Alfonso Morales's blog
I received this email today from Nikhil, one of the undergraduates applying for money to start a new market in STL:
Thanks you very much for your letter of recommendation. It has helped us become selected as finalists for the grant! We will be giving presentations to the committee on April 3rd and plan on doing more interviews and research up until then.
Thanks again and I hope the flu has finally left you alone!
- Nikhil Agrawal
LETS HOPE THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL IN THAT PRESENTATION!
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 10:29pm.
In Markets Journal I've uploaded the draft proposal Nikhil and Sumit submitted to WASH U to support the creation of a new Market in St Louis. I've also uploaded my letter of support!
All best to those students - and to everyone in markets!
Updates as we know more!
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 9:46am.
...when last we heard from our intrepid undergrads at Wash U they were meeting with community members about the market they want to create...using advice from yours truly, they continued their meetings and drafted a proposal.
They met with Mary Zabriskie who is a member of the board that will judge their grant application - always a good move. She pointed out concerns about finding vendors and foot traffic on Saturday afternoons - when they'd like to have the market. She suggested they investigate further what merchants might sell and how they might capitalize their initial operations.
They needed a faculty sponsor and though they are hard science majors they knew they could use help from another discipline and Mark Rank, a Professor in the Brown School of Social Work at WashU agreed to sponsor them, THANKS MARK.
They also contacted the local Habitat for Humanity chapter and the local street magazine, WhatsUP! Both agreed to help find vendors from their own target population and they suggested other people to contact.
These are the steps one takes - framing the problem in a way others find they can support - and doing the leg work...I supported their application with a letter - we'll see what's ahead!
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 9:50am.
In an earlier blog I told of two students at Wash U in STL who want to start a new market. They will be writing a "social change" grant to their university for support - it's due in one week!
Let me review their progress thus far...Last December (2008) they contacted me for support. During January 2009 they identified an initial location (lovely Lucas Park) and made appointments with various officials. How did that go?
First, they met with Alderwoman Triplett, who represents the district containing Lucas Park. She informed them that Lucas Park was not possible due to political reasons. She did agree that the Market could help the poor and might become a cultural amenity BUT she warned that middle class residents might not see the benefits. She did say she would respond to questions about city regulations.
Thus our intrepid adventurers needed another location - thus they met with Pastor Kathleen Wilder of Centenary Church. She generously offered the use of the Church's front parking lot (pending board approval). She also suggested outreach to potential vendors at the Church and permitted further research of the enviorns...ahhh, the sweet smell of tarmac and the tip tap of friendly feet meeting and greeting!
Here's the new location! (I hope you can see it!)
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 7:12pm.
Nikhil Agrawal is a double major in Biochemisty and Economics while Sumit Agarwal is an Economics Major at Washington University in St Louis. They are both also pre-med but they became involved in their campus's Habitat for Humanity chapter and that helped them learn a lot about poverty alleviation. This experience germinated in them an interest in microfinancing and small scale business. They came upon openair.org and our research and discovered in us potential collaborators to help the entrepreneurial spirit flourish in St Louis.
They are working with me and City officials to develop a new public market in St Louis and this blog will follow their efforts!
Thus far they have read some recent work done by Gregg Kettles and myself and recently published in Zoning Practice, they've read my work on the benefits of public markets (Economic Development Quarterly 1995) and they've read Jennifer Ball's work on Street Vendors (Planning Advisory Service report).
They are engaging in some basic research regarding the foot traffic in the park they've targeted for a market (http://stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/parks/parks_div/lucas.html) and they're engaging with city officials - let's see what happens next!
Good luck to Nikhil and Sumit (same last name, but not related)!!
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 8:57pm.