What communicators should do instead of ‘droughtshaming’

Rather than point fingers at people who violate water use restrictions, communicators should lead constructive action.

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California’s drought and the civic actions taken to mitigate its effects have resulted in the birth of the #droughtshaming hashtag. There’s even an app. A citizen reporter stands in the offending area when they tweet with location tagging activated so the report already includes the address along with the alleged infraction.

Many people agree that measures should be taken to deal with the drought, but when I see the glee with which some people use droughtshaming, I have to wonder if their motives are altruistic.

What are the homeowners’ association meetings going to be like for these neighbors in the future?

Distrust does not build community

My husband and I were on the receiving end of a summons three years ago for “high grass.” We deserved the summons. I won’t argue that. Our lawnmower had broken, my husband was out of a job, and we did not have the money to fix the lawnmower.

Since the report was made anonymously, there was no way of knowing who had filed it. I kept wishing whoever had filed the report had offered to let us use their lawnmower instead. It wasn’t that we wanted our yard to be an eyesore.

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