The Shift Across America

IF you haven’t heard yet, I’m off on a 3 week journey called Shift Across America to the BALLE Conference, a gathering of many of the best and brightest in the local movement.  

Along the way I’ll be speaking to over 100 individuals in over 20 cities and towns in America.  These people are builiding communities in business, arts and music.  Through their work, we are seeing a shift  in our local economies and communities.  

We’re sponsored by the Weekly Dig, other local businesses and individual doantions.  We still haven’t raised all we’ll need but I’m doing it anyway.  I have faith it will all work out along the way.  If Obama taught us anything its that small donations DO make a difference…’buy me a beer or lunch’ while i’m on the road with a $5-10 donation here 

This will be an attempt at modern storytelling using new media, so follow us online as the story is documented in real-time.


Donate:  small amounts count too, do it here!
Content Home:  Blog
Facebook Page:  Become a Fan 
Twitter:  Hear all the Tweets 
Video:  YouTube Channel
Photos: Picasa Web Albums
The Stops on the Shift:  Google Maps 

That’s it for now, follow the story…I have to go get ready!

Keep it Local, Keep it Fresh


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Someone said blog posts should be posted more than 1/month

Seriously, I have been incredibly slack on this lately…sorry folks.

Trying to get back in the swing of things, here are a few brief updates on all things Local & Independent

—The 10% Shift continues to gain momentum.  We’ve launched in 14 communities across New England, Local Networks are integrating it into their programs, events and marketing, and we continue to see highly visible support in the political arenas.  W00t!

—SLF will be doing more events as the weather warms up.  If you’re watching your funds, these are great low/no cost options.  And we have fun 🙂

Next up:

April 16th – Dave’s Fresh Pasta

On Thursday, April 16th join us at the newly expanded Dave’s Fresh Pasta to check out the new digs and the great new items they have for you.  Food and wine will be free and a % of the proceeds will go to The Somerville Homeless Coalition and Somerville Local First.

Cost:  Free

More info here

April 23rd – Introducing Bread & Company Bistro

Similar to Local For Love, this will be a stylishly delicious occasion.  Bread & Company on Broadway serves incredible cuisine and baked goods and they will be on display this night.  We’ll have wine and cocktails, and of course a contribution from local artists (we plan to have two painters showing their work, plus some surprises).

Cost:  Free

Please RSVP to or on facebook here

—Finally, I need YOUR help.  In order to create a sustainable organization that is self-reliant, we need more members.  The next time you go into a Somerville shop and don’t see a decal, ask them to join.  Hearing from customers is the fastest way to get a business person interested in spending their valuable time learning about us.

As always:  Keep it Local, Keep it Fresh (and I’ll try to keep the postings on the blog fresh too 🙂


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Has it REALLY been this long?

I just checked the blog, and it’s been over two weeks since the last post…oops!

So I’ll just do a quick collection of links from the 10% Shift, which is building by the day – Make the Shift @

The Portsmouth Launch had a story run on NECN, which hits all of New Enlgand and 3.7 Million people, see the story here

Audio from the Worcester Local First 10% Shift Launch @ City Hall with US Congressman Jim McGovern and Mayor Lukes (15 minutes) -listen here and check Worcester Local First’s website

We started a Flickr account for the Shift

….and next week we continue to launch, with proclamations in Arlington and….SOMERVILLE!

*****Please Join Us at the Board of Alderman Chambers on Thursday March 26th @ 7:00 PM. We’ll introduce the Shift, hopefully get a few words from Mayor Joe and the Board will vote  on 10% Shift Day in Somerville!!!! It would be great for our organization to have a large and excited crowd so please come and/or tell your friends.********
keep it local, keep it fresh, make the shift, change the world


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It’s 2 AM I must be crazy…

It’s been quite a whirlwind lately.  A blog post wasn’t on my to do list, which is currenlty at 14 items that need somewhat immediate attention, but it has to happen because there is tremendous news to share.

The 10% Shift is starting to catch on in a big, big, BIG way.  Here are some of the highlights for this week:

  • There are now 11 New England communities that will publicly unveil the 10% shift in the March towards the Shift, including Greater Boston, Worcester, Portsmouth, Portland, Northern and Southern RI and New London, CT.
  • The 10% Shift has now been endorsed by the Lt. Gov of RI, Elizabeth Roberts, US Congressman Jim McGovern, the mayors of Worcester, Portsmouth and Somerville…and the list is growing by the day is size and scope.
  • The Mayor of Worcester will be introducing a proclamation to the city council to recognize 10% Shift Day in Worcester on the day of their launch.
  • As a direct result of the story in the weekly dig, I have confirmation that I will be making an appearance on a radio program of local significance that reaches 600,000 listeners.
  • This week, the Wall Street Journal  posted an OpEd by Peggy Noonan about American Dynamism.  Ms. Noonan is a former speechwriter for Bush 1, and aide to Reagan.  She ends her piece with these words (and you tell me if you think this issue is one that unites):
The comeback will be from the ground up and will start with innovation. No one trusts big anymore. In the future everything will be local. That’s where the magic will be. And no amount of pessimism will stop it once it starts.
  • Finally, Business Week Online posts a story about the Grand Rapids Study, detailing the power of a 10% Shift.  Read it here…and a quote from that story:
The elegance of the 10 percent shift right now is that it doesn’t ask people to expand their budgets and spend more. It asks people to be more conscious about where they spend what they’ve already budgeted for. If returns on local spending are as dramatic as as the Grand Rapids study suggests, the 10 percent shift might be a way out for local economies devastated by mass layoffs.

I don’t know about you, but I think we may just be onto something here.  Shift happens…  make the shift now

Now, back to that to do list…and as always

Keep it Local, Keep it Fresh

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Lovin’ the Local

Check out these love-ly images, provided graciously by Jaymes Leavitt, from Local for Love.


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A new revolution is starting, and its starting close to home

It is with great pleasure and pride that I put this post online today.  I have long believed that the movement to support Local Independents (locally owned & independent businesses) has been building, and that at the appropriate time and place, we would see our cause catapulted into the spotlight.  I write with confidence, that this time is now.

Last week, the 10% Shift launched in Somerville.  This program, as reported in Boston’s Independent Alternative News Weekly The Weekly Dig:  The 10-Percent Shift, Revolutionizing the Way You Shop, offers hope and promise regarding our Local Economies:  A message not often heard these days.  The Shift is asking individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to Shift 10% of their annual purchases to Local Indpendents this year.

So, what does  a 10% Shift mean?  Well, as discussed here before, a recent study out of Western Michigan espouses the power of such a Shift.  To recap, the study found that if the 600,000 people living around Grand Rapids were to shift 10%, they would create the following economic benefits this year:

  • 1600 new jobs, reducing unemployment by .5%
  • $53 Million in new wages
  • $137 Million in new economic activity for the local economy

…and this is without the use of one taxpayer dollar! Quite the contrast to some other economic recovery packages, don’t you think???

Now, in New England, we have about 13 Million households.  I think you see where we’re headed here….the potential impact from a modest behavior change is HUGE.

The program will be publicly launched in Boston during the month of March, in a rolling set of local launches we’re  calling “The March towards the Shift“.  And we’re planning quite an event to mark the occasion! (details coming soon).

Furthermore, I’d like to give some recognition to the community of Somerville.  It is with great pleausre and tremendous pride that I announce that Somerville is home to the first publicly elected official to sign the pledge (Rebekah Gerwitz, Ward 6 Alderwoman) and the first Mayor in New England to signt the pledge, His Honor Joe Curtatone.  Mayor Curtatone has taken the additional step of helpig to recruit other Mayors, all around Massachusetts, to this cause.

As a sidenote, it is inspiring and exciting to hear figures of prominence like Mayor Curtatone and Alderwoman Gerwitz talk about how they will make a shift.  They both did more than just agree to support the program, they immediately started thinking and questioning about how they can make the shift.  Yet another example of why Somerville is a community on the rise, and is another step on our way to becoming a National Leader when it comes to Local Independents.

And finally, if YOU want to make the shift, and “Build Strong Local Economies by Purchasing with Purpose” please go to the website: .  We have built a number of tools, to help you figure out how to shift.  So check out the page, sign the pledge, use the tools….and Purchase with Purposse to Build a Strong Local Economy!

Shift happens….


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Davis Square Local Independents Making A Charge

It’s been a while since the last post here, a very busy couple of weeks for SLF!

As you probably know, the Armory DID get their Entertainment License.  We are in discussions with them this week about a future event there, as early as the spring…stay tuned!

We’ve been growing our membership faster than ever,  and are really excited to welcome a strong group of Davis Square businesses into the group.

  • Magpie – Dave, the owner, has a sign up in his store informing customers that he stocks the goods of over 175 local artists.  Love that!
  • DSquared – If you haven’t been to this space, it’s a must visit.  Mel is great, co-owner Paul bartends @ Gargoyles….and they just started carrying fedoras (*gush*)
  • Bowl & Board – Such a great thing that we have a Houseware-type store in Davis now.  I checked the prices, they’re right in line.  And as I wrote to the owner Mark “You’re an inspiring entrepreneur, who ‘gets it’, one of my favorite types of people.”
  • poor little rich girl – the owner is one of the most savvy businesspeople I’ve met in a long time, they carry incredible stuff…and they’re hosting our party next week!

Davis Square has approximately 120 Local Independents….we look forward to working with them all.

Next post will have special Local for Love info…stay tuned.

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