Happy spring! In this edition of Localism Works read on for landmark victories in our fight against Walmart and big telecom and meet our new staff.
We are pleased to introduce the newest member of the ILSR team Nicola Chin. Nicola serves as our new Director of Strategy and Development and will oversee our fundraising and strategic planning. With Nicola on our team we see an exciting future and new opportunities as we approach our 40th anniversary. Read more about our dynamic new staffer.
Survey Finds Independent Businesses Benefit from “Buy Local First” Campaigns, But Challenges Loom
ILSR’s annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives. But the survey also documented challenges facing independent businesses, most notably an increase in “showrooming” and competition from online retailers, tax and subsidy policies that favor their big competitors, difficulty obtaining loans, and a customer base still reeling from the recession.Read more.
ILSR Helps Defeat Potentially Damaging Telecommunications Legislation in Georgia
As in years past, heavy lobbying from the telecommunications industry prompted introduction of HB 282 in the Georgia General Assembly. ILSR was instrumental in defeating this legislation that would have prevented existing networks from expanding and prevented other communities from providing connectivity options to their citizens. In addition to coverage on MuniNetworks.org, ILSR created the “Monopoly Magnate” cartoon, which spread quickly online to bring the bill to national attention. HB 282 was defeated by a vote of 94-70 on the House floor.Read more.
Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins
Suddenly everyone knows about Germany’s solar power dominance because Fox Newsheads suggested that the country is a sunny, tropical paradise. Since the gafe most media folks have latched on to the “Germans pay a lot extra” meme. Germans do, and are perfectly happy with it, but that’s still not the story. The real reason Germany dominates in solar (and wind) is their commitment to democratizing energy. Read more.
View the Updated Community Network Map
We recently updated ourCommunity Network Map, which now documents over 340 communities that offer some form of telecommunications networks. The map is an important resource for communities investigating the possibility of their own investment in networks, for community groups seeking better connectivity options, the media, and for policy makers as they make important decisions about connectivity.See the map here.
First-of-its-Kind Farming System Coming to Atlanta
As a result of our assistance, the Atlanta-based City of Refuge will install an onsite, first-of-its-kind aquaponic farming system. This system will produce organic plants and fish that will help COR reduce the costs of serving 20,000 meals per month. It will also provide hands-on jobs and skills training for COR’s clients.Read more.