There’s A Reason You’re Here

I enjoyed reading this op-ed in the Youngstown Vindicator, written by a newcomer to the community.

She points out that negative attitudes by Youngstowners toward their city have been surprising to her.

“[F]orgive me if this suggestion to the natives is way off base, but when somebody tells you they just moved to Youngstown it probably isn’t helping the town’s image to blurt out, ‘Why?'”

How much do negative attitudes impact your city?

Do they prevent positive change from taking place or are people just being realistic and pragmatic after years of problems?



Filed under Economic Development, Editorial, regionalism, The Media

5 responses to “There’s A Reason You’re Here

  1. Rob

    I’ve experienced the same thing when visiting certain cities. It kind of makes me feel like an idiot for even wanting to visit the place for a few days.

  2. Sean Posey

    Youngstown is still somewhat of an insular community. Some have referred to it as a ‘closed community.’
    Outsiders (not the terminology I use) are often surprised at the attitudes perhaps because they don’t understand the history of the area. There is still a sense of ‘us vs. them’ and an almost familial outlook on many things. It was often remarked that those in politics or power in the area served their family and friends first and the community second, if at all. This has done more than it’s fair share to foster negativity and mistrust.

  3. Gene

    I can’t count how many times native Pittsburghers have asked me, “why did you move HERE?” As if Pittsburgh was a leper colony or Guantanamo Bay. Every non-native that I know has been hit with that question.

  4. Special K

    Yeah, I definitely experienced this attitude first-hand in cities like Lorain and Toledo. I can sort of understand why people feel this way, but it certainly undermines any efforts to make a place better or bring in new ideas.

  5. Rob

    This actually leads me to wonder how much of an actual economic impact this attitude has. For instance, so-called “cool” cities can rely on word-of-mouth marketing to attract people to visit or move to them. I’ve heard more than enough times from locals how a place like New York City is the most awesome place ever and I should go there… When I lived in Dallas, a place I would hardly consider awesome, no one ever questioned my motive for being there. It was assumed that I came because I wanted to be in that environment.

    Places like Youngstown, Cleveland or Pittsburgh seem to have the opposite effect. Every dollar that is spent trying to attract new people is counteracted by the local population trying to convince them otherwise.

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