Participating Communities: Basalt, Colorado, USA


Basalt, Colorado has become the second municipality in the world to affirm the Charter for Compassion and declare its support for a Compassionate Cities campaign. Basalt joins Seattle, the first to initiate a campaign. On the evening of Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the mayor and town council of Basal voted unanimously to affirm theCharterand declare Basalt's support of a Compassionate Cities campaign for their community.

The campaign began in 2010 when Rev. Marie Gasau, Pastor of the Basalt Community United Methodist Church, learned of theCharter for Compassionand decided to bring theCharterto her community. Middle-school students then jumped in to give their support to the campaign. They worked with Mayor Leroy Duroux, the town council, Rev. Gasau, and others in the community to research theCharterand write the proclamation to present to the mayor and town council.

At a moving gathering in the town's council chambers, the students took turns standing and reading points of their rational for having the mayor and town council affirm theCharterand accept their proclamation. Next, the mayor and council members took turns reading the provisions of the proclamation aloud. They then voted unanimously to pass the resolution to affirm theCharterand proclaim Basalt's support of a  Compassionate Cities campaign.

The Compassionate Action Network's Ari Cowan was on hand to answer questions about the Charter and the Compassionate Action Network Internationa's role in working with cities around the world to provide support and networking for cities seeking to affirm the Charter of Compassion. He congratulated Rev. Gasau, the students, the mayor, the town council, and the people of Basalt for their vision, courage, and leadership.

Ari also met with school officials and other community leaders. He was interviewed by NPR's KDNK radio in nearby Carbondale, Colorado. He and Rev. Gasau were interviewed on Aspen Public Radio in Aspen, 17 miles southeast of Basalt. The Aspen Times carried an article on Basalt's campaign.

Basalt's participation in the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities is important because, as a small municipality (population = 3,042), it's a model for other small communities throughout the world.

The next step for the Basalt Compassionate Action team is to identify the areas most in need for compassionate action in their community, the resources available to them, and factors that may inhibit their campaign. They will be supported by the team at the International Institute for Compassionate Cities as they move forward with their 10-year campaign.

Interview with Basalt's Police Chief about Compassion

An interview with Basalt, Colorado's Police Chief, Roderick O'Connor about compassion, Basalt as a Compassionate City, police work, and the future of the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities.

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