Today, on The Bottom-Up Revolution podcast, we’re running a special episode featuring updates from four guests who were on the show in the last couple of years.
We’ll first hear from Marilyn Burns, who’s helping lead an effort to create a community laundry co-op in the Woodhill neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. While they haven’t broken ground on their new facilities yet, they’re establishing the foundation of their co-op and taking incremental steps to test out their ideas.
We’ll also hear from Alex Rodriguez, a Strong Towns member who’s been involved in an ongoing process to help revitalize his rural town of Lexington, New York, through arts, housing, and small business. His organization, Lexington Arts and Science, has found some creative ways to raise money and recognized the huge potential that comes from partnering with other local organizations.
Next, we’ll hear from Sheleita Miller, a Strong Towns member who runs a community radio program in Gary, Indiana, and has been helping business owners during the pandemic. She’s recognized a silver lining to the separation that came from the pandemic, and has also been tackling a new project: revitalizing a small local mall.
And finally, we’ll close with a brief update from our summer intern last year, Sarah Davis, on her new urban planning job.
As you’re listening, pay attention to these themes that came up again and again in our conversations with these local leaders: First, that progress takes time. You have to stay dedicated to your goal, even when the results aren’t immediate. Another huge theme was the need for incremental action. Most of the folks haven’t fully realized their goals yet—they think big!—but they’ve taken small steps along the way to figure out what works and iterate on that.
The people you’re about to hear from are also totally dedicated to working together. None of them operate alone; they’ve found neighbors and neighborhood organizations to partner with because they know that they’ll go much farther when they collaborate and share the workload.