Local First Indiana

There is finally a group forming in Bloomington, Indiana to become part of the BALLE Network. BALLE is The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and works to promote local businesses.

Local First Indiana had its first steering committee meeting in late July.

Local First Indiana is a non-profit organization committed to supporting and promoting locally owned independent business by educating the public, facilitating collaboration, and engaging in outreach in order to create a more economically and environmentally sustainable local community, while preserving the unique local character.”

This is how Local First Indiana is defining local:

1. Is the business privately held (not publicly traded)?
2. Do the business owners, totaling greater than 50 percent of the business
ownership, live in your local region?
3. Is the business registered in your state, with no corporate or national
headquarters outside your region?
4. Can the business make independent decisions regarding the name and look
of the business, as well as all business purchasing,practices, and
distribution?
5. Does the business pay all its own rent, marketing expenses, and other
expenses (without assistance from a corporate headquarters)?

If you would like to learn more about becoming involved with Local First Indiana, contact Amanda at

or Una at

The Inquisitive Skink

The Silent Depression

United for a Fair Economy has published State of the Dream 2009: The Silent Depression. There is no creativity in direct quotes but since my time is very limited today, this is the background they give in describing this report:

“While the general population has been in recession for one year, people of color have been in recession for five years. By definition, a long-term recession is a depression.

We detail additional evidence that shows the current racial economic inequity, including poverty rates, wealth and assets and economic mobility. While racial barriers did not prevent an African-American from becoming President, they continue to impede many people of color from achieving the same economic success as their white counterparts.”

Check it out at: http://www.faireconomy.org/news/state_of_the_dream_2009_the_silent_depression

Overall, 24% of Blacks and 21% of Latinos are in poverty, versus 8% of whites. I hope that we do not choose to remain blind to issues of race simply because we have elected President Obama. Painful issues are still there, obviously.

The Inquisitive Skink

Civil Rights Digital Library

The University of Georgia has published its online Civil Rights Digital Library. This library offers videos, photographs, time-lines and over 30 hours of unedited historical news film chronicling events including unaired footage of the Atlanta sit-ins, Freedom Rides and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

I was born in 1955, so when I went to the Events page of the digital library I was impressed that the chronicling there started in 1954. I grew up in the midst of most of this history, and I doubt that there are many in my age group that are not affected by the fact that all of this real-life drama was percolating in the background of our formative years. 1954 was Brown vs. the Board of Education. 1955 was the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Emmett Till murder. 1956 the Montgomery Bus Boycott. And so on. Up through 1968 – Dr. King’s assassination. I was thirteen by then, and the Civil Rights movement, along with the paralleled social development of the 60s movement and the Vietnam War……..well this is the brew that I grew in.

I encourage anyone, but especially my younger friends to immerse themselves in this for a while. We sometimes feel that each struggle is new and that there is an end in sight. I believe the process is eternal, but necessary, and that there will always be a need for people to push for justice.

* Montgomery Bus Boycott
* Emmett Till murder

The image at the left is a mug shot of Eretta F. Adair taken after her arrest on February 21, 1956 for her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Adair’s arrest number is 7070. The photo is from the Smoking Gun Website.

The Inquisitive Skink