Published January 7, 2009
I am truly looking forward to participating in the historical event of President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. It isn’t just about the parties and balls for me. I will be reunited with many people I know from being active in the Young Democrats of America, the Young Democrats of New York and Ohio and others passionate about our country at this time (alas, I am no longer a “young” Democrat). I have friends that were fellow staffers in Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office who will be in D.C. at that time, too. It will be joyous revelry all around and a great time to network.
That brings me to the blog that Tyler mentioned in his “Will Youngstown Get It’s Share?” post. Boy is Tyler right to question our area’s influence in Columbus. Our area has now come to be known for our illustrious crew of Lisa Antonini, Marc Dann and Tony Gutierrez whose reputations diminish anyone trying to improve Youngstown in a positive manner. I hope to represent a positive voice of progressiveness when I introduce myself as living in Youngstown. This won’t be easy because when I do identify where I live, I often get asked about the names above plus add in Jimbo (James Traficant) or mafia joke for good measure.
Look, I’m just as sickened by all the negative attention that Youngstown has received from our lovely Marc Dann and his crew of laughable “friends”. To add insult to injury, the state is going to see our city herald the return of Jim Traficant as if he is the messiah (watch me get death threats for that one). It is time that some of our statewide officials realize that there is a burgeoning, progressive force of people striving to improve life in this town.
I read Deb Weaver’s blog http://youngstownmoxie.blogspot.com/ and find her attitude refreshing and accurate about a Youngstown Think Tank. We need to shake off the elements of city government undermining the rejuvenation of Youngstown (hmm, are those members of city council she is referencing or commissioners?). She also mentions how Youngstown has not received its fair share of demolition money from the state. I plan on bringing this up when I meet any of our state level officials and ask them why?
This area definitely needs a grassroots organization to push our elected officials into more action – fast action. Not only is a Think Tank needed but a concerted effort at marketing the city of Youngstown is needed. I’m talking about a department in city government with individuals with real product marketing/branding experience and not just political connections who have no clue how to market. We can’t just sit tight and let career politicians approach companies (if they are even doing that) to entice them to our area if a concerted marketing plan and presentation isn’t developed. This area has such huge potential if we could only harness the positive, progressive energy that is here and find a way to entice businesses to set up a division in Youngstown. Is it so difficult to realize that we need to find a way to keep the youth graduating from YSU in town to help repopulate it, or just keep them here in general. Many of us have returned, are proud to be from Youngstown and care. This is the message that Columbus and the rest of the U.S. needs to hear.