Book Discussion: Local Dollars, Local Sense
Binghamton Community Lab kicks off on September 18th at the Lost Dog Café Violet Room, with a discussion of the
book Local Dollars Local Sense, by Michael Shuman.
Binghamton Community Lab offers an ongoing open forum for discussion and exploration of matters concerning
community development in the Binghamton Region. Evolutionary biologist Professor David Sloan Wilson,
a founder of the Binghamton Neighborhood Project (BNP), will team up David Currie, Director of the
Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC) to facilitate this series, regularly held on the Third
Tuesday of the month (with changes for holidays) at the Lost Dog Cafe Violet Room, the discussion starts at
7:30pm, preceded by dinner at 6pm for those who wish to eat beforehand.
Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real
Prosperity–A Community Resilience Guide by Michael Shuman tackles the urgent problem of rebuilding local
economies. Peg Johnston, of the Cooperative Art Gallery on State Street and a member of the Downtown
Commission, put out a call for people to read this book “because the missing piece for development of
Binghamton is often the lack of capital–there have to be ways for ordinary people to invest locally.”
Around this same time, Johnston and Currie were invited to be part of an economic policy discussion about
the local economy hosted by Senator Gillibrand, when it became apparent that they were both working off
the same playbook. The Senator expressed strong interest in several of the ideas presented. This quickly
led Wilson and Currie to offer the newly re-cast “Binghamton Community Lab” forum as a setting for the discussion,
reprising a topic that BNP and BRSC collaborated on in 2010, when the book under discussion was Michael
Shuman’s The Small-Mart Revolution. Currie will present a summary of local investment choices – from
institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct
public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more, which are described in the book, and outline
some of the initiatives already in process or in early stages of development in Binghamton. The ensuing
discussion will seek to discover which strategies to stimulate the local economy make the most sense for our
area and how we might advance them.
With this discussion, Binghamton Community Lab welcomes the opportunity to engage economic development
planners, entrepreneurs and residents from all walks of life who share an interest in community development.
It is recommended that participants familiarize themselves with Local Dollars, Local Sense, which may be
bought locally at RiverRead Books on Court St in Binghamton.