I love Shreveport. If it were up to me, I'd never leave here. But unfortunately, like many others in my age group, I may be forced to leave in the near future. This area is host to some amazing sites and great people. However, as I think we all can admit, this area has its fair share of issues.

I'm 31 and I hear from people my age ALL that time that they want out of here. But just from our conversations, I don't think those people actually want to leave, they have to leave. Let's face it, there is just not a whole heck of a lot of opportunity to make money in this town. Outside of really small group of industries and service economy jobs, careers just don't exist in this town. And most opportunities that are available just don't pay the kind of money needed to raise a family while planning for the future.

Another big issue that I personally see is a lack of respect for the community. There's a large group of people that frankly just don't have any pride or love for Shreveport. They talk poorly about the things we have and trash any new idea that comes down the line. Shreveport has a rich and colorful history, yet many in the area just ignore those facts and paint a picture of a city that has been dead or on the decline since its inception.

Also, as a younger person, it seems that many in our area are unwilling to look at things from a different perspective and are unwilling to change. I hear the masses demanding change and development in the city of Shreveport....but those same people try to stop progress if it happens in their neighborhood. Plus, a lot of people are unwilling to compromise or learn about things that they don't understand.

And there are the loud mouthed minority that trashes everything and everybody. These people are always threatening to move to Texas or Bossier...but never do. They just complain and complain and complain and complain. If those "Negative Nancys" would actually follow through on their threats, Shreveport would immediately become a better place. And, just for the record, once you leave....please stay in Texas and out of our business.

Now, I understand I'm painting with a bit of a broad brush but that's how I and many folks in my age bracket feel. We feel that a lot of old Shreveport spends a lot of time and effort trying to make the city less welcoming for younger folks. But, I will say that seems to be shifting a bit. A lot of laws and ordinances that I thought would never have a chance of passing have passed recently. There are new shops and bars and restaurants and other quality of life amenities popping up all over town. Admittedly, some of them have been poorly executed...but at least the city and some of its citizens are trying. There is a budding arts and crafts community in the area.

The winds of change are starting to blow through our city. And in all honesty, I think if we can fix the job market and bolster our economy the future will be bright in Shreveport. Just hopefully, the up and coming working class and future leaders can hold out a few more years before moving on to other communities.