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corporate dominance | neighborhood news stop starbucks

"Leap for Localization", a No Starbucks in 7 Corners event, was a success!

Yesterday's "Leap for Localization" was attended by over 60 people, who rallied against plans for a Starbucks in 7 Corners, and for localization and community-driven growth instead.
The speakers were Richard White, an Urban Studies prof at PSU, Katherine Gray of the People's Food Co-op Board, Mark Lakeman of City Repair, Lynn Hanrahan, co-owner of Mirador, and Sophia from NW Resistance Against Genetic Engineering. Then there was a surprise speaker, Ray, a 9 year old resident of the neighborhood, who likened Starbucks, fast food chains, and TV culture to "cancer". Ray's analysis was spot on, and drew loud cheers from the crowd.

People wrote messages on gold strips of paper about why they don't want a Starbucks in the location, and what they want instead, and wove them through the fence in front of the construction site. This reclaiming of the space was a powerful visual symbol of neighborhood opposition and wishes.

Afterwards, a neighborhood activist led a walking tour of the surrounding 2 square blocks where not less than 6 other developments are also happening, and talked about the lack of public input into what happens in our neighborhoods. He also suggested that people become involved with their neighborhood associations and other community efforts to demand a voice.

Photos will be up soon, and also audio from the press conference! (Sorry this is such a short report -- i've got to get to work. Hopefully other people can add more!)