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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Day in the Life: Feb. 22

As Mayor I don't have an official place on city council committees, but I do go to many of them to stay coordianted with the council......and one of my favorite committees is Intergovernmental Relations. The committee's job is to help coordinate our work with other government bodies, especially the Legislature....and it has worked better than I've ever seen it under the past couple years under the chairmanship of Council member Scott Benson. It's also especially effective right now because we have a great team of lobbyists, led by our new director Gene Rieneri. Today Gene went over the details of the bonding bill that just passed out of the House and it has in it many of the important projects we are working on: the Planetarium, Northstar Rail project, Sears, the Shubert, University Research Park and Heritage Park.
After the committee and a few internal meetings in the morning, I spoke at the annual lunch of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors' Association. This association now includes both Minneapolis and Bloomington and Mayor Gene Winstead, who has been a good partner, also spoke.
My remarks were about two key areas: The first was transportation, making a plea to the business leaders there to be part of Go Minnesota, the bipartisan group that is pushing for more aggerssive transit action in this legislative session. The point I'm making to business leaders is that transit progress has to be made for them to be competetive.
The second point I made to them was to work with us on workforce development....if we can take the kids now going to our schools, who speak 81 different languages, and train them in the jobs of tomorrow, we will be far better able to compete in a global economy than any earlier generation. I've been saying lately that one of the biggest mistakes we ever made was to close the old Vocational High School...and we are trying to work with the community colleges to find better ways to train kids coming out of school. The short term pitch I made about this at the lunch was for them to be part of Step Up, the summer jobs program we are working on with Achieve Minneapolis, which has a goal of creating 300 jobs this year.
I left the lunch to meet a group of USBank execs on Broadway Avenue. They have a branch at Emerson and Broadway and are interested in finding more ways to increase investment on the avenue. They really loved the Bean Scene coffee shop on Penn. Just as we were leaving Chief McManus was coming in for one of his regular open houses in the community.
Later in the afternoon I had a meeting with Congressman Sabo about opportunities to find federal dollars to help with the Dutch Elm crisis that has taken so many of our trees.
The afternoon ended with a couple hour meeting with a group of leaders of the Asian Pacific Islander community that has been meeting since our summit two years ago.


  • At February 24, 2005 at 10:20 AM, Anonymous Erik said…

    That is exciting to hear about people/companies looking into ways to improve the Broadway-Penn/Emerson area. It could be a really nice, community oriented neighborhood with some investment - kind of looks like it once was a happening place.

  • At October 26, 2005 at 2:40 AM, Blogger Gordon said…

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