In a world where every voice should count, there is still pockets of society that allows a small handful of individuals to control the livelyhoods of many. A good example of this is our own local Davenport Farmers Markets. Currently two farmers markets opperate on the Florian Keen parking lot, one being the Mississippi Valley Growers Association and the other being the Davenport River City Farmers Market Association. Neither of these entities allows their vendors to decide or to have a true voice in how their businesses are able to be opperated once they are at these markets. The MVGA is controled by a board of seven plus a so called "Executive Director", which self perpetuates it self by voting in whom ever fits their vision and not by what their vendors want to see. The other market, DRCFMA has a board of four, one of which has been trying to get off the board for two years. This board can only be changed if one of its members resigns or dies, so they say. One market claims that it is only locally grown produce, while the other has locally grown plus commercial product. Neither market allow their vendors to speak out without the strong possibility of either being removed or worse yet, downsized with out their knowledge. Most vendors live in fear of, "is this the day they come after me". Neither of these markets have been willing to work together on a regular basis or to work with our local officials to create a safe enviroment for consumers and vendors alike.

That is why a hand full of vendors have decided they need to work with the Levee Commision and other businesses in the area to create something marketable and unique on our beautiful downtown levee area. They have stepped forward with signed petion in hand to try to give our local farmers, crafters and entrepreneurs achance to have a voice in their own market. We as a community have to stand behind these person to make sure that their voice is heard and their freedoms upheld. They have to be allowed the freedoms to vote on important issues and to have their voices heard no matter how soft or shy they may be. Every persons opinion is important, whether we as individuals agree or disagree, it still has to be heard and then voted upon by the masses. That is how this country was built.

Now, even after the petition was given and they stood up, one of these markets decided to change their already existing contracts with their vendors to try to restrict them even further. One example was to stop any signage or distribution of information that they would deem inappropriate, agian taking away another individual freedom.

Our community has got to stand up and support the unity of our down town farmers market to make it a viable part of our community and to make it a long standing destination spot. Remember, "It takes just one drop to over flow a bucket", so let yourselves be heard.

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