Mayor gives 2014 State of the City address

Three days after the Downtown Task Force found that “momentum is building” in Saint Paul, Mayor Chris Coleman emphasized the importance of growing that momentum to create an even better future for Saint Paul at his ninth State of the City address on Monday.

Speaking from the soon-to-open Arlington Hills Community Center, Mayor Coleman used the first-of-its-kind site as an example of how the city is committed to growing and evolving for a better tomorrow. Utilizing a staff of both Parks and Library employees, the community center will serve a diverse set of needs on the East Side.

“Almost a decade in the making, this center is a $14 million investment in the future of the East Side and its families. What was once a corner anchored by a small hardware store and an obsolete 1970s-era rec center will soon be a center of innovative learning and youth development,” Mayor Coleman said.

Mayor Coleman continued his focus on education, announcing a $200,000 grant that will be used to aid a citywide expansion of the city’s youth violence prevention program.

“While we work to create opportunities for our teens who are on the right track, we can’t forget about the ones who have found themselves on unsteady ground,” Mayor Coleman said.

Pointing to Saint Paul’s developing arts culture with places like Bedlam Theater and events like the JazzFest, Mayor Coleman renewed his call for the redevelopment of the Palace Theatre downtown as we continue to see cities’ economies tied to the success of their arts culture.

“Go to any city in this country with a thriving cultural scene and you’ll be visiting a city with a vibrant economy that is attracting not only millennials, but the companies of the future,” Mayor Coleman said. “That’s why the Palace Theatre restoration is so important.”

With an expansion of the city’s Youth Violence Prevention Program, Right Track youth employment program and a call for continued transit work, Mayor Coleman made clear that Saint Paul will continue to seize on its momentum to push forward on education, infrastructure and vitality projects.

“Each step of our history has contributed to where our next foot falls. We embrace our past. But we seize on the momentum of today to build a better tomorrow,” Mayor Coleman said.