Your JXN Idea | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Your JXN Idea

JFP reader Johannah Williams shares her ideas for a better Jackson.

JFP reader Johannah Williams shares her ideas for a better Jackson.

Malkie Schwartz Highlighting good ideas is one GOOD Idea that I see Jackson benefiting from!


Malkie Schwartz

Create a training ground/school exclusively for non-profit professionals, people committed to change and emerging leaders who are interested in building careers in the non-profit sector

Create more leadership opportunities for high school and college students. Global Kids ( is an organization in NYC that engages young people in addressing global issues. An initiative like Global Kids will demonstrate that Jackson is one of many cities and communities around the world addressing similar issues.

Faith Doster Stauss First, we need to reduce crime. Neighborhood watch used to be a program that really brought the community together to fight crime. Never hear about it anymore.

Jackson does not have a movie theater, (but) I hear there will be one coming soon. An IMAX theater would be what every large city has.

Downtown has to be renovated and must prosper. The project downtown has failed.

Tom Head

  • Jackson needs the national economy to pick up. Once it does, we'll be a lot better off.
  • Jackson needs more people living in the city who recognize its gifts. We underestimate ourselves.
  • Jackson needs more neighborhood businesses.
  • Jackson needs more integration, especially in its religious communities.
  • Jackson needs more tweeters, Facebookers, bloggers and (in general) writers.
  • Jackson needs more media, operated by people who appreciate the city as a whole (as the JFP does) and not just certain privileged bits of it.
  • Jackson needs to be compensated by the state government and the suburbs for the free property and infrastructure it provides at its own expense.
  • Jackson needs to be left alone by racist state legislators who keep trying to annex the city, or at least the most expensive bits, away.
  • Jackson needs a domestic partnerships registry and a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance.
  • Jackson—all of Jackson—needs to go online. The digital divide is still a thing, and it's more important than most people realize.

Scott M. Crawford Agree with Tom Head, but add that we need a "WHATEVER IT TAKES" attitude toward fixing Jackson's problems. If that means raising taxes in an equitable way, so be it. We need to expand JATRAN to become a metro transit system, before the price of gasoline and climate change reach crisis proportions. Finally, we need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disability will affect the vast majority of us. Accessible rights of way (streets/sidewalks/crosswalks/bike lanes) that welcome all their users.

Annie Schuler Splash pad.

Brett Hennington A riverwalk

Mo Wilson True college radio station.

Ashlee Theodore Something like "Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights" every weekend.


"Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights"

Robert Van Zandt Lower taxes, across the board. Boom!

Julie Skipper I'd love to see Jackson implement a workable, reliable system of public transportation. When you think about the fact that we're a capitol city without one, it's really tragic—especially with so many students, workers, residents and visitors. It's something that I think citizens would use if it's developed in a smart way.


Younger generations, in particular, look at things like this when choosing a city in which to live. Plus, with low-emission and electric or hybrid buses, it can become a factor in sustainable development.

I'd love to see something involving partnerships with the surrounding cities to develop a regional plan, with routes mapped to effectively maximize funding sources and use. A public-private collaboration could be used to operate vehicles for supplemental routes (e.g., downtown) to the larger municipal routes.

A comprehensive, reliable system—where people can simply know they'll be able to get from Point A to Point B on a schedule—is something we can do, smartly and creatively, and would be really big for Jackson to accomplish and be proud of.

Trip Burns My idea for Jackson would be a good, steady and reliable bus system. Not only to do buses carry people, but they can carry bikes on the front—encouraging not just commuters, but bike riders as well.

I lived in Clearwater, Fla., for a brief period and used only buses and my bike. It's a smaller city than Jackson, yet close enough to Tampa and St. Petersburg that it had a very good system. You could set your watch by it, and it was affordable, too. Clearwater is interesting because it's a city composed primarily of Scientologists, and its world headquarters are there, and the church owns most of the property. It was a "city that could be bought." It's also close to the water. What's interesting is that there is a high concentration of Scientology students and what you might call "missionaries."

My point is that a system like that was useful for many people: scientologists, tourists, and everyday workers.

Jackson has hospitals, schools and residences spread over a good portion of land. The challenge would be to make public transportation attractive and useful. If you can rely on it, you can use it.

A valid criticism would be, "Well, that's great, but there's no where to go." So maybe an expansion wouldn't be good right now, but what would be good is for our bus system to be reliable. Provide an option for people who do not drive, can't drive, or just want to hop on a bus.

William Spell Jr. Run a trolley car up and down Capitol Street. Jackson once had trolley cars on Capitol Street and it's time to have them back. Making Capitol Street two-way traffic to attract stores and businesses is good, but who can walk up and down Capitol Street in the summer heat? Having trolley cars will add something not even the malls can do. See more at


Brett Hennington I would like to second the Trolley/Streetcar idea, which would hopefully mirror the Maps 3 project currently underway in OKC. (See

JFP Note: The Street Car sub-committee of Vision 2022 is exploring funding opportunities for a feasibility study. The next step is to build the working group to include stakeholders/businesses in the area. A feasibility study will be commissioned to evaluate the economic impact a streetcar system can have on the city of Jackson and evaluate and identify transit corridors and transportation opportunities.

See also:

What Our City Needs

Vision 2022: A Regional Vision

Green Space

Big Ideas: Getting Jacksonians into City Parks

Revisited: Town Creek

Defined: People's Assemblies

New Idea: More Than Sports

Bright Idea: Conserve Energy, Create Jobs

Filling the Emptiness

Best Practice: Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum

What the Heck Is An IBA?

Radical Idea: Vacancy Tax

Build a Bicycle- and Pedestrian-Friendly Jackson

Everyone Needs a Roof

Jackson Planning Map

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