Listing several years of accomplishments in infrastructure, education, neighborhood vibrancy and private investment, Mayor Coleman made clear that while the achievements have been many, the city’s work was not finished. Mayor Coleman announced new initiatives in each area on Monday during his eighth State of the City address at the Saint Paul Riverfront Crowne Plaza Hotel.
In order to attract the next generation to Saint Paul, the mayor unveiled a number of new initiatives including a new citywide mobile app called Saint Paul Connect. This app will allow residents to report things like potholes, broken street lights, unplowed streets and more directly from their smart phones.
“Technological excellence is no longer a choice. It is a necessity. In this digital age, we must meet residents where they are – and they’re on their smart phones. The launch of ‘Saint Paul Connect’ will help make our city more responsive to our residents,” Mayor Coleman said.
Highlighting the near-completion of the light rail line through the city, Mayor Coleman also announced a revitalized East Metro Transit Alliance, led by Matt Kramer of the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce and Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough. The alliance will lead a re-energized effort to advocate for future transit initiatives in the east metro.
“One clear lesson we learned as we fought to build the Green Line was that if we in the east metro are not fighting hard for transit investment, we can’t expect anyone else to do it,” Mayor Coleman said. “Together, the East Metro Transit Alliance will advocate for equal transit investment on this side of the region.”
The Mayor spoke of Macy’s and other opportunity sites and named a taskforce, led by Ecolab’s CEO Doug Baker and supported by Greater MSP, to determine the best future use of those areas.
“In a core downtown that is limited in geography, we have to maximize every opportunity to bring business to downtown,” Mayor Coleman said. “In addition to this critical site, several other key opportunities for redevelopment must be seized.”
The Mayor announced several other initiatives in education, business attraction and neighborhood vitality, including a push for investment in downtown bike lanes.
Concluding his address, Mayor Coleman said, “I can say with conviction that the state of our city is strong and growing stronger. Our accomplishments over the past several years have been remarkable. We have built a city that is vibrant, safe, welcoming to all residents, friendly to families and a leader on a national stage. We have a choice to make. We have two hands, and we are standing on a ladder of success. We can either use one of those hands to pat ourselves on the back and feel good about what we’ve done, or we can decide to keep climbing and reach for that next rung. To me, the choice is clear.”