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Translator: Helena Bowen Reviewer: Radost Tsvetkova
My story begins in an unfortunate place, in a sweatshop in Nicaragua.
When I was a college student, I was able to travel the world,
studying economics and international development,
which led me to the Chentex Maquila, a Taiwanese-owned garment factory
in the Las Mercedes Free Trade Industrial Zone in Nicaragua.
Now these zones are controversial,
because multinational companies were allowed to set up factories
in areas where they didn't have to pay taxes or import tariffs.
Local governments gave them loose labor and environmental regulations.
Allegations against this particular factory
included child labor, forced overtime, worker repression,
and exposure to toxic chemicals.
Entering the factory felt like walking into a high-security prison.
There was a razor wire fence to keep out protestors.
Employees had to walk through metal detectors,
and when leaving, receive pat-downs
to make sure they hadn't stolen anything.
We were told not to take photos of anything that we saw.
I, however, snuck in my camera.
Walking through the factory with the company spokesperson,
they told us how this factory was good for the local economy,
how it was creating good paying jobs, and how well the workers were treated.
My eyes, however, told me a different story.
Hundreds of men and women hunched over long sewing tables,
doing the same repetitive task, over and over again,
sewing the zipper on a jacket or the arm on a shirt,
13-hour shifts.
At one point, I looked down, and I saw a woman making a North Face shirt,
nearly identical to the one I was wearing.
I paid probably 40 dollars for this shirt,
and the woman in front of me, making it, earned less than 2 dollars a day.
This experience gnawed at me, long after I returned home.
As a student, I wrestled with what my teachers and textbooks taught
about poverty and development, versus what I had seen first hand.
I had inherited the belief that people were poor,
because they didn't work hard.
Up until now, I didn't understand
there was a system keeping people in poverty.
I inherited so many privileges that I hadn't earned,
and until now, I hadn't asked the question,
"Why was I more fortunate just because of where I was born?"
Because of where Janet was born,
she will have a 67% chance of growing up to be obese.
Because of where Julian was born,
he will have a 56% chance of not completing high school.
Because of where Jose was born,
he will be likely to grow up to continue a cycle of poverty.
Because of where these children were born,
they will live on average 12 years fewer than kids born in surrounding communities.
I didn't know how to solve poverty,
but I knew I couldn't turn my back on it either.
So, in 2007, along with my friend from college, Joseph Teipel,
created an organization called Revision,
to come up with new solutions towards poverty,
a new model of economic development.
We had no money, no resources, no experience.
We had no idea where to start,
except I needed a haircut and a shave pretty bad.
(Laughter)
But we had a vision.
On one hand, we wanted to go back to Nicaragua,
and work on improving the conditions we had seen there,
but we eventually realized
we would be falling into the same trap of international development,
that is, trying to solve somebody else's problems
in a community that we didn't belong to and didn't know anything about.
You don't have to go to another country like Nicaragua
to find extreme cases of poverty.
Janet, Jose, and Julian weren't born in Nicaragua.
They were born here in Denver, in the Westwood neighborhood.
We decided the most authentic thing that we could do,
would be to start where we live, in our own backyard,
and try to make a difference.
So in 2007, I found myself around a table
with residents from the Westwood neighborhood,
and they were sharing with me all of the challenges they faced.
For over three decades, the city had largely forgotten Westwood.
Businesses had closed and moved, schools were failing,
residents were largely left to fend for themselves.
Westwood has the second most youth in all of Denver,
and yet had no parks, and no community centers.
It had the second highest rate of poverty, and yet no job training programs.
Westwood has the highest rate of obesity and diet-related illness,
and had no grocery stores.
As residents shared this with me, I couldn't help but think
that the system had not only failed communities like Westwood
but actually created the problems in Westwood.
Just like the Nicaraguan Free Trade Zone,
Denver's economy needed people to do low-wage and low-skill work.
And so talking with residents, I was expecting them to blame the system,
that somebody else should come fix their problems.
And so I was kind of taken aback when they said,
"We just want to grow our own food, but we don't know where to start.
We don't know where to begin."
As a result of the conditions in Westwood, and many more,
a child born there today will live 12 years fewer
than a kid born in any other Denver neighborhood.
All people were asking for were resources, a spark to help them get started.
So we began where all communities begin, that is, with agriculture.
We know from our grandmother's home cooking,
or celebrating a special occasion around a dinner table,
food has so much power to bring us together.
The act of growing a garden can transform more than just the landscape.
We believe that, if we could change the food of a community,
we could change the entire community.
I knew, from the beginning,
that this couldn't be led by me or my organization.
In order for Westwood to change, it had to be owned by the people,
so we developed a resident-led approach,
based off of a community health worker model in Latin America.
We hired women from the community as 'promotores', and gave them jobs.
They began talking to their neighbors
and signing people up to grow food in their backyard.
Promotores taught families how to start a garden,
what to plant and when, and then later,
how to harvest from their garden and cook healthy meals.
In 2009, we started providing resources for seven families,
the majority living on less than 20,000 dollars a year,
to turn their yard into a garden to feed their family.
For many of these families, having a garden is the only way
that they can eat fresh fruits and vegetables,
let alone organic food.
Word began spreading,
and our program was increasing in size, doubling, even tripling.
This year, we will have close to 400 families,
growing their own food to meet their needs
and to share with their neighbors
(Applause)
making this the largest community-led, urban agricultural program
in the entire country.
23.5 million people in the U.S. live in food deserts,
so why is this model working?
We believe the key is the focus on one specific place,
and to build the capacity of people living there
to solve their own problems.
Place-based model, the increase of the ownership of people,
can transform a community.
We used food as this vehicle to unite people around a common cause.
Food made people feel powerful.
It was the catalyst to show them they could own their solutions.
They didn't need anyone else to solve their problems.
A couple of years ago, we began holding meetings with residents,
and asking them if we should bring in a grocery store.
Grocery stores intentionally don't locate in communities like Westwood
because of dollars and cents,
because they don't think they can make enough profit
to justify the capital investment.
People had asked the city for help for years,
and they were tired of waiting and feeling powerless.
And why should they wait?
Westwood, just like any other community, deserves access to healthy food.
We drew a circle on a map, and actually it's more of a squiggle,
but this represents how far you could drive
from the center of Westwood within three minutes.
Within that circle, there are over 6,000 households.
Every year, those 6,000 households spend over 16.5 million dollars on groceries,
but because there are no stores in the neighborhood,
people have to leave, sometimes up to 20 minutes away, to buy their food.
The result is, over 13 million dollars leave this community every year.
That is 13 million dollars of hard-earned money,
leaving one of the most underserved communities in all of Denver.
If we could just keep that money in this circle,
then perhaps, we could break the cycle of poverty in Westwood.
(Cheering)
Residents decided they wanted a grocery store,
but not just any grocery store.
They wanted a store that they owned and controlled.
They wanted a store that was authentic to their community
and built to meet their needs,
where they could sell tomatoes from their garden
or the tamales from their kitchen.
In 2014, we held a meeting with residents from our Backyard Gardening Program,
and we created the Westwood Food Cooperative.
We knew this store had to be owned by the community
which is what the cooperative business model allows.
It is a business structure owned by its members,
in this case the people of Westwood.
Place-based economics, that is economies rooted in a specific place
can help a community build and control its wealth
as opposed to historically watching it leave.
With a 1.3 million dollar grant from the city of Denver,
we bought a junkyard in the neighborhood,
and we are currently fixing it up with the goals of opening the doors
of the Westwood Food Cooperative in January.
It will be the first food co-op in Denver,
and more significantly, one of the first grocery stores in the country
to be owned and operated by members of a low-income community,
and the only one, built upon a community of 400 families
growing their own food where they can sell it at the store.
(Applause)
All of the board members are residents that were elected by their neighbors,
and yes, Joseph and I live in the neighborhood as well.
Seven of the board members have never served on a board before,
let alone managed a company,
but the co-op model empowers them with that opportunity.
Most of the members have never owned a business before,
but the co-op model empowers them with that opportunity.
As Westwood sees that it can create and own its food system,
it sees other systems that it can own as well.
Our vision is to create an economy
in Westwood, by Westwood, and for Westwood,
that is owned by Westwood,
where every resident not only has a good job in the neighborhood
but that they own a share of the economy as well.
Despite of being neglected for decades,
Westwood is now threatened by gentrification.
So in response to this, we are looking at a community land trust
that will allow Westwood to purchase its properties
and keep the people currently living there from being priced out or forced out.
Through a community land trust --
(Applause)
Westwood can retain ownership of its real estate,
develop it how it wants, and own its culture and its community.
This is a new model of economics, built from the ground up.
If communities like Westwood or Nicaragua
are ever going to break free from the cycle of poverty,
it begins by slowly re-owning their economy,
and taking ownership of their future.
This is the power of place-based economics.
Place-based economics is the exact opposite
of what mainstream economies argue for.
They argue for a bigger, faster, larger, global economy
where everything has a price tag and is available for sale.
Most economists would argue that it is impossible
for what we are doing in Westwood to succeed,
and for many reasons, those might be valid points.
The place-based model we are building in Westwood
cannot succeed on its own, it cannot be an isolated economy.
In order for this to work,
we need to cooperate with other place-based economies,
which leads me to my challenge to everybody here:
begin building a place-based economy where you live.
As an outsider to your community, I'm not going to tell you what to do,
but there's a couple suggestions I have from the lessons I've learned.
The first is to find your place.
Explore where you live.
What makes it unique?
What makes it your home?
When we lose connection to our place,
we lose our history and our collective knowledge.
Only when we really understand our community
can we see what it really needs.
The second is build relationships.
We create a culture and our identity in relationship to people and the place.
When we start to view our economy through the lens of place,
we begin to see our community differently.
We can look into the eyes of the person that grew our food or made our clothes,
and feel proud about supporting them.
We begin to build an economy based on relationships not transactions.
And relationships are about a mutual give and take.
We can ask,
"What does our community give to us, and what do we give it in return?"
The third is to rethink ownership.
The traditional view of ownership in America is of private ownership,
of individual rights and responsibilities.
But we can own things together,
where our individual rights don't come at the expense
of our responsibility to our communities.
Community ownership ties us together,
and when our community thrives, we all thrive.
Building place-based economies that increase local ownership,
build relationships, and reconnect us with our place, isn't partisan.
It isn't capitalist or socialist, left versus right.
It's a middle path
to how we can heal our communities, our society, and our Earth.
And I believe this is a road map on how we can change the world.
Thank you.
(Applause)
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

How to Build a Place-Based Economy Where You Live | Eric Kornacki | TEDxMileHigh

58 タグ追加 保存
王惟惟 2018 年 11 月 29 日 に公開
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