Community and Citizen Responses
Community is a word that has been ascribed a dual meaning. In one sense, a community is the physical location, the buildings, the people, the institutions, the geography. Communities lose employers, expendable income, and tax base. Some recover quickly, others more deliberately, and still others never at all. There is no distinct formula that helps understand why communities fall into one of those categories. Communities should be pursuing additional economic growth long before such a devastating loss of an employer occurs. The community that has diversified its economic base will be less likely to encounter a devastating business loss. A 2015 interview with Mayor William Bell of Birmingham yielded a discussion about the attitudes of the people of the city in the response to the loss of jobs. There were some who gave up, who did not want to fight on for their families and their communities. In Youngstown, there arose "a sense of failure, loss, and helplessness within the community.