How voting and holiday shopping are alike

By the first week of November, elections will be over. You’re smart enough to make your own decisions—and the community is too diverse for the small group of us who work on the Heights Observer to have any business telling you what to think.

That’s why it’s a core principle of the Observer to facilitate discussion of public issues without taking sides. The Observer doesn't endorse candidates or issues, and we don’t filter out ideas we dislike.

We know participation in the Observer is stronger from some parts of the community than others—and this alone skews the opinions we receive and publish. It’s a concern we’re trying to address, and it's going to take awhile.

But every opinion expressed in the buildup to this month’s local election—and in the eight years since the Observer was founded—has been that of the individual whose name is on the article.

The Observer is like plumbing; a home without it would be inhabitable, but the water it carries is what really matters.

Thank you for your strong, well-stated opinions about our community. Please keep them coming.

Here’s one place the Observer does take a stand:

Our community is increasingly noteworthy for the number of  unique, independently owned businesses that serve it. The owners of these small companies have invested their entire lives in serving this community, and they work every day to earn our business.

More often than not, they also live here; the money we spend with them comes right back to us. If you live here by choice, their very existence is part of what makes this area more desirable than those sub-division suburbs where everything seems to come more easily.

I do almost all of my holiday shopping with local merchants, and I urge you to join me. You’ll find unique, affordable, exotic, craft-made gifts within an easy walk or drive.

When you shop locally, you support the community’s character and charm. When you shop online or at a big box, you support impersonal, large scale, foreign-sourced commerce. 

You're smart enough to make your own decisions. Before you do, just recognize that the future of where you shop is formed by the money you spend today. If you like what we have here, think of each dollar as a ballot. Then vote early and vote often.

Bob Rosenbaum

Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chairman of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.

Read More on Opening the Observer
Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 11:44 AM, 10.30.2015