There are people like Mike Martin of the Fourth Precinct and Council Member Don Samuels who work hard every day to improve our quality of life in NoMi, but don't receive the kind of public credit they deserve. So when HUD Secretary Donovan visited along with Senator Klobuchar, it was a rare moment for these public officials to briefly bask in the limelight of the national stage before, well, getting right back to work.
Bask, I say, bask. I hope Donovan's visit went so well that President Obama finds his way to Jordan's Cottage Park in the near future; though I think the Hawthorne Eco Village is an equally-deserving success story.
In a spirit of appreciation for our local public officials who worked day after day to make a triumph like yesterday possible...
Here are a bunch of photos which basically say: WELL DONE, PUBLIC OFFICIALS.
In the top two photos, Council Member Don Samuels and Mike Christiansen of CPED talk to a youth clean-up crew about positive changes coming to the neighborhood and the need to stay in school. In the next photo, the Secretary's entourage makes its way up the sidewalk led by a gaggle of media.
In the next two photos, a little girl spoke to the Secretary and other public officials, talking about how she loves her neighborhood. The moment stole everybody's heart. In the last photo, Fourth Precinct Commander Mike Martin pulled up in his vehicle long enough to meet Secretary Donovan, but very quickly he was right back in the car and presumably off doing the kind of "cop stuff" which helped bring about a moment like this in the first place.
Donovan's visit was not only a triumph for North Minneapolis, but for the Obama administration. The money from the stimulus package is being spent wisely and well to fix the problems brought on by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Cottage Park has gone from being a gang-infested hellhole to a photo op for public officials.
And yet none of us can rest on our laurels. We got here one small action at a time; whether that's making a 311 call, supporting the efforts of police, or attending yet another booooooring neighborhood meeting. Yesterday's triumph is widely shared.
But, clearly, we can't rest on our laurels...or we'll never see the day when President Obama tours North Minneapolis, or Mayor Rybak announces he's moving here, or the vacant houses fill up with first time home buyers. Yesterday was a high point. Now we have to keep climbing.