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Why Every Mississippian Should Cheer for Jackson

The City of Jackson has a variety of perceptions around the State of Mississippi. Some people focus on negative impressions of crime-ridden stories they hear or read about. Others maintain that it cannot find its own footing and has a shrinking population. Still, others see specific personalities in its leadership and form their impressions of the City on their comments. Other people focus on failed projects. While there are partial truths to these criticisms, every Mississippian should be a cheerleader for its Capital City.

Quentin Whitwell
Quentin Whitwell

First, look at the geography of the City. Jackson is located at the industrial part of the State. With interstates 55 and 20 intersecting, all traffic from Atlanta to Dallas and New Orleans to Memphis drive right through the heart of the City. Jackson has the prime location for being the business hub of the South and is still untapped in its role for industrial growth and as the Capital City, Jackson is the core of government. Businesses are regulated by executive divisions, boards and authorities that make all of the impacting decisions that affect the rest of the State. Participating in the decision-making process for all of our State’s growth requires being in Jackson and working with our State leaders. The Legislature convenes in Jackson to make laws and pass bills that are set in statute every year in Jackson.
Second, look at its culture. It was on its train tracks and in its clubs that businessmen gathered, musicians wrote, chefs cooked and Mississippi developed its reputation as a fiercely independent soul and grew tentacles that impacted Chicago and New Orleans and Washington, D.C. Jackson needs to set the standards once again by revitalizing downtown in its business district and historic Farish Street and convention center blocks. With proper attention and capital, Jackson can draw tourists and business leaders to the table to celebrate and thrive.
But also look at its true leaders. Many success stories of riches in oil and gas, medicine, law, music and talent come from Jackson. With young political leaders who are focused on the future and not stuck in past divisions, Jackson is poised for growth. Building infrastructures, working with State and regional leaders, enticing businesses and touting the strength of the City in unison will set Jackson on the track for a bright future. To ridicule and tear down the City only hurts the State as a whole.
Now is the time to stand behind Jackson, offer support, build it up and make it the place it can become. Other cities like Memphis and Birmingham sure looked dead on the vine but block by block restored themselves to glory. Success stores are in Jackson already. Others are to be found soon if all Mississippi digs in and cheers it on.
Written by Quentin Whitwell, Senior Partner at Gibbs Whitwell & Travis PLLC in Jackson, Miss.
For more information, you can contact Quentin by e-mail at qwhitwell@gibbswhitwell.com or on Twitter at @BusinessLawPro. Quentin will write a bi-weekly column for HottyToddy.com and have a bi-weekly column on Inspiring Businesses in MS or by Mississippians.

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