Friday, March 12, 2010

Google KC

I am an avid jazz fan. I suppose that is a bit like saying I am a Bar-B-Q fan. After all, I represent the world’s home of jazz, helped build the American Jazz Museum and spent a sleepless night on the phone to Paris securing Charlie Parker’s plastic sax for Kansas City. I love jazz.

Often my colleagues in New Orleans, New York and St. Louis speak fondly of their city’s jazz heritage. And each of them play a role in the history of jazz — none as important as Kansas City.
There are many reasons for that. I used to listen to the late great Jay McShann go on for hours about the differences. But, the key to Kansas City’s pivotal, preeminent and positively particular place in American jazz history is — the jam session.

Jazz became a collaborative community exercise here unlike anyplace before or since. Driven by the Great Depression, fueled by the wide-open atmosphere and mob money of the Pendergast machine, musicians from across the country gathered in Kansas City — and nowhere else. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Jay McShann, Joe Turner, Mary Jo Williams, Lester Young and hundreds more were in one place, at one time, perfecting their craft together.

Collaboration was the key to creativity.

During the time surrounding the Depression, the jazz greats had to physically come together. It is no mistake the song goes “Going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come!”

How times have changed. Today, a student in Kansas City can work with a student in Katmandu with the click of a mouse. What hasn’t changed is our unique rhythm and ability to come together to produce something singularly unique.

Friends, we have a chance to once again collaborate, to jam at a whole new kind of gig.

Google is planning to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. Their plan is to deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second connections.
As a first step, Google is asking communities to tell them what they would do with ultra-high speed internet.

A grassroots effort in Kansas City seeks to harness the power of Google's ultra high-speed broadband network to deliver the internet in a green way to close the digital divide — bridging the gap between those with the means to be connected and those who have been left behind on the information superhighway. This has always been the great promise of the internet: equality through universal access to information. Google’s ultra-high speed plan is an opportunity for every child in every home to have the world at their fingertips.

What is being developed is a plan that will leverage the Green Impact Zone and the unique talents and capabilities of the people of Kansas City to:
  • Install broadband fiber as part of every city, federally-funded, or Recovery Act-related public infrastructure project in Kansas City.
  • In addition to fiber to the home, deploy affordable, broadband connections to every library, research & bio-science institute, arts and cultural facilities, schools and educational facilities, community health care centers, public computing centers, and affordable housing developments in Kansas City’s center city.

Imagine the world’s fastest Internet in Kansas City. Imagine what our history of creativity through collaboration could do with these connections.

Now, do much more than just imagine…let’s make it happen.

Champion the cause, join the jam and sign the petition to bring Google ultra high-speed to Kansas City. Click here to take action>>

Be sure to send your friends to