Monday, May 30, 2016

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 7

This is part of an ongoing series of posts that begins with If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro and is linked in succession back to here. If you haven't already I recommend you read them all.

In  If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 6 I outlined 4 steps that must be down before Greensboro will ever manage to prosper. I also promised:

"Shopping centers won't solve our problems when people have no money to shop. Only local manufacturing of products made by people can slow the rise of the machines. And before you say it, there is a way to keep people on the assembly lines without having them replaced by machines. I'll tell you about that in If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 7."

I wasn't kidding.

But before we get into that I thought I'd bring up our neighbors to the south in Randolph County. According to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune  the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority has voted to study investing in agri-business and especially in agri-tourism:

"Tammy O’Kelley, TDA director, said a multi-purpose agri-business center could enhance the county’s growing agri-tourism and farm-to-table dining experiences. It could also provide an area for agricultural/farm displays and marketing, she told the board."

But Greensboro and Guilford County are metropolitan areas, not farming communities-- what does that have to do with Greensboro?

Randolph County is already home to the North Carolina Zoo.

And the Harley-Davidson Museum, aka the American Classic Motorcycle Museum.

NASCAR legend, Richard Petty's Petty Enterprises with 3 locations.

The NC Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame

Seagrove Pottery

Caraway Raceway

Zoo City Motor Sports Park

Asheboro Downtown Farmers Market

Creekside Farmers Market

And so much more you'll wonder why you are still hanging out in Greensboro.

So maybe we should take a look at agriculture here in Greensboro, not rural agriculture like is most commonly practiced in Randolph County but urban agriculture using those assets I spoke of previously:

"3. We must take inventory of our assets so that we know what we have to work with. My example above was caused by the School System but City government is just as guilty. It's not just buildings. It's everything the City of Greensboro owns, land, houses, machinery, commercial buildings, cars, tools, equipment, golf carts.... And much of going to waste or being sold off through a surplus property program designed to sell City owned properties at pennies on the dollar while allowing certain connected individuals first pick before the public even knows these things exist."

There are lots of ways we could do this but allow me to begin with an idea I first pitched to Mayor Vaughan and our City Council in 2013 when I wrote Serious Aquaponics For Greensboro:

"Considering the fact that the world's fish populations are shrinking, imported fish are suspect and Guilford County farmland is almost nonexistent, if I were the new Mayor of Greensboro or a newly elected or reelected Greensboro City Council member I might be concerned about how we plan to provide safe food to almost 280,000 residents.
I might also be concerned about unemployment.
Well it just so happens that the City of Greensboro has an asset that could provide safe food and jobs to Greensboro in Lake Brandt, Lake Townsend, Lake Higgins and other city owned lakes where floating fish farms and aquaponic gardening could be combined to provide fish, vegetables and jobs for the citizens of Greensboro. And the beauty of it is: if managed correctly it would increase the stocks and health of the existing fish in the lakes making fishing there even better than it is today."
the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority
the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority
the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority
And in keeping my promise, how do we build a local manufacturing base that will keep people on the local assembly lines without having them replaced by machines? Well after we've completed steps 1-4 we can go on to use the assets, education, manpower and surplus properties of the City of Greensboro to build worker co-operatives where people come first.

Remember: the goal is to build a city where people come first.

Stay tuned for If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 8.