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Out with
the mayors

Out with
the mayors


University of Toronto business professor Richard Florida wrote in his best-selling book The Rise of the Creative Class that a large gay presence helps a city's economic performance. So we asked the mayors of five cities: "Why should young gay professionals move to your city?"

Tom Barrett Milwaukee

"Milwaukee has undergone a tremendous renaissance in recent years, due in large part to the growing emergence of the creative class. As mayor, it's important to me to foster that relationship between young professionals and the city because of the significant impact their investments and commitment have on Milwaukee. Milwaukee has a lot of the amenities that other cities have when it comes to a vibrant nightlife, strong performing arts, and a booming downtown. Combine that with great companies to work for, affordable housing, and the lakefront, and you have a great place for young, urban, progressive people to have a high quality of life."

Tom Leppert Dallas

"As the ninth-largest city in the United States, Dallas is a richly diverse city with a melting pot of cultures and creativity. Professionals from all backgrounds continue to choose Dallas as a place to live because of our sensible cost of living and because our city is filled with opportunity, optimism, and an outpouring of hospitality. This is certainly the case with the GLBT community. City hall is working hard so Dallas is recognized around the world as a vibrant city where our government is known for good business judgments, putting the interests of our people first, and being operated in a way that simply reflects the goodness, quality, and values of the people of this city."

Mark Funkhouser Kansas City, MO.

"There are tons of reasons why young gay professionals should move to Kansas City, but the best one I can think of is that for the cost of rent on a 900-square-foot condo in Chicago or San Francisco or even Seattle, you can own a three-story Victorian house right in the middle of the hippest part of Kansas City. We've got all the amenities you'd expect from a major metro area--world-class museums and restaurants, a vibrant economy, and one of the best art scenes in the country. But they're all packaged in a livable, homey place. And like they say, there's no place like home."

Cory Booker Newark, N.J.

We are the fastest-growing city in the Northeast, with new housing rising all across our neighborhoods and a world-class arena in our downtown. But the true strength of Newark comes from the incredible diversity, resilience, faith, and commitment of every single one of our residents. We are proudly adding the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Their struggle for civil rights, acceptance, and dignity mirror many of the struggles of our own city. Their dynamic energy and creativity are finding welcome support and a home in Newark, evidenced by the election in 2006 of our first openly gay municipal council member, Dana Rone."

Tom Potter Portland, Ore.

"A young gay professional can actually afford to own a nice home, live in an urban center or near nature, and still be close enough to ride their bike to work. Portland also has a very active LGBTQ community and support services and a strong presence in local electoral politics, including a gay city commissioner. Not to mention [one could] have a safe and active social life if you're single, coupled, or married. For its size, Portland is second to none for young gay professionals."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Todd Henneman