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OK, Pima County Sups, Here is Some Advice

So, I recently wrote this thing for the Inside Tucson Business (miss them already) about eroding transparency in local government. I was mostly pointing out what is going wrong with Tucson City government regarding this subject. And I did a by-the-way mention of Pima County government at the end of my column.

Apparently, I struck a nerve.

And so, bam, there was a quick response. Not by City Manager Richard Miranda. Not by the Mayor or any Council Members. It was from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. Again, I only mentioned the County guys a little at the end.

But, it was enough to motivate Mr. Huckelberry to defend his peeps.

I’m thinking we should just turns this thing into a positive. I don’t want to know why there was such a quick and defensive reaction from the guys I barely mentioned. I leave that to an investigative journalist – if you can find one in town that has not lost his/her job these days – to dig into it and find out.

So, Pima County Sups, here is your advice:

  • First, move your meetings to a weekend night. Have your “call to the audience” at a time a poor slob can attend. Like 5:30pm, when most people can come by after work. Even if you have to start a little earlier in the afternoon, you can at least do a cousin of the City’s study session early on but offer “call to the audience” at a decent time when everyone can attend. This early morning, weekday meeting stuff has to go.
  • Make this meeting on any day but Tuesday. You see, this is when TUSD and the City of Tucson meet. We can’t be everywhere at once. And you don’t want people to think you are doing this on purpose: that is, ensuring you will only have a portion of the public attend your meetings due to all the other meetings happening at the same time. We don’t want that, right?
  • Stop getting rid of Board of Supervisor meetings DVDs after one year and have a copy at all libraries available, not just at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library . And, by the way, do you really not have enough space to store these DVDs? If you want to, I can give up a corner of my garage for storage of some off these razor thin disks.
  • Make your “Transparency” link, well, more transparent. I know it sounds cool to just say you are transparent and leave it at that, but most people won’t assume they can just click on that link and watch a recording of a Board of Supervisors meeting. Right now, once you click on that link, you have to go down a list of lot’s of stuff - yes important stuff, but, still, lot’s of stuff – to get to the meetings part. And even then, once you scroll to the bottom, and you finely find “Viewers may have access to current video and auto recording of recent Board meetings for a 90 day period”, you then have to click on “access” to get these videos. Come on. Can we just have a button on your home page that says “View Board Meetings Here“. How hard is that?
  • Finally, revisit Supervisor Ally Miller’s proposal to make all Board Meetings available online and on demand beyond one year. Again, how hard is that? The City of Tucson does it. They have their problems but at least they have this part down. So should you.

Seriously, though, open government should not be a spectator sport. You shouldn’t just do what is the bare minimum, what is just legal. Good parenting, for example, doesn’t mean you should just provide three hot meals, a shower and a bed. That just makes you a parent. Not a good parent.

Take the opportunity to make Pima County Board meetings more open, more transparent, more available for us  to participate, that way you can be considered good at being transparent and open.

Give us the mic. It belongs to us.





Don’t Be a Knucklehead: Root for the Home Team!

Logic has no place in sports. Well, except when it comes to rooting for your hometown team. Now that makes total sense.

I don’t get these random Cowboys, Raiders and Yankees fans living in Tucson. One of my buddies is a Yankees fan. Let’s just call him Knucklehead to protect his identity. He has no connection to New York. The guy is from Tucson. Born and raised. So, obviously, Knucklehead is going to hell.

Now, I’m ok with someone adopting an out-of-town or even out-of-state team if they have a rational explanation for it. For example, I am a Sacramento Kings fan. Why? Because I will never – and I mean never! – root for a team with “Phoenix” in it’s name. So, that leaves the Suns out. The next best “home team” for me are the Sacramento Kings since I was born in a small town in Northern California. I have to either root for a hometown team or for a team with some kind of hometown connection.

Now, if/when the Phoenix Suns become the Arizona Suns I will jump on that bandwagon immediately. I did exactly that when the Phoenix Cardinals became the Arizona Cardinals. And that was when they were still horrible!

Knucklehead has no legitimate reasons for adopting the Yankees as his favorite baseball team. Did his great grandfather help build the Empire State Building? No. Did his late uncle write “New York, New York”? No. Did he act on Broadway as a young guy or go to college there? No.

Basically, he is a native Tucsonan rooting for the Yankees while having no connection to the Big Apple at all. Not logical.

Luckily, we don’t have many knuckleheads in Tucson. Most of us are big Wildcat fans. I love it when I am in a local bar watching a UA game and I have no idea what anyone’s political party affiliation is or what their religious beliefs are. We are all just Wildcat fans in a sea of red and blue rooting for our home team.

I still remember watching the Wildcats win the national championship at Bianchi’s in 1997. I was on a hot date with my future wife. Well, my sister was there too. Come to think of it, the three of us also watched the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.

Game 7 was sweet. So sweet.

I bet even Knucklehead wished he was a home team fan for that one.

Miguel Ortega is an independent business development consultant. His radio program, “Locally Owned with Miguel Ortega”, airs on KVOI 1030AM every Saturday at 11 a.m. You can also listen to his radio columns on KXCI 91.3FM and follow his blog at

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Radio Afterthoughts: Neto Nails it On SB1062

We were supposed to have a pleasant chat about El Rio Sonora, local journalism and anything else on Ernesto “Neto” Portillo Jr.’s mind during the Locally Owned show a week ago (Podcast here, click on 2/22/14). But by the time Neto walked into the KVOI studio for our interview, this little homophobic bill (SB1062) was officially making it’s way to Governor Brewer’s desk.

So, how could we not talk about it? Oh, and Neto certainly had plenty to say.

In fact, he brought up a couple of points about the bill that had been troubling me for a while: it was great to see so many politicos and leaders of agencies and organizations stepping out early against this horrible bill, but it was also troubling to see how silent or luke warm they were on SB1070.

This is important to keep in mind going forward. We all have to work together against all immoral bills that promote intolerance and that also happen to be very, very bad for business.

I will have a lot more to say about SB1062 and how the “Business Community” has been impacted – and will be further impacted with similar bills on their way to the Governor’s desk.  But, it will require a more lengthy blog post or a future column. And, actually, what I really want to write about right now is how folks define the “Business Community”. Business owners – big and small, corporate and locally owned – tend to be lumped together and they (mostly the mom and pops) are often pimpled by Republicans and ignored by Democrats. 

More on that later.

For now, listen to the show and hear what Neto has to say. Towards the end of the show, we give politics a break and talk about his recent trip to El Rio Sonora in Northern Mexico. That area is where several generations of my family members are from and, in fact, still live. The next day, Neto’s column on his trip was published in the Sunday Arizona Daily Star (as part of his regular column, “Neto’s Tucson”). Check it out. It’s a good read.

By the way, has anybody noticed how gracefully Ernesto Portillo Jr. is aging? It’s like the older he gets, the more hair he has on his head, peppered with just the right amount of distinguishing gray. I said this to him live during our interview before discussing #SB1062. Two Chicanos talking talking about SB1062 and how great the other looks. So now I think we may both be deported. To Phoenix. I think that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

We will have Ernesto back on soon and, if he is game, often. “Neto’s Tucson” is required reading for all serious localists. I’ve always had a lot of respect for him and we should all feel very blessed to know that every day he is staying busy writing about our beloved Tucson. Adelante, Neto!

In the meantime, go localize something! It will be good for you, me and our hometown!

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Radio Afterthought: Is Jay Leno Having Car Museum Planning Meetings at Crave Coffee Bar?

Did we just share some huge, breaking news about Jay Leno coming to Tucson on the Locally Owned Show this morning (2/8/14 podcast)?!


So, check this out. This guy named Bruce called in to the show and said that he had some “inside baseball” info on the possibility of the retiring Jay Leno opening up a car museum in Tucson.

I mean… right?!!

Imagine Jay building this car museum in the Old Pueblo and hanging out at local cafes like Crave Coffee Bar? (By the way, Crave provided the warm lattes and dessert for the show this morning. Thanks, guys!)

Listen, I am a big David Letterman and Coco fan. But, if this is true, I am jumping on the Jay Leno bandwagon immediately!

And Bruce sounded legit to me, guys. He said he was a friend of Jay’s. Yes, I know. He may just be a nut. I did’t catch his last name so I have no idea who he is. But, hey, I will participate in spreading that rumor. Why not?

Sure, I made up the part about Jay having planning meetings at Crave. So sue me. Even if the whole thing is not true, it still serves as localism propaganda for Crave Coffee Bar so we all win, right?

Call me crazy, but, again, the caller sounded legit. I want to believe!

Mary Davis and Chicks N Chaps 

Now, on to my special interview with Mary Davis. She came in to chat about Chicks N Chaps which is a fundraiser benefiting breast cancer research. The idea is to introduce women to rodeo sports in a fun way while raising money for a good cause. The ladies participating will be introduced to the principles of roping and riding while also being pampered with a champaign brunch, gift bags, and all that good stuff.

Who isn’t for happy cowgirls supporting a good cause?

I’ve known Mary for about 9 years so I couldn’t possibly allow her to leave the studio and not have her comment on other matters regarding tourism, localism and on a few current issues.

So I kinda blocked the studio door so we could talk some more.

It turned out to be a nice chat and we even had time to touch on the Mayor’s effort to share a tourism office in Mexico City.

Keep up the good work, Mary!

Now, back to that rumor about Jay Leno hanging at Crave Coffee Bar with his staff to discuss the building of a car museum in Tucson. Spread that puppy around, man!

We may just will that rumor into reality!



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Dang, Locally Owned Radio Is Booked!

Pssst… got lot’s of great guests lined up for the next several episodes of Locally Owned with Miguel Ortega. (airs every Saturday at 11am on KVOI 1030AM with podcasts available here)

February 8: Mary DavisTucson Chicks in Chaps Rodeo Clinic - Women’s Rodeo Clinic benefiting breast cancer research

February 15: Mark B. EvansInside Tucson Business

February 22: Ernesto Portillo, Jr.Arizona Daily Star (Neto’s Tucson) and La Estrella de Tucson 

March 1: Mari HerrerasTucson Weekly

March 8: Kimber LanningLocal First Arizona

March 15: Mark B. EvansInside Tucson Business

March 22: TBD

March 29: Chellie KrajnackCreative Juice



Alex preparing a breakfast treat at Sparkroot for Locally Owned with Miguel Ortega

Radio Afterthoughts: How to “Borrow a Bad” and Dissect a Superbowl Ad

Flying solo on a radio show is both scary and exhilarating. As a radio host you get to talk a lot when you don’t have a guest booked. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing. (here is the 2/1/14 podcast

And speaking of “thing”, I sure use that word a lot on the air. Don’t mind me. This is just a note-to-self.

Ok, so I covered a lot:

New Castle Brown Ale Goes for Some Street Cred

First, we talked about that crazy New Castle Brown Ale ad starring Anna Kendrick. It’s a Superbowl ad. Well, not really. It’s more of an anti-Supebowl, anti-establishment, rebel ad.

The point I was desperately trying to make on the air this morning is that the rising Localism Movement (yes, I’m capitalizing it, damn it) is now catching the attention of the mainstream, corporate world. They are now trying to manufacture localism assets where, really, there are none. Yes, I have talked about this before.

And I also mentioned how it’s nothing new. The best example of this marketing strategy the 1971 “buy the world a Coke” ad. They also capitalized on a major, national vibe with a television ad: the whole love and peace movement. They successfully manufactured a connection between gulping down a soft drink and world peace.

All I am really saying is that us Localists (yes, I’m capitalizing this as well, damn it) need to step up and promote our own, authentic localism assets. Let’s pay attention to that old canary in the coal mine I keep talking about: the big boys with the money have identified localism as something that resonates with folks so the least we can do is use that million dollar research ourselves for free! 

And kudos to New Castle. Touché. Well played. Really funny stuff, guys. Can’t say that I blame you for co-opting our Localism Movement with your “If We Made It” campaign. Just know that we are on to you! 

Borrow a Bad. Just Make Sure You Pay It Back! 

So, then I went into the weeds with my whole “borrowing a bad” thing (this really is a “thing” because it doesn’t fit into any logical category). Basically, as I have said before, I am not a purist Localism hipster. We all “sin” every once in a while. We all borrow a bad here and there when we eat at a chain, get a book from Amazon, etc.

It’s ok.

Just make sure to pay back your bad. Pay your “penance” by doubling up on your support of a local shops and make up for that bad. And, the best part, really, is that your penance will actually be enjoyable!

After all, making up for eating at Peter Piper Pizza by eating at locally owned Mama Louisa’s is not exactly the equivalent of wearing a hair shirt!

Finally, I want to thank Alex from Sparkroot for being a good sport on the air and for providing delicious coffee and breakfast for today’s Locally Owned show. I loved that she didn’t even think twice about asking a customer if she had ever “borrowed a bad”.

“Have I ever borrowed a bag?” replied said customer.

Funny stuff.

Our Guest Line Up

One more thing. We have a serious line up of guests these next few weeks. Not flying solo for a while so you don’t have to hide your kids and pets. Here’s what we got:

February 8: Mary Davis, Tucson Chicks in Chaps Rodeo Clinic - Women’s Rodeo Clinic benefiting breast cancer research

February 15: Mark B. Evans, Inside Tucson Business

February 22: Ernesto Portillo, Jr., Arizona Daily Star (Neto’s Tucson) and La Estrella de Tucson 

March 1: Mari Herreras, Tucson Weekly

March 8: Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona

So, that’s it. In the meantime, go Seahawks! We all know why I am rooting for them, right? 

Go Wildcats! No explanation needed for that one.

And, most importantly, go Tucson!

Be overtly biased today. Be Tucson-centric!




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Radio Afterthoughts: Shut Me Up and Just Go To Mexico in Season!

You know I don’t like tall, skinny food, right? I have a problem with expensive, designer food that does nothing to fill you up. But, hey, I am a team player so, on special occasions, I’m ok with the high-end stuff. So long as I actually eat something later.

If you throw healthy food into the mix I really get irritated. When I hear healthy and high-end in the same sentence, I picture one of those little mini-carrots standing upright in the middle of a huge dish with one sesame seed on top.

Tall, skinny, healthy food can really suck.

So, I’ve heard about the new restaurant, Mexico in Season, for a while now. I heard it was yummy, healthy, filling, fast and affordable. Now, that got my attention. Which led me to invite Diana Teran, the  owner of Mexico in Season - who happens to be the sister of a super cool friend of mine, Priscilla Teran – to the Locally Owned radio show. I thought it was a great interview (1/25/14 podcast).

Except for the fact that I really talked way too much.

After listening to the podcast, it occurred to me that the reason I became so chatty was because I just got really excited about something so familiar to me. Diana has deep roots in Sonora, Mexico as I do. We talked about growing up in Mexican households and how our moms would cook these crazy caldos with magical healing powers and how home-cooked Mexican food has always been made with the healthiest of ingredients. And the serving sizes were always big! Nothing tall or skinny about them!

So I blabbed on and on about my own Sonoran cooking memories and what my mom prepared and how we used tortillas as forks too, and on and on.

I did shut up long enough for Diana to tell us about her personal story that led up to her starting her restaurant businesses (Ernesto Portillo wrote an excellent piece on this subject last year).

It was a very, very personal story. And I was really touched by it. Which triggered my emotional need to blabber on even more!

I will only say here that if you are a parent and/or a recently born entrepreneur out of necessity, you will be touched as well. Again, you can listen for yourself here (1/25/14 podcast).

Oh and, by the way, Diana brought some calabacitas and tortillas to the show (which I shared with folks at the KVOI studios, of course. Come on, I’m talkative, not cruel!).

Soooooo good.

She also mentioned that, as we talked, members of Las Adelitas were holding a meeting in the Mexico in Season conference room.  Kudos to that group for supporting a locally owned restaurant and kudos to Diana for making that space available!

That conference room at Mexico in Season made me think of future Move Your Meetings ideas. Hmmmmm…

But I will shut up now.

Just go to Mexico in Season. It will be good for you, your hometown economy and your heart.



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Radio Afterthoughts: What if Batman and Robin Needed Unemployment Benefit Extensions?

Holy, crazed-foaming-at-the-mouth-good-for-the-hometown-economy-Seattle-Seahawks-fans, Batman! Great show today! You can hear the podcast here (click on 1/18/14).

I was running late this morning, so, I admit it, I was speeding a little. (You will have to listen to the show to get up to speed – no pun intended…ok, maybe a little – with the whole Batman and Robin inside joke thing) What I forgot to mention on the air is that, as I was speeding along Barraza-Aviation Parkway on my way to the KVOI studios, I notices that garbage was flying out of the back of my truck bed.

Yes, I felt back. Not good. But I did smile as I notices that the majority of my trash was made up of  empty coffee cups from several local coffee shops.

Ironic? Weird? Funny only to me? Probably all of the above.

Anyway, it happened.  Hence the pic of the bed of my truck with the few empty coffee cups that survived the ride. This was taken in front of Crave Coffee Bar where I wrote this post as I anxiously drank real coffee (I explain why I was so anxious for real coffee on the show as well).

Here is what we covered:

  • We concluded that the city and county dropped the ball by not having someone on the ground to anticipate and prevent the whole 4th Ave Street Fair and Modern Streetcar mess. I mean, come on! No one saw this coming? Isn’t there anyone looking out for our small businesses to deal with easily preventable conflicts like this? By the way, here are some recent write ups on this matter in the Inside Tucson Business: Mark B. Evans updates us while Council Member Kozachick opines.
  • We also had great calls from Joe, Matt and Mike. Matt delivered a beautifully laid out argument in support of extending unemployment benefits by basically connecting people’s ability to spend dollars at local businesses and how that ability impacts our economy. Nicely done, Matt! I got distracted by amusing myself with my two cents: there is also business to business business to consider. Yup, I said that. Just thought it sounded funny, yet a valid point, nonetheless, if I do say so myself. Joe took us on an international view of localism. Found out that, like me, Joe he is an independent Democrat who critiques both parties. I knew I liked him. One day I am going to write about how I am going through conflicting feelings about my favorite band, u2, and Bono’s evolving view of the role of corporations in lifting people out of poverty.  I have so much to say on that subject. Soon. So then Mike called and we had a friendly debate about who deserves more government welfare, corporations or hard working, salt of the earth Americans. I think you know what side of the argument I landed on.
  • We ended the show with my thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks strategy to keep 49ers out of their football stadium as they do battle tomorrow for the right to go to the Superbowl. Basically, I said good for them! I’m all about the hometown so if any organization – sports, government or whatever – does what is best for their hometown I say knock yourselves out. I’m Tucson-centric and I think all towns and cities should also be home-town centric.

And that was the show. Again, you can listen to the podcast here. (click on 1/18/14).


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Radio Afterthoughts: Apple Juice & Choo Choo Trains

So I thought of yet another cool name: Radio Afterthoughts. It’s a cool name in my mind, at least.

I am always coming up with things to call things.

Probably because, subconsciously, I want to make up for overusing the word “thing” and so I overcompensate by trying to be clever and come up with new titles, labels, etc. I’m sure it annoys my wife a little.

Anyway, I figured, while I share links to my latest radio programs on this blog, why not also share a  few afterthoughts about those shows? I may just do the same for my Zocalo and Inside Tucson Business columns. Maybe call those “Column Afterthoughts”? “Z Afterthoughts”? “ITB Afterthoughts”? I’ll come up with something goofy, I promise you that.

Here is my first one:

On Locally Owned with Miguel Ortega yesterday (January 11, 2013 on KVOI 1030AM), my guest was Mark B. Evans, editor for Inside Tucson Business. Here is the podcast of that show (click on 1/11/13). It was a fun one.

But, let me back up a little. Before going on air, as usual, I stopped by Caffe Luce to pick up some coffee for my guest(s) . But, hey, I’m good. I’m soooooo good: I remembered that the last time Mark was on I got him some coffee and we discovered, incredibly, that he actually hates coffee. Hates it with a passion.


Yes, there are people who actually hate coffee, guys. Are you kidding me?! Pssst, Mr. President, get your NSA people on this guy and tap his phone, man. He is obviously un-American and up to no good.

Anyway, I remembered this. And so I got him an apple juice. The same apple juice I get my kid when I buy myself the big boy stuff. I forgot to point this fact out and make fun of Mark on the show . I’ll get him later since he will be a regular guest on the Saturdays following my IBT columns that come out on the 2nd Friday of every month. (Hope that wasn’t unnecessarily complicated to follow. I’m at least plugging that arrangement properly in this blog because I totally forgot to share it during the interview).

So it get’s funnier, guys (again, in my mind, at least). Turns out that Mark is allergic to apple juice. Yes, it was live radio at it’s best.

But, hold on. This whole thing quickly graduated to radio heaven. Being the nice guy that Mark is, he offers his apple juice to our producer, Tom Fairbanks. Why waste it, right?

It turns out that Tom is allergic to apple juice too. Not kidding. Hilarious!

It was such perfect, classic radio that what I should have done is say  ”And that is the show, folks” and then rip the mike out of the wall and drop it on the ground. Except it’s radio, not tv. Whatever.

Oh, and then we talked about important stuff:

Modern Streetcar Gives 4th Avenue Street Fair and Early Joy Ride

I was really glad to have Mark with us to break down this latest Modern Streetcar drama. Apparently, the city folks were giving the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association a hard time saying that they needed to keep up testing for the streetcar and were unwilling or unable to pause for just a few days during the upcoming street fair. This would cause FAMA to cancel around 70 vendors from participating, meaning,  of course, less revenue for FAMA. 

I think the best thing about the couple of segments on this subject was Mark’s “rest of the story” part. He cast Pima County Flood Control District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the real bad guys in all of this. He also gave a little more history  and perspective on our lovable Modern Streetcar and how his own support evolved over time.

I added  my two cents on how so many political wonks either love or hate this thing: it’s either the “choo choo train from hell” or “absolute heaven on tracks”. Someone I really love told me I crossed the line when I said the cheerleaders for the streetcar claim that people with cancer will be healed once they ride this thing. Insert foot in mouth. Live radio, gotta love it.

Mark has a knack for really providing “the rest of the story” like that other famous journalist. For example, I continue to be opposed to the Rosemont Mine, but, recently, Mark has shared his insightful perspective on that subject as food for thought. It wasn’t good enough for me to personally change my position, but it certainly made me re-think who is actually to blame for all of this to begin with. As a progressive, I want to believe that my Democratic leaders are on top of things and fully advocating for me on issues I care about like  small business and the environment. Mark’s research and perspective made me consider the possibility  that this may not bee the case fro Rosemeont.

At the end of the show we also touched on the Tucson Values Teachers report regarding teachers and their current attitudes about their profession. Good stuff.

Oh, and Mark mentioned that he completely disagreed with my latest column in IBT, “Benefit of the Doubt: Support Local Businesses, Even When They Suck a Little“. But, of course, he published it anyway. We didn’t get to debate that one but, hey, there will be lots of ops on many columns to come. It always throws me off when seasoned journalists value opposing views and engage in debate in such a professional manner, as if they were just folding their laundry. Mark is that kind of journalist. And I am not even kissing up because he could care less either way. It’s just inspiring for a bloggers/radio host to get to do this stuff among real journalists.

So check it out. Here is the link once again (click on 1/11/13).

These afterthought blogs will be much shorter. I promise. And I will get to the point sooner. But, man, the apple juice thing was just too funny not to share.

Until next time, localize something!




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Sometimes You Gotta Wear a Hat From a Walgreens Made In China

I’m not going to make it a habit to take lot’s of selfies this year. And, no, one of my New Year’s resolutions is certainly not to start promoting Walgreens by wearing a “Tucson” hat I bought there made in China.

But I did buy it. Bought several, actually. And I do wear them every once in a while. And here is why:

One of the biggest mistakes we make when we are out trying to persuade folks to join the Localism Movement – or any good cause, for that matter – is that we become self-righteous. We become so blindly committed to the cause that we perceive anyone who is not with us as not with it. They are ether stupid, the enemy or just need us to enlighten them.

I’m not down with that.

Yes, I want people to buy hats from locally owned shops. Yes, I always try and choose local shops first for all of my shopping.

But there is nothing that annoys me more than a self-righteous hipster judging others.

So I wear this hat sometimes.

And, believe me, I am not smart or cool enough to have come up with this as some kind of hipster performance art with just the right amount of irony. I’m just not that clever.

But, I do like that this hat has a big ol’ “Tucson, Arizona” with super cheesy font.

The people I am truly down with are the thousands that buy this hat at Walgreens or Walmart because, deep down inside, they completely connect with their instinct to promote hometown pride.

Those are the normal people that outnumber the hipster localists. And, as I have said many times before, if you really want a localist movement to unfold you have to reach the rest of the population.

You have to convince the normal people out there to become localists. They outnumber us.

The other reason I wear this hat is to remind myself and other fellow localists and local business owners of our need to embrace the “Tucson brand”.  It’s our built-in asset, man! Come on, guys! Step up!

If Walgreens can manufacture localism, then you as an authentically local shop can do even better. Step up! Don’t get beat at your own game on your own turf.

I think we might make a lot more progress on the localism front by talking to people wearing these cheesy Tucson hats about our shared love for Tucson than by just celebrating our self-importance with “fellow” hipsters while sporting exclusive streetwear only a few of us get.