Sac To The Future: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

By Becky Larson,

Rebecca Ryan is the author of Live First, Work Second and founder of Next Generation Consulting, a market research firm committed to engaging the next generation.  More importantly, she served as keynote speaker at Tuesday’s State of Downtown Sacramento breakfast.

While several notable Sacramento leaders spoke at the event, Ryan’s presentation on how to engage the next generation in making Sacramento a great city and shift from the Baby Boomer crowd to the Millennials (those born between 1982 – 2001) really stood out in my mind.

One thing Ryan pointed out was the unique wants and needs of different generations and the notion that for this new generation of Millennials, the desire to live in a great community trumps a higher paying job in a less desirable area.

At a glance Midtown/Downtown Sacramento speaks to this point.

Many of us have chosen to make this community our home because we like being within walking distance of our friends, families and the latest and greatest hot spots.  Everything we could ever want or need is here in our safe haven of the grid and most of us dread having to travel outside of the area.

Even the 10-minute drive to Arden Mall sometimes seems too far.  In fact, the craving for a community is so strong for Millennials we’ve also expanded them into our online lives by creating communities via Facebook, Twitter, etc.  As Ryan mentioned, “Life online is life for Millennials.”

So if a sense of community is what we long for, younger generations need to consider the impact we can and will have on the development and revitalization of our Downtown/Midtown community.  As we look into the future it’s time to think about how we fit into all of this.  We’re capable of being part of the changes and improvements we want to see right here in our own backyard.  And change has already begun.  Just this week Pizza Rock opened on K Street and the nightclub District 30 and Dive Bar are set to open next weekend.  The rail yard development is slowly but surely making some inroads, the opening of the New Crocker Art Museum was monumental in 2010 and the Green initiative is proving to be stronger than ever.

As Midtowners and young professionals we’ve come to love our community and it’s up to us to make sure it continues to be a place we’re proud of.  Or, as Ryan puts it, a place that’s “worth being homesick for.”

So at the end of the day, maybe there isn’t that much of a generation gap.  Apparently even Millennials still want to be part of a close-knit community “where everybody knows your name.”

About Jimmy Spencer

Jimmy Spencer has extensive experience in journalism and new media. As the founding editor of, Spencer combines his writing, reporting and editing skills to produce a "pretty good site about midtown." During the day, Spencer covers government and also covers the NBA. At night, he watches T.V. and plays on the Internet. Every now and then, he walks around his midtown neighborhood. Spencer began his professional journalism career with The Sacramento Bee, finishing his tenure with the McClatchy-owned newspaper in the new media department. Spencer moved to Connecticut where he continued his growth in new media as a writer/content producer for NBC Sports. Spencer also worked in media relations with the Sacramento River Cats, Minor League Baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Spencer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Sacramento where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The State Hornet campus newspaper. Spencer was raised in Marin County and currently lives in Sacramento, Calif. Spencer works in the community as a high school basketball coach in the Sacramento area.


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Posted by on Jan 14 2011. Filed under Sac To The Future, SMT Featured Stories, Story Stream, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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