Hahn, YAF encourage students to invest in city


City of Steubenville Councilwoman-at-Large Kimberly Hahn spoke Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the Gallery on several new initiatives that are in motion to boost the Steubenville economy.

Hahn began by looking back on her own time as a university student attending Grove City College. Hahn said that during her stay in Grove City, she always felt like an outsider until she began investing in the community with her time and effort. She went on to say that students at Franciscan have the opportunity to really invest in the community.

“There is a lot of goodwill now from the city towards the university,” said Hahn. “People are starting to feel a real partnership with the administration and students here,” adding that almost 2,000 university alumni live in Steubenville.

Hahn proceeded to give a series of statistics of the university’s impact on Steubenville’s economy, citing a 2016 study made by professor Michael Welker and professor Joseph Zoric. While the study says that approximately $10 million is put into the local economy per year, Hahn estimated that figure ends up close to $320 million being circulated through Steubenville and the surrounding areas as a result of the multiplier effect.

She continued on to say that the impact could be even greater but only with the help of students. Some of the ideas she mentioned included revitalizing the business district to include student entrepreneurs and making available opportunities for work, internships and missionary service to students eager to help.

Tommy Valentine, president emeritus of Young Americans for Freedom, took the stage for the event’s first 15 minutes, speaking mostly about the Steubenville Stimulus Project. Valentine headed up the project last year, which shows how university students can positively impact the local economy.

Valentine invited Hahn up to the stage to talk about the improvements she is trying to make as a member of Steubenville’s City Council and how university students can help.

In his remarks, Valentine encouraged students to look for alternatives to big chain stores and spend their money in smaller, family-run businesses, calling this “Catholic economic theory in action.”

Before concluding, Valentine encouraged those in attendance to check out the stimulus website, which can be found at www.franciscanyaf.com/stimulus/

The event was hosted by Young Americans for Freedom and was its third event of the year. The club’s next event will be a talk entitled “The War on Reality: Why The Left Has Set Out To Redefine Life, Gender and Marriage,” given by noted conservative blogger Matt Walsh.  The event will be on Sept. 29 at 9 p.m.