Alaska Brief–August

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First, I must thank the Trustees for Alaska team. I took a sabbatical this summer to ground myself in the things I love, and get recharged for the continuing onslaught of bad governmental decision making. Valerie Brown is a fabulous legal director who kept all the plates spinning, including mine!

The attorneys are doing amazing work and the development, communications and office team made sure infrastructure kept running at peak level.

Taking stock

While all of that was happening, I took a cooking class in Italy, tended my garden at home, spent time with my family, and hit the road in Alaska.

Along the way, I took stock and came to understand that I feel both confident in my ability to set and achieve goals by ambitiously challenging myself, and content with who I am and how I view success–even in hard times like these.

Living is not a competitive sport, after all. You can play and enjoy competition, of course, but it makes no sense to take a “win/lose” view of a world imbued with a spectrum of experiences and choices. To believe that “getting ahead” means knocking someone down and keeping them there ensures that no one gets ahead and breeds moral bankruptcy.

Re-imagining our future

Yes, the world is chaotic–more and more by the moment–but what we need is a rising tide that lifts all boats and builds resilient communities that can respond to the challenges ahead and the challenges right in front of us.

Nothing is ever “either/or,” and I encourage everyone to question all binary choices. Good ideas and solutions come from broad thinking, and that is how we will achieve justice and sustainability across many issues.

We need to regain the ability to imagine and work toward the just world we envision, to stand up to bullies using racism and exploitation to foment dissension, and reach for change to address the climate crisis that is right now having devastating impacts on fish, wildlife, lands, and communities in Alaska.

In the work we do here at Trustees, we often rally and toil in the processes and actions set up to allow corporations to make a lot money. They do so by exploiting natural systems that have provided for the people and animals living in Alaska.

Wealth is infinite

Seeing wealth as money and property is too simplistic a view for our complex society and economy. Wealth is actually infinite when you recognize it as knowledge and contribution, sharing and teaching. To see wealth this way requires us to think about remedy and restoration before tearing things up. It is not the “developers” who are there for the remedy and restoration–they run away with the profit and leave some devastating costs for the rest of society to bear.

Think about it: corporations were created precisely to shift financial andmoral liability to a faceless “entity” rather than to individual people. These non-people, by design, are disengaged from the harm they do and their responsibility for it–despite the people in charge of them.

When we set up a system that allows us to disengage from the damage we do and stop caring about people we don’t know and those who come after us, we alienate ourselves from our connection to the planet we call home and to other people around the world. That’s how we got into our messes.

Here at Trustees, we work to not get into these messes in the first place. And your help and support is vital to fighting for that and working toward connection and solutions. Thank you!
Vicki Clark
Executive Director
PS: Your support of Trustees for Alaska is critical now more than ever. 

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