Dr. Elizabth Jphnson tweet
SSV’s inaugural WET Talk features
California water deity Felicia Marcus
and extended Q&A plus news of the Water(Round)Table.
Free to the first hundred. Sign up below to RSVP.
We will email a webinar link the week beforehand. 


Dear Friend of SSV,

We approached this newsletter very, very excited about kicking off our WET Talks series on water, environment and technology issues (see above, act now!) where we will also introduce our first Water(Round)Table on reuse issues. 

BUT other big stuff is happening, too, presenting us with a veritable turducken of tragic distraction. We would LOVE to focus on water, but alas, we must also deal with the other kinds of waves …modern versions of the 1918 Flu outbreak, the 1929 Depression & the 1968 Riots…a full-blown global pandemic inside a slower-moving but all-encompassing climate disaster inside of the inevitable, heart-wrenching, body-counting resolution of the tragic foundational crack in our otherwise proud democracy: Slavery.Even before our country’s beginning, the founders made a deal with the devil that has finally come due. Eleven clauses in the US Constitution protected slave property and the powers of masters. One of them, the infamous “three-fifths” clause, falsely promised to sunset the “peculiar institution” at the cost of inflating taxation and representation, adding enormously to slave-state power in the formative years of the republic. As a result, basic agreements on foundational federal law like the commerce clause, export duties and militias each came at the very steep cost of accommodation, with the result of constitutionalizing and hardwiring slavery into the very workings of  our government. 

The cost: the bloodiest of Civil Wars. Protracted battles against Reconstruction. Jim Crow. Confederate monuments. Segregated Army units. The Great Northward Migration. Marches from Selma to Montgomery. Riots from Newark to Watts. Civil and Voting rights given and taken away. 

George Floyd
Breonna Taylor
Ahmaud Arbery
Eric Garner
Michael Brown
Oscar Grant
& so many, many more… 

In his famous letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King had hoped “that the white moderate would understand that law and order exists for the purpose of establishing justice and when…it fails in this purpose it becomes the dangerously structured dam that blocks the flow of social progress.”

Readers of tis newsletter should be familiar with the threat of dangerously structured dams and know that they need to be torn down to the root and restructured lest they catastrophically fail. As goes infrastructure (witness Anderson), so goes social justice and civil society. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll stand for anything.We all need to stand up for these rights. Right now.

Sisyphus struggling to keep that rock up from further falling down the mountain of Maslow’s HierarchySo what to do after the smoke clears, the news cycle moves on and the politics of distraction takes over? Here is one useful suggestion: 8CANTWAIT.org. A very solid, smart, well-researched package of 8 steps city police departments can take today to cease being part of the problem. Shovel-ready policy, if you will, with tons of papers and reams of statistical backup. There is even a quick look up feature to see who your locality is doing. Just add public will, broad community support and sustained effort in your town. There is no good reason to not get this done!


Lastly, so much time is spent within the larger water universe talking about effective communication and community outreach. We would like to give  a special shout out to the youth leaders of the recent activity across the Bay Area. From Oakland to the Mission to both EPA and Palo Alto, San Jose, Redwood City, Fremont and Walnut Creek, they kept things disciplined and on message. Very well done!

Next time I promise Water Talk.
Remember to RSVP for WET ⬆️ .
   Dennis Murphy