The City of Jackson, as Mississippi`s capital, is important to the entire state. As the center of government, and home to leading healthcare and medical research facilities, diverse educational offerings, art and cultural institutions, as well as leading businesses and industries, Jackson has unlimited potential.
In many areas, the city does offer the best of the New South.
But, and you knew that this one was coming, Jackson is plagued by both the perception and to a large extent the reality of being a city that doesn`t work.
City leadership, from the mayor`s office to the city council, at best, is well intentioned. There are plenty of folks working for the city who do want to make Jackson a better place to live, work and raise families – for everyone. Others, and they tend to be a vocal few, are clearly playing the tired and divisive games of racial politics.
It is these few, however, that the rest of the state is best acquainted, and that is terribly unfortunate.
For Jackson to be successful, the rest of Mississippi needs evidence that the capital is not a crime-ridden, drug-infested urban wasteland, which is, unfortunately, about where far too many Mississippians are when it comes to assessing the situation here.
Many in Jackson want a convention center. Desperately needed, they contend. Build it and they will come, others claim.
We remain skeptical, though. When the city starts getting serious about fighting crime, fixing (and maintaining) infrastructure and supporting existing businesses, then – and only then – are the majority of taxpayers, whether they’re residents, commuters, visitors or tourists, who will be paying for a convention center be ready to consider it.
THANKS FOR EXPO
In late January, the MBJ hosted the 21st-annual Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO in Jackson.
This year`s event was the biggest and most successful ever. Our initial feedback from attendees and exhibitors has been very positive and encouraging.
We want to thank all who participated in and contributed to the success of EXPO. Exhibitors, attendees, event sponsors, MBJ staff, and the myriad of support service providers, from florist to photographers to caterers, all had a part in making the show flow smoothly and effectively.
Thanks to all for a job well done.