ArticleID: 69
Date: 7/27/2000
Written By: Captain Jackson

by Captain Jackson

One of downtown Jackson`s real heroes doesn`t wear a cape or a mask, can`t leap tall buildings in a single bound, and definitely doesn`t wear spandex! She is, however, one of the top promoters of the downtown area, and the newly promoted Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Her name is Kathleen Eriksen. Along with her non-cape wearing sidekick Vince Trudell, she is responsible for a great deal of the beautification of the wonderful downtown Jackson area.

I first met Kathleen at the New Years Eve celebration the beginning of this year. At the time, she was the Projects Manager of the DDA. I immediately took to her open, bubbly personality regarding the promotion of "The Emerald City". Just look at The Jackson Square on the Net`s calendar of events.

Every Friday night during the summer we can enjoy a wonderful evening of free music, food and drink downtown. Vibe@5ive includes a different visiting band each week at Bucky Harris park, and food available from local restaurants.

The last Friday of every summer month is CRUISE NIGHT. The main drag is blocked off, and hundreds of rare Hot Rods and thousands of people converge on Emerald City for over four hours. The bands are fantastic, and there"s plenty of food and even a beer tent! There"s always dancing in the streets! And don`t worry, there`s plenty of parking within just a couple minutes walk.

And, if you`re downtown any summer Tuesday during the lunch hour, the DDA presents "Picnic in the Park". Bring your lunch or purchase one from a local vendor. Each Tuesday is different, as it`s a true "celebration of the arts, through local musicians and artists...".

The Downtown Development Authority is also responsible for the many beautiful flower planters around the area. I was even lucky enough to be chosen as one of the participants! They issued us the plants we planted, and we are responsible for their care and general maintenance. Vince Trudell, officially known as the "Grounds Maintenance Supervisor", makes certain his crew sees to the proper watering of the flowers.

There are many wonderful projects Kathleen and the DDA performs for the downtown Jackson area. And it`s not at all political---it`s pure creativity! The following is a quote from Kathleen from the July, 2000 issue of "Downtown JACKSON", the DDA`s monthly newsletter (to receive a copy, contact the DDA at (517) 788-4355, or email

"As everyone knows, this is an exciting time for Downtown Jackson. From developing riverfronts to major company campuses, the future and potential of Downtown Jackson is limitless. We have accomplished much, but we can always do more.

"I have a strong zestful devotion to the Downtown and I am highly motivated by the endless opportunities available. ...I see the heart of our city becoming a vibrant place to shop, live, work and socialize.

"Through open communication, hard work and enthusiasm, the vision of vitality is becoming a reality in Downtown Jackson."

I don`t know if anyone could say it better. I certainly stand behind this DOWNTOWN HERO and all she has accomplished for our wonderful Emerald City.

Copyright 2000, CFC

Driven by Xcent

AMS Developers, Inc. 904 Thomas Drive, Jackson, Michigan 49203  517-841-6497