One of the things that bothers me to no end as I travel the state of Missouri is how underrated of a state we have.
If you're sick of divisive politics, encourage your legislators and the governor to work on something that could bring us all together: economic development.
Now, before you click away from this based upon the idea that economic development is a boring topic, let me tell you that I'm not talking about economic development in the boring, statistical, antiseptic political speak of, "We need more good paying jobs here in our state."
That's the end result of economic development, sure, but that type of talk is safe and unoriginal. Every politician regurgitates some sort of line about it.
I'm talking about economic development in the sense of let's get out there, talk about how awesome of a state we have, and talk about why everyone should want to live, work and play here.
Let's get to work turning this place into a destination.
You know what kind of destination I'm talking about: one of those places everyone talks about as being up-and-coming, fast-growing and on-the-move. Places like Austin and Silicon Valley. Places that not only bring jobs, but have a hipness factor that attracts younger generations who are looking to put down roots of their own someplace.
Why the hell shouldn't we? St. Louis has a wonderful cultural scene with one of the nation's best free art museums, an emerging culinary culture, and great entertainment options. Kansas City is gorgeous, friendly, home to many large companies and is revitalizing its downtown. Columbia is an excellent college town with big-time SEC sports, a nationally recognized journalism program, not one one but TWO nationally-recognized film festivals, and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Midwest. Our rural areas offer some of the best outdoor recreation in all of the Midwest with amazing trails and scenery.
But who knows about these things outside of our state? Who in our government is getting that message out there to people with the idea of encouraging them to come here? Maybe someone is giving it a shot, but I don't hear much about them, and what I do hear isn't really delivered with much zeal.
Let other states be the ones that let their right and left wing extremes get everyone caught up in debates over bathroom bills, religious freedom bills, Planned Parenthood, etc. Our politicians in Jefferson City should be working together to make sure everyone in the country knows what Missouri has to offer and then do everything they can to get them here in droves. Our message of opportunity should be delivered with passion and be delivered consistently to anyone who will listen. Let's get some people together who are ready to be zealots for this place - people who will stop at nothing to turn this place into the next big thing.
I think the opportunity is there. Share this if you agree and hope our politicians will follow suit.
I'm a politically independent blogger and podcaster who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll follow me on Facebook at the link below.