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Old 01-18-2010, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Oxford, MS
30 posts, read 94,202 times
Reputation: 22

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Hello. My name is Daniel, I am a 23 year old student who is going to be moving to Jackson to attend JSU this July/August. (I am going for their Urban Planning and Development major.) I am from Hattiesburg originally and have attended both MSU and UM over the last couple of years. Recently I started apartment hunting in the Jackson area (well, to be honest, probably will be living in Ridgeland or over on Lakeland) and it seems like Jackson has declined alot over the last few years.

So, basically, what happened? I mean, I'm guessing the white flight happened in several areas (as is usual with most cities), people just stopped caring or what? Are there any organizations that are trying to revitalize it? What is the city government doing, if anything?
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
1,008 posts, read 3,066,114 times
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This is a very old and worn topic, so I'm sure you can find a lot of writings about it in this forum and on some of the local forums [Jackson Free Press, Clarion-Ledger, etc]. Jackson started its decline many years ago and it is just recently [last 5 years] starting to make large strides at a come back, beginning with Downtown and the State Street corridor. Northeast Jackson never really declined and that area is still prospering. To see some of Jackson's "comeback," I suggest you take a walk Downtown and see the newly renovated King Edward/Hilton Garden Inn, the Jackson Convention Center, Pinnacle Place, Congress Street by the Governor's Mansion, the new Federal Courthouse (still under construction), and the Farish Street Entertainment District (under construction as well). Fondren and Belhaven are two of the well-known historic communities in Jackson, each with restaurants, markets, and shopping nearby.

As for organizations working towards the revitalization of Jackson, the 'Jackson Progressives' is a group of all ages, but mainly young professionals, who host events to promote community activity and meet to discuss the city - from city government accountability and transparency to ongoing and future developments, but the discussion is never stagnant nor does it revolve around an isolated issue. It's a great group of people who actually care about the city and what it has to offer. I'm sure there are other groups as well.

The Urban Planning & Development program at JSU is a good program - I myself have thought about going there to get my masters. For housing, I would recommend that you look at apartments in/near Downtown or you could rent a house/apt in Belhaven or Fondren for a decent price as well. As always, roommates make it cheaper - but you have to weigh the pros/cons. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll try to answer them for you.

Last edited by jacksonian; 01-18-2010 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
190 posts, read 610,693 times
Reputation: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDC266 View Post
Are there any organizations that are trying to revitalize it? What is the city government doing, if anything?

Unfortunately, a good bit of the decline could be explained by saying the city government is what happened. They've taxed people silly while roads, police and fire services, and the overall infrastructure has continually declined. There are some groups doing some revitalization projects, but only time will tell if they are successful.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Oxford, MS
30 posts, read 94,202 times
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Jacksonian, I will definitely have to look at those areas when I visit next. But, while I would like to live in those areas, my roommate and I are both moving and he is going to be at the University Medical Center (he's Pharmacy major).

I will admit that I am not that familiar to the Jackson area, being from the coast I just never really found too many reasons to go above Meridian (I mean, why when we have Gulfport/Biloxi, NOLA, etc, ya know?) So, I have heard that South Jackson, particularly south of 20 and west of 55, is an extremely dangerous place due to the gangs and that I should never, ever be there?

Covedweller, so, what about the local universities? I mean, there are, what, 9 universities/colleges there? Belhaven, Hinds CC, JSU, Millsaps, Mississippi College, Reformed Theological Seminary, Tugaloo, UMC, and Wesley Biblical Seminary? I mean, these are places full of people that want to make a change, so why not utilize them? Also, the Episcopal See is in Jackson (well, for the northern part of MS), so hasn't the Church done anything? I know Bishop Latino is always talking about helping in the community so I am surprised that the Church hasn't done more.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
190 posts, read 610,693 times
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I don't know if I would say they are full of people looking to make a change. Hinds and MC are technically outside of Jackson, and when you consider the workload that some of those institutions put on students, plus those who work, and those just passing through Jackson, you've greatly diluted the number of people who have the time and/or energy to get really involved.

As far as being able to make a change from an elected official standpoint, most college students probably don't change their voter registration when they move in for college, and I believe it is going to take a major shakeup of elected officials in Jackson to make real progress.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
1,008 posts, read 3,066,114 times
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UMC is located at the south end of Fondren and Belhaven is less than a mile south of there. UMC is only a few miles north of Downtown, so any of these places would be a good location for the both of you.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:46 AM
 
Location: Oxford, MS
30 posts, read 94,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by covedweller View Post
I don't know if I would say they are full of people looking to make a change. Hinds and MC are technically outside of Jackson, and when you consider the workload that some of those institutions put on students, plus those who work, and those just passing through Jackson, you've greatly diluted the number of people who have the time and/or energy to get really involved.
I guess that you're right... although, I personally don't understand it since I have 21 hours a semester, I work full time and still find time to volunteer for red cross and whatever else... I just don't think that most people my age have good time management skills.

But, you're right, those factors would dilute it alot... so, why not make like a student club that's expanded between the different universities, MC, Belhaven, JSU that's devoted to cleaning up...essentially city beautification, I guess would be the best way to describe such a scope. Many businesses (like Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) are usually willing to donate to such a cause... so, with the city's permission, take a team of people on a work day to a city block or whatever and plant trees, take away debris, cut lawns, paint, etc.

The main reason I am saying this is because psychology and sociology both show that people with new/well kept areas usually wish to keep them up and are prouder of those areas. Sure, it's not a multi-million dollar project that the government is running, but it would at least be something that us common people can be involved in. I mean, people complain that these areas look bad...so, why not get off our collective sorry lazy butts and do something about it, ya know?
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
1,008 posts, read 3,066,114 times
Reputation: 606
I agree with you 100%. There is such an organization in Detroit called the Motor City Blight Busters. They demolish homes that are beyond repair, paint murals and create art installations, and create community gardens.

You should contact JCDC - a local non-profit that is based in the Mississippi State University School of Architecture's fifth year building in Downtown Jackson. They are constantly exploring new ideas to improve the community of Jackson. Talk to Whitney - she can tell you more about their goals and they are always looking for input. Here is their blog:
jcdc
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:23 AM
 
809 posts, read 1,665,958 times
Reputation: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDC266 View Post
..it seems like Jackson has declined alot over the last few years.

So, basically, what happened? I mean, I'm guessing the white flight happened in several areas (as is usual with most cities), people just stopped caring or what? Are there any organizations that are trying to revitalize it? What is the city government doing, if anything?
You answered your own question here. White flight happend,yes, but it ultimately had nothing to do with the decline. the remaining people(mostly black), just stopped caring. Think of it as the baby who suckles too long and when the tit is taken away, they cry until they realize the tit is not coming back. By then it's too late. But there's hope for Jackson yet.
I truly believe that.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:23 PM
 
35 posts, read 104,473 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
White flight happend,yes, but it ultimately had nothing to do with the decline. the remaining people(mostly black), just stopped caring.
I'm white and would like to say that, at least from my point of view, the reason for "white flight" has nothing to do with race but rather higher taxes, the change/lack of leadership, and overall safety issues. I drive through areas of Jackson and wonder why it looks so bad. Who gets the blame? What was the difference when there were more whites living in Jackson? Were there better city leaders during that time? I doubt it.

I don't live in Jackson but it is still my home. I want to see change. I want to see what is bad become good. Where should it start?

In my town, I see police all the time. I rarely see them in Jackson. I see potholes, major speeders, cars parked everywhere instead of where they belong. I counted about 5 abandoned cars one day on I220. Pitiful!
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