Will That Be Cash, Credit or Sonoma Jacks?

Would you like Sonoma to have its own currency? Fill out a local survey to let your voice be heard.

Stamping out our own currency is an idea most people abandon long before we start paying taxes (Kindergarten graduation anyone?)

But a dedicated group of Sonomans are resurrecting the idea, arguing that a Sonoma-specific local currency is long overdue.

"I'm aware of the positive things that a local currency effort can do for a community," said Mark Armstrong, who has created a survey to assess if other Sonomans feel similarly.

They appear to: so far, of the survey's 143 submissions, 80 percent of respondants would like to see Sonoma print its own dollars.

The idea is gaining traction in other towns.

In Ithaca, NY, Armstrong points out, over 900 businesses and general contractors accept "Ithaca Hours" in place of US currency. The town credits the currency for helping to boost the local economy and encourage community-reliance for most goods and services.

in Marin County the town of Fairfax recently adopted the "," sponsored by the town's Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Fairfax as part of an effort cement their Cittaslow city status. (They were the second Cittaslow city in the U.S., Sonoma was the first.)

Preliminary designs for the Sonoma dollar have already been released. Named "Sonoma Jacks" for the ever popular Jack London, the multi-colored bills celebrate historical icons - including General Vallejo and images of the Bear Flag revolt - along with pretty shots of the Sonoma Plaza.

So, whether you're itching to spend some Sonoma bucks, you think the whole idea is stupid or you'd just love it to be named something different ("Isn't Sonoma Jacks a cereal?") share your opinion in the survey.

The survey closes tonight at 9pm sharp. Find out more about "Sonoma Jacks" here.


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