Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All Commentary
By Mr Sig
Know Y: Michigan, The Nation's ex
Concentrate media has an interesting article written by a Googler (see link above). As some of you know, Google has a lot of ties to Michigan, most notably Google co-founder Larry Page. One can imagine that he is the main reason for Google's office in Ann Arbor. The author makes some interesting points about what draws us to Michigan, but also offers some suggestions to her former home.
Job diversification. I didn't want to "dump" Michigan. It had so many qualities that I was looking for in a homebase -- save one. Selfishly, that turned out to be my career growth. As Gen Y'ers figure out their next career moves, we need to encourage a range of businesses with an enticing array of jobs. Easier said than done, but if this is a wish list, economic livelihood tops it.
A dynamic downtown. We lack discovery of new places, and I don't think the fact that Ann Arbor's a small town is an excuse. Give us something to explore and keep the chains out. Create more opportunities for innovative and surprising businesses, organizations, events, and entertainment to take root. If Ypsi can hold a puppet-hosted mayoral debate, surely A2 can too.
Knock off the "Us vs. Them" development wars. Before I left, I participated in a few meetings where young people discussed development issues coming before council. The tone was hopeful, but felt combative. The general sentiment was that older residents liked how things were, just as they are, and had the time and resources to fight like hell to keep it that way. We need to open the discussion -- that's right, "discussion', not "argument'. A stronger acknowledgment from city government that young professionals' interests are being considered would be a welcome start.
Most of this is directed toward Ann Arbor, but how do her suggestions sit with you?