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Day in the Life: March 16

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After spending Monday lobbying for Minneapolis in Washington D.C. I spent much of today lobbying for the city at the State Capitol.

The most public event today was a press conference where I spoke in favor of a bill introduced by Sen. Linda Higgins and Rep. Keith Ellison that would be very helpful to our police department.   The bill calls for restoring the massive cuts that were made in local government aid, money we had used to fund police officers.   These cuts, along with the cuts by the federal government to local police programs, had hurt our efforts to provide safety.   Linda and Keith did a great job getting this moving and they had a very broad coalition of legislators, community and neighborhood activists, council members, Chief McManus and I.

They are also introducing a companion bill that would fund summer jobs for youth.  This is a vey important part of providing a safe summer.  If you agree, please join us by creating a summer job as part of Step Up (www.achiveminneapolis.com)

After this event I met with individual legislators and met others in the hall to go over a series of issues.  High on our list right now is the Bonding Bill, which we hope will include funding for the Planetarium, Shubert Theater, the Global Marketplace at Midtown Exchange (the former Sears Building) and University Research Park.   One of the hidden heros at the Capitol on the bonding bill is Sen. Keith Langseth, a farmer from northwestern Minnesota who quietly but exceptionally effectively, moves this complex bill through the Legislature and negotiates with the House and the Governor.   

I am also working with State Rep. Frank Hornstein to fight some radical cuts proposed for the regional bus system.   We are collecting as many stories as we can that tell the story about how the bus system plays a role in people's lives. (Did you know more than 40% of the people who work downtown take the bus?!  They come from all over the state and we need to tell their legislators not to cut their service.)

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Later this afternoon I spoke at the annual meeting of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors' Association.   They had a very good year and we are working on a lot together.   The big success this year was hosting the convention called the American Society of Association Executives.  This conventtion of convention planners is pivitol to booking conventions over the next decade and it was a huge hit.

     Other GMCVA projects we are working on include using their staff to help market neighborhood shopping districts and to help pr0mote a smoke free Minneapolis; promoting the openings of the Walker, Arts Institute, Guthrie, Children's Theater and Central Library. I will be going to New York with them to meet with the national press to get coverage for this....

By the way, did you see the great story in Newsweek this week about the new Walker?  Or the other great story in Men's Journal saying Minneapolis is the "smartest city " in the country?  Or the one in Popular Mechanics saying Minneapolis is the country's most high tech city?

March 16, 2005 in Day In The Life | Permalink

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