Baumhower: #ToledoIsBeautifulWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | email@example.com
Every city has it challenges. Toledo has plenty. Some cities deal with high murder rates and violence, others deal with a population exodus to the suburbs. Most cities have a blight issue. Toledo has a ‘Blade’ issue.
Once again The Blade is doing a “Special Report” investigative series on another negative issue affecting Toledoans. In the past, the daily newspaper has showcased Toledo by focusing on our “Brain Drain” and gang problems, even evoking legal action to get a special gang map. This time The Blade wants to tell and show the world about our blight issue; they want to sell papers and advertising by displaying our ugly.
I am not blinded to the fact this city has some visual issues with rundown and neglected properties. We do. There are properties owned by those former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner once deemed as “slum lords” — foreclosed properties that have fallen off the owning bank’s radar, probably on purpose. There are various reasons why ugly happens.
Blight and its ugliness is not exclusive to Toledo.
What fixes a city’s blight problem? The answer is simple: money. The better question is how does a city that had the worst winter in the country, who had to use unbudgeted dollars to plow and salt streets, come up with the additional tax revenue to fix this previously known but now nationally highlighted problem?
If I were a CEO of a business looking to relocate my company or to build a new office/warehouse in expansion, I would do some extensive research, and I would likely start with a simple Google search. Any CEO or businessperson who Googles the city of Toledo would find such attractive stories as “Most Miserable City,” “worst winter,” gang maps and Jon Stainbrook. The last may be the worst. I’m kind of laughing … kind of.
To fix an issue as big as blight, a city must have extra capital. To gain extra money, the city needs to increase its tax base. To increase its tax base, a city must add jobs and new businesses. It is simple mathematics.
Let me ask you: If your only way to learn about the Glass City was by reading The Blade, would you move your business or start a new office here?
It seems a man in Pittsburgh likes to repeatedly kick an already hurting city, proving true the metaphor of “beating a dead horse.”
If “pretty is as pretty does,” then it can be said that “ugly is as ugly reports.”
I have an idea to combat this new focus on our ugly. Let’s show the world our pretty, our beautiful.
In The Blade’s reporting over the last couple of years and in this blight investigative special, there has been a repeated mention of a YouTube user whose videos have thousands of views, all featuring negative visuals of Toledo. I will not do our city the disservice again by naming him here. If you search “Toledo Ohio” on YouTube, these videos are what come up on the first page. My idea is to change that.
I want to issue a challenge to all filmmakers, cinematographers and advertising agencies: let’s show the world how #ToledoIsBeautiful.
The #ToledoIsBeautiful Filmmaker Challenge: Create a YouTube video showcasing the best visuals Toledo has to offer.
Here’s the twist: Do it without showcasing our already known and renowned places. In other words, the world already knows how great the Mud Hens, the Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Museum and Tony Packo’s are — let’s show them our ignored pretty.
Your film/video can include anything you feel that proves #ToledoIsBeautiful — from our parks, river and neighborhood buildings to the people who reside here. Let’s flood YouTube with videos that highlight why Toledo is a great place to live and let’s bury these negative videos to the bottom of the search engine.
Submissions are due ASAP.
I will be reaching out to various nonprofit organizations and businesses to see about creating a prize for the best films submitted.
Even if my attempts at collecting a prize are unsuccessful, know in your heart you are using your talents to improve our city and more important — its image. Your #ToledoIsBeautiful film will be fighting the forces of evil, combating those who want to tear down this city and putting a middle finger up to our real-life Darth Vader.
True beauty comes from the inside. However this type of beauty can only be seen by beautiful people, those with big hearts. #ToledoIsBeautiful for numerous reasons, but the greatest reason of all is the size of the hearts of those who call her home.
Toledoans are beautiful.
To enter and participate in the #ToledoIsBeautiful challenge, simply upload your film to YouTube and use the words “Toledo Ohio” and the hashtag #ToledoIsBeautiful.
For my Instagram friends and Twitter users, please join the crusade against our ugly by using the hashtag #ToledoIsBeautiful.
Jeremy Baumhower can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jeremytheproduc.