Creative Class Rising | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Creative Class Rising

Now and then, we bring our first cover story ever back to the top of the site to remind readers just how close Jackson is to becoming a magnet for young creatives, and what we need to do to make it happen.

Mississippians are, sadly, a bit used to being last or next-to-last in state-by-state accountings of sundry statistics that newspapers like to put into cute little charts - salaries, health and obesity, job growth and so on. That's why I was surprised to find some remarkable news in 'The Rise of the Creative Class,' a new book by Professor Richard Florida of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University. He ranks Jackson as the 75th most creative among the 278 U.S. cities he tracked. Yes, it could be higher. But Jackson still beat out 203 interesting towns. Like Memphis, at 132nd. Or New Orleans at 83rd. (By comparison, Little Rock is 53rd, and Birmingham is 60th.)

The numbers got even more impressive - Jackson ranks 12th in cities between 250,000 and 500,000 in population on the Creativity Index and a whopping seventh place among those same cities when you simply count the per-capita workers who fall into his Creative Class (32.5 percent). In fact, Jackson is 21st in the nation for the percentage of its workers who are creative higher than Chicago, for instance. In pages dominated by San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and New York, Professor Florida pointedly calls out Jackson in the text:

"Creative Class is not limited only to well-known high-tech and artistic areas. Boise, Idaho; Provo, Utah; Jackson, Mississippi, and Des Moines, Iowa, rank among the top regions with populations between 250,000 and 500,000." [Emphasis added]

But before we start marching down Beale Street or St. Charles Avenue chanting "Were No. 21! Were No. 21!" we should ask two important questions. First, What is the creative class? Second, Why should we care? While Rise of the Creative Class is a bit more dryly academic than I'd hoped (an extra hundred or so pages of history and sociology pads out the actually interesting stuff), the book offers some compelling answers. In particular, it presents a unique perspective - and a great deal of hope - for how to take a city with the raw Creative Class numbers that Jackson has and quickly turn it into a place where creative workers and a high-tech economy can thrive.



What is the Creative Class?

We're not talking about a socio-economic class here, nor is it a confab of latte-swilling yuppies bent on ruling the worldthe Creative Class spans income levels, races and ages. By and large, it doesn't even know its a class, and only a small percentage of Creative Class members identify themselves as artists. Professor Florida points to two subgroups: the overall Creative Class and the Super-Creative Core. At the core are the usual suspects - painters, poets, sculptors, academics, dancers, writers, filmmakers, computer programmers, scientists, architects, teachers and even journalists. These are the people who make their money, reputation and self-definition by directly conjuring products from their minds sometimes their gut, sometimes their soul - and making them available for others to experience and consume.

The overall Creative Class is more amorphous, although it makes up the larger part of the group. It's also the part that raises eyebrows when I talk to people about this. These creatives are professionals - doctors, lawyers, accountants, financial planners and corporate managers, executives, small-business owners and entrepreneurs of all sorts. To Professor Florida's way of thinking, these people use their minds creatively on a daily basis to synthesize answers to problems as they arise - building a legal case, reasoning out a medical diagnosis, solving a particularly tough marketing problem or devising a new business strategy.

While the ink-stained, chemical-mixing, plaster-covered, mind-bending wretches are the avant-gardes of this class, they usually comprise only about a third of its total size in most cities, including Jackson. Professor Florida says that super-creatives comprise 23,840 of the 73,290 Creative Class members in Jackson.

Professor Florida's creatives aren't slackers. They are people with a Protestant work ethic, but who want the freedom to schedule their days or attack their problems or decorate their offices however they please. These are people working 12 hours a day, but starting, sometimes, at 10 a.m. and wearing shorts or rumpled khakis to do it. Creative workers control their own schedules (to some degree) and can often choose their clients or take a day off in the middle of the week to go biking or camping or to recharge. Think about it, and youll realize that you see quite a few people like that around town. You may be one, or you may aspire to be one.

More importantly, members of the Creative Class are grouped because they increasingly affect the overall character of the U.S. economy. Creative Class workers are attracted to creative centers, and those creative centers are where much of the business growth and quality-of-life improvements are occurring. Cities like San Francisco, Austin, Denver, Seattle, Boston and Portland, Ore., attract creative workers and technology companies, while creating the environments and markets where those people accomplish and sell their work.

Professor Florida's definition makes the Creative Class the second-largest class of workers in the United States, second only to the Service Class, which he puts at about 43.5 percent of all American workers. The Creative Class is about 30 percent of U.S. workers, and the Working Class is 26.5 percent. (In Jackson, the numbers are 44.7 for Service, 32.5 for Creative and 22.6 for Working Class.)

And the classes overlap - highly sought (and paid) stylists, manicurists and personal trainers are creative Service Class workers, as are, one could argue, imaginative real estate agents and artistic construction contractors. When these people open their own shops, though, they become full-fledged creatives, shaping their own destinies. Teachers and government specialists are often treated as Service Class members, but can be highly creative within the confines of the occasionally stifling structure of their workplaces. And, like other creative workers, if their current environment gets too stuffy, they may also move on to find more creative workplaces and cultures.

Why Should We Care?

The appearance of this Creative Class in the United States has been a slow transformation, not an immediate switch, so its been easy to miss. The past decade has seen the most fundamental change, with clues like the hype surrounding the New Economy and its rock-and-roll lifestyles, the rise of the geek as an icon, and the increasingly mobile and tumultuous nature of the corporate job market. Many workers now consider a long time spent on the job with the same corporation as five to 10 years, not 30 years, and an acceptable tenure as two, three or four years before they move on to move up. Professor Florida, for instance, notes the relative lack of outrage over the layoffs that occurred after the New Economy bubble burst in spring 2000 and after the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

By contrast, in the 1980s and earlier, corporate layoffs were met with harsh words and protests in the streets, outrage in the media and (some) action in the halls of government. But that was only the public catching up to the idea that corporations had already broken their job-for-life and company man social contract that had seemed such a strong bond in the 1950s and 1960s. By the 1990s, an entire generation of workers - particularly knowledge workers and non-union working-class employees - born in the 1960s and 1970s had no illusions about the role of the corporation in their lives. Yes, some loyalty to your employer is good, but a job is about your skills, your resume and your experience so you can build your career. The company is not likely to move you from janitor to CEO over the next 30 years - you'll climb the ladder on your own by moving around.

The truth is, creatives represent a broad grouping of hard workers, even if they sit most of the day or manhandle, at most, a pen, brush, X-ray film or computer mouse. It's not just hippies and artists, but technologists, medical practitioners and entrepreneurs. And it's not just a bohemian lifestyle, although that informs some of what we see when we see the creative class en masse. Yes, it means people with piercings and tattoos drinking a lot of coffee, toting skateboards or bike helmets or cameras or dog-eared personal journals. They may speak or write or rap in progressive or revolutionary tones. They may sit quietly and read. They may pull together in political gatherings or discussion groups or emotional and spiritual events.

The Creative Class derives its identity from its members roles as purveyors of creativity, Professor Florida writes. Because creativity is the driving force of economic growth, in terms of influence the Creative Class has become the dominant class in society.

Not that it rules with a scepter or sword, because the Creative Class, by and large, doesnt know it influences society. It's not like there's a membership card. The greater Creative Class professionals, programmers and advertising execs, as well as painters and writers define an economic class, but not because they're richer or poor than other classes of workers. Instead, Creative Class members simply find themselves with similar ideas and goals and desires. They gravitate to the same places. And when you have people with similar goals and ideas, youve potentially got an opportunity for political power - perhaps a movement that is defined by cross-generation, cross-ethnic interests that are components of, it turns out, the primary economic driving force of growth in todays cities.

The problem is, creatives will up and move to cities that cater to creatives. Other cities get left behind.

Our Kind of Town

Professor Florida, who lives, works and consults in Pittsburgh, laments that towns inability to keep young Creative Class workers in the city, even though its schools and universities train many scientists, teachers, programmers and artists. Carnegie-Mellon is a leading center for research, particularly for technology and hard sciences, while the University of Pittsburgh is known for its world-class medical facilities. Per capita, Pittsburgh is the sixth largest center for college and university students. It has major sports franchises, a waterfront downtown, great architecture, cultural and racial diversity, and an affordable standard of living.

Jackson, although considerably smaller, offers some interesting demographics of its own. Roughly 10 percent of the population of the Jackson Metro is college students - there are more than 38,000 students in the area. Jackson State is a doctoral/research-intensive university, while law schools, the Mississippi State School of Architecture and divinity schools attract thousands of creative and non-traditional students to the area. Jackson is Mississippi's cultural center, particularly given the high-profile International Ballet Competition, important African-American and multicultural shows put on by Smith Robertson Cultural Center, Mississippi Museum of Art and other significant shows by the International Museum of Muslim Cultures and the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. Jackson is diverse, its affordable, and theres some interesting architecture in the older parts of town and downtown, if you can see past the government monoliths and acres of parking lots.

When Professor Florida asks a promising graduate student a pierced, wild-haired technologist why he planned to leave Pittsburgh to move to a software company in a smaller city in the middle of Texas, a place with a small airport and no professional sports teams, the student replies simply, "It's in Austin!" This hard-working, hard-playing creative saw a better life in Austin because of its music, diversity, outdoor recreation and nightlife. It's a place where he, as a Creative Class member, could be accepted, stimulated and challenged. (His exact words were that he could have a life.)

Here's where city leaders need to listen up. According to Professor Florida, attracting creatives is more important than attracting companies or creating jobs. Yes, it's a chicken-and-egg dilemma: a city needs jobs to attract creatives, and it needs Creative Class members to attract the jobs. But its a myth that corporate tax incentives, large-scale construction, and massive infrastructure changes will attract those creatives and, hence, attract the companies that want those creatives. Its actually much simpler than that. Members of the Creative Class don't need a costly convention center or a downtown professional sports stadium or a mix-master infrastructure of highways. What they require is, simply, quality of place.

Quality of Place

Quality of place, according to Professor Florida, breaks down into the following categories:

Labor Markets. Because Creative Class workers (and creative workers in Service and Working Class positions) change jobs frequently, there must be jobs to change into. They aren't just looking for one huge company where they can get a job (and lose it when the company goes bust), but a grouping or clusters of smaller, cutting-edge companies.

Lifestyle. In the past, people have lived in one city and vacationed in another. These days, people take fewer traditional vacations and more day trips. Proximity to exciting destinations - particularly active natural opportunities like trails and rivers - is important, as is the opportunity to be a tourist in your own town. Most of all, lifestyle means nightlife, late-night dining and, perhaps surprisingly, non-alcoholic options. Professor Florida interviewed many creatives who say they can't afford the downtime of drinking, and need coffeehouses and juice bars for their live music and socializing during the week.

Social Interaction. What the suburban home-car-work-car-home lifestyle fails to take into account is how much creativity is actually interactive. People have creative ideas in coffeehouses or restaurants or walking in a public park. Things just happen when you spend time walking downtown streets or relax in third places - those that aren't home or work, but bookstores and cafes and parks. This is particularly true of self-directed creatives who work in front of a canvas or computer.

Diversity. According to Professor Florida, creatives look for cities that show signs of diversity when choosing a place to live - diversity indicates openness to outsiders and acceptance of creative expression. In fact, Professor Florida finds a direct correlation between high-tech growth and diversity - and not just ethnic and racial diversity, but also sexual orientation and domestic-partner acceptance. A city with a thriving creative community nearly always has a thriving gay community and companies that offer benefits, such as health insurance, to domestic partners. Professor Florida (quoting Bonnie Menes Kahn in the book Cosmopolitan City) writes, [A] great city has two hallmarks: tolerance for strangers and intolerance for mediocrity. The creative, high-tech town is built on merit, not on judgment. Thus, Professor Florida includes a diversity quotient in his Creative Culture index.

Authenticity. If a city is one big mall or given over to big-box retailers, then it lacks authenticity. What's authentic in many cities is music; Austin, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco are all music towns. The people Professor Florida interviews speak of an audio identity or a buzz. Along with music, you need unique urban experiences and adventures - dining, nightlife and cultural installations and public art that express authentic ties to the past.

Identity. Fewer people ask you where you work, and more ask where you live. People increasingly tell you their hobby or avocation (I'm a poet. I'm a drummer.) over their vocation (I'm a manager at the bookstore.). A good creative city becomes part of the person's identity (I'm a programmer in Austin. Im a writer in New York.). Identity also means a sense of community and a sense of purpose within that community which, in a circular way, is often about building and maintaining identity in the face of blander (and potentially destructive) real-estate and commercial-development interests.

In some ways, Jackson is all over about half this list. It's diverse, authentic, and theres a strong potential identity. That said, Jackson can fall into a cultural trap that can hinder economic and creative growth - a lack of acceptance for non-conformist youth and young adults (and, for that matter, older adults), misapprehension of urban culture, and hostility to outside influence or nontraditional lifestyles. Professor Florida notes that old-guard cities like Pittsburgh often have bankers and capitalists who are too insular to make positive, creative decisions. Jackson is in need of more third places and, more to the point, the developer incentives, access to capital, and government policies required to restore an accepting, people-focused urban and semi-urban landscape. The Fondren Renaissance, development in Poindexter and some spotty commercial activity around Capitol Street in Downtown offer hope. All Jacksonians, regardless of their creative bent, should spend a little less time in their cars and a little more time in parks, coffeehouses and mixing in outdoor cafes. And they need to attend more cross-cultural events that challenge and broaden the community's perspective.

In interviews with Jackson creatives, three themes continually emerged: a desire for a more active Downtown with shops and restaurants open later, greater support for the arts within the community, and a desire to see white faces at black events and black faces at white events. Professor Florida notes a deeply disturbing national trend: Many creative centers have a negative correlation for non-white diversity, especially African-American. He quotes interviewees as saying that many high-tech companies, for instance, look like the United Nations minus the black faces.

Tahirah Abubakr, 63, is a native Jacksonian who left for 37 years and returned in 1998. She is a poet, storyteller and musician as well as a chef at the Rainbow deli by day. "Artists need more exposure; there are cliques in this community," she said. "We need to learn to bridge the gap between the two communities, and separation within the black community. We need to find a common denominator."

In its creative renaissance, Jackson needs to actively foster diversity by empowering creativity, particularly in marginalized neighborhoods and schools. Fortunately, Jackson already has a powerful, racially diverse Creative Class. And the city's cultural and political climate is defined in part by its historically black colleges, which are graduating Creative Class workers and entrepreneurs into Jacksons broad-based African-American middle and affluent classes. "Artists now are the voice for the new era. We need media and access to resources. Then our voices can be heard," Abubakr said.

African-American culture is a pillar in the foundation of Jackson's identity and authenticity. That identity can nourish and grow a Creative Class that makes the city attractive to progressives around Mississippi and the South, regardless of their race.

Build It, and They Will Stay

So how does a small city become a growing, thriving creative center? Professor Florida suggests that the three Ts - technology, talent and tolerance - lead to a creative community and, hence, a 21st-century economy. Technology-based economic growth requires a creative environment; educated high-tech workers and managers like to live among other creatives and artists. Professor Florida writes: "Instead of subsidizing companies, stadiums and retail centers, communities need to be open to diversity and invest in the kinds of lifestyle options and amenities that people really want. In fact, you cannot be a thriving high-tech center if you don't do this."

The door to the future is Downtown - keeping the urban landscape vital and retaining its mixed-use character. Cities that give over to large office buildings, non-profit centers and government buildings will ultimately lose - and this is a troubling road that Jackson is already on. Instead of gleaming stone monuments, black-topped parking lots and sprawling reflective-glass fortresses whose very scale discourages people from walking near them Jackson needs people-friendly nightlife and a thriving Downtown bustling with residential developments, restaurants and enterprising small businesses. It needs to be authentic, diverse and social. When the government focuses on infrastructure, public transportation, education, community policing and supporting mixed-use zoning, creative business enterprise and growth result. Oh, and doing these things is cheaper than building stadiums, monuments and civic centers. And then theres the bottom line thriving small businesses offer something that civic structures dont: a lucrative urban tax base.

If Downtown is a door, then the urban university is the key. Silicon Valley, Boston, Boulder, Austin, Little Rock and Birmingham are all cities that have strong universities that hub their creativity. A university can recruit technologists, encourage research, fund grants and incubate ideas. Colleges can grab talent by encouraging non-Mississippians and foreign-born students and teachers to help diversity and increase ideas. And universities can promote tolerance relatively easily by championing an artistic climate of civil freedom and civic thought.

That said, Professor Florida notes that the climate has to be right to retain the people and ideas that universities generate: a people climate. If you dont have a diverse, welcoming city, then entrepreneurial ideas generated at the university will move on to San Francisco or Austin or Atlanta, right along with the graduating student who spawned the idea. While many middle-sized cities target their focus at couples in their 30s and 40s, Florida notes that retaining recent graduates is vital to retain their energy and ideas. (Think of the bright college grads you know who left Mississippi because they felt they didnt fit.) Plus, cities with bike paths and sidewalks and art exhibits are friendly to children and young couples. In fact, urban and cultural centers such as New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Houston consistently rank at the top of child-friendly cities.

A city must have a good people climate before an Amazon.com or Dell Computer will take over a crumbling warehouse or an abandoned church building and set up shop, paying taxes without breaks and incentives. Why? Because those companies need creative people as employees and contractors, and a city with a good people climate provides the lifestyle that keeps those employees happy.

Jackson City Limits

Can Jackson do it? Professor Florida points out that a mere two decades ago, no one would have thought of Austin, Texas a smallish, hill-country capital city in the Southern half of the U.S. as a high-tech, Creative Class Mecca. Yet, it ranks second on his list today. How?

One component was a PBS television show called Austin City Limits that helped give the town a reputation for authentic music, progressive ideas and tolerance. Other creative expression - Sixth Street, film and music festivals - made the town seem cool. Meanwhile, the city recruited smaller departments (technical-support call centers, consulting and training facilities) of larger tech companies (Apple, IBM, Intel, Motorola), thus building an atmosphere of job options for creative workers. Perhaps most vital, the city and state governments built up the University of Texas, attracting research and grant money. The result: Austin is laid-back, creative, progressive, diverse and tolerant, while remaining reasonable, affordable and welcoming. (And, as many of my old high-school buddies tell me, its a great place to raise kids.)

These changes were well on their way 10 years ago, when I was attending Texas A&M University, 100 miles away in College Station. I remember piling in the car to go to Austin to see friends, hear music and watch football. I was particularly partial to a certain caf were I could sit in the sun, have a lemonade and enjoy some gourmet Mexican food. While I enjoyed my time spent at the small-town ag school (our 40,000 students nearly doubled the population of the area at that time), Austin had a hip vibe that I seldom found in my hometown, Dallas.

Jackson has that same opportunity to be a dynamic, creative place to live, work and thrive. It will take investment, leadership, community participation, tolerance and the occasional group hug. But the opportunity to be the Austin of the Deep South - more so than being a smaller Memphis or New Orleans - is very real.


CREDITS

Photos: Charles A. Smith
Artwork: Anthony DiFatta
"Head" Photo and Design: Deke Andrews



_______

Read Todd's publisher's note about downtown redevelopment, Where the Sidewalk Begins

Previous Comments

ID
76644
Comment

What do you think of the Creative Class theory? Agree? Disagree? What can Jackson do to appeal more to creatives? We want to know what you think, whether you consider yourself a creative or not? Speak up!

Author
ladd
Date
2002-10-02T07:48:08-06:00
ID
76645
Comment

Nice to read an article that is positve, inclusive, and hopeful about Jackson's future.

Author
matthew dalbey
Date
2002-10-15T10:38:14-06:00
ID
76646
Comment

I like this concept and have dreamed of it since I was a young teen. To see Jackson bustling with energy and creativity would make me smile ear-to-ear (a feat not easily accomplished)! ***Soapbox Alert*** One thing that could also increase the "worth" of the city would be to better integrate and include the gay and lesbian community. The city has a handful of gay bars and support groups but no gay press, book stores, or specialty shops. Evidence that the community is still rather isolated and estranged. As any urban analyst will tell you, cities that have high populations of gays and lesbians, have a better quality of life. Who knows, it may be the fabulous floral designs, the creative boutiques, or any of the many cliches and stereotypes that surround the gay community. It does not matter. The numbers speak for themselves. Look at Austin, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta! Often, the property values in gay-friendly communities are the highest in the areas. As well, the communities are generally populated with creative-types and more progressive urban dwellers of all shapes, sizes and shades (look at Belhaven and Fondren). According to a study published by the Brookings Institute's Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, the leading indicator of a strong technologically successful city* (*something our Governor wants to see according to many statements) is a large gay population. As we know the tech world includes photographers, graphic designers, programmers, mathemeticians and other right-brain creatives. Still, this is somewhat a Chicken vs. Egg debate; it cannot easily be decided which came first. I think in San Francisco, it is obvious without insult. As a gay man, I feel the city and especially the State government is not supportive in any form or fashion. Just recently (a few years), our State government made it nearly impossible for a gay man to adopt a child (removing a "burdon" from the state and giving him/her a loving home)! As well, it has banned any recognition of civil unions, domestic partnerships, and "marriages". Isolating this group or ignoring it only damages Jackson and Mississippi's reputation and ability to grow as a progressive and welcoming host to businesses and individuals! Further, it sends a message to the existing gay community that they are not welcomed or embraced by the city/state. Until there are deeper changes made to the "system", it may be hard to push Jackson into a new era!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-04-11T12:48:26-06:00
ID
76647
Comment

Check out The New Southern View magazine for creativity. Those guys deserve kudos for pointing the way to see the new Mississippi!

Author
Max
Date
2003-04-12T14:58:55-06:00
ID
76648
Comment

Check out The New Southern View magazine for creativity. Those guys deserve kudos for pointing the way to see the new Mississippi!

Author
Max
Date
2003-04-12T14:59:11-06:00
ID
76649
Comment

This may be late, but this guy is absolutely on the money. When I read the C-Ls story about Jackson's future (Oct 5th edition), I sent an e-mail to the C-L about why I left Jackson. My letter had praises for Jackson's cultural life and praise for the emerging Fondren area, but also that Jackson suffers from "a rigid conformist culture" that drives people away. This is sad because Jackson has so much to offer as it is, but as long as the area's culture is dominated by born-again fundamentalists who are liable to talk about their beliefs at inappropriate times and at inappropriate venues, Jackson will continue to scare creative people away. What I found even harder to take than the Proselytizers (who are usually here for a few minutes, and gone the next) is the excessive conformity. Aside from racial diversity, there is NOT a lot of variety in personality and appearance among people in the metro. In my entire 13 months in this city (from 6/01 to 7/02), I have seen ONE aging hippie, ONE MTV looking 20-something hipster, ONE Ralph Nader bumper sticker (not that I voted for nader in 00), and about three goths. Where the whites are concerned at leas, preppies and "Good ole' boys must make up 95 to 98% of the metro's population. The political conformity is very similar. I checked figures for both the Presidential election AND the "Flag Vote" for The City of Madison. Bush won Madison by about 3 to 1, though the Flag vote was somewhat better, about 2-to-1. Rankin Co. seems even more conformist and monolithic. I'm sorry to say, Jacksonians, but this is NOT a sign of a healthy society, though as the article said Jackson does have hope (and I agree). What I call the Lower State St. area (Belhaven-Milsaps Coll. - Fondren) has certainly moved in the right direction, and so deserves my praise. Nevertheless, they have only begun the task to create an non-mainstream neighborhood. For a great example of what I'd like Fondren/Millsaps/Belhaven to be, check out Memphis's Cooper-Young Neighborhood - Great restaurants, coffee shops, cozy bars that are not meat markets, and a relaxed tolerant lifestyle. If Memphis, which has more or less the same basic culture Jackson does, can do it, then Jackson can do it too if enough people put their hearts and souls into it. As it is, I personally feel more comfortable in Dallas than I do in Jackson (moved in the opposite direction that Todd did). I will certainly come back to visit (I grew up in N. La., 90 min from here), but I cannot see myself living there -- at least not now. Jackson would have real potential as a place to live if the prevailing social climate weren't so excessively conservative.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-08T11:14:19-06:00
ID
76650
Comment

Q: Could Jackson become a biomedical engineering center in 30 years? A: Yes, indeed! Providing we all get organized and on the same page! Why? Medical Resources: ï UM Medical school ï A high proportion of educated people for this region - Outside the Southís ìgrowth crescentî ( Raleigh-Charlotte-Columbia-Atlanta-Huntsville-Nashville), Jackson metro has one of, if not the, highest proportion of college educated people in this region ï Doctors ñ (for potential research) ï Lawyers ñ to advise biomed startup firms ï State Capital ñ Gives potential researchers and entrepreneurs easy access to government advice and administrative help. Skilled Labor ï By even 2013, there should be plenty of skilled labor, thanks in vital part to the Nissan plant and itís suppliers. Transportation /Location ï 3 major four-lane routes and at least 2 major railroads cross here, ï Half way between the Texan and SE growth areas ï Access to several Gulf Coast ports for export ï Equally easy access to Memphis (warehouses, FedEx). Education ï U of M Med School is located here, as I just said. ï FOUR universities with mechanical engineering programs (which I think is the most relevant for biomed enginnering) within a 2.5 hour drive of Jackson that have strong engineering programs: Miss St. Univ., Ole Miss, LSU, and La Tech (the latter just 150 miles straight west of Jackson on I-20, where I earned my two degrees from). Louisiana Tech itself explicitly has a Biomedical Engineering program. Expanding the circle to a four hour drive takes in we can include U of Memphis and Bama . ï Jackson St. has a civil engineering program, which could advise the city about how to plan a biomedical engineering area. Itís computer science programs have an obvious function, given our digital-oriented times. ï USM, from what I hear, has a highly rated polymer science (plastics) program. Again, this would be of obvious use for biomed engineering. Access to Culture ï Jackson does indeed have a potential identity. ï Not just homegrown culture (literature and music), but location makes it easy to hub all the cultural influences from Memphis to the Gulf Coast, possibly forming unique future identity for the city. ï Jubilee! Jam ï The arts area along Lower State Street, including the unique Museum of Muslim Cultures, a treasure in and of itself. Ditto for the Museum of Southern Jewry. ï The metroís huge African-American population could make it a smaller and more attractive alternative for A-Aís who might find Atlanta, Houston, and even Memphis too large for their tastes. There are lots of problems we need to overcome first, of course , which we have all discussed over the last several days: tolerance, education, the right set of policies, and appropriately targeted and managed funding thereof. But the good news is that even if Memphis (another potential player), Birmingham, and the Gulf Coast prevail instead of Jackson, Jackson is still in a good position to become at least a secondary / support center.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-21T21:39:19-06:00
ID
76651
Comment

What we can do to encourage creative people is give us opportunities to display our creativity and an informed, interested community to view, hear, or otherwise experience the results. A couple of joints with regular clientele and a relatively closed system won't do it; we have to open up to all styles, all types of creativity, and a multitude of viewpoints. A "scene" doesn't consist of bands playing what was popular elsewhere 5 years ago, and a truly creative culture doesn't exclude people on the basis of their education, ethnicity or age.

Author
Poet
Date
2003-11-05T13:08:57-06:00
ID
76652
Comment

We're glad to see the 'Creative Class' concept catching on: "Without suggesting that one caused the other, the authors concluded that tolerant, funky, hip, diverse cities were also rich ones. 'The losers are the cities that don't let these people organize and be themselves and express their energy,' Mr. Florida said in a telephone interview. 'A city that allowed a gay community to emerge 10 or 20 years ago, set up its own retail stores and clubs, a city that allowed a music scene to happen, a city that allowed an arts community to emerge ó there's something in the ecosystem of that community that allows individuals to get there, to be themselves and to mobilize resources. That of course is the same thing that high-tech entrepreneurs do,'" the New York Times reported Thursday, using Memphis (the 11th most dangerous city in the U.S., BTW) as an example of "creative class" success in bringing back the city.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-12T14:20:16-06:00
ID
76653
Comment

Donna, Having lived in Memphis for 3 1/2 years in the mid 90s in the University of Memphis area, I can assure you that this is an underrated city. Racial problems still abound, no question about it. On the other hand, I more interracial dating there than I ever did in N. La and Central Miss (though even in these areas it is more common than 10 years ago). It also had a fairly active gay community and nightlife scene too (I had a gay couple as next door neighbors). The most impressive part though was the people at U of M itself - lots of bohemian-looking types there - to the point where preppies are well in the minority. It's not Berkeley or UT Austin by any means, but it's sure as heck not conformist stepfordville either. This factor by itself is what made this one of the overall better schools in the middle south area (academically, i'd say its low average - its the people climate I'm talking about). Certainly I can see how eccentrics, geeks, and bohemians would like it here if they bother to look past surface appearances. Back to Jackson, let's do our part to make at least Lower State Street a boho/geek/eccentric haven, so that people who do not fit into the Mississippian Mainstream can have a place they can feel at home -- and perhaps make them think twice before leaving (and potentially induce them to return as well)

Author
Philip
Date
2003-12-16T07:41:13-06:00
ID
76654
Comment

Donna, Having lived in Memphis for 3 1/2 years in the mid 90s in the University of Memphis area, I can assure you that this is an underrated city. Racial problems still abound, no question about it. On the other hand, I more interracial dating there than I ever did in N. La and Central Miss (though even in these areas it is more common than 10 years ago). It also had a fairly active gay community and nightlife scene too (I had a gay couple as next door neighbors). The most impressive part though was the people at U of M itself - lots of bohemian-looking types there - to the point where preppies are well in the minority. It's not Berkeley or UT Austin by any means, but it's sure as heck not conformist stepfordville either. This factor by itself is what made this one of the overall better schools in the middle south area (academically, i'd say its low average - its the people climate I'm talking about). Certainly I can see how eccentrics, geeks, and bohemians would like it here if they bother to look past surface appearances. Back to Jackson, let's do our part to make at least Lower State Street a boho/geek/eccentric haven, so that people who do not fit into the Mississippian Mainstream can have a place they can feel at home -- and perhaps make them think twice before leaving (and potentially induce them to return as well)

Author
Philip
Date
2003-12-16T07:41:20-06:00
ID
76655
Comment

Philip, what's frustrating to me here is how many people will say things like, "you've got to clear up the crime before you renovate downtown," or something to that effect. That's so incredibly naive and insular. (This is the point where those accusations that too many Mississippians don't look outside our borders for advice/information come into play. Fortunately, that's a stereotype that doesn't apply to everyone. Unfortunately, it applies to some of the loudest boors who try to block any type of progress that they don't approve of or didn't think of. Screw them.) Of course, other cities know that you don't wait around for crime to disappear before you build a creative community -- especially in a (legal) gun-soaked city where many of the violent crimes are acquintance/domestic. Prosperous creative communities grow up despite crime problems and then serve to help lessen them, at least in those areas. Downtown (in and around) right now is prime for a creative takeover, and I don't mean only expensive high-rise condos. Crime downtown is among the lowest in the city, and there is amazing space sitting there with holes in the roofs because the owners have let it decay for so long, apparently waiting for that one big opportunity to make millions of dollars. ("Death of a Salesman" suddenly comes to mind). We need small-business incubators, art galleries and fun places to hang out. In Mississippi, it can seem like it all or nothing, especially among the old coots who want to control everything. "Well, if we built Two Lakes, then maybe ..." How about if someone opened a fun, lively, delicious Caribbean restaurant that attracts a hip (but not kids) after-work crowd where people HAVE to go because it's the best scene in town. Later at night, the reggae and other music could kick in, drawing a slightly younger crowd. This type of cool establishment is going to be a lot more interesting than putting another restaurant/bar in a strip mall (or some big government-owned monolith). People will hang out there, other places will open nearby, and (enough) folks will get tired of commuting to the suburbs. The place needs big windows where people can see all the excitement inside -- the old Gallery 119 comes to mind as a possible spot. When I helped start the alt in Colorado Springs, downtown was near dead. There was a great little nutball coffeeshop/bookstore complex anchoring one end of downtown, and a fun after-work bar called the Ritz on the other, but not a lot in between. During the 1990s, one after another spot started moving in. Downtown CS really reached its apex when Phanton Canyon, this big lofty restaurant with towering ceilings, great food and the best sophisticated, loud after-work bar scene in town opened (and a classy billiards hall upstairs). Now, downtown Springs is lively and exciting, and it happened in less than a decade. Jacksonians need to stop listening to the naysayers and just do what it takes to make this a creative-class city. Step up, y'all.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-16T12:54:21-06:00
ID
76656
Comment

I just looked at Richard Florida's Creative Class Web site, and there's a lot of stuff to click through over there to help inspire creative ideas for Jackson. http://www.creativeclass.org I like a piece he has there refuting a more traditional development approach. http://www.creativeclass.org/kotkin_fallacies.shtml Florida writes: "America, in fact, is increasingly becoming a nation that earns its keep by adding creative value. Rote work is increasingly eliminated, off-shored or automated. Meanwhile the creative sector of our economy, which includes work from engineering design to fashion design, has grown steadily and rapidly over the years. The creative class has increased from less than 10 percent of our workforce in 1900 to 20 percent in 1980 and more than 30 percent today. The great creative sector of the economy accounts for nearly half of all salary and wages in this country, $1.7 trillion dollars, as much as the manufacturing and service sectors combined. In big metro areas like Pittsburgh or Riverside, the creative sector accounts for as much as two-thirds of all wage and salary income. To suggest that regions embrace Kotkin's favored sectors today is like telling them in the early 1900s to ignore rising industries like autos, steel and chemicals and concentrate instead on farming." "So how do gays and bohemians fit into my analysis? I am not saying that these people literally "cause" regions to grow. Rather, their presence in large numbers is an indicator of an underlying culture that's conducive to creativity. Gays and artists (as well as immigrants, like Ramon Alvarez) are often regarded as being on the fringes of society. The places where they feel at home and thrive tend to have a culture of tolerance and open-mindedness. Gays and bohemians are leading indicators of a place that has a "creative ecosystem" ñ a regional habitat which is open to new people and ideas, where people easily network, connect; where bright ideas are not shot down or stifled, but are turned into new projects, new companies and new growth. Regions and nations that have such an ecosystem ó that can do the best job of tapping the diverse creative talents of the most people ó gain a tremendous competitive advantage. Which regions would you bet on as growth centers of the future: San Francisco, Boston and Seattle, with their consistent ability to generate major new industries, or Kotkin's favorite places like McAllen, Fresno, and Riverside that offer cheap housing and low-wage labor?"

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-16T14:24:25-06:00
ID
76657
Comment

Here's another piece about the "Memphis Manifesto" and the creative class: "[T]he vision of young creatives assuming responsibility is of immense relevance in American communities at this moment of our history. And at the Memphis sessions, a constant theme was that any community can put together a progressive, youth-oriented strategy for growth." "Historically, Coletta notes, local governments have focused on the nuclear family--Mom, Dad, the two kids and homeowner concerns. Chambers of commerce have worried about the middle-aged men who decide on business locations. 'But nobody,' she notes, 'has focused on this younger age cohort.' Large proportions of young people move in their 20s, and many don't move again. 'So this is a golden demographic, and can have a significant impact on whether your city is successful.'" "Assuming all that's true, the original splash of interest in young creative people is maturing into new economic development strategies a world apart from stale old strategies like subsidies for footloose companies." "Now, it may also mean a broadened civic role for young people with fresh and idealistic approaches. Let's hope so." -- from Neal Pierce of The Washington Post Writers' Group http://www.postwritersgroup.com/archives/peir0609.htm (emphasis mine)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-16T14:37:23-06:00
ID
76658
Comment

Richard Florida is featured in the Lansing Noise, the rather insipid free entertainment rag Gannett started to compete with the alt in Lansing, Mich. Not brilliant questions, but his answers are pretty good. Here's one: "[G]overnments can't make cities cool. What governments can do is two things. If you ask, Jane Jacobs, my idol, the problem is that city leaders, business leaders, chambers of commerce, squelch the energy, the creative energy of people, of gay communities, of minority communities, art communities, technology communities. So the first thing government can do is make sure they limit the squelching." "One thing I've said is, have a moratorium on mega-projects, stop the stadium building, stop the major massive urban renewals, the convention center building, the tearing down of neighborhoods, so that people can do things more organically." "So, the second thing that government can do is facilitate this process by shifting from large mega-projects toward more community-focused development. I don't know if Lansing has a community development corporation, but in Pittsburgh everything our urban redevelopment authority has done is nothing you'd recommend. But our community development corporations -- which are small-scale, neighborhood-run, neighborhood-backed organizations which do have pubic support -- are able to work together to strategically focus neighborhood resources and energy on renewal. Those things work well." "While government is not an answer, government can certainly get a lot of things out of the way, and a decentralized approach empowers people." (emphasis mine) (OK, here's a funny example of why these corp-alts are so stupid: Under Florida's photo, in biking gear, the rag draws attention to its use of the oh-so-hip photo: "RICHARD FLORIDA [46] That's him in his biking gear. We thought his other press photos were a bit dull and overused."

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-16T16:59:55-06:00
ID
76659
Comment

good stuff, Donna. The only thing I'd comment on is the fact that Jackson really does need a convention center - even if it does qualify as a 'mega project.' The local choices now are incredibly limited (with awkard layouts, in my opinion). And lots of conventions are held down on the coast at the casinos instead of in Jackson. Which is good for the Coast. But I hate seeing meetings go south just because there's no good meeting facility here. And because people think no one wants to come to Jackson. (As for me, I'd rather do pretty much anything besides spend time in a Casino...)

Author
kate
Date
2003-12-16T17:19:31-06:00
ID
76660
Comment

". . . Jackson really does need a convention center" How do you propose to pay for it? Please be specific.

Author
VBell
Date
2003-12-16T18:26:39-06:00
ID
76661
Comment

Funding for the convention center would likely be similar to this proposed plan, I believe.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-12-16T18:37:47-06:00
ID
76662
Comment

The money's already there. $17 million commissioned by the legislature a few years ago. Plus, there's been some sort of hotel room tax in place for a few years, with the money earmarked for this project. I don't have all the details, because the CL doesn't keep archives on line, but they've covered the story periodically. Ground breaking has already happened on the project. From the JVCB: "Projections on the Telecom Center show it should bring $15.9 million per year in new spending to the city and support approximately 300 total new jobs. In addition, the one-time construction spending associated with the development of the facility would generate a total economic impact of approximately $19.8 million in the city. (Source: C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc.)" http://www.visitjackson.com/presskit/2003-08_TelecomCentergroundbreaking.doc I think it's a cool project, that, if done well, could bring alot of people downtown in the next few years.

Author
kmcneel
Date
2003-12-16T18:45:36-06:00
ID
76663
Comment

"The money's already there." Then why is the Mayor pushing for incremental taxation. Why hasn't he started on the construction already?

Author
VBell
Date
2003-12-16T19:27:18-06:00
ID
76664
Comment

VBell, I'm not certain why you're pushing on this one. Did you read the link I posted? "JACKSON, Miss. ó Mississippiís state-of-the-art meeting and training facility is one step closer to reality with groundbreaking ceremonies held today in downtown Jackson for the Mississippi Telecommunications Conference & Training Center. This 74,000 square-foot facility ñ scheduled to open in Fall 2004 ñ will be one of the most high-tech, wired facilities in the Southeast United States." The project is not the Mayor's. It's funded by the legislature. Last I heard, construction is going forward. I don't know the final details of the funding, and I don't really feel like researching it for you. Let's check back in another year, and see if there's a building, or at least part of one, downtown by then.

Author
kate
Date
2003-12-16T19:35:51-06:00
ID
76665
Comment

Kate, I think VBell clicked the link I provided.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-12-16T19:43:16-06:00
ID
76666
Comment

Ex, I figured that much out. I'm mostly just confused by why s/he's pushing so hard on the issue. Everything I've heard from various people on the project is that it is going forward - whatever the final funding was. Maybe VBell thinks it's a bad idea?

Author
kate
Date
2003-12-16T20:20:59-06:00
ID
76667
Comment

I don't know VBell's reasoning, but a conference center is definitely needed in Jackson.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-12-16T20:31:22-06:00
ID
76668
Comment

Last test. Going to bed.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2003-12-17T03:31:48-06:00
ID
76669
Comment

Here's another thread with more than 100 posts about the importance of the creative class in Jackson and engaging young people in revitalizing the city. It was an Oct. 2003 publisher's note by Todd: "The Secret to Jackson's Future." http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=1838_0_7_0_C

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2003-12-17T03:47:27-06:00
ID
76670
Comment

In a column about revitalization in the C-L, Eric Stringfellow talked about the city's new plan for revitalization, FABRIC. We haven't gone through the plan, yet -- that'll be Todd -- but this column suggests to me that Stringfellow hasn't quite grasped the "Creative Class" concept. He seems solely focused on high-end housing that will presumably convince well-to-do to suddenly leave their gated communities in the suburbs. The downtown thing isn't quite that simple, although we're certainly big fans of downtown housing. We'll have more soon on the plan. Meantime, we suggest that folks at the C-L study up on the Creative Class concept, being that Jackson shows so much potential. Stringfellow wrote: "Jackson must figure out how to get developers to invest in residential projects that are competitive to what's being offered in the suburbs." http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0312/16/meric.html

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2003-12-17T19:16:40-06:00
ID
76671
Comment

Richard Florida has a long, compelling piece on Alternet right now, "Creative Class War." Some excerpts: The last 20 years has seen the rise of the "culture wars" -- between those who value traditional virtues, and others drawn to new lifestyles and diversity of opinion. In truth, this clash mostly played out among intellectuals of the left and right; as sociologist Alan Wolfe has shown, most Americans manage a subtle balance between the two tendencies. Still, the cleavages exist, roughly paralleling the ideologies of the two political parties. And increasingly in the 1990s, they expressed themselves geographically, as more and more Americans chose to live in places that suited their culture and lifestyle preferences. ... Bill Clinton was, in many ways the midwife of the new creative economy. Present at the birth of the '90s boom, he recognized it quickly for what it was and helped spur it by such projects as wiring poor and middle-class school classrooms around the country for the Internet and beating back Republican efforts to cut immigration. For this, he was beloved not only by creatives, but also by many of those in Red America whom he convinced would benefit from the new economy. But he also personally symbolized the creative-class archetype -- its libertine character, its cleverness, its global-mindedness. For this, he drew the lasting enmity of many millions of those in the "other" America. It's often been said that Clinton was the embodiment of the '60s, and one's position for or against him revealed one's attitude towards that era. It's perhaps more precise to say that with his constant hyping of new technologies and "bridge to the twenty-first century" rhetoric, Clinton was the embodiment of what the '60s became -- the creative class '90s, hip but pro-growth, open-minded and progressive but ambitious. While Clinton and the Democrats increasingly drew their support from the high-tech parts of the country, the Republicans increasingly came to represent the low-tech areas. Republican leaders like Tom DeLay and Dick Armey were beginning, during the early 1990s, to articulate the cultural and political antagonism Red America felt towards the emerging creative-class culture. But the politician who most skillfully spoke to these grievances was George W. Bush. Clinton's whole life is a testimony to the power of education to change class. Bush prides himself on the idea that his Yale education had no effect on how he sees things. Clinton was a famous world traveler, appreciative of foreign cultures and ideas. Bush, throughout his life, has been indifferent if not hostile to all of that. Clinton, especially in the early years of his administration, had the loose, unstructured management style of an academic department or a dot-com -- manic work hours, meetings that went on forever, lots of diffuse power centers, young people running around in casual clothing, and a constant reappraising of plans and strategies. The Bush management style embodies the pre-creative corporate era -- formal, hierarchal, with decision-making concentrated in the hands of only the most senior executives. Clinton was happy in Hollywood and vacationed in Martha's Vineyard. Bush can't wait to get back to Crawford. Clinton reveled in the company of writers, artists, scientists, and members of the intellectual elite. Bush has little tolerance for them. Clinton, in his rhetoric and policies, wanted to bring the gifts of the creative class -- high technology, a tolerant culture -- to the hinterlands. Bush aimed to bring the values and economic priorities of the hinterlands to that ultimate creative center, Washington, D.C. This one is worth printing out and spending some time with. http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17576

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-01-16T23:21:15-06:00
ID
76672
Comment

Jackson Moves Up in Creative Class Ranking; Other Southern Cities Fall Update of Creative Class Rankings. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=2302_0_12_0_C Correction to my entry: On the Creative Class update, I said ìTuscaloosa made a TREMENDOUS gain of 57 places from 238 to 184î This is actually a fifty-FOUR place gain. My apologies for the error. Nevertheless jumping 54 places is certainly highly impressive, and so Tuscaloosa certainly deserve its kudos.

Author
Philip
Date
2004-01-23T18:38:21-06:00
ID
76673
Comment

Is there a place one can go to view all the rankings ?

Author
herman
Date
2004-01-28T13:35:14-06:00
ID
76674
Comment

Herman, I bought the paperback edition of Florida's book about 6 weeks ago from B&N. That's where I got my figures from.

Author
Philip
Date
2004-02-08T10:16:52-06:00
ID
76675
Comment

On the other board, I put up a series of posts showing another aspect of this issue, particularly relating to general community interest in science and how it affects our community's economic potential http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=1838_0_7_0_C

Author
Philip
Date
2004-03-29T17:12:14-06:00
ID
76676
Comment

The Clarion-Ledger almost gets around to discussing the Creative Class today. Of course, it's an Associated Press story ... and about Michigan. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-07-19T12:58:08-06:00
ID
76677
Comment

Oh, and they never actually mention the "Creative Class."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-07-19T13:04:17-06:00
ID
76678
Comment

The Creative Class has risen! Or at least it's become part of the Jackson venacular: Marshall Ramsey includes it today in Part I of his "Election Man" cartoon series. BTW, I'm not sure what I think of this Election Man series. It's funny, but it seems so mean-spirited all around that I wonder what it adds to the whole mayoral discussion. (Aren't edit cartoons supposed to educate in some way?) It seems that these cartoons just perpetuate stereotypes (many of which The Ledge introduced and perpetuated in the first place.) I wonder what other people think of that? I guess it would be one thing if, in addition, The Ledge did stellar civic journalism coverage of the campaigns, rather than horce-race reporting. But we all know how that goes. It seems like about the only thing people remember from the coverage of the last mayoral campaign is the Election Man series. And that strikes me as a sorry state of media coverage.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-03-12T11:37:40-06:00
ID
76679
Comment

Check it out. Todd just pointed out that Apple Computer is promoting their Power Mac G5 as "Engineered for the Creative Class." And starts the description: "The creative class needs superior tools to produce designs, music, high-definition video or the next scientific breakthrough." http://www.apple.com/powermac/ I think all you Creative Class bloggers (and Todd, of course, the Creative Class king and an Apple book author) can feel way, way ahead of the curve on this one. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-03-26T16:59:48-06:00
ID
76680
Comment

Whoops. The Clarion-Ledger actually mentions the "creative class" today in an article about "new urbanism," but they say the following: By 2008, between 67 million and 68 million baby boomers are set to retire, he said. The other demographic attracted to new urbanism ó the 25- to 48-year-old "creative class" ó is "bored" with the suburbs and prefer city life. "They want to hang out," said Low, who heads DPZ's office in Charlotte, N.C. This is inaccurate, isn't it? The "creative class" isn't defined by an age group like those insipid "Gen X" and "baby boomer" labels, is it? Todd? Aren't they missing the point?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-10-30T14:35:41-06:00
ID
76681
Comment

From their site: "In addition to its design work, DPZ is widely recognized as a leader of the international movement against the proliferation of suburban sprawl." Of course, they're involved in the Lost Rabbit project also.

Author
kaust
Date
2005-10-31T06:32:32-06:00
ID
76682
Comment

Okay, this is funny. Excerpt: I've tried being proactive. But none of the locals I've talked to about bringing in a co-op health-food grocery store have seemed excited at all. Nor have I gotten any of them to take part in my community open-house idea for hip young people to come see what this neighborhood is capable of. What did they do instead? They had a barbecue. With very loud music. I mean, I don't want the people here to leave. I just want them to stay inside more. Especially if they're not going to do anything to bring this community to life. But they're always out on their stoops, just playing dominoes or talking. I like talking, but I do it inside, where it was meant to be done. It makes me uncomfortable to have people watching me all the time. Not that I think they'd do anything, but I just like to be a little more private. Also, their dogs stay outside and bark all day. I like dogs just fine, but why can't their dogs be smaller and more nervous? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-08-29T12:28:55-06:00

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