill-up to fortify our homes 
and our communities from bank attacks. If you share our sentiments that housing is a human right, dawn your
cape and come for the workshop to stand with us as home defenders! Call the Backbone office (206-408-8058) to reserve a space. 

Call for Training Proposals!
Backbone is creating our training calendar for 2013. If you want to book an Artful Activism workshop or multi-day training designed for the desires, needs, campaign of your community, campus, or organization, PLEASE contact us ASAP so that we can start the organizing process.

Artful Activism News:
Last week Backbone was in Olympia to support the “Meet-n-Greet” rally for climate sanity on the first day of the 2013 Washington State Legislative session. An impressive array of visuals supported the rally, while Bill worked the halls of the Legislature to build support in for repairing Washington’s Community Solar program.Our wonderful affiliated artist, collaborator, and board member Denise Henrikson and friends mobilized an impressive set of dark characters, the Grim Reapers. They had also appeared a few days earlier for a march for gun regulation. The Grim Reapers connect the dots exposing the fatal consequences money in politics. They will have many future appearances, so contact Denise if you’d like to be part of the Grim Reaper ensemble.

Team Backbone builder extraordinaire Rod Tharp made a huge impact on the Olympia rally with his imagery and a human mural. An inspiring visit to Rod’s workshop a few days before revealed other fun projects our unofficial R&D director is up to 😉

CSO Pilot Launched!

Backbone Campaign has begun an exploration of a new model for building a nationally-networked, community-based movement. For a couple years we have been discussing the idea of a network of CSOs, i.e. Community Supported Organizers who would bring together the best of traditional community organizing, artful activism, and community-based funding to support their autonomous work. Now Backbone has picked our first CSO and put “skin in the game” to support him and his work.  

Joshua Farris (Full bio and blog at our new CSO page) is an Iraq war veteran, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, veteran of Occupy and a major force behind the new community-based organization SAFE in Seattle, doing eviction protection using the Boston City Life/Vida Urbana model. Backbone has played an instrumental role assisting this effort and now we are formalizing our commitment to Joshua, through our CSO pilot program. We are creating a matching fund to support Joshua growing his funding base, so that he can remain immersed in the work he is so talented at and dedicated to. Sunday, January 20 we’ll hold a house party in Seattle. If you would like to attend or support our CSO program please email Bill or call the office at 206-408-8058. DONATE to support our CSO Program

Community Solar
Backbone’s Community Solar project on hold while we work to fix the State program. Bill’s recent letter to the community on our solar project explains in detail why we are “pushing pause” and what improvements to the program we are bringing to the Legislature. This week Representative John McCoy submitted a piece of legislation containing a number of these recommendations. We hope that others will be added in the coming weeks. If you would like to help with the effort to build support for these changes in the Legislature and in the Governor’s office, please contact the office.
Bill presented a brief critique and suggested changes, as well as a shared the news about and contents of the new legislation.
Congratulations to our sister project Vashon Solar LLC, who are charging forward with their excellent project. Phase one of their effort started generating electricity on Monday, January 14! They were selected by Solar Washington as Project of the Month. Learn more HERE. A sound file of the entire event and PDF files of Bill and other presenters support materials are HERE. Bill’s presentation begins at the 1 hour, 17 minute mark if you’d like to skip to it. DONATE to support our work to advance community solar in Washington State.The Credit Union

PSCCU’s annual membership meeting is January 24. Last month, PSCCU was notified by a firm that tracks credit union performance that PSCCU ranked 3rd in the nation for membership growth, and 5th in the nation for loan expansion. Many of Backbone’s Vashon members are also now members of the credit union. The addition of the Vashon branch has been a transformative opportunity for PSCCU, and has included significant challenges to which the executive staff, branch employees, and board have faced with skill and grace. The membership meeting will be an opportunity to express your support, gratitude, and suggestions for the coming years.PSCCU’s annual membership meeting is 5:15 PM, January 24 at the PSE Auditorium ( MAP) in Bellevue, WA.

Team Backbone Growing!
Eric Ross, formerly an intern is now Backbone Campaign’s first ever full time staff member (besides Bill). Eric is a long time Backbone Campaign collaborator and a graduate of Naropa University’s Peace Studies program. His incredible dedication to movement building mission of Backbone Campaign and his investment of many months learning the ropes make him a fantastic investment toward Backbone’s growing reach and capacity to deliver to communities and activists around the region and around the country. Due to Eric’s amazing efforts, Backbone Campaign had a presence seven of the nine scoping hearings regarding the proposed Gateway Pacific coal port.

I am also very proud to announce that strategic campaign consultant and expert trainer Kim Marks has agreed to serve as Backbone Campaign’s part-time training director. Kim is helping Backbone tighten up our workshop offerings, formalize our trainer roster, and coordinate our training calendar. She is also working with Bill and the board on strategic planning, staff and board development.

DONATE to support our staff expansion.
Deepest gratitude to all those who made end of year contributions! Acknowledgement letters and other expressions of our gratitude will be coming in the next couple weeks. $5,920 to support our efforts came in the last weeks of December and beginning of January. $3,150 of that was matchable new member donations, bringing the total up to $6,300! Thus our end of year total fundraiser total is $9,070!  

Thanks to you, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and others we are starting the year off with cautious confidence in our ability to expand our impact and deepen our creative offerings to allies new and old. But we will need much more to sustain the new staff levels and grow the CSO program. IF you would be willing to throw a Backbone House Party or help with organizing another event to raise friends and funds, please call Bill Moyer at 206-356-9980, or email him at

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