The Path of Transition Port Angeles

The Path of Transition Port Angeles

This Document

This governing document lays out the path of Transition Port Angeles, its overall focus, its general methods, and its forward momentum. However, we are not placing limits upon our collaboration, nor upon how we unleash the genius of groups. Rather, we take steps to ensure a thriving, organic, resilient, life-affirming, and ambitious collaborative process.

Transition Port Angeles

We are not an organization, we are a movement, and our name is Transition Port Angeles. We are also a part of the global Transition movement, focused on Port Angeles, Washington.

It is a convention within the Transition movement to use the term Initiative when defining member movements, which we embrace fully. Throughout the Charter we will refer to ourselves interchangeably as Transition Port Angeles, or the Initiative.

The purpose of Transition Port Angeles is to empower and embolden our community to tackle global challenges by local action, challenges which sparked the creation of the Transition movement.

Our Common Challenges

The Transition movement explicitly identifies three challenges: peak oil, climate change, and economic instability. How or why these challenges have emerged is a completely separate issue from the imperative that they are addressed in a constructive and community-driven manner.

To those challenges, we add a fourth: social polarization. This is a unique challenge, separate from the other three and desperately needing its own approach. A divisive framing of concepts and controversies has created this polarization, which can interfere with the natural human process of community-building. Social polarization can also complicate responses to the other challenges we face. We will seek to meet this challenge through reconciliation: In a locally-focused future, we must all live together as tolerant neighbors in an inclusive Port Angeles.

We seek to embrace these four challenges as opportunities. Through these opportunities, we hope to inspire, encourage, network, support, and teach each other as we transform Port Angeles and help create a thriving, resilient future.


Our vision is to see the revitalization of Port Angeles as a desirable place to live, where people can thrive personally and socially in a resilient, relocalized economy. We want to build a Port Angeles that elicits the enthusiasm and loyalty of its citizens; a Port Angeles that people find attractive as a place to visit or to make their home. Our longer term vision also includes the intention to see Port Angeles recognized as a vibrant and exemplary member of the global Transition movement.


Our immediate mission is to build a Transition US-recognized Transition Initiative focused on the area of the 98362 and 98363 zip codes. In order to ensure the resilience of our community, this geographic area is naturally our foremost concern. Our initial Transition plans and activities will be focused on the current and future well-being and resilience of all people residing in these zip codes.

The following concerns will then be undertaken at a later date when the Initiative is on a strong and growing footing.

Once Transition Port Angeles is well-rooted in the combined 98362-98363 area, we will begin outreach to Sequim, Washington, as well as other nearby towns in Clallam County, to help our neighboring communities build their own Transition Initiatives. We have a vested interest in helping our neighboring communities secure their own resilient futures, as the future of Port Angeles hinges upon their success as well as our own.

Pending the success of this outreach, our follow-on mission will be to build a permanent Regional Hub, centered in Port Angeles. The mission of this Regional Hub will be to provide support and expertise to Initiatives within a larger geographic area to be determined. We believe our unique location, as well as the fact that Port Angeles is the county seat for Clallam County, makes this eventual project a natural outgrowth of the Initiative. Additionally, the Regional Hub will collaborate as closely as possible with the Transition Victoria Regional Initiative, due to the shared bioregion and natural affinity between Port Angeles and Victoria.


           Overall Objective

The overall objective of Transition Port Angeles is to facilitate a robust, thriving, and resilient community, and to become an integral part of that community. We endeavor to strengthen the welfare of all the city’s residents, encourage their cultures, and respect the diversity of the people, our unique region, and our place in the biosphere. We wish to promote harmony, security and happiness amongst us and coming generations.

This is a process, not a destination. Building community is an organic process, evolving as new situations arise and people come and go. Therefore any process which seeks to support and facilitate community is itself organic.

Beyond this, the Initiative has no further objectives. Its concrete work will be carried out by the Working Groups, which are defined by the governing document Working Groups Form and Process.

           Specific Objectives

Only Working Groups will have objectives other than the Initiative-wide objective above. Obviously, every objective must be in keeping with the spirit of the Charter and the Transition process. An objective can bring new facets and understanding to that spirit, without at all working outside or against it. This is a natural facet of the creative group process, and will also bring new depth to that process.

Objectives of Working Groups must be real and concrete, directly applicable to their particular projects. These projects interact, support, and build upon one another, in much the same way as groups are more than the sum of the people within them. This concert of individual Working Groups and their projects will tackle the Initiative’s overall objective.

There are temporary exceptions to the above paragraph, with a strong emphasis on temporary. Both the Initiating Group* and Steering Group* will themselves have objectives, but only in the context of each group evolving into its dissolution. For the good of the entire Initiative, no objective that works against this end is allowed.

*The Initiating Group is defined by the governing document Initiating Group Form, Process, and Demise. The Steering Group is defined by the governing document Steering Group Form, Process, and Demise.


           The 12 Ingredients

We explicitly embrace the 12 Ingredients as listed and described in The Transition Handbook. We believe that these are the best way to approach both objectives and the Transition process itself. Although we understand that the 12 Ingredients might change in the future, we feel their usefulness in their present form has been well tested by the global Transition movement.

           Proactive Decisions

We face a future with potentially severe consequences, due to the dynamic, complex, and unpredictable interaction of the four challenges discussed earlier. This roiling will prove deeply damaging to Port Angeles if ignored; equally damaging would be a reactive, ‘put out the fire’ approach. It is imperative that our community not be taken by surprise, but make proactive decisions and instead embrace well thought out changes to our lives.

A proactive stance requires that we start immediately planning and changing the way we do things. Port Angeles has many strengths and assets, and collaboration works far better proactively, rather than in reflexive or reactive manners. We must begin with what we have, and work toward what we want.

Part of being proactive is to confront the comfortable but unrealistic notion that “someone else will take care of these problems.” We are the “someone else.” We cannot afford to wait for government to take action; when they finally do, it will be too little and too late. We also cannot effectively act as individuals. Only together will our efforts be just enough, and just in time.

By unleashing the collective community genius, we hope to creatively and proactively build the resiliency of Port Angeles, and facilitate its flowering. We have the opportunity to develop ways of living which are not only happier, healthier, and more creative, but also ways which prove so much more satisfying than the present that we’ll ask ourselves why we didn’t do this sooner.

           Raise Awareness

Every group within Transition Port Angeles, from the Working Groups to the Initiating, Steering, or Core Group*, must strive to raise awareness of our four common challenges. Overall, it is expected that all groups will creatively raise awareness of our common challenges by whichever means the groups feel is most appropriate to their respective objectives.

*The Core Group is defined in the governing document Core Group Form and Process.

To this end, the Initiative will provide programs and events to raise awareness of these challenges in constructive, confident, and positive manners, including talks, film screenings, parties, potlucks, fairs, workshops, Transition-related courses (for example, Transition LAUNCH and Transition THRIVE), and other welcoming, inclusive events.

The nature of these programs and events will be left to the organizing group or groups. Clearly, an event which is vital to one Working Group might not necessarily be useful to another Working Group without negatively impact their contributions to the Initiative itself.

The Initiative as a whole also will operate whatever information sharing methods or platforms deemed appropriate, including websites, blogs, social media accounts, articles and interviews, event calendars, posters, informal meet-ups, and so on.

Working Groups are encouraged, but not required, to establish their own information sharing methods and platforms, although the benefits of doing so are quite high. For example, a network of social media accounts, blogs, and websites of most – if not all – Working Groups will provide a deeper and broader insight into the Initiative, and help spark creative sharing of ideas and information.

           Grow the Movement

Collectively, Transition Port Angeles has four responsibilities to the Transition movement.

  • First, ensure the Initiative is healthy, vibrant, broadening, and deepening.

The Transition process is an attempt to facilitate a dynamic, community-driven reorganization which is being used world-wide. The very existence of Transition Port Angeles will help bolster the existence of other Initiatives globally. Our successes (and failures) will help facilitate success elsewhere. Collaboration, encouragement, and facilitation are are all key: The more individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions collaborate and coöperate, the easier it will be to realize a better future.

  • Second, encourage and support the adoption of the Transition model in other communities, and assist existing Initiatives as possible.

The future stability and resilience of Port Angeles rests not only upon itself, but upon the stability and resilience of surrounding communities. Thus, Transition Port Angeles will seek to encourage communities to adopt – and adapt – the Transition model as their response to our common challenges, and to support that adoption. We will also collaborate with fellow Transition Initiatives at regional, national and global levels.

  • Third, share all possible information about the Initiative with the entire Transition movement.

Even failures can help bring about success, when we are prepared to learn from them. New directions and best practices are found by discovering and sharing bad directions and worst practices. We will strive to be a living, breathing template for the Transition movement by sharing the ideas, information, objectives, successes, failures, tools, and techniques we experience.

  • Fourth, ‘seed’ awareness of the Transition movement’s message of positive, life-affirming, and proactive community-based responses to common challenges.

We firmly believe that the Transition model currently represents the most effective approach for tackling our common challenges. When engaging with individuals, groups, communities, organizations, and institutions, we will seek to seed the ideas and spirit of the Transition movement. As gardening teaches us, the more seeds spread in the soil, the more bountiful the harvest.

           Build the Future

Just like facilitating community is a process, not a destination, building the future is likewise a process. As Transition Port Angeles broadens and deepens, the genius of our community will be increasingly energized. This will result in an ambitious and holistic plan for the entirety of Port Angeles, focused on creating our own objectives, processes, and projects to address the four common challenges.

Within the Transition movement, this is typically called an Energy Descent Action Plan, or EDAP. We use this for convenience, recognizing that the name might become something else entirely.

The EDAP for Port Angeles will emerge from the enormous work and countless hours by individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions. The EDAP will represent a powerful affirmation of the concept that global problems can best be solved by local action and will include concrete objectives and projects for:

  • Decarbonizing our lives – reducing our dependence on fossil fuels in response to peak oil.
  • Increasing our resilience – making our lives more resistant to unexpected natural shocks.
  • Strengthening our local economy – making our local economy our primary economy in response to economic instability.
  • Healing our community – bridging the tensions and conflicts created by social polarization.

This is where the real work of Transition Port Angeles will begin. Here is where sleeves will be rolled up, trees planted, and new ways of life pursued. What is called the Great Reskilling – when we learn new bodies of skills for the relocalized future, like canning, gardening, and bicycle repair – begins, and the EDAP is our living, breathing blueprint. It is the first step toward a future so attractive, life-affirming, and fulfilling, our lives will be a joy and a pleasure.

Affirmation of this Document

In the spirit of the future we wish to facilitate, we affirm our whole-hearted support of this constituent governing document of the Charter of Transition Port Angeles by our signatures:


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