Press Release: Y2K Citizen's Action Guide

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Minneapolis/St. Paul. The national magazine Utne Reader and Utne Reader Online will distribute to Utne's 260,000 subscribers the Y2K Citizen's Action Guide with the magazine's January/February 1999 issue. The Guide will also be sold as a supplement to the magazine for $4.95 in bookstores, newsstands, and other outlets on December 29, 1998.

The Y2K Citizen's Action Guide is the one-million-reader magazine's response to the growing concern that individuals and communities are not prepared for the potentially enormous and unknown global challenge that will play out on January 1, 2000. 'The Year 2000 computer problem is not just a technical problem, it is an opportunity for citizens to get together with their neighbors and prepare themselves, their families, and their communities for the challenges that may lie ahead,' said Eric Utne.

Over the next year the media will play a crucial role in determining the impact of Y2K on millions of people. That is why Eric Utne, the Editor-in-Chief of Utne Reader, decided to publish the Y2K Citizen's Action Guide and distribute it to citizen groups, opinion leaders, business executives, non-governmental organizations, and the media.

A dozen leading experts on Y2K preparedness contributed to the guide, including Margaret Wheatley, Larry Shook and Paloma O'Riley. The booklet contains chapters on: What Public Citizens Can Do About the Y2K Crisis; Questions for Public Officials; Community Organizing/What You Can Do; Individual Preparedness and Y2K Resource Checklists; and The Psychological Challenges of Y2K.

'We need to know the Y2K status of our transportation and fire fighting systems. We need to develop contingency plans for possible failures in power grids, in communications systems, in water and food supply networks, and in solid waste disposal,' said Charles Halpern, President of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and a contributor to the guide. 'This is a time for each of us to take responsibility not only for the people who live close to us, but for those vulnerable people and countries who so often go unseen and neglected. In this highly interdependent world we have created, their problems are, in fact, our problems.'

Alarming though some Y2K predictions may be, all is not doom and gloom. According to Utne, there's a silver lining. 'As we prepare for Y2K, something surprising and quite wonderful is going to happen. We're going to get to know our neighbors. Our communities will become safer, more intimate, more resilient, more neighborly places to live. Y2K offers us a tremendous opportunity to rekindle genuine community.'

The Y2K Citizen's Action Guide is also available online at . Utne Reader is the nation's leading digest of alternative ideas. Launched in 1984, the bimonthly magazine has a paid circulation of 260,00 and has been nominated three times for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Cafe Utne was named the nation's most active online discussion community by the Forum One Report in May 1998.

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