YKNOT had me blog about Windsor, here’s what I had to say

YKNOT-jon liedtke

Jon Liedtke // photo by Jay Verspeelt

Jon Liedtke // photo by Jay Verspeelt

Windsor has a hell of a lot of offer, and for too long, the conversation about our city has been dominated by negativity.

It’s time to take back the agenda.

It’s time to make clear that to those of us in Windsor who get it, who see how incredible this city is, what it can offer its residents, and where we’re all going, collectively, aren’t willing to let the city we know and love be tarnished by small-minded simpleness.

Our history is as storied and long as the river separating us from our American counterparts. The Detroit River, that majestic strait separating two sovereign countries, and of course, forever linking us to Detroit, was and the powerhouse of our region.

Jon Liedtke performing with the Nefidovs at KOI Fest 2013

Jon Liedtke performing with the Nefidovs at KOI Fest 2013

The shipping industry, automotive industry, the incredibly lucrative – and illegal – alcohol industry under prohibition and many other industries were reliant on the Detroit River, and today, our entire continent is dependent on the flow of goods from one side of the border to the other.

Much like the water flowing through the Detroit River, negative perceptions of our city flow from person to person, rather than from Lake Huron to Lake Erie.

But the problem I see which lies with Windsor, as mentioned before, is the negative attitudes and stereotypes which persist. As a result, Windsor’s vast overall potential has been stifled … arguably for decades on end.

A friend and business associate commented regarding historic advances made in our city, “Windsor was a hell of a lot more advanced in 1920 than it is today”, and while he was referring to electric streetcars and underground public bathroom facilities on Ouellette Avenue, the sentiment rings true.

In the past, our elected officials and residents were willing to take risks on big visions. They had an idea of how not only our city should look, but also how our region as a whole should both look and work.

We need to recapture this spirit, nurture it, and continue building our city up.

While this piece isn’t a calling to arms, it is, a plea for a reawakening.

Donald McArthur, Dan Brown, Jon Liedtke and Dylan Kristy in The Windsor Star News Cafe on Oct. 14, 2014.

Donald McArthur, Dan Brown, Jon Liedtke and Dylan Kristy in The Windsor Star News Cafe on Oct. 14, 2014.

Windsor is far more than the misguided perceptions which are casually tossed around in haphazard conversation.

I ask that the next time someone puts down Windsor, says a disparaging and baseless comment, or simply doesn’t afford the respect our great city deserves, correct them. Don’t be rude and certainly don’t go out of your way to offend, but politely remind them that Windsor is far more than the misguided perceptions which are casually tossed around in haphazard conversation.

Allowing these false perceptions to persist damages not only our city, but the brands of every business, institution, not-for-profit, and even residents overall.

Windsor is an amazing place and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow.

Let’s help in every way we can.

Get involved, take part, and together, let’s build our city up.

This blog first appeared on YKNOT: http://www.yknotwe.ca/guest-blog/jon-liedtke-is-taking-back-the-agenda/

YKNOT seeks to build a movement of inspired young people connected with local opportunities, decision-makers, and industry so that they can grow and thrive in Windsor-Essex.
YKNOT sees a Windsor-Essex where young people want to be a part of: where they hold meaningful employment, influence big decisions, and make a difference in the community.

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About the Author

jon liedtke

Jon Liedtke is a writer and musician in Windsor Ontario. He tells stories using words, pictures, audio and video.

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