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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Keep Louisville Weird

Yesterday, when I was dropping off one of my kids at camp, I parked behind a car bearing a bumper sticker that read simply, "Keep Louisville Weird."

Puzzled, a googled it and came up with this website. It turns out that the bumper sticker is promoting a progressive cause!
Quite simply, Keep Louisville Weird is a grassroots public awareness campaign, recently and quietly begun by a small but growing coalition of independent Louisville business owners who are concerned with the spreading homogenization of our hometown.

We’re concerned that the proliferation of chain stores and restaurants in Louisville is not only driving the independent business owner out of business, but is also robbing the city of much of its unique charm.

While we don’t discount the need for the Wal-Marts of the world, we’re troubled by the current civic notion that excitement for our town should come from the courting, establishment and promotion of chain stores and restaurants that can be found in many other cities across America.
Naturally, the group has its own blog. The group was also featured in Louisville Magazine; the owner of a bookstore near my home is pictured. Indeed, a number of my favorite local businesses are part of the coalition.

Apparently, Austin (TX), Raleigh (NC), and Boulder (CO) have similar movements.

Large right-wing media have even noticed, and responded.

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