Tuesday, January 13, 2009

i will shop youngstown

This week includes the first birthday party of the year where I need to purchase a gift.

But here's my resolution for 2009: when I have the option of purchasing something, I will do it in Youngstown. exclusively.

in fact, here are some other tips to purchasing, that if in aggregate 10,000 of us perform, will have an impact on both the city's finances and will continue the existence of basic services. (please read to the bottom of this post)

- - -

1. Do not shop at the new Wal-Mart in Liberty township for groceries ever. Make the 0.45 mile drive and shop at the Sparkle Market on Gypsy Lane instead.

2. No gift cards for Chili's, iTunes, Lowe's, GetGo, etc. will be purchased and distributed this year. I will only purchase gift certificates for locally-owned city restaurants like Cafe Cimmento (who advertise in downtown theater programs), Casa Ramirez, Scarsella's Restaurant, Charlie Staples, The Palm, Avalon Gardens, etc. Then when they are redeemed, my guests of my friends will act as multipliers.

3. When I stop for gas, I will drive past the gas stations on the west side of Meridian Road, and purchase petrol on the Youngstown side of Mahoning Ave. Local purchases increase the chance that these basic functions will remain in the city.

4. Dry cleaning, jewelry shopping, shoe repair, haircuts, grocery shopping will all be done in the city now, even if it means the small sacrifice of scheduling an appointment or driving an extra mile. Services will disappear unless we use them consistently.

5. I will never ever ever eat at Olive Garden, especially with the glorious abundance of local italian restaurants with their fresh and homemade pasta.


some may see this Declaration "of Independents" as being against the suburbs. not true.

some services, such as watching a newly-released movie, you can only do in the suburbs. but where gems exist, please continue to patronize your local hardware store, your neighborhood mechanic, the Armando's, the Jimmy's, and the Hot Dog Shoppe's of this world:

But when pulling into the parking lot of a Giant Eagle, a Bob Evans, a FastLube, or even a Pizza Hut, please ask yourself:

could I be doing this in Youngstown?

re-circulating money within the community?
keeping essential city services alive?
providing benefits to your friends and neighbors?

let's do it.


Tyler said...

Count me in. I choose Youngstown.

Paul said...

This is really strange, as we hardly know each other, but I made the same resolution for '09. Another difference (not a bad thing) between national chains and local stores are the hours of operation. If you plan on getting on board with this resolution, be aware of your local shops hours, as they are not open 24/7.

moxie said...

I completely agree with you. However, to my knowledge none of the local grocery stores sell organic milk, which I must have. Nor do they have a good supply of organic produce. In all actuality, I'd be happy if Sparkle would just improve their regular produce section and sell organic milk. We need a store that recognizes the importance of quality food and produce. If they did I'd never have to go out of the city. If our local stores want to have us stay in the city and spend in the city they must cater to our needs.

elecpenciljim said...

I agree that whatever community you live in you should support your local stores. These are the same businesses that give money to your kids schools, and their sports teams, scouts, band, cheer leading etc.

That said I refuse to set foot in a WalMart, Sam's Club or national chain restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Please be sure to steer Ytowners to the Paprika Cafe on Mahoning Ave. Great Hungarian food, locally owned and operated. Paprika Cafe and Casa Ramerez are this former resident's FAVORITE food in town. I always go to both when in town...

Kris said...

Yes, yes, support independent business owners and help keep the city breathing. The city's art venues and museums also provide opportunities for creative and pro-Yo gifting. The Butler Museum of Art has a lovely gift shop, and for kids, a membership to the Children's Museum makes a wonderful and affordable gift. The SMARTS Center sells small, often wearable pieces by local artists (it's where you can get those bottlecap necklaces). Passes to shows at the Oakland are also very nice gifts(see how I snuck that last one in there).

Anonymous said...

Did you ever have the All Youngstown Sandwich?

It's DiRusso's sausage on bread from the Pesce Baking Company.

DiRusso's Sausage Company is located on W. Rayen Avenue. The Pesce Baking Company is located on N. Hine Street on the east side of Youngstown.

The Stage said...

love it! what about eventually creating an online one-stop pro-yo market where shoppers can get their defend and rustbelt apparel, gift certificates to local hot spots, flexpasses to the oakland (ahem), cds from local bans, books from local authors, dvds from local filmmakers, and other assorted arts, crafts, shot glasses, mugs, etc...?

and i think "iwillshopyoungstown" would be a loverly name :)

Tony Budak said...

Well I do like the idea of sustaining our local community, but you seem to leaving out all the middle and smaller business that are out side of the city limits, yet still in the Valley. In addition to local pride there are more fundamental ways to sustain our local economy.

What did Margaret Mead say, something about change has always come from a small group. Then there is the idea of a lever, and how it increases the power of the person behind it. Just maybe our solutions are getting the right tools in the right hands? Now there's a thought
that is worth looking into.

---------cut and paste----------
Currently, our biggest problem with money and currencies is unconsciousness. We are not aware of what we are doing around money. We haven't really thought about what money does to us-we believe it's neutral, so it doesn't matter. But it's not neutral: it deeply shapes
us and our societies. The first thing that has to happen before complementary currency systems can effect real change on a larger scale is a shift in consciousness and awareness.

RD: You mean, we need to be aware of how money works?

BL: Let me ask you this. Have you taken an inventory of the number of days you spend in life getting ready to make money? And when you have money, to manage the money or spend it? But then, think about how many hours you've thought about what money is. I suspect not very much. We are spending a huge amount of energy to get something about which we have surprisingly little understanding.

RD: Well, it's like the rain. It's something you adapt to.

BL: Yes, except that rain is not man-made. That's precisely the difference. We're treating money as if it is God-given, like rain or the number of planets in the solar system. But it isn't. If you don't like the quality of rain, there's not much you can do about it. If you don't like your money system, maybe you can do something about it.

Assume that a Martian lands in Denver on the wrong side of the tracks. He ends up in one of the ghettos and finds that the houses are run down, the kids not taken care of, the elderly in trouble, and the trees dying. He sees all these things, and discovers that there are people and organizations absolutely equipped and ready to solve every one of those problems. So this Martian asks, "What are you waiting for?" The answer: "We're waiting for money." "What is money?" the Martian inquires. "It's an agreement in a community to use something as a medium of exchange." Don't you think he may leave the planet believing there is no intelligent life here?

The point is: if money is an agreement within the community to use something as a medium of exchange, we can create new agreements, can't we? That is exactly what people are already doing all over the world. So why don't we do it here? If we're waiting for conventional currency to solve all our problems, aren't we waiting for Godot?

RD: Is this your whole campaign now? Are you through with Belgian Central Banks?

BL: I'm trying to contribute to a consciousness shift regarding money. I believe that by a small change in the money system, we can unleash huge improvements in our social system. It's the highest leverage point for change in our society, and surprisingly few people are looking at it. If you start a new complementary currency system, it can become self-perpetuating and facilitate additional transactions forever.

You know the saying, if you want to feed someone, give him a fish. If you want to really help him, teach him how to fish. This is just a fishing lesson-what you do with it is up to you. You can take big fish or small fish, or you can choose not to fish at all. You decide what issues you want to deal with in your community, and there is a currency system that can help you with it.

Complementary Currencies for Social Change
An Interview with Bernard Lietaer
By Ravi Dykema
--------end of paste------------

If you wish to use new levers and tools then join our recently started project. We haven’t yet started to print our local money. We are a small community group with improved tools just taking our first steps at digital currency and service exchanges at TimeBank Mahoning Watershed.

Tony Budak

"Failure is impossible" - Susan B. Anthony