As Mayor, I have the privilege of doing a lot of interesting things. Some are covered in the news and some aren’t. I thought I would share a couple snapshots from the past few days.
On Friday, I joined Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness Cathy ten Broeke to announce that Minneapolis and Saint Paul are partnering together in a challenge with Columbus, Ohio and Des Moines, Iowa to end veteran homelessness by 2015. You can read more about the challenge here, but essentially what we’ll be doing is working with a number of partners at the local, state and federal level to end homelessness for those who served our country.
At the press conference where we announced the challenge, we were honored to be joined by Scott Roberts, a veteran who previously was homeless, but today, has a permanent home and is attending community college to further his career. His stories of struggle and the constant battle he faced were inspiring. You can hear from this brave veteran in this short video from the event. I thank him for his service and for the courage to share his story.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul should be cities where every person can thrive. I hope that not only will we be successful in this challenge, but we will be able to take this a step further and end homelessness for every one of our citizens.
Sunday was a special day. I was honored to officiate at the wedding of Jeff and Victor, who got married after spending more than 32 years together and raising two sons. I can’t tell you the pride I felt when I got to say, “By the power vested in me by the State of Minnesota…” It was a reminder of the great work we’ve done together to win marriage for all loving couples, and I look forward to many more celebrations like it. Congratulations, Jeff and Victor – may you have many more wonderful years together.
Today, I participated in a press event to announce an exciting investment in the city of Minneapolis. The Kresge Foundation has award $1 million to Intermedia Arts for a three-year pilot of its Creative CityMaking program. For the past year during a pre-pilot program, seven artists were embedded into the Long Range Planning Division of the Community Planning Economic Development Department. These artists gathered input from the community on issues from light-rail transit to historic preservation. These collaborations resulted in new creative strategies and tools to engage residents, especially those who are underrepresented in conventional city planning processes.
I joined the many collaborators at Intermedia Arts to announce the grant, where the results of the first year are currently on display through March 8 in This is our City!, an interactive gallery exhibit. Thank you to the Kresge Foundation for this investment, which will allow Minneapolis to leverage the strengths of our creative sector and utilize arts to achieve its goals.
Here’s to another exciting and productive week!