Wednesday, March 3, 2010

USA Today has me fired up!!!

This article on the cover of USA Today both saddened and incensed much so that I wrote a response. For me, who usually is unpolitical and chooses not listen to the news,...this is major! Major enough for me to start a MOVEMENT!!!

I was raised in this beautiful community on the banks of the Ohio River. This town, and the people who live there, contributed to the savvy business woman I am today. It was neither "no place" nor  "a rural problem area" before Henry J. Kaiser arrived. And my family never worked at Kaiser.
It is not a "one horse town" and there was a strong middle class before Kaiser and there will be after. Kaiser, indeed, was good for Ravenswood and brought people who had lived in many parts of the world to leave a mark on this town. Their influence and sophistication made for an idyllic, cultured lifestyle in the 1950, 60s and 70s and still shapes the area today.
It is the type of community where you know and care about your neighbor and you allow your children to walk home from school without fear. It is clean and non-polluted and I, and many others who have spent time there, will always fondly call it home.
I am saddened and incensed by the statement, "One-horse towns such as Ravenswood risk losing their reason for being." Juravich, who teaches about labor at the University of Massachusetts, should spend some time in Ravenswood before declaring it done. He states, "Without a hospital or university campus or county seat, they're one plant shutdown from oblivion." There is a hospital 15 minutes away, a university campus 30 miles away, and a county seat 15 miles away. All of which are much closer than similar areas of a metropolis. 
The Manifesto  
The people of Ravenswood are proud and strong and will survive regardless of the state of the plant. It is but a reflection of a mirror that many Americans do not want to look into.  It may be happening to smaller towns today but it will trickle up eventually and touch even Juravich. Turning away from the scene in the mirror does not mean it does not exist.
The world is indeed going through a cleansing process... and no place will this cleansing be more evident than in the world of business! We no longer trust big corporations balance sheets nor the executives who approved them. We see jobs disappearing and finances crumbling as a result of the virtual business model and the wanton and uncontrolled greed of Wall Street, big business, and a corrupt political system that turned a blind eye to the shenanigans.
It is time for a change. It is time for new thinking. It is time to restructure the way we work and feel about working. The people of Ravenswood and other towns, large and small, will need to create their own jobs as small business is what is destined to save our economy. Small businesses will use this transition period to retool and re-engineer the very foundation of our economic structure. The old way of doing business has not served our economy, our planet, nor us. It is time for new ideas.
I believe that now, more than ever before, women are poised to lead these small businesses with an inherent skill and a pioneering spirit I call the Revolutionary Woman. A woman who is prepared to lead the revolution by creating companies that will become the employers, the role models, and the innovators of a new way of doing business. 
I call on the women of Ravenswood and other towns suffering from this economy to step fully into their innate abilities as leaders, nurturers, and heroines! The Internet has equalled the playing field and social media is reshaping the way business is conducted. It is easier to start, run, and succeed in business at this point of history. So join the Revolution...join the movement this cover story of USA Today has inspired.
Today a 58 year old woman from Ravenswood, WV with a computer,  an idea, and a will to succeed competes toe to toe with larger, more established publications. That woman is me. Read my story and more about becoming a Revolutionary Woman at The (r)Evolutionary Women Blog.
Join the Movement today 
by leaving a comment 
and fighting to save our communities.

6 comments: said...

Excellent response to the USA Today article about 'Ravenswood becoming a ghost town'. I lived in Ravenswood during the '60s and it was a good experience that has shaped my life. Good people and good memories. I pray the community will continue to be a safe family-oriented town where children can grow up and then stay to grow old. Thanks again for writing your reply. Cherie Smith Stallings

cityhall sue said...

I would like to thank you for that article. My name is Lucy J. Harbert, Mayor of Ravenswood. I am in my second term as mayor with two years as City Recorder and four years served on City Council and no one was more fired up than I about the article. When interviewed with USA TODAY, I gave a positive outlook on our situation but they chose to focus on the negative. I have spoken to the reporter and voiced my concern on the negative picture that he painted of our town. He apologized for the headline. I certainly agree with you that Ravenswood is not a one horse town and as long as I can do anything about it, it never will be. Our town people care about our homes and were enraged about the article. The part of our city government that works with all financial aspects of the city are all women and we intend to make sure that our city stays in the black. I am a part time mayor but I am at the office every day to oversee the workings of our city government. The job of running city government is hampered by the DEP, the PSC and the EPA. The government's tax base is also a problem. They tend to run small business out of West Virginia. We are in desperate need of a federal and state cap and trade, so that we won't have to depend on foreign countries and could open up more jobs here at home. Again, thank you for your backing and remember, If you want a job done right, just ask a woman!

Mayor Lucy J. Harbert
Ravenswood, WV (and proud of it)

Unknown said...

Bravo Rebecca I am so proud of you for speaking up, too many towns are being confronted with this type of crap, and it takes only one to speak up and make a difference...(((hugs)))

somepinkflowers said...

oh rebecca,
Good 4 You!
you are so inspirational,
i must say.

and so right on target.


PS--i would be remiss
if i did not tell you now
how much
i have been enjoying your online
Artistically Speaking Magazine.

every time i pop in there
i am drawn in for an afternoon.

such creative and interesting artists ♥

Patty said...

That's so great you tell them off!

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