Building the Local Economy: From Preston, UK to Cleveland, OH
Produced by Laura Flanders (2018)
This is a fascinating documentary about empowering local communities. It offers an in depth exploration of the so-called “Preston Model” of community wealth building.The Preston Model is based on the “Evergreen Model,” adopted by Cleveland’s cooperative movement. Although the UK city of Preston (pop 130,000) is much smaller than Cleveland, the economies of both communities have been devastated by the loss of heavy industry that previously supported them.
The goal of both models is to strengthen local economies by
- promoting buy-local campaigns
- actively procuring local investment
- lobbying local government and “anchor” agencies (schools, hospitals, etc) to buy locally
- pressuring local government to invest pension funds and tax remittances in local businesses
- investing in apprenticeships and retraining programs
- campaigning for a living wage in all industries.
The most interesting part of the film is an interview with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Preston’s MP), who explains how the Labour Party is systematically rolling out similar programs in other councils they control.
By reinvesting in local initiatives, is the only way to bring wealth back into communities that now rely heavily on huge corporations. Building sustainable neighborhoods is the only way to counter corporate takeover of every aspect of our lives. We have got to understand that we need each other. We have got to stop looking at our neighbor as a separate entity from us when we need to start looking at our neighbor as an extension of ourselves since we all share commonalities in that our lives have been taken over and are corporate controlled. Only by relying on each other in our communities do we stand a fighting chance.
No political candidate is the key. No president is the key. We, acting collectively as a community is the key to promoting a profitable and sustainable future for us all.
Great post and extremely informative.
Glad you liked the post, Shelby. When I remember back to what communities were like in the 1950s, I believe there was a deliberate decision (by Wall Street, the PR industry and intelligence hotshots) to destroy our communities to a) make it more difficult for us to organize against government corruption and b) to make us more dependent on consumption to satisfy basic human needs. We used to rely on neighbors to help us repair stuff when it got broken and now we pay for technology and technologists (or throw it away) when it gets broken. A lot of times you can’t even pay to get something repaired – though I do see the art of knife and tool sharpening is finally coming back after 50 some years.
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