So, The Advocate asked five big city mayors, “Why should young gay professionals move to your city?” (h/t Allison Kemper)
Of course, even The Advocate ignored the actual implications of the Gay/Lesbian Index and instead went with a "gays are good for economic development" argument. Which, in turn, allowed the mayors to ignore the importance of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness. So for many mayors, the answer seems to be cheap housing. "Please, come and gentrify my city..."
I actually like Allison's take on it much more:
I wonder what the mayors would say about the underlying legal framework. Inviting gay professionals to Kansas City when they have less than no legal rights once they get there is outrageous.
It's hard for Americans to see the difference between living with legal discrimination and living without it. The mayors point to night life and real estate prices, but people are willing to pay a high premium to have rights under the law. Boston and SF are expensive for a reason.
These guys think that they can capture the market by telling people about art galleries. What they don't get is that the sunk costs, the table stakes are the presence of progressive laws and the promise of future improvements in those laws. For many of the same reasons that companies locate in Delaware, queers locate in Boston.
Once you've paid the ante, the art galleries will follow. But you have to ensure you have a competitive institutional framework. You can't just wave cheap real estate flyers. The Kansas City mayor almost got it when he said you can stay at home more cheaply in Kansas City. He should have known that wouldn't cut it.
Way to go, Allison!
posted by Kevin Stolarick