Welcome to Transition!

We’re part of a world-wide grassroots movement to build local resilience and connections close to home. Since 2010, we’ve been mounting creative and thoughtful responses to the challenges of resource depletion, climate change, and economic instability. Help us unleash the power and creative genius of people and communities to create a vibrant future for generations to come.

Scroll down for our recent activities blog.

Coming up:

  • 4th Friday  –  New Fall Fourth Friday / Films of Vision and Hope series, “Finding Meaning in an Uncertain World,” starts September 26 with “Surviving Progress” film and discussion. Scroll down for details.
  • Garden and produce shares:
    Second Sunday of each month. 11am-12, Common Ground, 559 College Ave, Palo Alto (map)
    Fourth Sunday of each month, 11am-12, Full Circle Farm, 1055 Dunford Way, Sunnyvale, CA (map)
  • Transition Cafes are also happening almost every week. For info, sign up for the Transition Palo Alto mailing list, and you’ll get the weekly notices. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transitionpaloalto/ to sign up.

Sign up for our Yahoo group mailing list
Calendar of Events/Facebook group

Fourth Friday Films of Vision and Hope Series – Finding Meaning in an Uncertain World

2014 fall series banner



 What does it mean to be human in today’s uncertain world – to survive, live among others, and find meaning and happiness? We’ll explore these questions and more in our Fall film series.

Surviving Progress

Friday September 26 7-9PM – Note time change just for this evening

Human advancement is awe-inspiring and double-edged, but we’re running the 21st century’s software — our know-how — on the ancient hardware of our 50,000 year old primate brains. With rich imagery and an immersive soundtrack, this film launches us on a journey to contemplate our evolution from cave-dwellers to space explorers. It leaves us with a challenge: prove that making apes smarter was not an evolutionary dead-end.

One Day on Earth

Friday October 24 7:30-9:30pm

It’s the first film made in every country of the world on the same day: 10/10/2010. You’ll be fascinated by this window into the daily lives, joys, sorrows, and hopes of humanity, filmed by a diverse group of volunteer filmmakers from around the world. Experience how the world is interconnected, enormous, perilous, and wonderful.


November 7:30-9:30pm – DATE to be confirmed

What makes you happy? Work? Money? Kids and family? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution? To answer these questions and more, “Happy” goes from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa.

Holiday Potluck

December 7:00-9:30pm – DATE to be confirmed

Come to share fun, food, and reflections on the file series and holiday season.


Fireside room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E Charleston Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Sep 7-9pm film/discussion
Oct 7pm meet and greet, 7:30-9:30 film/discussion
Nov 7pm meet and greet, 7:30-9:30 film/discussion
Dec 7-9pm potluck and holiday celebration

Sponsored by Transition Silicon Valley, Transition Palo Alto, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto.

Fall sharing expo coming soon!

Our fall sharing expo is coming soon with a busy lineup of fun things to see, do, and learn.

Come join us to share garden produce, arts and crafts supplies, books, toys, and clothes.

We’ll also have some cool skills to share this fall. Our demos include a Permaculture Cafe, grain grinding, henna painting, water saving tips, and activities for kids – they can color the water cycle, do some scrapophony, and all can join in on more fun. We’ll have a special class on drought-proofing your garden and more.

Come meet your neighbors and learn something new in the parking lot at Common Ground, Sunday, September 21, from 1 to 3pm! 

More details here

Community Choice Aggregation, a cool idea that’s heating up

Imagine a way for local communities to meet their climate action plan targets for greenhouse gas reductions AND save residents and business money on their electricity bills AND give consumers a choice of power options AND have money left over to pump back into the local community. That’s the ideal of Community Choice Aggregation.

In simple terms, CCA allows local cities and counties join together to buy (and generate) electricity for local residential and business use.  Palo Alto has its own utility, but most of the surrounding cities don’t and they have little or control over the energy sources that PG&E provides. In 2002, California began allowing communities to form CCAs, pooling their electricity demand to purchase power for local use. Since then, Marin has established a successful CCA, and Sonoma recently launched their own program.


CCAs are now a hot topic in the South Bay, with Sunnyvale beginning a feasiblity study, and Mountain View, Los Altos, and other local cities possibly joining in.

Sunnyvale estimates that forming a CCA might make more of a difference in
meeting their climate action plan than all other options combined.

Last September’s Fourth Friday featured an intro to CCAs by Bruge Hodge. Inspired by Bruce’s presentation, Transitioner Jan Butts has been following the movement closely. She recently went to Sacramento to lobby against AB2145, an industry-sponsored bill that would make it more difficult for communities to form CCAs.

Here’s Jan’s report. And to learn more about CCAs, click here.

Monday Aug 4 was my debut as a rookie lobbyist.

I traveled to Sacramento with Margaret Okuzumi to join about 20 other folks to lobby against AB 2145, which is supported by PG&E and Southern Edision utilities and would hinder the CCA movement with unfair restrictions. Margaret and I met with briefly with Senator Jerry Hill, and later with his staff, to express our support for CCAs and opposition to the bill. Later, 23 of us spoke at the Appropriations committee. Here’s a link to the video.

The next big decisive day will be 8/14 or 8/15, which is the last day for the bill to be forwarded to the Senate floor or as we hope, die a quiet death in the Appropriation Committee’s “suspense” file.

–Jan Butts

Links to more info:


Website for the No on 2145 effort:

Craft night!

With sewing machines, colored paper, yarn, embroidery, and more in tow, Transitioners gathered for the second Transition Palo Alto Craft night – a delightful evening of visiting, repairing, and creating. Thanks to Trina Lynn and Emily Rosen for organizing the event and to Trina Lynn and Roy Kornbluh for being such wonderful hosts!

Here are some photos. Check your email for future craft nights – all are welcome!


Building connections: Transition Northern California Leadership Meeting

On Saturday July 19, William Mutch, Victoria Armigo, and Barbara Weinstein joined Transitioners from all around Northern California to share successes, challenges, and ideas for the future. Here’s a link to some photos from the get-together, which was held at the Permaculture Learning Center in Sebastopol (definitely worth a visit!).




July Fourth Friday – Films of Vision and Hope – Gaining Ground

Film and discussion, plus special guest – producer Mark Lipman

In the midst of the economic meltdown, Gaining Ground explores the innovative, grassroots organizing efforts of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) in Boston. Over the course of two years, you’ll see a new generation of leaders working to prevent foreclosures and bring jobs and opportunities for young people to one of the city’s most diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods. More info about the film

July 25, come at 7:15 for social time, film starts at 7:30, discussion to follow
Recommended donation: $5-$10 to cover film costs and venue
Where: Fireside Room
Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist Church (UUCPA)
505 E. Charleston Avenue, Palo Alto

Delightful Fourth Friday evening in the park

What a glorious summer evening for the Fourth Friday picnic in Mitchell Part July 27.  Good food, lots of visiting, meeting new folks, and even a bean bag toss and other games.  A fine time was had by all!