Niagara Gazette

February 10, 2014

EDITORIAL: 'Pints for Progress' getting our vote

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — It’s not a stretch to say that politicians aren’t going to be the ones to turn things around in Niagara Falls.

There’s only so much they can do, if we really want to make things better in the city we all need to take a good long look in the mirror, decide we want the Falls to be a better place — and get to work.

And fortunately, there are signs of residents rising above and doing their part to make the Falls a better place.

Among them is the Pints for Progress group which began meeting on Main Street last year and just recently held its fifth meeting.

On Friday, Pints for Progress was hosted by Niagara Falls Director of Community Development Seth Piccirillo and ReNU Niagara Director Tom Lowe on Unitarian Church on Main Street.

Very simply, it’s a gathering of like-minded individuals who meet for a meal and discuss ideas on making the Falls a better a place. So far, the events have attracted around 50 residents at a time.

It’s not a bunch of people enjoying a meal, listing off all the bad things in the city, either. These guys put their money where their mouth is. 

As is documented in today’s story on 1A, attendees pitch in at least $10 into a pot. That money goes directly toward whichever project the group votes on. If the group can’t decide on an idea there is a “pay it forward” option where the money would be saved until the next vote. 

When the group met on Friday, Pints for Progress brought in around $600.

Two ideas were then pitched. Each person had five minutes to present their idea and then field questions from the residents who would then use the information to decide which project they would most like to see happen.

Attendees decided between a community garden on South Avenue and a project involving placing love letters to Niagara Falls around the city. (A very popular idea these days, see page 3A.)

The meetings, and what takes place, leaves a lasting effect for attendees.

“It’s amazing, everyday we’re reminded that good things are happening,” said Lana Perlman, who came up with the love letters idea. “Seeing people together, all like-minded, makes it all the more evident that the city is on the rise.”

It’s great to know things like this are happening in the community and we’re hoping that as more people learn about Pints for Progress, we’ll see attendance rise — as well as the impact of the group’s varied projects.

Keep an eye on the Gazette for word on the group’s next meeting.