Wednesday, May 11, 2011

City residents share ideas, concerns in series of community conversations

The community conversations component of the Cities, Services and Funding project--sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities with funding from the Bush Foundation--is now well underway. Initial meetings were held last week and this week in the cities of Northfield, St. James and St. Paul, and more than 120 residents have participated, to date.

When League staff travelled to the City of St. James last week, they were accompanied at all four community conversations held there by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reporter Dave Peters. Dave is the author of MPR’s “Ground Level” blog, and he writes frequently about issues facing Minnesota cities. The subsequent story filed by Dave provides an excellent overview of the project, to date.

Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), in partnership with the League, has begun airing the first in a series of “interstitials” promoting the statewide Community Conversations. Each of the interstitials is about 90 seconds in length, and will be shown on TPT’s “Minnesota Channel” during breaks between shows. If you are a regular viewer of Almanac, you may recognize the work of cartoonist David Gillette in each interstitial. There will be a new interstitial running each month from May through August – Interstitial #1 is an overview of the Community Conversations on Cities, Services & Funding. The next three will parallel the topics of the Community Conversations discussions: what services cities should provide, how city services should be delivered, and how they should be paid for.