Our Stories

Minnesota Governor Celebrates LISC Duluth’s 21 Years of Investment and Partnership

This week, LISC Duluth marked its 21st year of investing in the city and the key work of local partners at its annual Building Healthy Community Awards. Governor Tim Walz gave the keynote address, stressing how innovative collaboration between local government and community leaders can make the city a safe and prosperous place for all residents. The LISC partnership model, he added, “is what smart government should do…what smart communities should do.”

(Gov. Walz is pictured above with Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and LISC Duluth ED Pam Kramer.)

The excerpt below is from:
Walz calls for collaboration in Duluth
By Tom Olsen, Duluth News Tribune

Gov. Tim Walz and his wife Gwen named their firstborn daughter Hope.

"We think it's the most powerful word in the universe," he explained to a crowd Wednesday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

"But it is not a plan. You have to not just hope that the future will get better, hope that the jobs will stay here, hope that we can untangle the roads or hope that we can build a bridge. You need to plan for it. And you plan by collaborating."

The governor called for private and public partnerships to improve health care, transportation, employment and business opportunities in a 10-minute keynote address at the annual luncheon celebration of the Duluth Local Initiatives Support Corp.

"We can choose to write the same old story or we can choose to write a little different one," Walz told the crowd of more than 300 people at the Harborside Ballroom.

Duluth LISC, the local branch of a national organization, has invested more than $105 million in affordable housing, small business and commercial revitalization projects since it was founded in 1997, officials said.

This video highlights just one of the vital projects LISC Duluth has taken on with local partners.

In recent years, that has included support for the Steve O'Neil Apartments in the city's Central Hillside, investment in the NorShore Theatre and St. Louis River corridor, and a number of initiatives to improve the Lincoln Park Business District.

That work has impressed Maurice Jones, the national president and CEO of LISC.

"Every place that we go, when you look at the heart of the population that is hardest hit, there is an overlap between that and people of color," said Jones, a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"So, we have been working with places to make sure that they are making targeted efforts to ensure that folks of color, however big or however small that population is in your city, are getting the opportunities that they need to thrive," Jones said. "And that goes from workforce to housing to you name it. Most of the great places where we work recognize that they can't afford to have any segment of their population left behind."

Continue to original story [+]...