Shopping local ain’t enough!
Went for two walks on Thanksgiving and was amazed to see how many storefronts are shuttered. And I don’t mean because it was a holiday! If we only shop at chains or online, then that’s all we’ll have. But as Jeremiah Moss from Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York points out, shopping local won’t do much when both parties get paid by real estate.
“When you hear Mayor [Bill] de Blasio say, “Hey guys, shop local. It’s on you.” We have to push back against that. Critical thinking is really the first step, but then we need to demand that our elected officials take action.
What’s very difficult is that most of our elected officials are neoliberals, whether they’re Republican or Democrat. They take money from big real estate. Are they going to go against big real estate? Hopefully some of them will be brave enough to stand up, but we have to have campaign finance reform to get big lobby money out of government.
Until that happens, we need to insist on new policies, because the New York that we see, the empty storefronts, all of that, they are all the creation of policy. Gentrification is public policy. The government uses it as public policy; it’s not natural. It’s not accidental.”