Susan Taylor (Capital District Local First)

Note:  I forgot to take a still image of Susan, and don't have time to figure out how to do one from a video, so here's an embedded video of her interview instead :)

Political affiliation
Democrat - Leftie

Agnostic tending towards Atheism


Job Title

Book Seller / Events & Marketing Director for the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza and the Market Block Books in Troy, NY
Role in Community
well, I guess my role is to recommend good books for people to read and to see that authors both local and non-local get to present their books in our independent book stores. Book store actually, someone else does that for Market Block. I get authors in and get them publicized. And also to support the local businesses that give me what I need, whether it's Spill'n The Beans Coffee Shop next door to the Market Block or the Beneful Bed (sp?) next to the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza or going out to hear live music or reading Metroland the alternative news weekly in the Capital District. Whatever it is I try to go for the local option rather than homogenized national option.

What is your relationship with the Local Indie Community
I am the president of the board of Capital District Local First. I got back into taking knitting classes at the Beauknits yarn store in Cohoes, NY, which is not a member of our local network, but I still went there to learn how to knit. So I went there and was introduced to all these women who knit and crochet and spin and they are the most welcoming community one could ever hope to find.
So I hooked up with these women and through them I decided that I was going to start a knitting group at the bookhouse every second Friday of the month so that we get more people from the knitting community into the bookstore. I started a book group at the book house so once a month we read a book and customers come in and discuss the books with us.  We go to board meetings at Flavor Café.  They are a member of our network so it’s nice to support a member. 

If your local indie community was an Animal, what would it be and why?
I have to say a platypus and the reason would be because it’s 4 different counties and they all seem to be different things. So we don’t know if we are a mammal or a duck or something else. But we do exist together.

Can you talk about a time when a local business went away and how it affected your life?
Well, I am really sorry that there aren’t any local independent music stores anymore. There is a last vestige in Albany and Saratoga. They do used and new stuff but not as much new stuff as I would like. ...

What one piece of advice from your organizing can you share with the other people and organizations who will see this?
Be persistent. Don’t give up. Things will eventually happen. You just have to keep going. It not like going through the “valley of darkness” but seriously you just need to think that eventually things will come together. You just keep on going keep on going. I can’t remember who the quote is from, I am going to say Winston Churchill but I’m probably wrong “when you find yourself going through hell, keep on going”.

If you had a message to deliver to all the other organizations and people who are part of this movement, what would it be?
Practice what you preach. Everybody has a little bit of local in them. They really don’t have a choice. Everybody was raised somewhere, everybody lives somewhere and everybody works somewhere. And you never hear anybody say: “You know, really, when I retire what I wanna do is I wanna go live in a place that only has big box stores. I wanna live in a place whose streets are lined with parking lots and huge ugly architecture. Huge anonymous ugly architecture. So that I can drive from place to place and buy the cheapest plastic crap possible.”
**A BIG thank you to Polina for her transcription help on this.  For those in the Boston area, check out SubRoots @ Common Ground in Allston every Wednesday night.


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