Learn about our Theory of Change, Review some of our Case Studies, Get to know Our People, and Learn About Us.


Why Backbone? A personal perspective from co-founder and E.D. Bill Moyer

"For me, the metaphor of Backbone means more than personal courage for principled action. It is more than the natural connection between causes unified by a common underlying values. It is also an instructive metaphor for Power. One way to define Power is the capacity to manifest. I now utilize Backbone and my story of being on the ground unable to get up as an analogy for aspirations without the power to realize them, or move them." Continue reading

Toxic Plume Under K2 Needs Defining

NEWEST: 12/16/2015:  Backbone Campaign's official Technical Memorandum by Farallon Consulting reviewing the K2 Sports 2015 characterization is HERE. 12/1/15 Update on Former K2 Factory and What We Are Learning: In late November the Department of Ecology published their review of the environmental assessment or "characterization" of the former K2 factory property on Vashon. This is the result of your activism and Backbone Campaign's organizing in the winter of 2014. Our petition to King County resulted in their requirement that any site on Vashon listed as "contaminated" or "suspected to be contaminated" with the Washington State Dept. of Ecology (DoE) must receive a No Further Action Letter from DoE before any change of zoning or conditional use permit is issued. That resulted in K2Sports, under the ownership of Jarden Corporation to enter the DoE's Voluntary Cleanup Program. K2 went back to the drawing board to do a real site characterization to assess presence and levels of contaminants. When they submitted their September 2015 report, it indicated that yes, contaminants exceeding minimum mandatory clean-up levels are present. The Nov. 23, 2015 opinion letter from the Department of Ecology was the next step in the process leading toward cleanup. It accepted much of the work K2Sports/Jarden's contracted engineers at ERM had done, but rightly asked for further definition of the toxic plume under the building.  Continue reading

Reflections on Power and Beauty of Kayaktivism

Of all the tactics I’ve utilized with Backbone in the past 12 years (and we've used many), kayaktivism is inherently the most beautiful.  It is gorgeous to be on the water, where the collection of colorful kayaks creates a giant, floating mosaic. Kayaktivism requires people to look out for and support each other. I found that being on the water, my body and mind fully engaged reinforced a sense of place.  Doing this alone and especially with others, connected me to the deepest reasons for doing this work. Continue reading

Grand Strategy & Backbone's Theory of Change

Love Wins:  Grand Strategy, the Art of War in Defense of the Sacred Though we work on many causes, Backbone frames it all as part of one battle between paradigms. One paradigm idolizes capital, gives corporations rights, and considers everything For Sale. It commodifies people, democracy, communities, and the planet itself. The paradigm we fight for is one in which people communities and nature and our obligation to future generations are considered sacred, and clearly NOT for sale. Continue reading