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Richard Florida

Richard Florida is author of the global best-seller "The Rise of the Creative Class." His latest books are the "The Great Reset," and "The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited,"[…]

Our geography is an economic and political geography. It’s a geography of class, it’s a geography of political partisanship, and it’s a geography of anger. That “worries the heck” out of Florida.

Question: Will we see a shift in the political geography of rnour country? 

Richard Florida: I think we’ve seen a rnshift in the political geography of our country and I think we’re... andrn I wrote about this in a book I wrote called “Flight Of The Creative rnClass,” and I said it was coming and it’s come. I think our geography isrn an economic and political geography. It’s a geography of class, it’s a rngeography of political partisanship, it’s a geography of anger now and rnit worries the heck out of me. 

When I look at, not only the rndysfunction on Capitol Hill, when I look at the polling data from Pew rnand Gallup and others.. When I look at how Americans are not very happy rnwith either party at all, and they do like the president, I like the rnpresident, President Obama, we’re lucky to have him. It’s not only the rnRepublicans, it’s the Democrats. I think the Democrats are even in less rnfavor than Republicans in certain quarters and where I find hope, rnthough, this is really interesting, I do find hope in one place and it’srn why I think cities are so darn important. People are really peeved rnabout the Congress and Democrats and Republicans and partisanship, but rnwhen I go to a city, and I meet the mayor, and I meet the county rnexecutive, or I meet the council people. I’ll tell you, I can’t tell rnwho’s a Republican or a Democrat. And people there, they like or they rndon’t like, but it’s not a partisan thing, they all want to build their rncity, they all want to make their city better, they want to make sure rntheir kids have opportunity, there are jobs that they love, the rncommunity is vibrant, air is clean. You know, some are Republican, maybern Mike Bloomberg, some are Democrat, Gavin Newsom, I’m just thinking rnnames, Rich Daley, Tom Mannino in Boston, John Hickenlooper in Denver, Irn don’t know what, he’s a friend, I don’t know what party he’s in. 

Butrn I think what’s interesting is at this local level, that’s where we’re rncoming together and working hard to build our communities, and maybe rnthat’s where we have to look for solutions, rather than looking to this rnkind of dysfunctional partisan, political geography at the national rnlevel, I think at the local level we’re seeing real solutions, real rnlaboratories of innovation, laboratories of democracy. And I say in the rnbook, I think we have to push a lot of our decision-making, not just nowrn what we’re doing is pushing decision making down and giving them money,rn we’ve got to give cities and communities the ability to raise revenue, rnnot transfer revenue, raise revenue, and take care of themselves. And I rnthink the more we do that, the better off we’ll be. 
 
Recorded on April 27, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman