This June during Food & Water Watch Member Month, we are celebrating the people who make our fight for a livable future possible. That’s you! Each of our members brings something special to our fight. We want to share with you some of their stories. It’s one of the ways we say Thank You for making our work possible.
In this video, you’ll hear from Natalie, a member of the Food & Water Watch Leaders Circle, and Jolene, our Virginia Organizer, about what inspires them to make a difference.
For 15 years and counting, Food & Water Watch has been mobilizing people to stand up and “fight like we live here”. Our philosophy? We can beat special interests when we stand together; each member grows our collective power. Together, we can – and will – win clean water, safe food, and a livable climate.
At Food & Water Watch, our work mirrors the character of our members:
- Our members are dreamers who envision a brighter future.
- Our members believe in the power of community.
- Our members are compassionate and intelligent: critical thinkers and feelers.
- Our members are brave in the face of our world’s toughest environmental challenges, and are dedicated to making a difference.
Community organizing brings people together. That’s why Food & Water Watch Leaders Circle member, Daniel Tahara, dove into local organizing this past year. It’s a path Daniel started down after he began donating to Food & Water Watch and discovered our theory of change.
As a San Francisco software engineer, Daniel internalized the Silicon Valley ethos: work on the biggest problem at the biggest scale. Daniel applied that ethos to fighting climate change, as he looked to national organizations focused on federal legislation. He learned that every Food & Water Watch staff member is trained through the book Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. He read it cover-to-cover and implemented it in his local climate group.
Daniel says Food & Water Watch and this manual transformed his activism: “I didn’t know what to do. I thought, let me read this book and try something. I tried to take the group through it, and it helped. [The San Francisco Climate Emergency Coalition] went from an informal rag-tag band to a slightly larger group with a real goal. It shaped my 2020 approach to organizing.”
By applying what he learned from Food & Water Watch, Daniel used the joy of community – forged virtually – to endure months of quarantine.
“I read Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction and knew my life would never be the same. I threw myself into the environmental movement figuring out as I went along what my role would be in the fight. I’m a photographer by trade and an animal lover at heart. So, I first tried to rally other artists to the cause, and then realized I needed to align with an organization that had the vision and tools necessary to take on the biggest fight of our lives. I’ve found that group in Food & Water Watch. Food & Water Watch sees that to stop the burning of fossil fuels, you have to also transition from factory farms, because the two are interlinked. It’s that kind of vision that I want to support with my dollars and my time.”
“I am a proud supporter of Food & Water Watch, an effective organization that safeguards basic, life sustaining elements, food and water. I especially admire Food & Water Watch’s research and work on banning fracking. As a climate activist, I appreciate Food & Water Watch’s leadership, whether it is from Executive Director, Wenonah Hauter, or my local Virginia Organizer, Jolene Mafnas. I’ve worked together with Jolene, from volunteering to organize meetings with legislators in support of Virginia’s Green New Deal legislation, to celebrating the successful stop of the Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) Interconnect Pipeline in Virginia! All in all, Food & Water Watch organizers on the ground do outstanding work, and are extremely strategic and effective.
Food & Water Watch gives citizens concerned about climate change opportunities to act. I am very hopeful for more progress locally in Virginia, and nationally to make the transition off fossil fuels to clean renewable sources of energy.”
“Writing a check is easy. The scope and focus of your work are why I support Food & Water Watch. I hope I live long enough to see the end of factory farms and mistreatment of animals across the board. The thanks belong to the dedicated members and staff of Food & Water Watch who give so much in pursuit of a healthy, sustainable environment. I am grateful to all of you in your efforts to make a better world for my grandchildren!”
June is Member Month! Join or upgrade your membership with a gift today!