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GSBN:Check out our newly ugraded website



Dear friends

It has been a while since I took the time to write anything substantive 
to this list and so I've decided to take the occasion of announcing 
DCAT's a newly upgraded website to tell you a bit more about what has 
been happening with us. Below is an excerpt of an announcement we sent 
out a couple of weeks ago to some of our friends and various lists, but I 
realized that I hadn't shared this with this group so now I am. 

First, in relation to the website upgrade, I wanted to let folks know 
that we now have the capability of creating both public and private 
bulletin board/discussion groups in the Forum section of our website. We 
want to make good use of this capacity and particularly offer it to 
groups who may not have the money or resources to establish something 
like this elsewhere or on their own. At the same time, I want to also 
suggest that when there is a need for setting up a private forum, and 
resources are available, that there be some consideration of financial 
support for our costs in providing, maintaining, and hosting this 
resource. 

We are, as most of you who are familar with DCAT know, generous to a 
fault. At the same time, we are facing one of the most financially 
challenging periods in our ten year history as an organization. The 
foundation support that we have relied on primarily for our programs over 
the past few years has been dramatically reduced by the what has happened 
in the stock market. The assets of many of foundations have been 
seriously impacted resulting in fewer and smaller grants being available 
for non-profit groups such as ours, and this has certainly been the case 
for us. Over the past few months I have felt like a manic-depressive -- 
elated over the amazing successes and accomplishments that we are 
enjoying in our work, while watching the bottom fall out of our financial 
support for carrying out or continuing those successful activities. 

We have also found, over this period, amazingly supportive friends in a 
variety of places, who have come forward to help us find our way through 
this current challenge. We know the importance and value of the work 
we've been doing, and we know that there are pathways to find sufficient 
support for it. We have spent much of the past year working on increasing 
our grant outreach to more foundations, developing corporate and 
individual giving programs, trying to ramp up our consulting income, and 
finding other ways to both generate additional income and cut our costs 
and expenses to a minimum. These are starting to show some results, but 
they all take time to develop. We are open to new ideas, partnerships, 
alliances, and opportunities, so please let us know if you have thoughts 
about how best to sustain our work and the organziation.

But beyond all that, I am compelled to say that we are sincerely grateful 
for the connections that we share with so many extraordinary people 
around the world; the friendships, values, collaborative relationships, 
good humor, and the joyous opportunities to do good work with good people 
for the good of everyone. We know that we are blessed to have this kind 
of work to do and a vehicle through which to carry it out. We know that 
we are, even in the hardest of times here, profoundly fortunate, and 
wealthy beyond measure, both materially, in relation to the vast majority 
of people on this planet, and in the more important sense of wealth - in 
the richness of our relationships.

We have much to do to overcome the systemic forces that are working so 
efficiently against the well-being of all of us for the benefit of the 
few. Residing as we do, within the heart of that beast, we also know that 
we share, inherently, in the responsibility for those forces. We 
recognize as well that the changes that must come about will only occur 
if they are based on working with the people, the human beings within the 
inhuman and inhumane systems that we have created, invented, or 
inherited. The work is about systemic change. And that systemic change 
must start with an understanding about the real consequences of what we 
are doing; our responsibility for the unintended and usually unimagined 
results of our cleverness as a species, not just our credit for the 
benefits. But this is a human challenge, and people, not technology, will 
be involved in creating solutions that don't merely create and transfer 
larger, more-complex, or more distant problems to others, including our 
children and grandchildren and all future generations of all species. 

We are challenged and motivated by the need to keep this reality in mind 
as we do our work. We have found in the work we have done with building 
code officials and their organizations, that it is possible and that it 
works powerfully when we understand it, first as heart work, and second 
as technical work. Connecting people to the highest purpose for their 
work - in the case of building officials, to what it is that they really 
care about and are trying to protect, actually enables the majority of 
them to open to change, to become facilitators rather than blockers of 
change - to see beyond merely following the details and rules in the code 
books to the deeper responsibilty they hold. 

Our real task is to help people wake up, open their eyes to the whole 
picture, open their minds to the possibilities, open their hearts to the 
crucial tasks at hand, literally, what each of us can do every day in our 
own work and lives. As Gandhi said, "The difference between what we do 
and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the 
world's problems"

I hope you don't mind my Saturday morning ramblings. Here's the website 
announcement I mentioned above:
_____________________
Dear Friends of DCAT,

We are thrilled to announce that our newly redesigned website, 
www.dcat.net has been launched! For years we have dreamed of having a 
forum to present our work and ideas ... a place where others can find 
comprehensive resources, links and information on sustainable building 
and code issues ... and a network for discussion and exchange.

I am confident that you will be as impressed with the design of this site 
as we are. The homepage is at: <www.dcat.net>, though if you want to 
interact right away, you might check out our discussion/bulletin board 
area in the Forum section 
<www.dcat.net/forum/index.php> or have a look at our current work at 
<http://www.dcat.net/about_dcat/current.php>. You will also find on this 
page a link to our old site, which, while not being maintained or 
updated, has much valuable information that we are in the process of 
reviewing before incorporating into the new website.

We also hope you'll explore the many opportunities available to support 
DCAT's crucial work in facilitating a more sustainable built environment. 
<http://www.dcat.net/support_dcat/your_help.php>, which is more critical 
than ever given the tremendous contraction that has taken place in the 
past year in the assets of private foundations, on whose grants DCAT has 
largely depended over the past few years. We are working hard to 
diversify our support base, while maintaining the high level of integrity 
that has been a hallmark of this organization from the start. 

We are now planning phase II of our web development, including a 
searchable database of green building, code and standards-related 
resources, the addition of a substantial amount of content, and much 
more. Please keep stopping by on your electronic travels!

We are grateful to the Compton Foundation and our other funders, the 
Environmental Education Exchange for project management, Terry Moody for 
her exceptional design artistry, and Jim Storey with WebHouse1616.com for 
providing expert technical and hosting assistance. 

We'd love your feedback!
______________________

David Eisenberg, Director
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 27513, Tucson, AZ  85713
(520) 624-6628 voice / (520) 798-3701 fax
strawnet@...
http://www.dcat.net

The Development Center for Appropriate Technology is a 501(c)(3) 
non-profit organization. Our primary support comes from foundation grants 
and charitable contributions from individuals and businesses, and from 
our educational and training programs and consulting services. Our 
mission is to enhance the health of the planet and our communities by 
promoting a shift to sustainable construction and development practices 
through leadership, strategic relationships, and education. To learn 
about DCAT's work and how you can support it, please visit our website at 
www.dcat.net