The Jackson Free Press asked people on the streets the question, "What does Jackson need?"
at Family Dollar
"Fixing the obvious issues like infrastructure, poverty and crime is a good start. Finding ways to narrow the generation gap to guide the youth in a more positive direction will help. Providing an outlet for community activities would help. We don't even
have a movie theater."
Placement manager for Payment Alliance International
"Simply respecting one another and not stereotyping can end a lot of issues and help build stronger bonds within the city."
Student at Jackson State University
"The one thing that I can say can be improved about the Jackson area is to make it more millennial-friendly. I think Mississippi overall is ... a retirement state. And I think, for the retention of getting millennials to stay and work here in the state--I think if we make it more millennial-friendly and bring ... activities and different events and ... restaurants and ... fun things to do here in the city, that would actually make (Jackson) overall a better experience for everyone."
Jamey and Melanie Burrow
Jamey: doctor at Baptist Health Systems; Melanie: stay-at-home mom
"Lack of viable industries creates a non-friendly business environment. Having a true vested interest in the community can help to uplift it."
"Jackson obviously needs to increase infrastructure and funding going toward infrastructure and education. We need more affordable options for adolescents within the city limits. ... There need to be more opportunities for students to show and display their art.
Engineer at Siemens
"I think that if we want real progress in our state, and in Jackson especially, we need to focus on improving our primary public education. I think that we should raise teacher salaries so that we can compete for the best teachers and put money more into the academics, not just more towards athletics. Cutting education budgets is shooting the next generation in the foot." —Jenna Gibson
Murrah High School
"I know that Jackson has good leadership and effective leadership, but I think what Jackson needs is more input (from) the community, and more communication within the administration and the community, so that people don't feel so left out, and people will feel like their voices are heard."
Student at Millsaps College
"What I'd like to see changed in Jackson is the negative assumptions that are placed on this city by people who haven't necessarily been to or have lived in Jackson—because although the city does have a lot of issues, so do most capital cities. Jackson has a lot of potential to grow, and we can already see some of that hospitality and determination paying off with the development of Fondren (and) The District.
I wish people saw Jackson more for its opportunities instead of its downfalls."