Principles of the Cascadia Movement
The Cascadia Movement is based around several different key principles and goals that break global issues down to a local level. These principles are lightweight, dynamic and flexible - meant to assist organizers in each watershed best adapt these issues to their own needs and backgrounds.
This strategy gives our movement many distinct advantages such as giving our groups and supporters a dynamic and flexible organizational model that is able to reflect the needs and priorities of the communities and regions in which they live and are working. The distinction between set policies - and principles, an underlying framework on which decisions can be based, are instead an expression of our shared values and insights. This delegates power to local decision makers, and allows them to respond appropriately to conditions set before them and which are often times unforeseen.
Concrete policies can be incredibly divisive. We cannot set one unified platform that will be perfectly applicable 100% of the time, nor should we try. This encourages factionalization with members and groups attempting to impose their will on a larger body, whether relevant, necessary or not. Indeed in a truly democratic society, it must be individuals and localities that have the final say in the governing systems which are appropriate for their region and the priorities established by those living there. Laying out a set of principles allows us to effectively challenge and break down many of the dominant political discourses prevalent in our society today, agree on a organizational framework representative of our needs and values, and the ability to organize in a system mutual support and voluntary association, prioritized in a dynamic and flexible model that empowers our members, and is strengthened by our diversity of opinions, instead of weakened.
An Organizational Rubric
Together, this creates an organizational rubric that can guides our actions, decisions, and movement so that we can support projects and ideas that are:
Amplifying Voices - Every community has a voice and can be heard, leads on issues that are important to them, and are supported where they identify and our energies overlap. Amplify voices for those who may not have it, and make tools accessible that every group or person need, but few have access too.
Bioregional – Shift our impact from the global to the local, into a bioregional framework. Use the Cascadia bioregion as a framework to break global issues down to a local level, and can help connect people with those already making changes happen, which can help citizens or consumers have a greater say over their buying decisions or impacts, and works to increase transparency and accountability.
Compassionate, Kind & Respectful - to ourselves and others.
Data Driven & Measureable - Be open about our processes, learn from what is working, and build models we can share with others.
Democratic & Grassroots - A movement of leaders where every person and community can stand up around issues they care about, have democratic decision making and be held accountable for their actions and impacts.
Diverse & Inclusive – For a broad diversity of ideas, approaches, backgrounds and contexts. Reject any effort to disenfranchise or target any particular group or community based on gender, race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or ability.
Ethical - Non-exploitative, equitable, just.
Growing Shared Identity - Positive, inclusive, rooted in a love of place, to protect what we find special, or rooted in a vision for the future for something we can be working towards.
Independent - Support the sustainability, autonomy, and independence of the Cascadia bioregion.
Interdepedent - increases intrabioregional cooperation in areas of planning, research, building, growth, policy planning and disaster management, in manners that are cooperative, mutually supportive and non-exploitative within watersheds and ecoregions in the Cascadia bioregion.
Learning & Sharing - from models in line with our principles that are working from around the world. Build responsible and ethical models on a local level, which we can share with other bioregions, or that help us fit into a global framework in a way that is responsible, non-exploitative and sustainable. Support the birth of bioregional movements, and the creation of a connected network of bioregional movements working together for healthier inhabitants, community and word.
Open Source – All work or research is open, public and available for educational purposes. We want every person or group to be able to re-use the work we do and help build greater resources available for education and action.
Promoting Community and Friendship - To build bonds between individuals, causes and groups, and strengthen the bonds against the fragmentation that occurs in our society.
Protecting the Individual - Expands civil liberties, privacy, data protection, rights and freedom of Cascadian inhabitants. Increases the livelihood or well being of the people living within the Cascadia bioregion.
Protecting the Bioregion - Expands protections and promotes policy that increases the livelihood, and well being of the land and inhabitants of the Cascadia bioregion themselves.
Protecting the Planet - Promotes policies on a local level that are shown to help alleviate or decreases causes of global symptoms and issues, whether they are apparent in the bioregion or not, through a data driven approach.
Resilient - Local autonomy and resilieince that minimizes national, international and local crises, and enables Cascadia to recover quickly, and equitably.
Supporting Sovereignty – A just, equitable society that addresses injustices and inequality in the past, present, or in the future – devolves decision making to those most affected, and celebrates the amazing diversity of our bio-regions inhabitants – people and other.
Watershed Devolutions - Devolve power from existing state or national actors towards watershed governance, move us from national/state borders, boundaries or representation which are arbitrary, negative or non-representative towards local and community empowerment, and bioregional and watershed borders that better reflect our ecology, geography, culture, economy and the people living here, and grow the systems we want to see, watershed by watershed, through small decentralized action.
Zero Waste, Future Positive - Is carbon neutral, has a zero waste, no impact or net-positive result. To have food and energy independence based on renewable resources, and and economic resiliency and autonomy.