Monday, January 4, 2010

STORY IN PHOTOS: Mayor And New Council Members Sworn In...

Contributed photos xoxo, blog post by John Hoff

This morning, elected and (mostly) re-elected Minneapolis City Council Members were sworn in at City Hall. The swearing-in itself was surprisingly brief, according to a source (Megan Goodmundson) who was present at the invitation of Council Member Don Samuels.

The program went from 9:30 to 10:30, and included a welcome speech by Addisalem Tesfaye, who is an Ethiopian immigrant and a graduate of the "Step Up Intern" program. There was an invocation by Rev. Mariann Budde of St. John the Episcopal Church, and music by the City-County Choir. Speeches were made by...

...Council Member Barb Johnson, who was unanimously re-elected Council President shortly afterward, and also Mayor Rybak, who went out of his way to highlight the progress made in North Minneapolis during the last four years.

Above, "Step Up Intern" Graduate Addisalem Tesfaye gives welcoming remarks, and talks about how--in Ethiopia--her family wasn't privileged enough for her to be educated beyond 4th Grade. The day her mother told her she was moving to Minnesota, she was so excited because she knew her life would be changing forever.
The City-County Choir played The Star Spangled Banner and Let There Be Peace On Earth. 

Above, MPD Chief Dolan, whose incredible victory over crime made the re-election of so many city council incumbents possible. FOR GOD'S SAKE, RE-APPOINT THIS MAN!
The program for the city council swearing-in. Simulated parchment...ooooooo! Better put that in the scrap book.

An honor guard of police escorted the American and state flags to the swearing-in. How ironic that, only several days before, this city government enabled the senseless destruction of the home of Pauline Fjelde, who embroidered the first Minnesota state flag.

A view, looking up, of the spectacular interior of City Hall.

Barb Johnson gives inaugural remarks after the swearing-in. The oath--pictured in the very top picture--was administered by Minneapolis City Clerk Steve Ristuben.

In the background of the event, being quiet and unobtrusive, Officer Mark Klukow provides security to make sure there are no Al-Flowers-style disruptions of the proceedings. Notably, an actual mental case named Tore Simonsen was present. (Please note, I am NOT writing in the sarcasm font) Simonsen has a blog obsessively dedicated to a television program named "Dollhouse" and showed up to tell public officials about the need to save the program, handing out playing cards upon which he had written his blog address on and the words "SAVE DOLLHOUSE." The show is about people who have their minds erased and get "programmed" as a whole new person. Here is a link to Simonsen's post about the inauguration, and here is a link to a post about his mental health records.

Speaking as a former military psych tech, I just want to say...this guy needs to be monitored. End of editorial.

Fortunately, the day went off on schedule, without a hitch. Our city appears to be on the right track, and hopefully we can keep building on the momentum of change.

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