Our Local Economy Communities program works with residents and public officials to establish a community preference for sustainable and equitable public policies, and to promote local purchasing, to make efforts to move the funds of the city to local banks, to increase local procurement, and to work with the school department to increase the percentage of local food in the schools. These are a few concrete steps that we feel will shift our communities in a stronger economic direction. Overall, we agree with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and their proposal for a set of new rules that builds community by supporting humanly scaled politics and economics. The rules call for: • Decisions made by those impacted • Communities accepting responsibility for the welfare of their members and the next generation • Households and communities possessing or owning sufficient productive capacity to generate real wealth NewRules.org discusses the importance of these rules and shares the best. Learn more at www.newrules.org. For more information on this program and becoming a Local Economy Community, write info@seacoastlocal.org. * * Somersworth is the region’s first Local Economy Community What is a Local Economy Community? It’s a resolution, a pledge, a transformation. In the fall of 2010, the Somersworth City Council unanimously passed a resolution making the City of Somersworth a Local Economy Community. This resolution was presented to the City Council by Mayor Lincoln Soldati, who made promoting local businesses and building a sustainable, strong local economy a major priority for his work in Somersworth. “The great advantage to communities that place an emphasis on supporting locally owned independent businesses is the ability to improve your local economy without raising taxes," says the former mayor. The resolution followed a meeting with Seacoast Local and the New England Local Business Forum and a presentation to the City Council. Somersworth is only the second community in the nation to do make this commitment. The first is Cambridge, Mass. By taking a public stand, Somersworth has become a leader in the local economy movement. This trailblazing resolution sets the following objectives: • Increase opportunities for municipal procurement from locally owned independent businesses • Ensure locally owned independent banks are encouraged to bid for municipal banking services and given whatever preference is lawfully allowed • Support the efforts of the schools to increase the percentage of locally grown and produced food served to our children • Market the importance of buying from local independents and participate in Seacoast Local awareness campaigns • Continue to develop policies that directly support the growth of locally owned and independent businesses in Somersworth. When City Hall adopts this pledge, it becomes a community commitment, percolating through city departments and committees to build a strong local economy. “I am so proud of our community in Somersworth. This resolution represents a recognition of the importance of developing a sense of community, a sense that we all need to support one another and that it is the community working together, not government which will help us solve our problems and improve our local economy," Soldati says. Seacoast Local and local business members have been working to build a strong local economy for nearly five years. We are glad to work with local government and citizens to make Somersworth a Local Economy Community, and look forward to working with more communities across the Seacoast.