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Mayor's News Update 2.25.11
A Note from Mayor Coleman

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

From the very first days of my administration, we made education our number one priority. I have often said that education is my crime fighting strategy, my economic development strategy, and my neighborhood revitalization strategy. 

Simply put, there is nothing more important for the strength of our city than ensuring all youth receive the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.

I had the opportunity this week to discuss the current state of education with former Minneapolis Mayor and U.S. Representative Don Fraser and his Committee on the Achievement Gap. This committee looks at individuals and organizations that are making great progress to close the achievement gap, and it was an honor to share the incredible work taking place throughout Saint Paul on education.

Minnesota currently has one of the widest achievement gaps between white students and students of color in the nation, threatening the future prosperity of Minnesota. Without a highly educated workforce, the ability of our state to compete in the global economy is jeopardized.

Saint Paul's out-of-school-time learning, early childhood education and Promise Neighborhood initiatives have positioned the City as a national leader, focused and committed to working with the county, non-profits and the Saint Paul Public Schools to close the achievement gap.

These partnerships are critical to the success of our youth. When the stakes are this high, the responsibility for educating our children must not rest solely with the schools, but with our entire community - And failure is not an option.  

In September 2010, Saint Paul was one of 21 communities nation-wide to receive a Promise Neighborhood grant from the Obama administration. The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood is a community-wide effort to ensure all children succeed in school and in life through seamless coordination of cradle-to-career educational, family, and community resources. The neighborhood will encompass a 250-block area in the Summit-University and Frogtown neighborhoods. Eventually the practices instituted in this area will be taken city-wide, allowing all youth to benefit from this initiative.

I encourage all Saint Paul residents to take an active role in educating our youth. Whether volunteering during school, at an after school program or participating in the community meetings on the Promise Neighborhoods, there are endless opportunities for someone to impact the life of a child.


Mayor Chris Coleman 

This Week in Review

Minnesota Mayors Highlight Emerging Opportunity to Hold the Line on Property Taxes

Mayor Coleman was joined by mayors from across the state this week to highlight a rare opportunity that is emerging for Democrats and Republicans to work together on a budget compromise that will reverse the trend of rising property taxes and continued cuts to critical community services such as police, fire, libraries and street maintenance.

The group represented cities from throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren, Park Rapids Mayor Nancy Carroll and Glencoe Mayor Randy Wilson.

Demonstrating a direct correlation to cuts in Local Government Aid and a rise in property taxes, the mayors urged the Legislature to present a budget that does not put the state budget burden onto Minnesota cities.

Ahlgren cited Minnesota Revenue statistics that show property taxes have increased over $3 billion since 2002 in Minnesota, an increase of more than 68%. In that same time, Local Government Aid has been cut in half for Minnesota cities.

Mayor Coleman spoke to the fact that Saint Paul and other core cities are the economic engines of Minnesota. For our economy to thrive again, the vitality of our cities must be a top priority. Investing in local governments will help hold the line on property taxes which will protect both business and tax payers.

Pointing to the City of Saint Paul’s 2011 budget, which adopted a 0% property tax increase, Mayor Coleman emphasized how when a strong partnership exists between the state and cities, cities are able to budget wisely and live within their means, but Local Government Aid is a key part of that equation. 

Mayor Featured on Inside the Leadership Studio

On Thursday, Mayor Coleman was the featured guest during Urban Land Institute Minnesota’s Inside the Leadership Studio.

Moderator Eliza Clark delved into Coleman’s background, from his childhood to his work as Mayor of Saint Paul.

Mayor Coleman spoke in depth about the incredible revitalization taking place throughout Saint Paul. From Promise Neighborhoods to the Central Corridor, Mayor Coleman highlighted initiatives that have placed Saint Paul on the national stage and are poised to transform the face of the metro region.

Modeled after the television show, Inside the Actor’s Studio, Inside the Leadership Studio is a unique event  designed to look inside the leadership styles of current political, community and business leaders.

A nonprofit research and education organization, Urban Land Institute was founded in 1936, and now has members in 95 countries worldwide. 

Minnesota Building Holds Grand Reopening

This week marked the grand opening for the newly remodeled Minnesota Building in downtown Saint Paul. One of the city’s most iconic buildings, the Minnesota Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. With the completion of the incredible $28 million dollar remodeling project, the Minnesota Building will once again become a pinnacle of downtown Saint Paul.

The City partnered with Sand Companies; property owner Minnesota Vistas, LLC and Minnesota Place, LLC; and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation to make the revitalization of the Minnesota Building a reality.

(At right, Mayor Coleman looks out one of a newly remodeled apartment's amazing view.)

The building has now been transformed to include 137 units of affordable housing units, with 10 units reserved for long term homeless housing. In addition, the building will offer 8,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and serve as the new metro office for Sand Companies.

With this exciting revitalization, new residents will have the opportunity to move into a thriving downtown neighborhood at an affordable price. They will have direct access to growing nightlife, an exciting music scene, and in 2014 – the central corridor, connecting residents to destinations across the metro.

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