The new silent killer of viable metropolises like ours—ones that hope to thrive in the high-tech age—is the drain of outsourcing. Some attractive jobs are flying out of the country, and the last thing our economy-on-life-support needs is that.

Now cities like Sacramento have to fight and scratch to find more jobs for the young, educated types that drive the economic engine and help build the vibrancy of a city. The quest for these people, featured in the popular book The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida, is fueled by a need to be perceived as a cutting-edge, diverse and easy-to-live-in community where the creative class wants to settle down.

We need to attract the well-educated and mobile immigrants who have built Raleigh, N.C.; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Ore., into municipal powerhouses. Quality of life is important in attracting the creative entrepreneurial types, and Portland has it all over us in that category. One aspect that city has trumped us on is smart growth tied to mass transit. (See “Riding a new rail.”) Staff writer Jeff Kearns examines both what failed in the planning stages here and what new signs of life are emerging in Sacramento.

We are continuing to look at how the future of Sacramento will evolve, in what has become a special project for us—we’re calling it Sacramento 2025 (see the SN&R cover story by Cosmo Garvin by that name in the January 8 issue). Now is the time for us to examine long-term planning by private and public agencies, so stay tuned for more in-depth reporting from us on how a city can grow smartly. We’re calling for leadership and vision, the two components most needed in Sacramento to send us into a creative future.