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About this issue — March 2018

The pursuit of happiness was our theme for this issue. We were guided in our thinking on that topic by Martin Luther King Jr., who said ““[If] a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists.” Joselyn Trivett’s article on the pursuit of happiness at Stafford Creek Corrections Center, in Aberdeen WA, resonates with the theme. Residents of Stafford Creek and community members, including staff from the Sustainability in Prison Project (SPP) based at The Evergreen State College, found meaning grappling with challenges of climate change at a local level. Esther Kronenberg’s article on the need for public participation in the Thurston County Conversation District (TCCD) documents another version of pursing happiness, in this case, by actively involving one’s self in the election of TCCD commissioners and maintaining the conservation functions for which TCCD was founded. Mitch Oacano elaborates on how the repressive apparatus of the state, ICE in this case, precludes the possibility of happiness for millions of undocumented immigrants.  An article from Working Washington describes the threat to equal pay opportunities in WA State. Clearly, the pursuit of happiness in these times necessarily requires engagement with the material conditions of society as these, and other articles in this issue, illustrate.

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