Before Gary Leitzell was mayor, there was a growing community of immigrants in Old North Dayton. No one in city hall paid much attention, or made an effort to welcome them to Dayton. Gary, in one of his acts of quiet change, made an effort to reach out to this community- and out of it, “Welcome Dayton” began. Last week, the US Conference of Mayors recognized his little project with an award. No small feat, especially after he was just pushed out of his bid for re-election by two candidates who spent a third of a million to get 7500 votes- with the 2nd place candidate beating Gary by a mere couple of hundred votes (note- he spent less than $1000).
One of the things I’ve always loved about Dayton is how friendly we Daytonians are. Genuinely friendly- everyone says hello- and looks you in the eye when they do. You live here, you know what I mean- especially if you’ve ever been to NYC or Chicago where you’d be looked at as strange for doing the same.
We’ve got a great culture here- a community that does amazing things. And we’ve got people with talent equal to that of any big city in the country. Which is why when I stumbled on this video on Facebook (thanks Aja) I knew right away I had to share it with all of you. I know a lot of the people in this video- but, this just makes me proud to be a Daytonian- and should make you too. Here’s their description from YouTube:
To celebrate the diverse cultures and talents in the city of Dayton, Ohio, a wide array of musicians, singers and dancers came together to create “Where There Is Love,” a music video based on the eclectic globe-hopping imagery and sounds that define Playing For Change. The entire video was shot on-location in Dayton.
This project supports the nationally recognized initiative called “Welcome Dayton: Immigrant-Friendly City,” a plan that seeks to bridge communication barriers and cultural differences throughout the city. The varied performers and lyrical message of “Where There Is Love” are a powerful illustration of that plan as well as the goal of Playing For Change — connecting the world through music.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Laura Falkner, Eleni Prieto, Laura Rea, Ann Roberts, MB Hopkins & Daryl Gordon, Teri Schoch, Margaret Knapke, Gabriella Pickett, Jean Howat Berry, Doug Merk, Thom Meyer, Karl Berge, Janet Phillips & Feathers, Carillon Park, Five Rivers Metro Parks, Dayton Art Institute, Sunwatch Indian Village and Neon Movies.
Artists include (in order of appearance):
Puzzle of Light (Michael Bashaw, Sandy Bashaw, John Taylor, Erich Reith, Dick Roll); Amber Knicole; Edwin Corporan; Eric Lamboy; Gina Stough; Pourover (Dennis Rotterman, Lee Rotterman & Keith Wimberly); Michael Kotur; Frank Dixon; Leahy-Good (Rick Good & Sharon Leahy); Raymond Roach; Jay Martinez; Burundi Royal Court Drummers; DACA Tai Chi & Dance Group; and Seefari (Tom Carroll)