Coleman focused on importance of education, sustainability in creating a bright future for Saint Paul
Mayor Chris Coleman outlined his vision for the city Friday night after being sworn in at a formal ceremony for his third term as Saint Paul Mayor. In his remarks, Mayor Coleman emphasized the importance of education and sustainability to create a solid future for the city.
“Whether we meet the fundamental inequity in education head-on and close the achievement gap while raising outcomes for all children, will be the true measure by which my administration and our city will be judged,” Mayor Coleman said. “I place this measuring rod before us today knowing full well that it will be the most difficult work we have ever done.”
Mayor Coleman delivered his remarks at the newly-renovated Union Depot, the location of his inaugural address four years prior. He made reference to the location as the region’s preeminent transportation hub and said great cities must have dynamic transportation networks, and that they “must be vibrant, attractive places if we are to compete for a young, talented pool of workers who decide first where they are going to live and second where they will work.”
Mayor Coleman, who won reelection with 78 percent of the vote in November, reiterated the challenges Saint Paul has faced, and the triumphs it has seen over the past several years. Often times reflecting issues seen across the country, Mayor Coleman pointed out the resiliency and prosperity of the city.
“We did not let the hard realities of eight years of a difficult economy stall our progress,” Mayor Coleman said. “The investment in public infrastructure was met with private investment. New businesses opened across the city, including in areas where little such investment had been seen for decades. The sad sight of abandoned industrial buildings has been replaced by a new generation of entrepreneurs. And bold visions for remaining sites have emerged through community dialogue and strong partnerships.”
Mayor Coleman continued, “It truly is our willingness to confront our toughest challenges that will lead our fight to end not only the education achievement gaps between white children and children of color, but will also compel us to end the wealth and employment disparities.”
Saint Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry introduced Mayor Coleman at the event, and Saint Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly read an original poem at the ceremony. The ceremony included music from the Central Chamber Singers and the Solomon & Aja Parham Quintet. The after-ceremony celebration featured music by the New Standards and Friends, as well as the 9/16s.