Going Local This Summer

One thing led to another in my pursuit to spread the word about hosting international students, and I ended up on my very local neighborhood blog. Here I learned about the new Mexican restaurant installing carpet up the street, the vandalism around the corner, and the valiant effort my neighbors are waging to get the city to enforce our neighborhood’s development plan.

I also saw an image that caught my eye, one of a row of houses and trees against a silhouette of an urban landscape. It said: “Authentically Local: Local Doesn’t Scale.” It was a link to a website of other small neighborhood blogs around the country that live up to the saying “All news is local” in communities from West Seattle, Washington to Lakeland, Florida.

It is indeed the local that we celebrate in the summer—local bands playing on grassy hills in community parks, local ice cream trucks that tweet their locations, local beaches that cool us down when days get hot. Even when we wander away from our homes into other people’s “local,” we go in order to stretch our legs on their streets and immerse ourselves in the day-to-day activities that make their community special.

I am going to take July and August off from blogging to enjoy local near and far. As I do, I want to thank all of you who have traveled with me on this journey of starting the Social Change Collaboratory. I appreciate your ideas, comments, and emails and look forward to continuing the conversation in September. Best wishes for a wonderful, local summer!

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