In Martin’s memory, we continue.
It’s hard for me to think of the Alliance without Martin. He was integral to nearly every aspect of it from its inception. Martin died last month on August the 7th. Since I’m taking over the office management and bookkeeping, I recently received the files from Martin’s house. Neatly organized in one folder near the front are several pieces Martin wrote and a couple of documents. They appear to be intentionally placed for us to find, perhaps for us to receive his final contributions about what he thinks may be particularly important to us going forward.
That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to move forward remembering our history and keeping in mind the wisdom of those who have gone before. I quote one of Martin’s pieces:
“The Alliance continues to support the many and varied sustainability efforts of individuals, groups, communities, sustainable businesses, farms, constituencies. And, as has been our joint aims, we both pursue the positive outcomes the sustainability movement seeks as well as to effectively oppose threats to sustainability coming from the entrenched system. And we believe more than ever that collective organizing and action are needed to be effective.
We therefore continue to work to unite efforts, promoting connections and collaborations, always seeking to educate, communicate, advocate, always seeking to create more effective and empowering organizational structures, that is, the means for taking action – in the form of working groups, programs, collaboratives.”Martin Boksenbaum
For those who don’t know Martin, he was a visionary who worked with others to form the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley, and he was deeply involved in almost every aspect — from developing the Alliance’s Declaration of Principles and its Vision, Mission, and Goals to its many current programs. Martin played key roles in focusing attention on corporations, raising awareness of the importance of healthy food, developing the annual Directory of Organizations that Promote Sustainable Communities (now the Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet), establishing the Sustainability Commons and other collaboration efforts, and fostering our extensive internship program. He was a leader of the Beyond Capitalism Working Group of the Alliance and helped publish and edit Left Turn. One of his most recent contributions was the innovative SouthSide Together program that brought people, community groups, enterprises, non-profits, institutions, and agencies together to share and exchange ideas.
At first, to help when Martin was ill, and now, in our grief, many of us are working hard to plan for the future of the Alliance and the influence that we may have on the Lehigh Valley. Join us. We need all who are called to help.