A few weeks back I had a piece put out by Next American City on the city of Toledo’s bid to convince Chinese investors that their city is a worthy candidate for China’s push to find places abroad to put Chinese dollars. (Well, you know what I mean.) With some midwest gumption and considerable attention put to making friends who speak the language of Chinese businessfolk, that Ohio city is finding some success. But, as you can imagine, there are doubters in and around Toledo who think the whole thing is foolhardy.

I hope you might give it a read. Again, as with most Next American City pieces, this one costs money. I’d encourage you to open your wallet. But if this is something you’d just really love to read but aren’t yet convinced it’s worth its sub-$2 price, do let me know. There’s wiggle room with my immediate circle and I’m happy to wiggle for you.

Reporting out this piece was rather fascinating. I was in Toledo a handful of weeks before the great Obama vs. Romney contest wrapped up. Turn on the hotel television and it was commercial after commercial on how Candidate X was selling out the United States to the Chinese, something Candidate Y would simply never do. This was as Chinese investors were checking into the Park Inn to spending two days thinking about putting money down in Toledo, which, as you might know or could probably guess, has struggled considerably in recent years. (In a bit of poetic something or other, this was also in a hotel that had itself recently been snapped up by Chinese businessfolk.) I spent time talking to Mayor Michael Bell about the political ballet it takes to convince the Chinese allies he hopes to sell on his city that they’re welcome in northwest Ohio at the same time both of the two men who might lead the United States in the years ahead are on the TV painting them as rapacious schemers who have to be watched very, very closely.

Hope you might give it a read. Again, don’t let the two bucks come between us. Give me a holler if you want a demo copy (complete with the full functionality of a regular copy, but it sounds less like I’m just giving you something for free).

Also again, please do consider signing up for Next American City’s Forefront pieces. I’ve done so myself, and judge it more than worthwhile. If you’re into cities — and really, they’re immensely compelling, so I believe you should be — it’s a great way to get access to original reporting and well-grounded analysis on the issues facing the United States’ urban places.