Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Zuma Dogg's BIG "Economic Development" Idea for LA CIty and It's Non-Profits

Many of you who know me have been hearing about an idea I was hoping to pursue for myself to help stimulate Zuma Dogg's economic zone. However, as someone who doesn't even have gas money to drive out of this parking lot...maybe I have to shelve the idea of pulling this off myself.

AND, with the grim economic forecast for the U.S. and especially California, and double-especially Los Angeles (the epicenter of it all) -- Zuma Dogg wakes up every day and says to himself, "What's the answer? What is it going to take. What's an immediate measure. Something that can be done while we are waiting for Grand Avenue Project to totally re-vitalize the LA City economy. And time and time again, the same concept keeps coming out of the Batcomputer. And with the Holiday's coming up quickly, ZD has applied this concept to a specific, focused application that will be easy for everyone to understand:

HERE IT IS:

$5.00 Gift Stores!

Good night ev-er-y-body! Next show at 12 midnight. Don't forget to tip your waiters.

No seriously; here's the "economic development" idea that ZD thinks would be a nice match for the non-profits, including City Hall's "Youth Development" program (gang reduction/prevention).

Now, it's not as much fun as a one-time fishing trip. But, with the economy and inflation and job market and people's financial situation being what it is and will be this holiday gist shopping season...Zuma Dogg predicts more and more people will not even be able to comfortably afford the X-mas shopping season, even if they stick to Target and Wal-Mart.

The (Insert Name Here) $5.00 Holiday Gift Store

When you see all the stuff they sell at Venice Beach, a lot of it comes from the wholesale district downtown, located in the San Pedro/Wall area near City Hall. And great stuff it is. Whether you want a Led Zeppelin, 2pac, Barack Obama or Sarah Palin T-Shirt; jewelery, Hannah Montana backpacks (and Hannah Montana everything); hats, socks, shirts, posters, reggae/rasta stuff...ANYTHING THAT IS POPULAR AND IN MOST DEMAND...is all there.

So ZD wants to make use of all this un-used retail space with the "AVAILABLE" signs in the window all over the city by setting up these "economic development zones" in the "warm and fuzzy" guise of "$5.00 Gift Stores."

THEN, you staff the retail outlets with people from these non-profit programs that City Hall is tied in with (like the ones I've been complaining about.) So, if you got lemons, ZD wants to make a $5.00 Holiday Gift Store that can be operated by all the people who need jobs -- AND, the community gets a low priced shopping option where you can buy stuff for no more than $5.00.
(A LOT stuff can even be 2 for $5/3 for $5.) Belts, purses, apparrel, school supplies, staple goods.)

ZD has been saying if you are an entrepreneur, forget the Niemen-Marcus crowd and start catering to the underground economy/low-income crowd, that is getting bigger and bigger.

AND NOW, I think all can agree, we have a real crisis on our hands. Although the City can now easily do it theyselves, cause I just gave away the idea...I would like to help, too, cause I have a good feel for the items that should be stocked -- and want to help train the staff and people can see how some of this Deming stuff would come across in actual application. (I wouldn't be talking about Deming or trying to "teach" it...but just applying it to the situation. And people tend to like the environment so they try to do a good job, FOR THEMSELVES, because you have removed the barriers that rob them of dignity...and then you have a bunch of leaders excited about something besides a one-time fishing trip.)

HEY MAN, IT AIN'T LA LIVE OR GRAND AVENUE PROJECT...but it's something that the people of the community can do theyselves, for theyselves -- and the City can hopefully have a nice little experiment to point to as a success that they can point to and build upon.

I really don't know why I have such a bug up my ski-cap over this idea, but it's the same bug I got during other seminal moments in my life. So as someone who has seen how these types of predictions have unfolded in the past (like iPod would be the "next big thing/the biggest thing ever") when you still had to describe what it was. Or my prediction that rap music would be played on the radio, when I was told it NEVER would be played on the radio. Or like when I said in May 2007 that this thing called "subprime" was about to burst and sink the economy into a recession. AND, last holiday season, I told you we would be sitting here with banks collapsing THIS holiday season (I even said, starting in October). So sorry it started in September.

SO I JUST FEEL LIKE THIS IS THE DIRECTION TO TAKE: Start serving the low-income/underground economy BY the low-income/underground economy.

Reference: W. Edwards Deming "Out of the Crisis"

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