Larson Campaign | Aug 25th, 2015 | Campaign News

By Emily Larson on Aug 24, 2015 at 10:54 p.m. Duluth news tribune.

The first time I visited Duluth, I was 5 years old. It was the only “big” family vacation of my childhood. I stepped off the train at the Depot, and we walked our suitcases down Superior Street. I fell in love with this city. It was 1978. Not many people visiting or living here then would have used the word “magical” to describe Duluth. But to me, it was. We threw rocks and went to the soda fountain. Duluth felt safe and full of possibility.

So the first chance I got, I moved here to attend college on a scholarship and never looked back. Like so many people, I chose Duluth. What makes this city truly special is that we are large enough to have all the benefits of a big city but small enough that you get to know your neighbors.

I can find political buzzwords to describe why I’m running for mayor, but this is what it boils down to: What happens here in Duluth matters — to you, your family and your neighborhood. And that matters to me. Because I’m building my life here, too.

We all bring life experiences into the work we do. As a small-business owner, I am promoting growth and prosperity because I believe most of our future jobs will come from successful small businesses. As a parent, I am working to build a future of opportunity for my kids and for yours. As a Hillside resident, I value the importance of safe neighborhoods and knowing my neighbors.

As your City Council president and Duluth Economic Development Authority commissioner, I am already working to keep Duluth open for business, advance policies that support working families, improve our core services and infrastructure and build upon the things that make Duluth special.

We’ve made progress. Duluth has momentum, and we need to build on this. But our growth has not been equitable, and too many have not enjoyed its benefits. We cannot realize our full potential as a city until no one is left behind.

As mayor, I will focus on collaboration, inclusion and equity. This will include city policies that put people first; we need a city that works for all Duluthians because we’re all in this together. This also will include targeted economic development that creates good jobs and protects and enhances our unique neighborhoods. It will include budget priorities that reflect our responsibility to provide basic services; repair streets; and preserve quality-of-life investments like parks, libraries and the lake: those things that make Duluth feel like home. And it will include partnerships with the Fond du Lac Band, school district, county, and state and federal governments so we can get good work done to benefit everyone we have in common.

The next mayor needs to build relationships beyond the city. What happens in Duluth is noticed on a statewide level. Having good, strong working relationships across the state translates into continued Local Government Aid, funding for bonding projects, increased tourism and transportation dollars.

This fall you have an opportunity to help write Duluth’s next chapter: a steady, inclusive, vibrant future that builds on our growth in ways that ensure all neighborhoods, and neighbors, benefit. Together.

If we haven’t met yet, I hope we do soon. I’d like to hear what’s important to you. I’m running for mayor of Duluth, and I ask for your vote in the primary election on Sept 15.