Duluth mayoral candidate’s view: Together, let’s chart the future

Larson Campaign | Oct 14th, 2015 | Campaign News

By Emily Larson on Oct 11, 2015 at 12:10 a.m.

Since announcing my candidacy in December for Duluth mayor, I’ve worked to connect with as many residents as possible. All across the city, I’ve had the chance to share, thousands of times, why I’m running. I’ve spent hours every week at your doorsteps. Our conversations together have been both honest and interesting, and your input has made me a stronger and better leader.

We are in the final weeks of what has been a nearly yearlong campaign and rather than feeling tired or worn down, I am more energized than ever about the vision so many of us share for Duluth.

The work of mayor is serious business. There is no glossing over our challenges for funding streets, ensuring a strong housing portfolio and continuing to build an economy that works for everyone.

I’m running for mayor because I understand these challenges, and because these challenges deserve real solutions built in cooperation with our city staff, neighborhood allies, and community and business partners.

I’m running for mayor because our current strategies for economic development are strong, successful, taking hold and need to be expanded so more people, businesses and neighborhoods can benefit.

I’m running for mayor because we have key relationships that need healing, and we’ll need leadership that can effectively engage partners in order to leverage assets toward shared goals.

I’m running for mayor because a successful future will require a champion who will work to ensure that all of our residents benefit from our city’s next chapter.

The work of mayor doesn’t happen entirely in an office, and it doesn’t happen as a solo effort. Effective mayors work well with others and demonstrate the ability to bring a strong team together. Effective mayors also lead by example, providing the steady, collaborative tone required to lead 855 staff, to serve a city of diverse neighborhood interests and identities, to support growing industries and to expand our tax base. There is no replacement for reliable and experienced leadership at the top of any organization.

Duluth needs leadership that is ready to go in January; leadership that understands the budget and how to create financial priorities; leadership that has established working relationships with our county commissioners, state legislators and other key elected stakeholders; leadership that prioritizes the daily experiences of all our residents; and leadership that is proactive, informed and effective.

Right now I’m working for you as an At-Large city councilor, as City Council president, and as a commissioner on the Duluth Economic Development Authority. It’s likely that during this time I’ve made decisions you’ve supported, and it’s just as likely I’ve made decisions you haven’t . Either way, I have been responsive to your questions, understanding of your opinion and transparent in my viewpoint. Because that is leadership. It’s not about always agreeing, and it’s not about shutting out those who disagree. It’s about working to find common points of interest through dialogue and shared vision.

Thank you for opening your doors to me throughout this campaign. Thank you for challenging me and for educating me on what’s important to you. I am grateful to you and for the many ways our conversations have shaped me and this vision for Duluth. I’m eager for us to begin writing Duluth’s next chapter together, but I’ve got one more request: My name is Emily Larson. I’m running for mayor of Duluth, and I ask for your vote on Nov. 3.