|Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 12:25 pm:
I love the aquarium.
My biggest concern is that we may be missing the point of closing the aquarium. Some politicians tend to prefer building new facilities to rehabilitating old facilities. I have always suspected that having more money floating around for new construction makes it easier to return political favors to financial supporters.
How can we make it good for the politicians to keep the aquarium open?
Here are just a few ideas:
1. Could the city make a profit on the aquarium by having corporate sponsors of individual tanks?
How many tanks are there? Could we divide up the cost of operating the entire aquarium by the number of tanks and make that the cost of sponsoring a tank?
Say a GM tank, or a tank for a law firm, or a tank for a fish supply store? Maybe a seafood restaurant? Or a block club, or even a politician?
How about renting out the aquarium for fundraisers? Parties?
2. Maybe the local politicians could adopt a tank and contribute from their campaign funds.
3. How can we make it good for people with money and resources to give money to the aquarium? What is in it for them?
4. Is there any kind of research being done with fish? Could we apply for research monies? Could we cultivate relationships with local institutions?
5. Is there any way the fish could be cared for on a temporary basis if the aquarium is temporarily closed? Maybe a biology department at a local University or College?
6. How can we solicit ideas for saving the aquarium?
7. How have other cities dealt with this problem? This cannot be the first time a city facing a financial crunch has considered closing an aquarium.
8. In the past, when the City of Detroit has been faced with closing one of its treasures to pay the bills, how have we dealt with that problem?
We can learn much from history, and ourselves.
Let's do it.
|Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 7:51 pm:
Hi Lee - your ideas are excellent, and many we have considered, or have in the works. Why don't you come to our next meeting? Thursday, 7:00 pm at the Coffee Beanery at Woodward and 9 in Ferndale.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 10:33 am:
Lee - our meeting date and time is in flux. Please consult our home page for the next posted meeting. Thanks for your support!
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 9:48 pm:
1. The way to keep the Aquarium open is first and foremost through political pressure. It was political pressure from several thousand angry bus riders recently who need the buses to get to work which caused the Mayor to back down on bus route cutbacks. And favorable press which sympathized with bus riders' needs, and not incidentally, their employers who need their employees at work as well. Fund raising, dramatically increased attendance, and development of a Friends organization committed to supporting the Aquarium long term are all good. But they are mainly good because they make it easier for the mayor to change his mind (or at least reverse his position) about closing the Aquarium. Without significant political pressure---without the Mayor thinking that closing the Aquarium will cost him votes---money doesn't matter.
2. A demonstration-picket has been called to protest the Mayor's state of the city speech and his big business-and protect his cronies and their sweetheart contracts- first orientation regarding how to deal with the budget deficit at the Opera House at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22. I believe that as many of us as possible should go there and join in with signs with nice big letters saying Save the Aquarium. There will be media there. We need the publicity.
3. When we hand out literature we should be asking people to take extra copies with them to post on bulletin boards at work, school, church, apt/condo, busy groceries, etc. This Sunday I suggested this to many people and got enthusiastic responses from nearly everyone. Of course, some people will take the flyers and not get around to it. But most who take them will. And it would expand our reach and organization greatly if even 10% of the people coming to the Aq. put up just one or two flyers at their church, work, school, etc.
4. I think that every flyer we put out should include the days and hours of the Aq. and "wheelchair accessible" and "still open until at least April 3 in bold easy to read letters. Sadly, many people (believe it or not) think the Aq is already closed and many don't know the days or hours, or arent sure about these basic facts. Remember, we want to post and have other people post these flyers in public traffic places where they will be seen by people other than those who have went to the Aq recently. The City's misleading propaganda about ADA compliance has been interpreted (understandably) by some wheelchair bound (and other) people as meaning its not wheelchair accessible. We should counter this. It only takes two additional words in a times and hours and date line.
5. Having meetings in Detroit is good, as was the idea of putting this mtg info on our flyer. we should keep this up.
we also should have flyers and shirts and post cards and flags available at mtgs for anyone who comes that needs them.
6. We should have a clipboard with a request for contact information (preferably phone and or email) on our table outside the AQ at all times. Then we should follow up and encourage people, especially (but certainly not exclusively) Detroiters, to come to meetings and get more flyers, etc.
7. In addition to asking people to put up flyers at their own work, school, church, etc., we should develop a plan for getting publicity up in critical, large population and/or high traffic, places, like the City libraries, the huge apts/condos and big churches on East Jefferson, coffee houses, bookstores, groceries, health food stores, large Detroit churches thruout the city, etc. It's too much for a few people to do alone and we should not rely simply on asking people to put them up where they go.