Build Better Communities

ACTIVIST TOOLKIT — Empowering ideas and information 

Fodor and Associates Eben Fodor and Associates specializes in cost effective community planning emphasizing growth management and environmentally sustainable solutions. Fodor & Associates offers technical skills in engineering, economics, resource management, and urban planning.  They research, write and post detailed studies on the full costs of growth on their website. Fodor’s book is an excellent handbook for community activists. Read, Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community. 

Strong Towns — The mission of Strong Towns is to support a model for growth that allows America’s towns to become financially strong and resilient. The American approach to growth is causing economic stagnation and decline along with land use practices that force a dependency on public subsidies. The inefficiencies of the current approach have left American towns financially insolvent, unable to pay even the maintenance costs of their basic infrastructure. A new approach that accounts for the full cost of growth is needed to make our towns strong again.

Oregon Communities for a Voice in Annexations City Councils decide to annex land whenever they believe more population growth or more commercial/industrial development is necessary. Annexations impact every dimension of community life but few communities allow citizens to decide where their community should grow or if taxpayers can afford to fund more growth.

Oregon is a Home Rule state so citizens living in Oregon cities and towns can petition for the right to vote as each annexation is proposed or they can petition to amend their City Charter and gain the right to vote on ALL annexations. Amending the City Charter gives considerable power to local taxpayers. Councils no longer decide on annexations, the people do.

The OCVA website offers “everything you need to know” about mounting a campaign for voter annexation in Oregon. The ideas and information are useful wherever you live.

Corvallis Sustainability Coalition (Oregon) — The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is a network of more than 200 businesses, non-profits, faith communities, educational institutions and local governments and individuals in Corvallis, Oregon, brought together to accelerate progress toward a sustainable community.

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies — BALLE believes that local, independent businesses are more than employers and profit-makers; they are neighbors, community builders and the starting point for social innovation, aligning commerce with the common good and bringing transparency, accountability, and a caring human face to the marketplace.