Well, it’s been quite a week. Fear. Hope. Anxiety. Laughter. Stress. Confinement.
It’s all there, swirling around in our busy minds.
What’s uplifting us and keeping us focused is seeing the overwhelming desire from Austinites to serve our local community. Everyone is so genuinely looking for ways to make a positive impact, which is something we’ve been helping people do for more than a decade. Seeing the outpouring of generosity and goodwill from our community has inspired us to do even more.
So here’s what we’re up to…
1. We’re launching The Austin Common website early.
When we first came to you with this idea nearly a year ago, we said that the entire reason for our rebrand/ relaunch was to serve the community better. Well, we can’t think of a time when the community needs our well-researched, community-based, and actionable information more than now, so here it is.
Introducing The Austin Common, the local news site designed to help you be informed and make a difference.
PS – We are launching the website and newsletter (which will now be called The Weekly Common) a few weeks earlier than expected, which means it’s still very much in beta mode, so please be patient with the occasional glitch and help us improve things by pointing out anything that doesn’t work/ could be better by emailing us at email@example.com
PPS – An extreme amount of gratitude goes out to Kourtney Elaine, who was the visual designer for the new website and is helping to make local news more engaging, relevant, and even a little fun.
2. We’re offering open access to our online membership club while social distancing is in place.
If you’ve been keeping up with our announcements, you know that we’ve also been working on launching two individual membership clubs – The Common Club and the Common Good Professional Network.
We also weren’t planning on launching these quite yet, but given our collective need for support, guidance, and community, we decided we couldn’t wait any longer. For the time being, we’ll have one club that everyone can join, committed to one goal – creating a Guide To Community Resiliency, together.
The standard price for our individual membership clubs is $120/ a year, but given the urgent need for this kind of digital community, we’ll be waiving our usual membership fee for anyone who wants to join. However, if you are able to contribute financially, we ask that you please do. Like so many others, we have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and after 16 years of community service, are finding ourselves wondering how we’ll be able to survive.
When you sign up, you’ll gain access to our private Slack Channel and Facebook Group where you’ll be able to:
Engage in important conversations around building community resiliency, with a special focus on topics like – urban gardening & food preservation, policy, resource management, climate change, equity, lessons learned from history/ other times of crisis
Share your own stories of personal and community resilience, as well as gain inspiration by listening to others
Learn from fellow Austinites and share your own unique skills of resilience – gardening, creative reuse, harvesting and saving seeds, etc.
Listen in to video interviews (conducted by Austin Common staff) with community activists, historians, and policy makers who have insights to share on how we can get through this crisis now and become more resilient in the future.
Regular action items that you can take from home to help yourself and others through these uncertain times
Our goal is that by the end of this crisis, we’ll have created a powerful resource (and community behind it) that we can share with our fellow Austinites and cities around the world so that we can be stronger in the face of an uncertain future.
3. We’re using our platform to allow local businesses and nonprofits to share the best ways we can all support/interact with them during these difficult times.
One of the foundations of The Austin Common is to support local businesses, government departments, and nonprofits who are doing good – for their customers, employees, community, and the planet. Normally, we do that through our partnership program, in which these organizations pay an annual fee (which helps support our work) and in exchange, get promotional support from us.
While social distancing is in place, we will promote these exceptional local organizations, but we won’t require payment for the service.
So, if you’re a local business or nonprofit who needs support, is hosting virtual events, or has other announcements to share, fill out this form and let us know how we can help. We’ll then share that info with our large readership base of over 10,000 Austinites.
Of course, if your organization is in a position to sign up now, we’d love to get you started with the full benefits of partnership. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
PS – If you frequently posted on AustinEcoNetwork.com, you should still be able to login to the new site. However, if you’re having trouble, just fill out the form above and we’ll be sure to add your virtual events/ announcements for you. Also, keep an eye on your inbox because we’ll be sending video instructions on how to use the new website soon.