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  –  August is for vacations, so we’ll be taking a month off. But don’t miss Fourth Friday September 22. We’ll have a great new film and discussion series!
  • 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

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!

Super Summer Sharing Expo

Great stuff at the Summer Sharing Expo Sunday June 15! Roy Kornbluh gave a “hands-on” bio char demo, showing how to convert liquidambar (aka sweetgum) seed pods into odor-catching sachets that you can later mix in the garden to give your plants an extra boost. Trina Lynn Wilson supplied the liquidambar, the sample sachets and information sheets.

And much more!

  • Diane Ruddle and Dave Lantz demoed solar ovens and a solar dehydrator and gave samples of delicious banana bread baked on the spot.
  • Master gardener Marianne Mueller hosted an advice table for intrepid gardeners.
  • Annette Puskarich gave the scoop on composting.
  • Debbie Mytels showed the Acterra display of different kinds of lighting and how they use energy.
  • Holly from FabMo shared fabric and wallpaper samples.
  • William Mutch hosted a Permaculture Cafe on permaculture and our local agricultural ecosystem.
  • Herb Moore and the young attendess made music and fun.
  • And lots of garden bounty, toys, clothing, books, and crafts were exchanged.

Here are some pix. Thanks to Trina Lynn for sharing her photos.




Fourth Friday Summer Picnic

It’s the Fourth Friday Summer Potluck Picnic!

Friday June 27

Mitchell Park, 600 E Meadow Dr Palo Alto
Transition Palo Alto

We’ll have some “New Games” along with great conversation!

Please bring:

- Food and drink to share with others

- Plate, utensils, cup for yourself

- A camp chair if you’d like

- Anything that you like to have for a picnic – ball, frisbee, musical instrument

We look forward to seeing you!