Friday, July 28, 2006

time to replace my OBX sticker with my NEO sticker?

This evening I listened to an interesting radio interview about the economic development community of Northeast Ohio. You can download the mp3 here. For those of you regular readers from outside of the pierogie-haluski belt, NorthEast Ohio = NEO.

Featured as guests were Tom Waltermine of Team NEO, Ed Morrison from the Institute of Open Economic Networks, and Jay Miller from Crane's Cleveland Business Newspaper. One of the conversation's themes was the developing necessity and ability for the region of Northeast Ohio to network and cooperate together.

So is it important for Northeast Ohio to be better networked culturally as a region before we can move together economically as a region?

And how do we build our shared region-wide culture?

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I know tons of people in Ohio that have the europeanesque 3-letter oval sticker with OBX attached to their rear bumper. It screams to the world, "hey, I'm cool. I went to the Outer Banks one year for vacation. In fact, my uncle has a timeshare down there."

So if people from here sport OBX stickers on their cars, would they ever attach an oval sticker with the letters N-E-O to proclaim their Ohio pride to the universe? Maybe NEO stickers can be like FOP stickers: if you have one on your window, the cops won't give you a speeding ticket. Or if you have a NEO sticker, you can get 1 dollar off parking at the lots in downtown cleveland during a sporting event.

Just think of it: people from around the world will respect your NEO roots and pride. When you are driving in Pittsburgh and incorrectly (although legally) yield to oncoming traffic when making a left hand turn, people will mutter "damn NEO drivers."

Would it ever catch on? . . . maybe . . . maybe not.

A experiement might be to pass them out to all the local economic developers and citizens at the next Voices and Choices meeting. It would be interesting to see if they ever pop up around the region. If 0.25% of the cars in this area sport NEO identification on their back bumper, it may gradually push the concept of "a united region" to more and more individuals.

1 comment:

gattino said...

I cannot believe that you mentioned NEO stickers! I have always thought that would be an awesome way to spread the ideals and substance of Northeast Ohio! If some vanilla areas in NC can become so popular, there is NO reason why we (Cleveland-Akron-Kent-Youngstown-Warren) can't be. We can have them printed here in NEO, as well. I hope to see them on the market soon.