Four Santa Rosa neighbors set out to change the world, one yard sign at a time

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Four neighbors in Santa Rosa are setting out to change the world.

With yard signs.

Laura Doty, Melanie Jones-Carter, Kristen Throop and Valerie Waidler are the brain-women behind the project, where their aim is to “spread tolerance and inclusion, one yard sign at a time.”

The women, who live on Benton Street, created simple black-and-white signs with the thoughtful words of Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass, Cesar Chavez and the Dalai Lama who said, “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness,” to promote harmony and kindness. Already, nearly every home on the block has a sign, and not one has been vandalized.

"It is a very simple idea," Throop, a graphic designer, told KTVU on Tuesday. "But more and more people are doing it. And it's having a snowball effect." 

Doty was inspired to launch the simple, yet meaningful, project after returning from a climate change march Washington, D.C. where she was moved by several signs she saw there, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

Since the newspaper ran the story, the women are getting calls from all over to print more signs. They are nearly out of the first 100 they printed. They're now in talks with a printer to see how many more they can start creating - and this time, with more quotes, possibly from someone from the LGBT community, Throop said.

A lot is up in the air at this point, Throop said, because the idea is organic and the work is being done out of their living rooms.

The women created a Facebook page too, which they encourage people to “like” because every time the page gets a thumbs up,they say, it “sends ripples of good will out into the universe.”

To buy a sign for $10, email the group at The women will also ship signs for another $10 or so.

All proceeds go to the FISH Food Pantry in Santa Rosa, the women said.