Jim Bell, ecological designer
Another significant San Diego Activist. His HQ is on Voltaire street in OB just down from Ocean Beach People's Co-op, and from the Green Store. OB could be called a surfer & transient & dog ghetto, with a few green and progressive people hanging on below the noise of the overhead jet traffic. I wish Colleen Dietzel of the Green Store had a web site to link to-- I visit her when I'm there and the store is open and help feed the fleas which live in her carpet and which usually have only a scrawny, perhaps vegan cat to chew on.
What are differences between these independents and the institutionalized? The Green Store reminds me of Bill's urban ecology storefront in Seattle on University Ave, which I liked a lot when I was there. I can't find Bill on the web, and only UW's (neglected?) urban ecology center shows up.
Jim Bell, at any rate, seems to be another hard worker outside of any sort of organization but his own. He also runs as green candidate for various things (mayor at least). I hear he's looking for interns, or was. His new book, Long Range Planning, Creating a Sustainable Economy and Future in the San Diego/Tijuana Region A Case Study, which I haven't read, impresses me at least with its ambition, and seems to be the thing we need more of. When I last walked by his HQ, on September 18, 2004, they were having a good-sized eco-party there later in the afternoon. I didn't see anyone at the time, but was moved to wonder at who these people are and how it is they keep doing what they do...
I guess it isn't that amazing. But I'm not doing it. And when someone has vision or madness--I guess it is just vision and patience to work with institutions and political systems--to attempt something like "Creating a Sustainable Economy and Future in the San Diego/Tijuana Region," or building a carfree city, I at the least nod in respect and some wonder.