Public Inaugural Community Event on Thursday

Saint Paul STRONG

Final News Release

January 5, 2016

This is a reminder of the Saint Paul STRONG public forum this Thursday evening. This is an opportunity to meet our new Council Members Jane Prince and Rebecca Noecker as well as re-elected Council Members Dan Bostrom and Dai Thao. This is the first time the community has organized a public forum with City Council Members to discuss and understand the City’s public process and offer ways it can improve. Council Members Russ Stark, Amy Brendmoen, and Chris Tolbert have declined our invitation.

We are a nonpartisan, community-led organization dedicated to improving open and representative government in Saint Paul by encouraging and supporting open and transparent public processes at City Hall, engaging and empowering resident participation, and building a stronger, more inclusive Saint Paul.

Saint Paul STRONG (SPS) invites Saint Paul City Council to a public inaugural community event.

Saint Paul STRONG (SPS), the citizen group that formed to call for greater transparency and accountability in city government, is kicking off the new year and new City Council by inviting Saint Paul elected leaders to a public panel discussion on Thursday, January 7, 2016, 5:30 p.m. at Mai Village, 394 University Ave, W., St. Paul. Social time will conclude at 6:15 when panel discussion begins. Questions will be taken from the public. Panel discussion moderated by SPS member Roy Magnuson. Council Members will have an opportunity to ask questions of SPS panel members and give closing comments.

City Councilmembers were invited in October to endorse Saint Paul STRONG’s six principles (see attachment) of openness, accountability, and a more vibrant public process. All seven councilmembers, including five incumbents who won re-election in November, endorsed the six principles.

“Our goal for our first community dialogue is to generate consensus around greater outreach and public involvement in city government,” stated SPS spokesperson John Mannillo. “Saint Paul STRONG was formed because too many big decisions – like the one to provide permanent property tax relief to major league soccer or the new Comcast long term contract – happened with virtually no public input.”

Saint Paul STRONG principles were embraced not only by councilmembers, but were hailed by Saint Paul neighbors and businesses as just the kind of reforms that will lead to more trust in city government. Parking meters and housing teardowns are just two examples where citizens pushed back to have a greater voice at City Hall.