I couldn’t be more delighted about the Simi Valley Acorn article that was published in today’s paper about my efforts to shine a light on Simi Valley. I truly hope it’s read as a humble effort. I want very much to be successful with this project, but I certainly don’t believe I’m better than anyone else or more qualified than any of the other community super-stars who are currently making an impact.
Chandler, 34, said his goal in creating the website was to help educate people about the goings-on of local government and to get them excited about the process.
True, that was definitely the idea at first, and certainly what brought VoteSimiValley.com to life, but I want a whole lot more with The Simi Show. I want to show people that we’ve got a terrific community, full of good people, great businesses, family fun and valuable community services. The Shop Simi Valley First campaign WILL come up, but it will be less about budgeting and effectiveness and more about why shopping in Simi is just better than leaving the city!
Councilmember Steve Sojka, a proponent of the shop local campaign and chair of the Small Business Advisory Committee, said Chandler’s criticism of Shop Simi is misguided. Sojka said that some local pizza places have bigger advertising budgets than the campaign.
Though they may differ on issues, the council member said he thinks “The Simi Show” is a good idea—if done right.
“It’s good to get people engaged,” Sojka said. “I hope that whatever issue he deals with, he does his research. It’s easy to create a controversy, but you want to see someone who just reports facts in a fair and balanced way. That does the community a good service.”
I like Steve Sojka, but I don’t think he believes that. He takes my criticism personally it seems and suggesting my criticism is misguided makes me wonder if he understands my point.
Shop Simi Valley First shouldn’t be about targeting the businesses. Businesses should be participating in the program by contributing to its marketing, not sitting back and waiting for the city to spend money. Why? Because they benefit too. The target is SHOPPERS and if local retail numbers aren’t increasing measurably after spending $100K, then shoppers either aren’t getting the message or it simply isn’t working and new strategy is needed. Pizza places with $100K marketing budgets have them because they produce measurable, financial results.
I want to find really cool businesses, shops and business owners and showcase them individually, one by one. It’ll take some time and it’s a slow process, but it’ll show my audience some of our community’s great features, as well as bring in some curious new customers to some retail shops. Plus, it won’t cost me too much.
Chandler said he hopes to expand “The Simi Show” by inviting outside contributors to add their own content, including interviews, hard news stories and perhaps guest commentaries. He also wants to profile local businesses and cover the landfill expansion issue.
I really want to do as much as I possibly can. Employment is a big concern for me now considering our economy and I’m feverishly working on a portal to present Simi Valley job seekers with powerful tools to find work. I’m also a big believer in the power of the Internet and want to provide an online community for everyone in Simi Valley to do the exact same thing that I’m doing. The technology is there… I just want to open the door and let my fellow Simi Valley citizens join the party.
If that’s misguided, so be it!
Read the full article in the Simi Valley Acorn here.
UPDATE: Brian Dennert mentions the article here. Thanks Brian!