Brownsville Living was founded in February 2010 by Brownsville, Texas resident, Craig Grove. It began as a group page on the social network site, Facebook and expanded to a stand alone Web site – Brownsvilleliving.org. The Brownsville Living social network consists of approximately 14,000 people from Brownsville and beyond. The mission of Brownsville Living is to promote and improve the quality of life in Brownsville. It encourages its members to look for the good in Brownsville and actively participate in all the city has to offer. Brownsville Living is a non-profit driven, non-political, social networking based group.
The Following video is courtesy of VTX Productions
Core Elements of Brownsville Living:
Brownsville Living (BL) is founded on the concept that we need more positivity in our world and our local community. BL tries as a group to stay away from negative feedback and commentary. This is not to say that BL does not encourage discussion but it just asks that discussion be respectful and constructive.
a. BL is dedicated to being about Brownsville and the surrounding areas. We only post positive news and topics related to our local community or that have an impact on our community.
b. BL supports locally owned business verses chain businesses. BL is not anti-chain but instead is "pro-local". Supporting local business is very important because they give our community a large part of it's personality and more money stays in our revenue cycle when we spend locally.
c. Chains v. Local - BL encourages people to get past the cookie cutter chain mentality. We all know that most chains provide a higher quality of service and very uniform experience. That is why they are so big. Local places have a hard time meeting these standards because they are unique and not cut from a mold. Much like individual people. So we ask that people have a little more patience with a local place. There is a big difference between the way they operate and the way a chain does. Cut them some slack.
a. Events - BL supports anything that enhances local culture. We support large scale events such as Charro Days, Jazz Festival and Sombrero Festival and smaller but important events such as Kid Fish and many others. BL believes that local events are crucially important because they bring us together and remind us what a great place we have.
b. Artists & Musicians - BL supports all local artists, musicians, dancers, actors, etc. because they provide locally based entertainment and enrich our local cultural experience.
c. Cultural Facilities - BL supports the museums, the Zoo and all the other cultural attractions because they help with tourism and educate us and our children.
BL heavily supports all inclusive positively focused not-for-profit organizations that give back to our community. BL believes they are a fundamental and required part of our society and fill in the gaps that the government misses. So we support and applaud their efforts, events and activities.
BL is an all inclusive organization. The only requirement we have is that you believe in Brownsville, mankind and yourself. If you have a positive attitude and you want to improve our community, you are welcome.
a. BL is a non-partisan non political entity. BL wants only good things for Brownsville and wants to promote and enhance civic pride and investment. BL will not take sides in an issue but will promote causes that it deems important. The political opinion of Craig Grove the founder does at times influence posts as that would be nearly impossible to extricate. However, Craig (me) tries to keep this stuff separate and when he (I) feel the need to go against an issue, he (I) takes it to his personal profile so as to keep BL as uninvolved as possible.
b. No campaigning for any politician or issue. We allow individual politicians to encourage voting but that is it.
BL does what are called "Profiles" of individual businesses and other interests or organizations in Brownsville or nearby areas. "Profiles" are not "reviews". I try to keep them as a neutral accounting of the location. If I have a great experience I will definitely let it be known. However, I do not mention a negative experience. If it was a very bad experience, they don't get a "Profile". If it was okay I will do a "Profile" but if you read between the lines you can tell what I am saying. I just see no need to be negative or hurtful. These businesses or organizations are doing their best.
7. BL Events
a. Brownsville Living First Thursdays - the first Thursday of every month BL hosts an event at local business. This is done as a way to feature that local business and gives them a chance to attract new customers and provides a venue for BL Group Members to mix, mingle and network. The locations are selected by the group from a list provided by Craig and voted on to choose the next location.
b. Episodic Events - Occasionally BL is asked to host or promote an event to help drive attention to a cause, need or facility. BL's primary role in this case is that of a promotional vehicle.
c. Latching on to events - as community events come up, BL will latch on to the event and help promote it through different vehicles. This helps spread awareness of the event and BL to more people and does not cost the event promoters anything.
8. Free Forum
BL is a free forum and all individuals are welcome to post and promote their business and activities as long as they are fitting to the concepts of BL indicated here in.
9. Post Criteria
a. We do not allow just business plugs. Business are welcome to promote specials and events. But just saying "Come eat at Joe's" is discouraged because it brings no value to the group. If they want to offer or post a special or let people know about a special event then they are welcome.
b. Posts and comments should be positive and constructive. Non constructive or overtly negative posts risk being deleted.
10. Finances & Founder
a. BL was founded by Craig Grove (me) a local Realtor to do just what was indicated in the preceding text. Craig tries to keep the group as open free and as possible.
b. BL does cost money to operate. Costs for stickers, business cards, online advertising, misc event related expenses, etc. have added up to over $2,000 as of the time of this post. I (Craig) do not mind spending this money and I enjoy the results of my spending. Other people have golf as a hobby, this is mine. And if my increased visibility can help me sell some real estate which indirectly pays for this activity... the fantastic. Let's do that!
c. Why - I do this because I believe Brownsville is a unique interesting place that needs to be better appreciated, understood and loved. I do this because I want for myself, my children and the people of Brownsville to realize, appreciate and enjoy our community for what it is and what it can be. I do this because I want you all to "Be part of it."