I was honored to be endorsed by all of the enthusiastic delegates who turned out at the February 3 caucuses and ward convention. I was able to visit a number of precinct rooms to hear what's on DFLers' minds. I look forward to the Citywide convention April 19 where we'll endorse a slate of school board candidates.
I am writing to once again ask for your support for the DFL endorsement in 2015. I hope you will join me at precinct caucuses and the Ward 4 convention on Tuesday, February 3, at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:00) at Hamline (formerly Hancock) Elementary School (1599 Englewood). In addition to the Council election, there are also elections for four St. Paul School Board seats. Our caucuses/convention will be a great opportunity to hear from many of the candidates during this time of big changes in the School District.
For seven years I have worked hard on your behalf to create a better, more livable and sustainable Ward 4 and City of St. Paul. With your input and assistance, that hard work has been paying off, including:
- The successful opening of the Green Line with nearly 40,000 riders/weekday.
- New development and investment along the Line, including 3 (and soon 2 more) microbreweries, other new businesses, and new housing options. A lot of additional development is in the works.
- Improved conditions for bicycling and walking, including:
- Bikeways on Griggs, Charles, Como, Marshall, the Lexington bridge, and Prior
- New sidewalks along Marshall and in the West Midway industrial area, including leading to the new breweries
- Safer pedestrian crossing treatments at Hamline/Nebraska and Como/Commonwealth
- Restored evening and weekend library hours as of March 1 at all three Ward 4 branches.
- Improving balance between big institutions in the Ward (University of St. Thomas, Como Zoo & Conservatory) and the neighborhoods in which they are located.
- Additional transit investments in the works, such as the new Snelling “A Line” Bus Rapid Transit project.
- Pending big investments in the St. Paul Grand Rounds (including Raymond and Pelham/Myrtle in Ward 4), a new downtown bike loop, and Dickerman Park.
- A new dog run opening at Meeker Island Park this spring.
I will also focus more attention on the issue of racial disparities and inequities in our community. Unless and until our neighbors of color can enjoy the same quality of life as our white neighbors, the promise of being a truly great City and community will remain unfulfilled.
We can do more by working to recruit a more racially and ethnically diverse workforce so that our city employees better reflect the racial diversity of St. Paul. And we must continue to build stronger relationships between schools and communities, between our kids and the very resourceful adults in our City, and between youth and young adults of color and educational and job opportunities in St. Paul.
Finally, I look forward to working with the Mayor's Office, Public Works, St. Paul Public Schools, and other interested stakeholders in developing a citywide Safe Routes to School plan that can start to be implemented. Now that the district has moved towards Neighborhood Schools, we need to work to make walking and biking to school safer. Safe Routes to School will have health and environmental benefits not only for students, but for the broader communities surrounding schools as well.
I’m excited to keep working on these important issues, and also have conversations with you between now and the election about your priorities. I hope I have earned your support for the DFL endorsement, and with your support I intend to continue earning it each and every day for the next four years.
I hope to see you at the Ward 4 precinct caucuses and and convention on February 3. Mark your calendar! Sign-in begins at 6:30pm, caucuses at 7pm, delegate elections at 7:30pm. At Hamline (formerly Hancock) Elementary at 1599 Englewood. These details and more at the St Paul DFL website.
The party will be at the Lyric Apartments in the party room on the corner of Hampden and University. (765 N Hampden -- take the Green Line to the Raymond station, or park north of Charles on Hampden. Enter through the Lyric's lobby off of Hampden.)
I can't wait to hear what's on your mind, share what we've accomplished so far, and discuss what's next.