2015 Budget Address: “Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value”

August 14, 2014

Thank you, Madame President, colleagues.

Well, Minneapolis, now we get to put our money where our votes were.

When we voted last fall we asked for something bigger than each of us. When we voted last fall, we asked for a city that was well run. When we voted, we asked for action on a vision of growth – to bring more people, businesses, housing and jobs here. When we voted, we overwhelmingly demanded action on eliminating the gaps we have between white people and people of color, and to make sure everyone could participate in the benefits of that growth. When we voted, we asked to reach for something beyond what we had ever before imagined for ourselves.

Today’s budget, Minneapolis, is about taking major steps toward that vision. It will take all of us participating fully to get it done.

Our budget, our values

It is an honor to stand here today and deliver my first budget as Mayor of Minneapolis.

I said in my inaugural address that government is one of the key places we come together as a community and decide who we are as a people. Nowhere is this more evident than in the decisions we make about how to spend our collective resources.

Budgets are not merely a way of indicating our priorities, though they are that. Rather, budgets are a fine-grained, detailed way to show the community that we meant what we said. Budgets are where our money meets our values.

As Joe Biden once said, “Don't tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”

I never have seen the budget as mere spreadsheets and numbers to manipulate. I have never seen the budget as an intellectual exercise. I have always known that a budget is policy, and that at the City, it is the biggest, most important piece of policy we do every year.

The budget matters, and the decisions we make about it set the course for our future together as a people.

How we approach it, then, matters. True leadership demands we approach it with deliberation and with intention.

Deliberation means steady, thoughtful, and measured. Deliberation means every aspect considered to the best of our ability.

For the biggest investment we make, deliberate leadership is of value. The task is complicated, the stakes are high, and our values must determine the course.

But deliberation without intention is navel gazing at its worst.

Intention means we do our work with a purpose. Intention means we know where we want to go and we choose with purpose the course forward to get there. And intention without deliberation is well meaning, attractive ideas that do not find purchase on any shore.

True leadership requires both.

Today I offer a budget that has been deliberately crafted with intention.

And the intention is clear. When I delivered both my inaugural address and my state of the city address, I focused on three themes: Run the city well. Growth. Equity. So today, I am going to talk about something completely different.

Just kidding. Of course I am going to talk about our investments in a well-run city, growth, and equity.

Equity

Let me start with equity.

Last fall, more than anything, we voted for a city focused on eliminating racial gaps and creating equity. We knew that there was something in it for each and every one of us to make sure that each and every one of us had true, unfettered opportunities to thrive.

We are entering a period of growth in this country and in this city. We have entered it sooner than most. But that increase in prosperity is happening for white people, primarily. People of color are not sharing in the new circumstances. For Minneapolis to maximize our growth potential, both short-term and long-term, we must make certain everyone can benefit from and contribute to our growth.

Across the city, and frankly, across the country, I’ve been making the case for inclusive growth and equity.

Public investment in eliminating the gaps between white people and people of color help create just that universal and public good. In Minneapolis, our overall population is 40% people color, but our public schools are 70% students of color. Our future is clear: people of color will be leading the way into our next best version of Minneapolis.

The Met Council study also shows that unless we close our gaps in employment and education, we will leave $32 Billion of personal income on the table. 32 billion. That’s money that could be invested in housing, in business, in goods and services, in entertainment, in savings and investments.

Here more than anywhere it is crucial that we are intentional. Our discomfort talking about race, racism, whiteness and equity creates hurdles to clear thinking. Intentionality is fundamental to clarity of purpose.

Here more than anywhere it is also crucial that we are deliberate. Some equity work has a legacy of thoughtless action that proceeds too quickly. Equity work also has multiple crosscutting interests. For both of these reasons it is wise to proceed at a thoughtful, steady pace while never losing momentum.

I spent last year in conversation with the community about what strategies would be effective moving forward. The results of those conversations are reflected in this budget.

First and foremost, we must enroll everyone in the city enterprise in the work of equity. That work will be housed in and led by the City Coordinator’s office. Spencer Cronk has been charged with this leadership, he has the experience to make it real, and he is eager to begin.

The City Coordinator touches all departments in the city, takes charge of our results process, and coordinates management of all our enterprise functions. Nowhere is it more important to put our investments where our votes were than in supporting this work at the top departmental level. That’s why I am proud to announce two new positions in the City Coordinator’s office that will focus exclusively on making sure our city work is coordinated to support the best possible equity outcomes in every department and every division.

They will start on firm footing: I have been leading the Racial Equity Policy Work Group that has been preparing us for the next stages of our equity work, including the Equity Action Plan. Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden’s leadership has been crucial in getting us to a place of strength on which we can build.

This marks a watershed moment in Minneapolis’ history – leadership who were elected on platforms of racial equity and disparity elimination now invest in that work from the heart of the organization outward, intentionally and deliberately. It is from here that the rest of our work to make this community about and for everyone in it will flourish.

With that leadership in place, the impact of the other significant investments in equity will be magnified.

First, our investments in our children and in our youth. Right now some of the biggest gaps we have are between children of color and white children.

We start with the youngest Minneapolitans. This spring I appointed my Cradle to K Cabinet. I am grateful to the range of talented individuals who are willing to take on this most important work, ably chaired by Peggy Flanagan of the Children’s Defense Fund and Carolyn Smallwood of Way To Grow. The cabinet is so excited to do the work they recently volunteered to meet even more frequently to get the job done. They are already at work beginning with a plan to move forward on three key markers of success for children prenatal to three years old: making sure that every child has a healthy start, every child has access to child-development-centered childcare, and every child is stably housed.

Basic health in the first year of life has been shown to be crucial for success later in life. Through our Healthy Starts program, which I propose we continue to support, we work with parents and babies to make sure children are getting what they need. A healthy physical space is vital as well: we need to ensure residential homes are safe from lead hazards by conducting inspections for children with diagnosed lead poisoning. In Minneapolis, 87% of lead-poisoned children are children of color. This budget invests dollars to address the backlog of inspections needed to respond to new federal and state directives on childhood lead poisoning.

Stably housing children is as necessary as it is challenging. At its heart we need more affordable housing for people at all levels.

The foreclosure crisis hit our city hard. Wealth was extracted from communities of color during the financial crisis in a particularly hard way, hitting North Minneapolis the worst. Even though the immediacy of the foreclosure crisis has passed, the impacts of it are long-lasting. Minneapolis already has down payment- and closing-cost-assistance tools in place to help promote home ownership in the neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. To that tool box, I am adding an initiative that will specifically connect qualified residents from our African American, American Indian, Asian, East African and Latino communities with those tools in order to move them into home ownership, and to rebuild community wealth in north and south central Minneapolis.

Heading Home Hennepin is now in the seventh year of its ten-year plan to end homelessness. I appreciate Council Member John Quincy’s service on that board and focus on housing – it has had major successes overall, especially for single adults. Affordable housing for families – particularly larger families – is a place we need to put more attention and resources if we are going to succeed with our Cradle to K plan. To that end, this budget invests 1 million more city dollars into affordable housing, with the intention of using it to leverage state dollars and spur investment into family housing.

While Cradle to K focuses on our youngest residents, we must also focus on our youth. They, too, face wide gaps in outcomes that are racially determined.

We know a lot about youth that are at high risk for involvement in violence. Our youth violence prevention task force, to which Council Member Cam Gordon has been so dedicated, has helped lead us to a better future for our youth. At the City, we have been working this year to better identify youth most at risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. This budget invests additional resources to allow us to serve these youth. In partnership with service agencies, we will provide academic support and mentorship for these young people. We anticipate the result will be a reduction in violent activity, drug use, and criminal activity, and an increase in school attendance.

I also propose investing more in the successful work of the Youth Coordinating Board’s downtown youth outreach workers, who are out on the streets there working with young people, particularly those who may have significant challenges related to housing, education and other social outcomes to ensure that they are safe and connected with caring adults. A small investment of $55,000 will leverage a large public safety benefit, and serve to extend the program further into the year.

When it comes to our young people – especially our young people of color – we must continue to invest in them as current and future productive members of our workforce. Two of the best programs around for that are the Urban Scholars and the STEP-UP programs, which this budget continues to support, including with an additional $75,000 for STEP-UP. Some of the best experiences I have had in the past several months have been with Jasmine Carey, the Urban Scholar in my office, and Cara Claflin, our STEP-UP intern. They are here with us today and I thank them deeply for their energy, dedication and intelligence.

One area that is too often overlooked with our youth is the difference parenting can make. We don’t always invest in it: funders most often prefer to invest in kids rather than adults. But nowhere can you make more of a difference to a child than to help their parents make the difference themselves. My proposed budget invests $70,000 in education and support for parents of adolescents, providing culturally specific parent education to increase parenting skills through education, individualized coaching and parent-peer support. Research indicates that improving the parenting skills and behaviors of caregivers has positive effects on adolescent behaviors, including decreasing violent behavior, substance abuse, and risky sexual behavior.

To truly eliminate our equity gaps, though, we must invest in making certain everyone can participate in our work by investing in enhancing our community engagement work throughout the enterprise.

This includes additional investment of one position in our elections and voter services, to ensure that we pursue voter outreach, engagement and education initiatives across all communities. I know this is a priority for Elections Committee Chair Jacob Frey, and I look forward to working with him on these initiatives.

This includes an investment in our Communications Department to boost collaboration with non-English-language media outlets and the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. We must do our best to reach all of Minneapolis. No one has been more resolute on this score than Council Member Alondra Cano.

This includes making a long-term investment in our creative CityMaking work. Already it has been one of our most effective and successful community engagement programs citywide, particularly in low-income communities. The program fosters collaboration between local artists and our city departments to develop fresh, innovative approaches to community engagement. Our investment will leverage a $1 million grant from the Kresge Foundation.

The One Minneapolis Fund leverages the creativity and leadership of our residents. We ask community and neighborhood organizations for their best projects to develop leaders and engage the community. My budget proposes increased funding for this program in 2015. With it, we get to unleash the power of our residents in ways that will help the city engage all communities.

Finally, to ensure everyone can participate in our city’s growth we must make investments in our small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Data is helpful. An update to our disparities study in the Civil Rights Department will provide us the basic information that we need to know when we are meeting our goals.

And the first best thing we can do for small business owners and entrepreneurs is get out of their way and reduce barriers to investment in our city. I announced earlier this year that I had directed our City Attorney, Susan Segal, to embark on a path to streamline the city’s regulation of small and medium sized businesses. This is an effort that does not require additional investment beyond our staff, but that investment of time will pay off ten-fold. It is underway.

There are other investments we can make to support small business that can have a measurable impact on our results. For years, we have invested in low-interest loans and other tools for our small businesses. Those tools have leveraged many times over in private dollars, and cumulatively created or retained thousands of jobs.

This budget continues this tradition by investing $100,000 more in our Business Technical Assistance Program, a groundbreaking strategy where the City contracts with local non-profit organizations focused on entrepreneur training and economic development to provide direct services to new and existing businesses. It expands its scope of work to support initiatives that link women and minority owned businesses with buyers. This effort will also contribute to the city’s goals of increasing diversity in our own procurement practices. At the same time, I propose adding an additional position to the Contract Compliance Unit in the Civil Rights Department. The addition will help Velma Korbel move forward on the equity work she has been leading in her department.

I hesitated to include these business support strategies in the part of the speech where I talk about our strategies regarding equity. It is about that, absolutely it is. But the larger picture is that for us to grow effectively we must grow inclusively. This support for small business and entrepreneurs is as much about our growth as it is about our equity.

Growth

When we voted last fall, we voted to make crucial steps forward like these for the health and vitality of our entire city. We voted for equity, knowing that growth is required to meet those goals and for all our city’s goals.

As a result, when we voted, we voted for growth.

Growth in cities is quickly becoming the status quo rather than a new trend. People across the country continue to move into our urban cores. People from across the world, the country, the state, and the metro region continue to move into Minneapolis. I – we – welcome them with open arms and the promise of a future together.

When we are intentional and deliberate, investments in the growth of Minneapolis can help accelerate our pace of growth, they can help increase our quality of life while inviting more people to share in it.

Every dollar invested must have purpose and must have the larger goals of the city in mind. Every investment must work in concert with others to meet those goals. And the investment must be in the public good. Council Member Goodman has governed by those principles for years.

Just yesterday, we learned that the city has exceeded the $1 billion value of permitted work in the City of Minneapolis. In 2013, we did not reach this milestone until October. This will be the third year in a row that the City has marked more than $1 billion in construction.

Minneapolis, we are in a building boom.

We must be intentional and deliberate about how we manage it. That’s why this budget proposes additional resources for construction code services – an issue wisely raised by Council Member Palmisano – as well as additional inspectors in our Fire Inspection Services program. We have more development and more buildings now, and our services need to match the rising demand.

Investments in infrastructure matter for growth as well. One of the reasons Minneapolis has weathered the recession so well is because we continued to make investments in public improvements that made us an attractive place to invest. This budget builds on that work and takes it further.

The redesign of Nicollet Mall into Nicollet Mile will provide an economic boom for the entire state of Minnesota. I thank the Legislature and the Governor for recognizing this, and for providing their bonding investment in this project. I also thank the downtown business community for their vision and their willingness to invest. We as a city are doing our part, and my budget includes the promised $3.5 million to fully fund an investment that will bring additional dollars, jobs, and economic vitality to our city.

A key element of any successful 21st-century city is a 21st-century transportation system. Not only does it make us more attractive to the increasingly large population of people who want to live without cars, it also helps guide and plan our development and growth. Minneapolis has made great strides in recent years to catch up with our peer cities, in no small part to the leadership of Council Member Kevin Reich, and I am proud of that.

We must keep moving forward. This budget includes a reorganized and reimagined transportation planning division proposed by Public Works Director Steve Kotke. This will ensure we are out ahead of future transportation projects rather than running to stay caught up.

Transportation isn’t just trains and buses and BRT. It is also active transit, biking and walking.

Another investment we have made that bears fruit to this day is the expansion of our infrastructure for bicycling. No one knows the value of this more than Council Member Bender. Our intent is to create a bike system not just for recreation and exercise, but for commuting as well. I have been an excellent test case – I have gone from occasional rider to regular cyclist all because I had access to biking amenities for riders like me.

In this budget, I provide $750,000 toward the network of protected bike lanes called for in our Climate Action Plan. This includes investment in some of the most diverse and low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis. It also provides for snow management of these lanes in winter so they can be used year-round.

I am also excited to announce we will be investing in the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal, a project long championed by Council President Barb Johnson. Now that the lock and dam will be closed for good, we have an opportunity to invest in North Minneapolis. This budget provides planning dollars so we can map out a future where North Minneapolis finally has its own valuable riverfront amenities.

Infrastructure is not the only element of our growth, of course. It cannot be said enough that inclusive growth will lead the way to maximizing prosperity for everyone. The investment I described before – in small business support, housing, and more are as fundamental to our growth as infrastructure.

This growth is crucial to our successful future. And growth depends on us creating the city people choose to invest in. The foundation of that, the heart of that, is a city run well.

Unless we plow the streets and keep them safe, our vision for growth will not be reached. As we talk about basic city services, we talk, too, about growth and about equity. The three are intertwined.

Running the city well

As a result, our investments in public safety, public works, our environment and our employees matter.

Our greatest investment in running the city well is in keeping it safe. Nearly everything that we do across our enterprise contributes to it in one way or another. In this budget, I propose we continue to invest deeply in this essential function.

My budget provides for 10 more police officers, for an authorized strength of 860 sworn officers. I strongly support Chief Janeé Harteau’s strategy of getting officers out of squads and talking directly with our residents and business owners on our streets, corners and doorsteps. To do this essential work takes more time, and that requires more officers.

I am also adding nearly $1 million a year for community service officer classes of 20 to the department’s base. Among others, Council Member Warsame and I have been concerned with making sure the police department reflects all the people in our community. Community service officers are our most effective ladder into the Police Department, and with impending retirements on the horizon for the next several years, it is a ladder that we will need to know is in place on an ongoing basis. Moreover, our community service officers are significantly people of color, and laddering them into becoming sworn officers over time will accelerate our efforts to make sure that our force looks like the neighborhoods that they serve.

To add to the two CSO classes, I propose adding another $960,000 for a police cadet class of 18 next year.

In addition, this budget provides the $1,140,000 in capital dollars needed to implement a program of body cameras for the police department. Body cams have been shown to decrease both use of force and complaints about excessive force. Body cams protect officers from frivolous claims and provide more transparency for residents in their interactions with police officers. All that helps make our city safer overall. The pilot is ready to begin this fall. I want to thank the working team who is helping create policy and procedures to make body cams as effective as possible.

In the Fire Department, I am pleased to support $800,000 for two recruit classes in 2015, including one that will be added to the department’s base. This should be good news for the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Council Member Yang. I also propose adding $50,000 to the department’s Fire and Emergency Service Explorer Program, which Chief John Fruetel has championed. The Explorer program goes directly into Minneapolis high schools to recruit promising young people, providing hands-on leadership development and career exploration. Hopefully, these young men and women will decide to choose firefighting as a career. Both efforts will help us keep pace with ongoing retirements and make sure that this department also reflects the communities that we serve.

In 911, I am adding $346,000 for four operators to the department’s base. 911 operators and dispatchers are the vital link between people in distress and the response that they need. That response is good: 911 continues to average response times of between 6 and 7 seconds each week, often times, even quicker. Those response times meet national standards, but we strive to be even better, more consistently. Under the leadership of Heather Hunt, 911 is on a path to improvement by adjusting staffing models and cross-training. Additional operators will allow this critically important department the flexibility to increase staffing, to have more time to train, and to anticipate retirements.

Public safety in Minneapolis means safety for pedestrians as well. For this reason, I support a comprehensive pedestrian safety initiative that Public Works Director Steve Kotke and his staff have proposed. The investment will include durable markings for bicycle conflict areas, high-use vehicle lanes, and at crosswalks. This will make it even safer to enjoy Minneapolis on foot.

Caring for our streets is a four-season job. In addition to the great work that our Public Works staff do to plow the snow off our streets, my budget also proposes more resources for enforcing sidewalk clearing in winter, and for the first time adds resources for clearing corners and bikeways of snow to the department’s base.

We also run our city well when we plan for the future of our environment. We have a great opportunity to do so as we complete the agreements with our partners at Xcel and CenterPoint Energy, which is why I add resources into the City Coordinator’s office to begin the process of implementing the City’s portion of the clean-energy agreement we are forging now.

It also means continuing to take steps to a Zero Waste Minneapolis. I commend Council Member Andrew Johnson for his work to extend and enforce our ban on polystyrene use in the city, a key step toward a zero-waste future.

This budget takes the next leap forward toward zero waste Minneapolis: starting in 2015, I propose that the City of Minneapolis begin curbside organics recycling. Once we add curbside organics collection to our already popular and successful single-sort recycling, we will divert 30% of our waste from HERC. For an additional $3.34 per household per month, the entire city will be able to recycle food waste and surprising things like cotton balls and dryer lint.

Finally, running the city well means caring for the dedicated public servants who work for the City of Minneapolis. In the decade of lean years — of LGA cuts, recessions and disasters — we made cuts across our enterprise, including over 10% of our workforce, and had to hold the line on employee salaries and benefits. I am pleased that for the second year in a row, we are able to budget for modest salary increases for our employees.

Of all the departments that we cut during those lean years, perhaps no department bore the brunt more than Human Resources. Now, however, that that we are in a recovery, and now that the long-delayed pace of our retirements has picked up dramatically, there is much workforce planning to do. For this reason, I am reinvesting in Human Resources, led so well by Patience Ferguson. In addition, I am proud to support one of the recommendations that came directly from our employees, for an enterprise-wide employee-recognition program. Thank you to the hardworking, dedicated employees of the City of Minneapolis.

Investment

It is significant that today I am able to talk about investment in our city. It is significant – and strange. I was on the City Council for eight years, the budget chair for four. It was an honor to be chosen to govern during that tough time - but it was also a grim time to govern. For years it meant cut after cut after cut.

Now we are coming out of a recession that knocked our entire country on its heels. Minneapolis was no exception. I am grateful we are coming out of it sooner than almost anywhere, but we are still dealing with the aftermath of the economic crisis and its effects.

The recession was layered on top of years of crushing pension obligations from funds over which we had no control but had to pay no matter the cost. It only abated after others – including Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden and Council President Barb Johnson – and I worked to reform our closed funds and spread our obligations over time.

Most notably, that recession and those pension obligations came on top of years of disinvestment in cities – particularly Minneapolis and Saint Paul – by a Republican governor and legislature who willfully ignored the realities of city finances. We all owe thanks to Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL House and Senate majorities who understood the harm that systematic disinvestment in the public good was doing to our quality of life, and chose to reinvest instead.

But the legacy of these tough times persists.

We labored mightily – and successfully – here at the city to handle these challenges responsibly and transparently. We delivered structurally balanced budgets year after year. Even so, we had to do large levy increases over and above inflation and we had to make significant service cuts in the bargain. We cut to the bone – and then we just started cutting bone.

The cold comfort of tough budget times is that we wrung efficiencies out of the system. Minneapolis is a leaner, more efficient city as a result. I give great thanks to the amazing employees of the City of Minneapolis – they worked together so we could all make it together. They labored on under tough circumstances and continued to provide excellent services to the residents of Minneapolis. Because of tough choices and the sacrifices of many, we have made it through to the other side strong, able, and as ready to serve as ever.

We did a great job of squaring the books away. But we did it at the expense of our future infrastructure needs and at the expense of an erosion of the base budget we need to just keep doing what was left after all the cuts. These have left us with a unique kind of debt: unpaved roads that are increasingly more expensive to maintain, and a budget that hasn’t adjusted for inflation in years.

Back in 2008, we started the Infrastructure Acceleration Program to begin to catch up with our paving debt: we invested more heavily in our infrastructure over five years, rather than spreading it out more evenly over time. We knew we were accruing debt more quickly in a fewer number of years, we knew it would limit our ability to issue bonds in future years, and we knew as a result that the levy bill would come due more rapidly and in a more concentrated timeframe. Those bills come due in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In addition to that financial constraint, this budget also must account for inflation in order to maintain our services and our financial health.

Decreasing the levy last year, and holding it at zero or below inflation for the two years before that, helped our residents. It was the right thing to do. But when we don’t account for inflation, no levy increase at all is a cut. Unlike the state, we don’t have an inflationary factor built in. If you assume that growth to the property-tax base inherently means growth for the City’s coffers, you’re wrong. It does not.

We must catch up with inflation if we wish to keep our basic services – already cut to the bone – functioning. To do that requires increasing the amount of money that we raise in property taxes in order to meet this year’s inflation factor – and do some catching up to years past, to make the investments that the voters asked us to make. This expectation was built into our five-year financial direction when we voted on last year’s budget.

For next year, I am proposing a 2.4% levy increase.

Over half of this proposed increase is simply to account for inflation and natural rises in the cost of maintaining just our current services.

Our parks contribute to our levy, too, and like we are, they are also meeting a backlog of needs. They also need to address the impact of recent changes in state and federal law. I support more resources for our parks.

Even with this modest, largely inflationary increase in the property-tax levy, half of Minneapolis’ residential properties will see no increase, or will even see a decrease, in the City portion of their property taxes.

As I said, more than half of the proposed levy increase is simply to pay for the services we are already providing. It maintains the status quo.

When we voted last fall, however, we didn’t vote for just the status quo. We didn’t vote for business as usual.

We voted to end our racial disparities and move toward a brighter future altogether. This budget invests in that.

We voted for a city that is growing in ways that builds on our strengths in deliberate, intentional ways. This budget invests in that.

We voted for a city where we are the best possible stewards of our resources as we can be. This budget invests in that.

We voted for a city where our young people – all of them – can thrive with the attention and assistance they need to succeed. This budget invests in them.

What will we get for these investments?

We will be a city of young people – including young people of color – who are healthy, safe, ready for the jobs of the future, and invited and prepared to lead us.

We will be a city where people in all neighborhoods – including North and Central Minneapolis – have the services they need, have homes they can afford regardless of income level, and have neighbors they know.

We will be a city where entrepreneurs and small business owners from all communities have successful operations, creating jobs for the people of Minneapolis and providing services and goods to residents.

We will be a city that is well planned for people, not just cars, growing along transit corridors and offering housing and job opportunities for all, and we will have begun with the parts of the city that need growth the most.

We will be a city where people breathe clean air and enjoy clean rivers and lakes, and a city where people have less trash and more recycled waste.

We will be a city where every person, whatever their race or income level, can contribute to our prosperity and to our civic life.

When we voted last fall we knew it would take all of us putting our shoulder to the wheel to get where we want to go together. We knew that all of us do better when we all do better. That’s what this budget does – intentionally and deliberately moves us forward together to our best future through investment in ourselves. When we voted last fall we knew it would take investment in our people, our infrastructure, and our future to get where we choose to go together.

It starts now.

Last updated Aug 15, 2014

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