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April 24, 2008

Aleem : Urban Digs

Rising from the Sands

From next week's Economist:

A great piece on the rise of the Middle East economies including an interesting story with some background on the City of Dubai.

Having been to Dubai a few times, I can tell you that the story out there is compelling.  This one city is home to a quarter of our planet's construction cranes, they are spending massively to diversify their economy into industries such as IT, bio, media and manufacturing as oil reserves shrink.  Separately, Dubai has allocated a massive $15 billion dollars for public infrastructure alone over the next five years.

But is this sustainable?  Even though many Middle East cities are flourishing attracting talent and harnessing technological assets, can these places be models for the other big "T" that being, tolerance?   What do you think?

Aleem Kanji

October 13, 2007

Richard Florida

So, Mister Mayor...

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

October 04, 2007

While visiting New York a few weeks back, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University. During the Q/A Ahmadinejad denied that homosexuals exist in Iran, saying, "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country."

Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen (as Mahmoud), Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine and the crew of Saturday Night Live have responded via music video and really highlight the value that tolerance plays in terms of creating a social context for creativity and economic growth. Such as one finds in New York, the Bay Area, London, Austin, Toronto, etc.

posted by David

Continue reading "Tolerance with Andy and Mahmoud" »

July 30, 2007

Richard Florida

Getting Ahead

Kevin Stolarick of the Creative Class Group and Lisa Taber of FortiusOne have paired up to develop a series of 'heat maps' that show the hottest places in the country based on your lifestage and some preselected criteria.  The maps allow you to zoom in on specific parts of the country or see how your current city compares to others.

Each map shows the best regions based on a variety of criteria all evenly weighted.  In this case, "Getting Ahead" shows the combination of cities that rate the best based on:
    Tolerance (higher is better)
    Number of Creative Class young & single in the region
The criteria used for each map are listed & described in the region to the left of the map. 

Only data for major US cities (populations above 250,000) has been included.

The map itself is a heat map overlay on a standard Google Map.  So, all of the usual Google map features are available: pan, zoom in , zoom out, change the background, etc...

The "hotter" -- yellow areas are those places that do the best on the combined criteria.

Getting Ahead Map

Come back Monday to see next week's map: Starting a Family

June 11, 2007

Thomas Chapman, Jonathan I. Leib, and Gerald R. Webster have a article in the latest edition of Southeastern Geographer (link here sub to MUSE reqd) titled "Race, the Creative Class, and Political Geographies of Same Sex Marriage in Georgia" (abstract below).

The intense debate over same sex marriage is replete with competing visions of 'moral' and cultural landscapes. We examine this issue in an electoral context as it played out in the state of Georgia in 2004, first in the state legislature and then in a statewide referendum. In analyzing the socio-spatial patterns within the state, we direct attention to two issues and their impact on the voting outcome. The first is African American discourse in supporting or opposing the amendment, in terms of same sex marriage as a civil rights issue or as a conservative religious 'moral' issue. Secondly, we look at how Richard Florida's thesis of the 'creative class' has influenced the spatial outcome of the vote in terms of intersections of the political-economy and local culture. Both discourses are linked with the so-called 'culture wars' raging across American society as a whole, and they help illustrate some unique geographies that play out within a local context.

Among their findings, they found a very strong and significant negative correlation between the Creative Class in a region and the percentage of the population who voted in favor of Georgia's anti-same sex marriage constitutional amendment.   (The larger the Creative Class population, the larger the number of people voting against the amendment.)

It seems that once again actual results point to Creative Class populations living hand-in-glove with regional tolerance...

posted by Kevin Stolarick

June 08, 2007

Great video of Google's VP for People Operations Laszlo Bock -- a Romanian immigrant -- testifying on Capitol Hill regarding the practical benefits of immigration to Google and the US. It is a great testimony and confirms much of what we know on immigration and talent. People need to see this.

posted by David

May 31, 2007

Richard Florida

It's All Connected

Immigrants and Baby Boomers Futures' Converge


From HispanicBusiness.com (hat tip:  Connie Majure-Rhett of the Wilmington NC Chamber)

The quality of life for some 80 million graying baby boomers in the U.S. may depend in large part on the fortunes of another high-profile demographic group: millions of mostly Hispanic immigrants and their children.

With a major part of the nation's population entering its retirement years and birth rates falling domestically, the shortfall in the work force will be filled by immigrants and their offspring, experts say. How that group fares economically in the years ahead could have a big impact on everything from the kind of medical services baby boomers receive to the prices they can get for their homes.

Full story here.

Who knew that the new immigration bill was going to impact the healthcare your parents are going to get??

posted by Kevin Stolarick

May 30, 2007

Tolerance for Gay Rights at High-Water Mark


Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted each May, finds current public tolerance for gay rights at the high-water mark of attitudes recorded over the past three decades. There is still considerable public opposition to complete equality for gays, particularly with respect to marriage. However, after several years of lower support for gay rights, support is now springing back to the relatively high levels seen in 2003. The clearest example of the recent renewal in pro-gay rights attitudes comes from a question asking Americans whether they believe homosexual relations should be legal. Public tolerance for this aspect of gay rights expanded from 43% at the inception of the question in 1977 to 60% in May 2003. Then in July 2003, it fell to 50% and remained at about that level through 2005. Last year, it jumped to 56% and this year it reached 59%, similar to the 2003 high point.

Full story here.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

May 20, 2007

Somewhere in Europe, right?  (nope) Or, maybe Madison, Wisconsin -- after all they think Karl Marx is raging right-wing lunatic so it must be them, right? (wrong again).

How about Dallas? (Yes, the one in Texas).

Time magazine has a great story in this month's issue that talks about the new "lavendar" blush on that yellow rose (hat tip: Chi Chi Hoffner).  Full story here.

(As an added bonus, see if you can find the uncredited quote from our friend Gary Gates.)

posted by Kevin Stolarick

May 18, 2007

"Minority" just isn't going to work much longer.

Minority Population Tops 100 Million

The nation’s minority population reached 100.7 million, according to the national and state estimates by race, Hispanic origin, sex and age released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. A year ago, the minority population totaled 98.3 million.

“About one in three U.S. residents is a minority,” said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. “To put this into perspective, there are more minorities in this country today than there were people in the United States in 1910. In fact, the minority population in the U.S. is larger than the total population of all but 11 countries.”

Full release from U.S. Census Bureau here.

Y, la versión española está disponible aqui.  (hat tip Babel Fish).

posted by Kevin Stolarick