Tag Archives: democracy

Claiming Community Power

democracy, empowerment of people, civil society, An Informal Cornr
Community Power

The trade of goods goes on between many nations. Everybody negotiating Trade agreements for economic activity to help support and grow business and money flow. It brings needed monies to the national coffers to spend towards needs of the nation and benefits for businesses on either side of trade agreement. Somewhere in the middle though communities are getting hurt, since the global market is replacing the local market.

Governments around the world have ‘centralized’ powers, to a select few and ignore the voices and needs, of the People. The last thing a few of today’s government officials want, is You, or the People, to be empowered. Do you ever wonder why they are so hostile and indifferent, to Indigenous peoples, women, or other minority group? Especially if reasons for outrage affects survival?

The voices of these small groups are using community power, to push the government for changes and that power is ‘shared’ between them. Joining with other ‘groups’ builds into a larger force and may continue to grow, with more people joining, until the government is greatly outnumbered. Use of police or army powers, is it to regain order or act of retaliation? Power in a nation should be held by the People, not in hands of the few government officials, in office annointing themselves, as your saviors.

One of the greatest flaws of today’s economic system is that demand for goods and services, which powers economic growth, depends on how much money people have and are able to spend. People have also become dependent upon the government, to solve their problems and needs, when in reality, they can do something themselves. The government and corporate pursuit, of centralizing control of resources, is diminishing ‘diversity’, community economies, and having every town and city, all look alike.

Shall we figure out how to start building change, starting at home? Finding individual success and prosperity can begin in our own community by working collectively and cooperatively, as a team. The big secret? Keep the money circulating in the community versus sending it out of the area. What? Purchasing goods from China, Indonesia, London, etc., sends money out of the community. It supports the governments vision, for the ‘global market’ and doesn’t help you, or your community.

The message ‘Shop Local’ should be quite familiar. Learning to build an ‘economy’ in your community must begin with taking steps, to recognize where money is ‘leaving’ the community, and can be found in ‘imports’ and our ‘banks’. Shopping for items from other nations, sends our money to them. When we put money into our savings bank account, it also goes out of circulation, from the community, used by the government for their national plans. Neither of these actions helps to stimulate an ‘economy’ in our community. We can change this with learning to ‘shop local’ and direct our banks, to invest our savings back into our own community projects through a community development committee or corporation, which also allows for accessing government grants, loans and funding.

The second step is to strengthen the levels of trade and exchange. This means, local store A buys and sells, local raw materials, hires local workers. These workers spend their earnings at another local store, B, who also buy and sell, local products, which helps this business pay their local workers. Banks can help stimulate the local economy with investments back into local community projects and businesses, providing loans, for expansion, start-up, training,etc.

A local product may cost a bit more but the effect of it’s return, back into the local market results as jobs, money circulation, an economy. One example, let’s explore the idea of producing a local jam. They would need a supplier for jars and lids. Another thought, offering a variety of berries, to expand the jam producers own product, could result in a berry farm. These businesses may require a loan to train workers, from the local community and purchase of needed equipment. A second example, using invention and creativity to stretch existing scarce resources into new wealth which hadn’t existed before. Research the history of your area, use it to develop a Heritage or Cultural site, and promote it in the tourism industry. Stimulation of a healthy economy begins as other businesses may open to provide support, other or new services, or fills a new need.

A few extra steps are needed. Success in building community spirit, will depend greatly upon the ‘sense of community’ between people, of all ages. A few solutions, create areas, activities and reasons for people to congregate and ‘bond’, interact socially, grow pride, in being part of developing a community identity, to call your own. Every area where a community exists, is different and should be adapted with it’s natural environment versus imposing an un-natural environment. Do your best to build a unique and separate community identity.

Area’s to explore in stimulating ideas for economic prosperity, in your community, can begin with developing supporting projects in agriculture, health, environment, and education, to name a few. Secondary business refers to providing manufacture type of industry and tertiary business refers to providing ‘service’ sector jobs. High costs of living can force communities to work towards examining alternative methods of providing needs for the people, such as lower housing affordability, community garden, or skills training. Learning the needs of your community can be found through research, public input, secondary research reports, surveys, open meetings. A quick look at Maslow’s Law can also help provide direction.

A community, is people working together, able to solve their own problems. A common goal can create cooperation, unity, dedication. A completed project instills pride and sense of accomplishment, empowerment and new beginnings for the community, over all. It may not be an easy road and may require a ‘facilitator’ to help provide direction, but knowing just the basics, can improve your chances of success. People really can apply power over their lives.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your thoughts and share this article. Send me an Email if you have a request on a topic of interest, a guest post or to say Hello!

Extra Reading

The Community Training & Development Centre

Useful Community Development- Urban to Rural

Community Development Corporation Manual Guide-Download

Learning in Motion  (may require Reload for Video to show)


Copyright Article (C) 2014, all Rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and advocates on social issues.

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