The editorial page of today’s Daily Hampshire Gazette features a guest column by Jendi Reiter, co-founder of NoPornNorthampton. She writes,
“What kind of community is Northampton? The debate over the proposed adult video store at 135 King St. should make us look more closely at the values that our economic choices support.
“Northampton prides itself on being a humane, cultured, woman-friendly town, where the profit motive is tempered by concern for sustainable development and economic justice. This is no place for a hard-core pornographic chain store that makes money off exploiting women. The business community needs to speak out against a use that endangers the neighborhood’s financial and cultural health….
“Rather than revitalizing this neighborhood, this store is likely to discourage the pedestrian traffic on which downtown King Street’s future depends. Already we’ve heard from several parents of young children who don’t want to walk past a porn shop on their way to school, church or synagogue. It’s naive to hope that Capital Video will make a positive contribution to Northampton’s economy.
“Porn shops don’t just spring out of nowhere. They depend on a wide network of service providers–landlords, real estate brokers, lawyers, banks, contractors, advertisers–to operate in our town. Every transaction with companies like Capital Video is a vote on Northampton’s future.
“While the law permits us to do business with porn merchants, a functioning community depends on more than law. It requires the good judgment of its citizens. We can refuse to profit from dealings with corporations that exploit women and degrade our culture….
“NoPornNorthampton urges the landlord, leasing agent, and others involved in Capital Video’s rental application to terminate their relationship with this client, and find a more suitable tenant for 135 King St.”
Read the complete column at the Gazette (may require a paid subscription).