And there’s Mississippi

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

Last night the Stennis Institute’s State Executive Development Institute (SEDI) concluded with a banquet with State Treasurer Tate Reeves as the keynote speaker. In his speech to the 2010 graduating class, many of whom are either career public servants or elected officials from across Mississippi, Reeves encouraged and thanked the officials for a job well done despite current economic challenges. Also in his speech, Reeves mentioned what makes Mississippi great. Unlike many outsiders, the state’s value is not easily recognized. Reeves mentioned the October comments of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. When discussing Michigan’s unemployment rate and raising taxes in her state, the Governor was quoted as saying “what we’re fighting for is for Michigan not to be Mississippi. We’re fighting to make sure Michigan has a diverse economy with educated citizens and protecting people along the way.”

Mississippi will perhaps be the step-child and Mississippi’s faults may always be on display. The goal here is not go toe-to-toe and list the benefits of one state over the other. But in a time such as this, pointing fingers doesn’t help. The White House recognized the need to revitalize urban centers–a year ago the White House formed the House Office on Urban Affairs, which over the next three years will target predominantly African American cities and revitalize these once thriving centers. Detroit is among those in desperate need. According to Michael Cottman, the plan “is an ambitious initiative to spend billions of dollars over the next three years to overhaul predominantly black cities in the areas of education, housing, health care, poverty, transportation, infrastructure and safety.”

Whether it’s Mississippi or Michigan, these United States are facing significant challenges in moving forward. But it seems as long as there’s Mississippi, there will always be comparisons…


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