Tuesday, July 19, 2016

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 34

Maybe the future of Greensboro lies in making brooms from plastic bottles?

Then again, perhaps not... Looks like a lot of labor for little return. But should you end up broke and need a cheap broom...

But what if I told you the future of Greensboro might lie in a 5,000 year old technology that evolved simultaneously in Asia and Central America and was modernized by North Carolina State University 30 plus years ago?

And what if I told you the closest English language school that teaches an accredited class in this proven technology is located in Australia? That's right, the land of kangaroos, kola bears, the duckbill platypus and lots of other things most of us will never see.

What if I told you this could usher in high tech jobs (average pay $80,000 a year,  manufacturing, technology, feed the hungry, employ the unemployed, increase Greensboro's tax base, fill empty shopping centers, industrial parks and the abandoned business and commercial buildings all over Greensboro?

What if I told you we could increase Greensboro's tax base?

Most of you would say, bullshit, but you'd be wrong as it is already being done all over the world.

But I have a way to make Greensboro the center of this up and coming industry for all of North America.

I'm going to share with you a plan that could help turn Greensboro around but before I do I want to share a quote from someone named Amy at The Miracles I See, in a post titled, What I've Learned So Far:
"The first one is the significance of really getting to know people that we tend to “other.”  Knowing people who are different from you on a personal level is “othering” prevention.  As far as I can see at this juncture, it’s the only way.

The second thing is empowerment of the individual and thereby the community.  Having something to give, anything, and having a way to contribute, are both personal power.

As I strive to understand what will make this world a better place, at this point in my experience (and oh, boy, I know I don’t know all the things I don’t know J), here’s where I stand:

I’ll support any effort that brings communities together, black and white, rich and poor, from any class, for the purpose of knowing each other better and breaking down the barriers.

I’ll support any effort that empowers, but does not cause people to be beholden. "

Let that sink in for a few minutes...

You see, every effort of any significance that has ever been put forth  in my 60 years here in Greensboro has forced someone to be beholden for what should have been theirs all along. This is a form of corruption and this must stop if Greensboro is to succeed.

We have scratched each others' backs until the skin is gone and the blood flows.

That part about not being beholden to anyone is important to me.

You see, I have already attempted this project once before. I had no intentions of making anything for myself, no personal profits, wanted no cushy job, no percentage of profits, nothing for myself. I made it quite clear to everyone I spoke with about the project that it was solely for the good of our community. My only requirement was that it be put in the part of the city that needed it most. I even found free land to make that possible.

I presented the idea to the Greensboro Partnership at one of the slam events hosted at The Forge.  They loved it and jumped at the chance to help telling me I should "cement" my position in the project as I could make a lot of money from it and move it across town to some property we'd have to rent or buy.

I saved all the e-mails.

When I took the idea to the County they brought in the Cone Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and others and planned to move the project to the County Farm in Gibsonville as a solution to an old problem of their own creation. Problem for the County was that the projected needed community support and the area residents, churches and others who had lined up to support the project had all been there because the project was to be located in East Greensboro-- not in Gibsonville.

I found that the project was eligible for Federal Grants plus unsecured Federal Loans-- quite possibly enough to build the entire project-- and found a church just 4 minutes walking away from the chosen site that was willing to rent us office and classroom space until the brick and mortar construction was finished. That way we could be up and running before construction was finished. And years before anyone else could have ever got it up and running.

We managed to get 501 (c) 3 status for the project in only months.

I worked with representatives of NC State University, NC A&T State University and the Guilford County Schools. The universities agreed to run the program so that this really would become the first accredited program of its kind in North America.

Because this non profit would be unusual in that it would actually produce products and earn revenue as well as train students I decided to start small and build our way up investing in the project and the community as we go. I found corporate sponsors who wanted nothing more than recognition for having helped us along the way-- no graft, no kick-backs, no seats on our board of directors. Just local companies who want Greensboro to grow so that their Greensboro businesses continue to grow.

I named this project Bessemer Aquaponics and I wrote of the many ways all of Greensboro would benefit from its founding. I figured out how to build it without city or county tax dollars.  I even created a popular Bessemer Aquaponics Facebook page for the project.

But that wasn't good enough for the people who control Greensboro. They have no intention of allowing anything to happen unless they can get a piece for themselves.

If I am elected Mayor of Greensboro I will revive the effort to build the first accredited Aquaponics school in North America and I will place it not on County owned property but on part of the 500 never before used acres that makes up half of the City of Greensboro owned White Street Landfill.

We'll power it with the landfill gas that is currently being given to International Textile Group for free. And this time no one will be able to stop us!

 Billy Jones for Mayor of Greensboro, 2017. Please share widely. And please continue reading If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 35