David and Laura Rusch of Culver City generously hosted 15 Solar Rights Alliance Members at their home this Sunday. The purpose was for area solar users to meet each other, share their reasons for going solar, and learn more about how they can stand up for solar rights.
David Rusch did a great job recruiting his friends and neighbors to attend. He passed out flyers to every house in the neighborhood that had solar panels - about 100 total. He emailed and called all of his acquaintances from work and life. And we also emailed Solar Rights Alliance members in the area. It wasn't a lot of work, actually. But it made all the difference.
In this day and age, it is tough to get people to get off their phones and computers and actually show up. So it is really powerful when people do. It was really inspiring to greet attendees who had only been a name on a screen until then. And it was brave of attendees to come and meet strangers -- all in the name of defending solar rights.
The event itself was really interesting IMO. Everyone had a powerful reason for going solar that connected with their values. For some, it was about independence and sticking it to the utility. For others, it was about protecting the environment. A few people are on the cutting edge, generating solar to power their electric cars. A few have not yet gone solar, but came to learn more.
Some people shared issues they are having - Marita is dealing with an apartment being built next door that will shade her roof. At the House Party she met Joel, who has decades of expertise with these kinds of legal and political matters. Joel gave Marita very detailed advice, and we hope she can work something out with the developer and protect her investment.
Because we are all about action, everybody took five minutes to send an email to their state legislators in support of the Solar Bill of Rights.
Everybody made specific commitments to defend solar, beyond just clicking emails. Clicks are important, but we stressed the power of leaving the computer screen to make phone calls and show up. Some people pledged to make more calls, others to attend their lawmakers' town hall meetings or attend a Sacramento Lobby Day. Drue will encourage her book club to join Solar Rights Alliance. Anita and LeRoy pledged to host their own House Party in August!
The discussion was lively, the questions were sharp and opinions where strong and respectful. It is a beautiful thing when fellow citizens gather together to make a difference. I hope to attend more of these events in the coming months.
If you are interested in hosting a House Party in your neighborhood, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.