Durango Telegraph - Local living economies
Local living economies

A guru of sustainable economies is coming to Durango. Next week, Local First presents Michelle Long, executive director of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, or BALLE, a national network of 77 independent business associations. Long also helped found Sustainable Connections, a BALLE network based in Bellingham, Wash., eight years ago. “Michelle has been the key to long-term shifts in Bellingham consumer behavior and community support for independent business, social entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability,” said Local First Marketing Director Carol Clark.

Sustainable Connections provides a compelling model for the types of programs and services Local First hopes to offer. “It’s a pretty fascinating project,” Clark said. “They are really on a fast track to sustainability.”

Clark had the opportunity to see Long last week at a BALLE conference in Santa Fe. “It was phenomenal, I couldn’t believe what some of these groups have been accomplishing.”

There are three chances to see Long:

• Tues., Nov. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m, Durango Public Library – Local First members social and presentation

• Wed., Nov. 11, 12 noon -1 p.m., Strater Hotel - Green Business Roundtable sponsored by the San Juan Citizens Alliance.

• Wed., Nov. 11, 6-8 p.m., FLC Ballroom – “Building Sustainable Communities with Local Business.”

– Missy Votel