Tuesday, June 10, 2003

What others are saying

Tell us what you think would help attract or keep young professionals in the Tristate. Check Cincinnati.Com throughout the week to see what others are saying.
Gen X winners and losers
A Gen X-odus: Their top 10 destinations
Who is Gen X?
Groups of and for young adults
Young majority on council shifting city's focus
Support for arts a start
Vision needed for downtown
Improve access to downtown
Cincinnati's young adults are growing up and moving out at alarming rates, prompting a shift in urban approach.

More responses from readers suggesting what Cincinnati can do to keep and attract young professionals:

Cincinnati needs new blood in city and county government. It's no surprise that young, free thinking Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers are moving out in droves. While society as a whole is becoming more accepting of other lifestyles, religions and ethnicities, Cincinnati is like land of the lost.

The values of the government do not reflect those of young people today. I left Cincinnati for New York in 1993 and have never looked back. I enjoy coming home to see family and friends, but am always amazed to find that things have not changed.

Until the Lukens and the Leises die off, it's pretty safe to say that Cincinnati will continue to be a throwback to our grandparents' values, not our own.

Joe Baumgartner, New York City
(submitted Sunday, June 8)

I have been considering moving away as well. The biggest complaint is that there is nothing to do in the city! If you walk downtown from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., you will see NO ONE on the street. It would be nice if Cincinnati had more of a New York nightlife, including bars and restaurants open late, more cafés, places to listen to bands, etc. I would like to go downtown when I go out at night and not into the outskirts. Look at Mt. Adams, for example.

Emily Greeson, Clifton
(submitted Sunday, June 8)

Cincinnati has a well deserved reputation for ultra-conservatism. The news media in this city has a reputation as nothing more than a right-wing propaganda machine. Every intelligent, young person I know says the same thing: "I can't wait to get out of this conservative city."

As for a change that would solve this problem, I don't think Cincinnati as a city is prepared to let go of its bias, elitism, pre-judgement, and hypocrisy. Anything short of a change in attitudes will accomplish nothing, and I do not begin to believe that is a change that will occur any time soon.

Jason Eyink, Clifton
(submitted Monday, June 9)

Considering Cincinnati is my hometown, I can't be overly negative. But I do see a few shortcomings. A good way to make Cincinnati more attractive to young adults would be to have a central district, maybe downtown, where young people can mingle. Every time a crowd forms in Cincinnati the cops are called. Cincinnati is ultra-conservative. I don't really think Cincinnati will ever become a mecca to Gen X'ers. When people out here ask me about Cincinnati, I simply tell them, if you have a family and children, it's the greatest place on earth. However, if you're single...well...Main Street just isn't the answer.

Geographically speaking, no beaches are close, or mountains. All we really have is sports teams (which suck) and shopping (we're in an economic catastrophe). How many times can you go to Kenwood Mall, anyway? The cops need to relax in Cincinnati , and the race issue is, like, 140 years old. The recent race riots have made me embarrassed to say I'm a Cincinnatian. I still have family in the area , and miss Cincinnati sometimes. I might come back, I might not.

Stephen Long, Los Angeles
(submitted Monday, June 9)

I think there should be more social functions for young singles to meet each other. I've always thought we also need more restaurants and bars downtown that have outdoor areas. When I go to visit other cities I see that they seem to have a lot more outdoor restaurants and other social activities.

Nadine Rumpke, Hyde Park
(submitted Monday, June 9)

As a Gen Xer who has moved just up I-71, I believe Cincinnati really only needs two things to become more attractive to my generation: tolerance and visionary leadership. I have always told friends that Cincinnati is a world class city waiting to happen. The problem is most Cincinnatians already believe Cincinnati is the greatest place on earth and are content with the status quo. Very few inland cities can compete with Cincinnati's geography, neighborhoods and cultural offerings, but the city's overly conservative culture drives away the young, hip, and progressive individuals that make a thriving urban neighborhood possible.

Cincinnati really missed the boat on the dynamic urban neighborhood that would have developed around a stadium at Broadway Commons (a la Wrigleyville in Chicago). The Banks simply will not generate the same level of mixed income housing, coffee shops, bars, cafes, stores, lofts and overall urban environment the creative class is looking for. The Banks is destined to become the cheesy tourist stop for conventioneers that every other city already has, rather than a unique urban neighborhood.

Furthermore, Cincinnati is one of the few large cities that has actually passed legislation and produced riots to show the rest of the country just how intolerant of a city it can be. People don't want to move to Cincinnati, and people who I know that have moved to Cincinnati from other cities often have trouble meeting people and making friends. Cincinnati's culture tends to be one that just does not reach out to and welcome people who are different.

Viable public transportation, funky loft apartments, and a diverse entertainment district would all certainly help the cause, but Cincinnati has historically been behind the times. I think it will take a fundamental shift in the culture of Cincinnati before the city is truly an attractive place for my generation.

Brian Lawrence, Columbus Ohio
(submitted Monday, June 9)

I left Cincinnati at the end of 1999 because, among other things, it just wasn't a very exciting place for a young professional. Cincinnati now seems even worse in 2003, with its recent racial problems, poorer economy and subpar sports teams (Mike Brown, step down already!). All in all, a city that attracts young professionals is often one that is seen as diverse, innovative, and a breeding ground for creative ideas and actions. Cincinnati is just the opposite.

Kelvin Martinez, Washington, D.C.
(submitted Monday, June 9)

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Young adults leaving town
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