Although many people arrived in the Land of Shum as refugees from activism and ready to sit down on a rock and think for several years, the need for activism soon engulfed them, ready or not. From environmental issues such as preservation of ancient forests, advocating for alternative forms of energy and reviving and preserving rivers to civil rights and peace issues, many of the new residents organized quickly and continued their quest for social change.
The Citizens Observation Group was the outcome of a community meeting called anonymously by a community member in response to the out-of-control, dangerous and probably illegal activities of the Campaign Against Marijuana (can’t remember what the P was, Production?), abbreviated CAMP. The abbreviation was a play on the name of the then-CA Attorney General, last name Van de Camp. Can’t remember his first name.
One of the earliest of Shummian organizations to form was Beginnings, Inc., a group of people who raised money and bought land communally, as a legal non-profit, then became an umbrella organization that eventually included a community center, several schools, a Tae Kwan Do dojo and, by no means least, a volunteer fire department. Beginnings grew from a smaller organization, a Montessori pre-school called Children’s House.