Who Knew? Mayor Frank Jackson knows how to talk after all

He speaks!
Mayor Frank Jackson has a habit of keeping a low public profile. So low, in fact, that if it weren’t for his appearance on the occasional Tri-C billboard, we might have assumed he had gone into hiding soon after the November 2005 election. Which is why this week was so surprising. First, the Invisible Mayor appeared on Channel 5 on Monday, waxing poetic about how improved public schools can help lift a city out of poverty. (Since his continually worsening schools are helping drive this city further into poverty, Jackson is apparently considered an expert on this topic). Then, he gave a similar speech on 90.3 WCPN’s “The Sound of Ideas." That show was an hour long, and Jackson had to respond to listener comments. We feared the excessive socializing might cause him to spontaneously combust. He somehow survived. Of course, his arguments didn't exactly make sense. At one point, when discussing how the city and county spend millions of dollars on workforce development -- supposedly to get more people into higher payer jobs -- he had to admit that we aren't really getting much bang for our buck. How will he fix it? "What I have to do is what I do," he said. Which is interesting, because we've never really seen him do anything. "I change systems. I change bureaucracies and I change cultures...I make it work and work right." Hmm. Ok then. Anyway, add those media appearances to a handful of recent quotes and sound bites about our little crime and poverty problems, and it seems that Jackson’s been on a regular media blitz. You’d think he was running for office or something. -- Lisa Rab
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