For Ohio Town, Reading Might Be the Way Out of Recession
In an age of in increasing dependence on our online interconnectedness, it’s nice to see the occasional example of community building that still involves real people and real community – the kind of organizing that came before the internet, but now perhaps is informed by it as well. For Newark, Ohio, a town of 45,000 people that typifies the plight of so many manufacturing cities in the U.S. – loss of jobs, shuttered businesses and lack of innovation – the decision to fix their own economic woes has centered around one book or 1,400 to be exact.
The slim volume, “Community Capitalism: Lessons from Kalamazoo and Beyond” that details the revival of the Michigan town with practical DIY advice for tapping into existing community resources has become required reading for the residents of Newark as they attempt to turnaround their own city’s fortunes. It’s like a book club with a reach that extends beyond the meeting hall and into the streets, asking everyone to take part in the conversation and offer potential solutions – an inspiring small scale model attempting to tackle a big problem and create lasting change.