Jay Losset | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jay Losset

When Jay Losset, 28, talks about Jackson, you can tell he's excited. When I interviewed him, he moved to the edge of his seat when he mentioned the changes going on in Jackson, rocking back and forth and moving his hands wildly as he discussed the city.

"I don't understand people who aren't passionate," he says. He has only lived in Jackson for 4 1/2 years, but his own passion about the city, and getting involved, has extended into almost every area of his life. At a recent garage sale, he even passed out voter registration forms and election information to shoppers.

"Sometimes it turns people off because I latch on to something and yammer on about it," Lossett admits. But he still presents himself just as he is: a Jacksonian ready to make the city better. Losset's efforts are sometimes small-scale (e-mails to friends about local elections and events) and sometimes large (an event with The Collective on Oct. 16 to bring education about the proposed convention center in Jackson), but they're all no-brainers to him.

"With all of the groundwork that has been done in Jackson in the last five to seven years, it makes sense that it's all coming to fruition now," he says, adding that it's up to Jacksonians to all pitch in to make Jackson, especially downtown, better: "If downtown goes, then Jackson goes. If Jackson goes, then all of the suburbs do, too."

That's why he works with Robert Arender of Martin's and Patrick Puckett of Carpetsounds.com to bring independent bands to Jackson. That's why he fires up petitions and message boards to make sure independent movies not only come to Jackson, but are seen by its citizens. That's why he distributes voter registration forms at garage sales. That's especially why he is dedicated to bringing a convention center here. "We have a chance to put a state-of-the-art facility here, and it's just going to bring it all together. It's going to bring jobs, entertainment, everything."

To Losset, Jackson's already a great place: exciting but manageable. But it can only get better: "There are enough committed young adults, people in general, in Jackson who say 'I'm not going anywhere' because they see the potential. They see things that can be done and instead of complaining, they get out and do something," he says. "The fruits of our labors will be seen. Pretty soon, people from those 'cool cities' will be moving here."

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