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Knight Creative Communities Initiative

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Knight Creative Communities Initiative

I'm sure by now we've all heard of the Knight Foundation's Sponsorship of a Community Initiaive here in Tallahassee aimed at Building a more diverse, robust economy for our region.

Months ago they put out invitations for interested citizens to volunteer to be a Catalyst on the Committee that will do alot of the research and generate many of the ideas that will be explored at this project moves forward. I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 30 members, I'm told I'm also the youngest, which is scary.

But here's the deal, I'll need you all like never before, to help me with a few tasks as they arise. Starting with the one Below. If you all would, could you fill in the blanks on the Following Form:

Why do you live/work in this region? How did you make this decision? Have you thought of moving elsewhere? Why?

Are there people in this region living out their dreams?

Is the region on the rise, standing firm or falling behind as destination for skilled people, companies and new ideas?

What does the region need in order to attract vibrant citizens?

What assets (both physical and man-made) does the region currently have that might attract and retain people?

Do you find the region welcoming to different types of people? (language, religious, sexual preference, immigrants, artists, entrepreneurs) To new people or ideas?

Are there cities that the region should emulate in order to improve the local quality of life? Why those cities?

How important is leadership in the region and do they

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Congrats again to you TJ! You are just becoming the "voice of Tally!" I'm glad to know someone like you will be representing Tally on this commission. Those a tough in detail questions. Let me think about them for a little while and I'll get back to you on the answers.

Congrats again!

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I still need some responses if anyone wants to complete the survey above.

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Knight Creative Communities Initiative

Sorry TJ, for not getting back sooner! Here are my thoughts:

I'm sure by now we've all heard of the Knight Foundation's Sponsorship of a Community Initiative here in Tallahassee aimed at Building a more diverse, robust economy for our region.

Months ago they put out invitations for interested citizens to volunteer to be a Catalyst on the Committee that will do alot of the research and generate many of the ideas that will be explored at this project moves forward. I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 30 members, I'm told I'm also the youngest, which is scary.

But here's the deal, I'll need you all like never before, to help me with a few tasks as they arise. Starting with the one Below. If you all would, could you fill in the blanks on the Following Form:

Why do you live/work in this region? How did you make this decision? Have you thought of moving elsewhere? Why? I came here by way of job relocation. I immediately noticed that Tallahassee was a hidden jewel. I have not thought of moving elsewhere. This is home for me!

Are there people in this region living out their dreams? I do believe there are enough opportunities to live out ones' dream. It is impossible to know if others feel the same.

Is the region on the rise, standing firm or falling behind as destination for skilled people, companies and new ideas? I believe the region is on the rise. I believe that the Region understands what it will take to compete for business relocations, cultural amenities, and standard of living. According to "Expansion Management , Jan/Feb 2007, Tallahassee made the 2007 list of Americas Hottest cities in attracting companies. :yahoo:

What does the region need in order to attract vibrant citizens?

  1. World Class Zoo -- (Emphasis on Florida Wildlife)

  2. World Class Aquarium -- (Emphasis on Florida Aquatic Wildlife)

  3. World Class Museums featuring Florida Art/Photography/History/Science/Architecture/Politics

  4. World Class Florida Children's Hospital

  5. Florida Music Hall of Fame

  6. Florida Transportation Museum

  7. Florida Military History Museum

What assets (both physical and man-made) does the region currently have that might attract and retain people?

Colleges and Universities

State Government

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Business Expansion

Do you find the region welcoming to different types of people? (language, religious, sexual preference, immigrants, artists, entrepreneurs) To new people or ideas?

YES

Are there cities that the region should emulate in order to improve the local quality of life? Why those cities? Austin, Texas, Sacramento, Ca., Little Rock, Ark, Oklahoma City, OK. These are very successful Capital Cities who have leveraged there natural assets to create vibrant growing communities that truly represent their states.

How important is leadership in the region and do they 'get it'? No! We need more regionalism that includes South Georgia as well as North Florida. We "go it alone" to much!!!

Is this region a good place to 'self-actualize'? (If you are an artist or entrepreneur, are your efforts welcomed...or marginalized? If you are a gay person are you comfortable being out in this region, or is it easier socially to be closeted?) n/a

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Knight Creative Communities Initiative

I'm sure by now we've all heard of the Knight Foundation's Sponsorship of a Community Initiaive here in Tallahassee aimed at Building a more diverse, robust economy for our region.

Months ago they put out invitations for interested citizens to volunteer to be a Catalyst on the Committee that will do alot of the research and generate many of the ideas that will be explored at this project moves forward. I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 30 members, I'm told I'm also the youngest, which is scary.

But here's the deal, I'll need you all like never before, to help me with a few tasks as they arise. Starting with the one Below. If you all would, could you fill in the blanks on the Following Form:

Why do you live/work in this region? How did you make this decision? Have you thought of moving elsewhere? Why?

- I live in this region because I got a job in Tallahassee following graduation. I have not thought of moving elsewhere because I really like this area. Living in Monticello, FL is great because it is a lovely small southern town that is within 25 minutes of all the big city amenities Tallahassee has to offer.

Are there people in this region living out their dreams?

- I am! Got a great legal education at FSU College of Law and now I am able to practice in a great city and have a much better quality of life as compared to some of my classmates living in more metropolitian areas (ATL/MIA etc.)

Is the region on the rise, standing firm or falling behind as destination for skilled people, companies and new ideas?

- I think this region is on the rise! The region needs to play to its strengths and keep making itself more attractive.

What does the region need in order to attract vibrant citizens?

- Performing Arts Center

- Zoo

- Aquarium (Albany, GA has one!)

- Minor League Baseball (Centennial Park could have been the PERFECT location)

- Increased dowtown activity (things are moving in the right direction)

- Streamlined permitting for businesses and builders

- Lower taxes

- Better regional transportation (light rail, commuter rail [the surrounding counties will continue to grow and where do they work for the most part? Tallahassee!])

What assets (both physical and man-made) does the region currently have that might attract and retain people?

- State government

- Universities (FSU/TCC/FAMU)

- Natural beauty of North Florida/S. Georgia area

- Friendly people/sense of community

Do you find the region welcoming to different types of people? (language, religious, sexual preference, immigrants, artists, entrepreneurs) To new people or ideas?

- Yes, I think the region is open to new people. I can only speak with regards to people moving from other parts of the USA (me). I cannot comment as I have no idea with regards to religion/sexual preference/immigrants etc.

Are there cities that the region should emulate in order to improve the local quality of life? Why those cities?

- Manchester, NH (similar size whose downtown was reborn with new stadium/arena/shops and eateries)

- Madison, WI

- Austin, TX

- Richmond, TX

- Savannah, GA

How important is leadership in the region and do they

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Thank both of you, SkyDave and Monticello for your responses! I need 4 more to complete the initial phase of this assignment!

Can anyone else lend their wisdom. The more diverse the response group the better! Thanks again everyone!

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Thanks to All who responded to the Inital Survey. Here's a summary of my findings from both online and personal submissions.

KCCI: Memo

State of the Region

Tallahassee, FL

Many in the Tallahassee region share different reasons for why they chose to live here. Some of those I spoke to came here because of their parents, me included. Others are here either pursuing higher education or holding a career. When asked why they decided to stay in this region, the responses were even more diverse. Tallahassee seems to have a negative stigma associated with it being home to many of the younger people I spoke to, meanwhile just the opposite vibe tones from the more mature citizens -- some of whom regarding Tallahassee as a hidden jewel. Why is this so? I asked. It appears for many of the younger people, Tallahassee lacks in the amenities they expect of a city, such as big roads, unlimited shopping venues, never-ending nightlife, and major corporate influence in the workforce. The mature group, many of whom have come from larger metropolitan areas, see Tallahassee as a break from the headache of the fast-paced, corporate dominated, traffic congested, crime infested communities they managed to escape. All agree, its only natural to wonder what other cities have to offer, but the majority of my group of respondents no longer entertain thoughts of moving outside of the region.

When it comes to living out one

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We definately need that airport skydave!

Just an update to keep everyone up with whats going on. Tomorrow we (KCCI) kick off our 2 day seminar starting at 8 in the morning. I've been searching all over for my files that go with the event, a folder than I've seemed to misplace, but I'll be sure to let everyone know what comes of everything. Richard Florida is going to be attending this semniar with us as we put together our plan for Tallahassee's economic future.

I'm looking forward to reporting what comes of everything! :D

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Why do you live/work in this region? How did you make this decision? Have you thought of moving elsewhere? Why?

No where else to go after college. I have always thought about moving somewhere else.

Are there people in this region living out their dreams?

I'm going to say no. Most of the people who are here are just waiting for the next part of thier life or are looking for a safe place to raise thier family.

Is the region on the rise, standing firm or falling behind as destination for skilled people, companies and new ideas? It seems to me that Tallahasee is doing a "one step forward, two steps back" sort of thing.

What does the region need in order to attract vibrant citizens? The government needs to stop bickering and decide what to do about bringing more business to the area. "Poorly Run" seems to be the common cause of our lack of economic diversity (ie Innovative Park). We have the tools to make this work, but we waste them half the time

What assets (both physical and man-made) does the region currently have that might attract and retain people? It's beauty. This area of Florida is positively stunning. We also have two major universities that add alot to this area.

Do you find the region welcoming to different types of people? (language, religious, sexual preference, immigrants, artists, entrepreneurs) To new people or ideas? No, I don't. I had a coworker from South Korea and the locals were always very rude to them. Everyone seems to keep to thier own areas here. There are student ghettos, Black ghettos, white ghettos, rich ghettos. When there is a mixing of two different crowds, there is polite hostility.

Are there cities that the region should emulate in order to improve the local quality of life? Why those cities?

I haven't stayed too long in too many places to answer this

How important is leadership in the region and do they

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Religion is a major part of the locals lives. If you aren't "brand of protestant here" then there are some awkward moments.

My personal comments: I think there is a war going on (figuratively). There are those that like Tallahassee the way it is. And there are those that want to change it. This is why the leadership is swinging back and forth on issues. This flipfloping will only hurt Tallahassee. It needs to be decided whether Tallahassee will remain a charming, head in the sand southern town or become one of the great metros of the south. Right now I see protential for both of these futures. Not that either future is bad.

Right now Tallahassee is made up of alot of "small towns." People are trying to keep the small town feeling, thus are creating the "ghettos" mentioned earlier. I personally don't like this situation.

My two cents

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DD5, your comments are very interesting. And in today's session of the 2 day seminar I heard many people share comments similar to yours. I'll fill you all in on the rest of what happened later tonight when I get home.

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Have you had time to write up what happened at the seminar?

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Yes TJ, I've read a little about the Initiative's two-day meeting, but if you get a chance, I'd love to hear your comments. Also which of the 4 priority areas will you be working?

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Here's From a GGG representitive meet with Commissioner Mustian.

[*]Mustian, while not overjoyed, is positive about community feedback, hence the GGG focus. He did state, however, that he believes the City has done its due diligence regarding the design of Gaines Street traffic flow, purchasing parcels, and recruiting business. He doesn

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Wow Mustain knew little to nothing about the ArtsSpace? That really says something to me. A group like the GGG is really needed since the former Gaines advisory group sounds defunct.

Since when is Mustain a "champion" of downtown redevelopment. Can someone point me to at least one example of this?

No surprises that Mustain is "happy" w/Wally-mart. He was the only COT commissioner to vote AGAINST Turbocor.

I'm happy these "aware" ladies asked him to consider OTHER retailers for this location. Seems they think more along the lines of how I do.

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Wow Mustain knew little to nothing about the ArtsSpace? That really says something to me. A group like the GGG is really needed since the former Gaines advisory group sounds defunct.

Since when is Mustain a "champion" of downtown redevelopment. Can someone point me to at least one example of this?

No surprises that Mustain is "happy" w/Wally-mart. He was the only COT commissioner to vote AGAINST Turbocor.

I'm happy these "aware" ladies asked him to consider OTHER retailers for this location. Seems they think more along the lines of how I do.

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^ wouldn't that be a bit too "Disney"? I am just thinking that if one person builds it and load it up with chain stores it will lose something. I hope some local, funky, independent stores can fill the space. I also like to see some bistros and bars to round out the offerings. When I think destination area I think of the above, not an urban strip mall....

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^ wouldn't that be a bit too "Disney"? I am just thinking that if one person builds it and load it up with chain stores it will something. I hope some local, funky, independent stores can fill the space. I also like to see some bistros and bars to round out the offerings. When I think destination area I think of the above, not an urban strip mall....

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Here's From a GGG representitive meet with Commissioner Mustian.

That of course being my relative, Grandpa Go Gators! :rolleyes:

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We've got a meeting this week to run over some ideas. I have a nice one I'd like to share with the members. I hope it goes over well. Right now it's a big surprise that I'm trying to prepare, but I get a good feeling that it may qualify for the KCCI money to get it off the ground.

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