Five months later, one frivolous lawsuit filed, two fake FPPC complaints, and a bunch of malicious gossip being generated.. and it still really hasn’t sunk in for me what we actually accomplished. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the best people in Oceanside in pulling off the impossible.
I thought when I started that it WAS impossible. I was told it was not something you can just jump into and pull off, but I figured I’d take a stand. I figured it may get in the news and raise a little awareness.
I figured that people might hear about two women walking around with signs and clipboards and maybe they’d do a little bit of digging, then come away with a better understanding of the issue.
The experts told us don’t bother. They said “I strongly suggest you two don’t attempt this.” We said “Thanks! .. So can we get those clipboards?”
And we walked out to our cars together and I said to my friend “I’m doing this.” And she said “I am too.” And we drove home and started.
No one is more surprised than me that the community rallied around us to the extent that it did, and that people sacrificed to stand outside and talk to complete strangers in the cold and rain.
No one is more surprised than me that we successfully pulled off gathering over 12,000 signatures in 23 days.
I didn’t know the number until minutes before we walked up the steps to city hall to deliver those boxes. I was crying and staring down at this number in disbelief. And I still can’t quite believe it. I don’t know how we did it but we did. So it’s not surprising to me that other people can’t believe it.
But here’s the thing.
Don’t discount the power of this community coming together. That’s the lesson. That’s the secret. That’s the answer.
Hey Oceanside, you guys did this. All of you. Everyone who got a packet. Everyone who got even one signature. Everyone who commented on facebook. Everyone who taped up a sign. Everyone who walked a neighborhood. Everyone who printed out paperwork. Everyone who gave their contact info and said “Yes, I’ll help!”
Everyone of you guys did this. You did the impossible. You pulled it off. So.. thank you.
Thank you for believing in something that seemed impossible. Thank you for giving up your own comfort and safety to walk around and get sigs. Thank you for showing up to last minute meetings. Thank you for donating. Thank you for speaking up even now, months later when someone lies about us. Thank you for trusting the team leaders. Thank you for staying out “just one more hour.” Thank you for your integrity. Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for your efforts.
And through it all… through the scary parts like where someone sent in people to intimidate our volunteers (who ended up not just intimidating but also assaulting five women), and through the confusing parts where it seemed no one was in charge.. and maybe everyone was in charge.. and through the unsure parts where no one knew how many packets were done or if we were even close…?
Through it all, you guys kept going out and getting signatures.
So, I just wanted to thank you.
You are the best and the brightest, the most awesome people I’ve ever met.
You are the smart, accomplished, brave, talented, educated, engaged, and passionate people of Oceanside.
And you don’t back down from gossip or bullies. Even when the gossip sounds horrible and the bullies commit assaults. You don’t back down. You push back harder.
So I’ll just take your cue, and that’s why I’m not backing down either. I’ll take the heat. And I hope you’ll vote no No NO on North River Farms in November; why?
Because we won’t get fooled again.
Kathryn Carbone, Founder
Save Our Farmland 1423238
Grassroots Political Action Committee