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Will Las Vegas take a stand in this revolution?

Written By:

Steve Sebelius

Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell says Las Vegas has the potential to be a “sleeper city,” that is, one that surprises the rest of the country and the world with its innovation and industry.

The good news is, she may be right. But the bad news is, she may be right because the rest of the nation has such low expectations of our city.

When it comes to gambling, we’ve got surprise and delight down. If there’s a new way to separate people from their money by proposing a mathematically improbable wager, it probably originated here.

But when it comes to higher and lower education, manufacturing, medicine, high technology (unrelated to the gambling trade), transportation or the like, one does not think immediately of Las Vegas as a leader.

That may be one reason why the city isn’t used as an example in the new book “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.” Co-author Bruce Katz nonetheless came to town Monday to speak to a Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting at The Four Seasons, and he seemed confident that Las Vegas could join the list of “metros,” leading what he describes as a new revolution in politics, economics and social change.

According to Katz, the old model of civics — with the federal government perched atop the pyramid, states in the middle and local governments at the base — has outlived its usefulness. Now, cities and metropolitan areas are taking the lead and doing things very differently.


Las Vegas Review-Journal