David's Blog

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Greatest of Greater Minnesota

Eighteen years ago, in 1997, a group of approximately twenty of Duluth's community leaders gathered at the Minnesota Capitol Building in St. Paul. They were there to advocate on behalf of our beloved community. They called this foundational trip to the Capitol - Duluth Days.

They were well-intentioned, sincere and motivated. But, alas, they were also loosely organized and underfunded. Their visit to the Capitol went largely unnoticed. They campaigned lightly before returning to Duluth to reflect and regroup.
Those were the humble beginnings of what has developed into the most sophisticated, largest and most effective annual community gathering at the State Capitol. This bold initiative has been expanded to include a concerted advocacy effort on behalf of our entire St. Louis County. Now, Duluth and St. Louis County at the Capitol brings more than six hundred community advocates to the Capitol.

Imagine, six-hundred of us encouraging the state to fund local projects that will improve the quality of life for residents of our region. We have come a long way in eighteen years. In many ways, we are the powerful political force those twenty community leaders were waiting for, eighteen years ago. They prepared the way for what is now a successful coalition of business and labor leaders, city councilors, county commissioners, school board members and private citizens.

We have a responsibility to those who have gone before us and to our community. We must keep this unequaled initiative moving forward. We will do exactly that when we gather at the Capitol February 25th and 26th.

Yet, this year, we have a heightened challenge. It is our community's shared challenge. Our historic and elegant Capitol Building is being refurbished. It is largely barricaded and inaccessible to visitors.

Consequently, few communities will even try to host events at the Capitol during this upcoming legislative session. I recently learned that other communities, which have shamelessly attempted to replicate our Days at the Capitol, have announced they are cancelling their gatherings. It appears the obstacles are too daunting.

Not so for those of us who work and live in beautiful St. Louis County. With resiliency and creativity as our constant companion, we will set up our operations a few blocks from the Capitol Building, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Paul - Riverfront.

A record number of local organizations are registered to host exhibit booths at the Grand Reception. We anticipate a strong attendance. Additionally, we are inviting Governor Dayton, and other state leaders, to join us for our Legislative Breakfast, scheduled for February 26th at the Crowne Plaza.

In summary, we will keep a great thing going. We will utilize Duluth and St. Louis County at the Capitol to, once again, have our collective voice heard. The theme for our gathering this year is, Duluth and St. Louis County - the Greatest of Greater Minnesota. Follow the links below to RSVP for these encouraging events:

Wednesday, February 25
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Crowne Plaza St. Paul Riverfront
Thursday, February 26
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Crowne Plaza St. Paul Riverfront
In support,

David Signature

David Ross, President & CEO

posted by David Ross at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Powered by Blogger

Previous Posts:


    Subscribe to
    Posts [Atom]