Outgoing Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles Belton

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Out-going Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton on her work in the city and the state of Minneapolis at the end of 2001.

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(00:00:00) With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Stephen John new contracts for about 30,000 state workers temporarily go into effect today, even though a legislative committee deadlocked and whether to approve them the hang-up is a provision that extends insurance benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of members of the two largest state employees unions the new executive director of the state's largest anti-abortion organization says he'll work to recruit young people to the organization 35 year old Scott fischbach began leading a Minnesota citizens concerned for Life earlier this month he replaces the MCC else 18-year leader Jackee Schwartz who was widely viewed as one of the most powerful lobbyists at the Capitol fischbach says he wants to expand the MCC Ells membership now at about sixty seven thousand families and 225 chapters across the state. We're going to continue to build upon what Jackie has done, but we're going to bring some new energy into the movement. We've got a lot of young folks that want to be part of this movement in that are just starting out in the movement. Fischbach says the MCC else top priority in the upcoming legislative session is the so-called Woman's right to know Bill that was vetoed by Governor Ventura. It would require women to receive certain information on the risks and alternatives to abortion 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. The owner of a money transfer company in Minneapolis is trying to recover funds Frozen by the government in its move to block money suspected of flowing to terrorists many Somali immigrants use money transfer services as their only way to send money to relatives in Somalia. The owner of Somali global Service Incorporated contains. He was shut down because his business is name is similar to one of the money transfer centers that was subtle shut down. Mostly cloudy today highs from the low 20s in the north to mid 30s in the South tomorrow a winter storm watch goes into effect for the area Southwest into Central into Northeast Minnesota currently 28 degrees in the Twin Cities. That's news I'm Steven (00:01:49) John programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by majors and Quinn and the Whitney Annex an Emporium for Book Lovers presenting reading choices for all and also offering prints match. Graphics and collectible books for gift giving located in Uptown Minneapolis. (00:02:04) It is 6 minutes now past 11. And good morning. Welcome to midday in Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us. You might assume that a mayor who had presided over a dramatic decrease in the crime rate a boom in Downtown Development in a city where most residents said, they believe the city was headed in the right direction. You might assume that such a mayor would be a shoo-in for re-election. But as we found out in Minneapolis this year that is not always the case Minneapolis mayor share and Sales Belton was not re-elected to a third term this year. And as a result, she's wrapping up 18 years in public service 10 years as a city council member the past eight years as mayor of Minneapolis Sharon's house. Belton is come by our Studios today to talk about her career in public service and what lies ahead and if you have a question or a comment for the Going mayor, we invite you to give us a call here, six five. One two two seven six thousand. That's our Twin City area number six five. One two, two seven six thousand and if you're calling from outside the Twin Cities, the number would be 1-800 to for to 28286512276 thousand or 1-800 to for 22828 mayor. Thanks for coming over today. (00:03:32) Oh, it's my pleasure Gary. It's always been my delight to sit in the studio with you and talk about the different issues that are impacting the City of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota and I can remember some pretty interesting conversations that we've had here. This has (00:03:50) to be though kind of a Melancholy time for you. Is it not I mean you're packing up the boxes getting ready to head out. (00:03:58) Well, certainly I think it's a time for mixed emotions. I mean, it's the high holiday season and so I have a lot to be thankful for and I'm mindful of that during this time of the year the shopping. For the Christmas gifts, they planning for the family gathering which brings 50 people to my house on Christmas Day and packing and the transition and the tearful goodbyes. Yeah, it gets to be a little a little much but I think I'm managing a fairly. Well, (00:04:34) aren't you have any specific plans as to what you're going to do when you leave office or you going to hang out for a while? Which what do you (00:04:40) think? Well, first of all, I officially leave office on January 1st at midnight. Of course, I'm going to be gone long before that. But that's the official time of day that that it all comes to an end and to be perfectly honest with you that first week. I'm going to hang out with my family and and just kind of do just a little bit and nothing, you know, maybe reflect maybe clean the closet. I said maybe go down today, you know basement and see what you know, the kids have done down there for the last, you know, 10 years that I haven't really paid attention to but you know what the truth of the matter is that I'm not going to leave office on January 1st and January 3rd show up at another place and just start all over again. I'm going to take some time to reflect on my years of service to the City of Minneapolis and try to identify an opportunity for me that gives me the chance to use the skills and the talents of that. I have amassed over these a years and and put them to good work somewhere. I love the opportunity to be engaged in community building. It's something that I've always done even before my career in public office. So I think there's a still a bit of a question mark about Civically what I'm going to do rest and relaxation loving hugging my family cleaning house a little bit organizing the boxes of plaques, you know that I have it. You know that I've gotten over the years. I'll make an announcement probably later on, you know in the in the month or or whenever things settle down about where people who are looking for the former mayor of the City of Minneapolis so that they can know what I'm doing and know what I'm up to (00:06:45) lots of offices open up next year 2002. Have you given any thought to running for some other office next (00:06:54) year? Well, you know what when a couple of days after the election my 14 year old son said to me. Okay Mom after you know eight years is the mayor are you finally home for a while or what? So I don't know whether or not my family would want me to make an announcement right away about running for public office. You know, I've always thought that it would be a great to represent the citizens of the entire state of Minnesota and some capacity. There are opportunities there. Of course, I don't think that I'm going to do that right away though. I think it's really important for me to just going to step back and and really give it some, you know, careful thought I don't want to just jump out of one frying pan into another but not ruling it out, but I won't rule it out. I think it's fair for me to say that I wouldn't rule it out. I came into a public office as a city council member not really with the intention of being a municipal leader, but really thinking that it would be an opportunity for me to learn a lot about how government works and my focus then Was really on the Minnesota Legislature. I had an employee for the Department of Corrections and an advocate for women's rights been in the legislature a lot lobbying and sexual assault sexual violence issues. And I'd really looked for an experience that would have at least demonstrated to me as a citizen that the legislature was really operating always in the best interest of the whole state and not in the bifurcated manner that it sometimes does and I will I saw myself as as a young future politician who really had a love for the whole state and would serve in a body like that or a similar body trying to bring all of Minnesota together working together so that we could be successful in all. Cities and towns obviously over the last 18 years my ideas about that have changed somewhat but I would like to see Minnesota working together the greater metropolitan area and greater Minnesota all working in concert for the benefit of all of the citizens. It's one of those things that I really still today hold dear to my heart how to do that how I might do that. I think changes a little bit from the experience that that I've had is the mayor and the city council (00:09:47) member what a get to some callers here. But last question for you, you've had several weeks now to Stew about this what happened not only did you not win in November but RT Rybak won by a pretty substantial. Margin what went wrong, (00:10:06) you know, Gary a couple of people more than couple of ask me. What do I think? Wrong and I really haven't had the time to Stew about it. I've had a variety of fleeting thoughts if you will about it, and and you know, they range from you did a great job mayor, but it's just time for a change. We did a great job mayor, but you know eight years is enough. You did a great job mayor, but I can't possibly believe that you would have the energy to work hard for the City of Minneapolis for another four years. I've had conversations with people about you know, we've had enough of women leaders. I've had conversations with people about you know, we've had enough of you know, the African American female mayor leader and I've had you know, you name it race gender time for a change, you know all of those things. They're probably voters out there who you know identify with any or all of those statements and there are probably a few who think in spite of the fact that the crime rate went down and they downtown is strong and vital that in their opinion, you know, I didn't serve them well, and it could have been all of those things are you know, one or two, what I've tried not to do is to spend a lot of time, you know, sorting that out because I can't change it. It's happened. It's done. It's over with I'll leave it to the political pundits to to sort out. I've known as a politician going into this business the very first time that race that gender that timing are always going to be important factors in And in my political career and they are and I think they'll always be even as I look forward. I'm always going to have to analyze, you know, all of those things. Is it the right time are they ready for a woman? Are they ready for a person of color? You know who's the opponent? You know, what are the skills? You know, I always wish that it was skills and accomplishment and performance that would only be the factors but the truth of the matter in politics and in life, that's just not the reality. Do you think if you if (00:12:50) you were a white male you would have won re-election. (00:12:54) I think that it's it's I think that the I think the possibility I think the margins between myself and as a white male and they knew candidate could would have been different. Yes. I do. I don't know how much you different and I don't know how much of a factor time for a change played but I do know time for a change does play there are other politicians of that political races in Minnesota and elsewhere where all the players were of the, you know, same race and people had good records of service and they were close races and the incumbent, you know didn't win and in some cases the incumbent. Did I saw it? That's why I say I don't think you can put it in in one-on-one. Issue and so I have never in this race or in any other race that I've been involved in really try to play, you know the race card because I don't think it's about race alone. What I have said and what I will continue to say is that I really do believe that it should be about skill and ability and competency and accomplishment and throughout the entire campaign. I put my record of accomplishment and my experience in my expertise on the line and I still believed to this very day and I always will that my record and my background and my my accomplishments far outweigh those of my Challenger at the mayor-elect, but he won and I Didn't and that was yesterday and this is today and and I get to move on. So you guys can all sing. Happy Trails (00:15:07) Jessica your question for outgoing mayor share insults Belton. Hi. I think that you are just an amazing woman and I just thank you for all of your service. I used to live in the cities. I don't anymore but I just I think you're wonderful. And I wanted to know what what kind of advice would you give to the upcoming women young women today who are interested in serving their communities? (00:15:32) First of all, I just wanted to say thank you and I want to encourage all of the young women that are out there that are interested in public service to get involved and get involved on and in as many issues as possible because every public policy debate that takes place In the community affects women and children and in many cases, they affect us differently and our voices need to be heard and the discussion of affordable housing is really important that women's voices get hurt and then we don't allow the discussion to just be about the availability of affordable housing but that they conversation focuses on the economic status of women and that we talk about access to Education and Training so that we can become self-sufficient more and more women need to be self-sufficient. It's important that people understand that as we Aspire towards self-sufficiency that they have to have a conversation about the cost of daycare and transportation. All of these things are important and I would tell you that I slaved If you will in The Vineyards of the issues of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and those are battles that are not yet won and we need women's voices to be heard. We need the young women especially do understand that while many trails have been blazed. They are not yet wide enough for all of us to walk through and the roads are bumpy and we need you to help smooth them out. We will be there to support you and to Mentor you but you got more energy than some of us and we need to tap into it. So come on out there get involved in will help you in any ways that we can (00:17:42) Fred you're coming. Yes first. I'd like to make a comment than a question that comment is I don't know the mayor outgoing mayor personally, but I've always I assume she's a good person from what I've read about her. But I guess I'm a little disappointed to hear her comment that she feels that race was a factor. I you know, it seems it seems as though to the white population that there's always a comment I lost because I am black. I've never heard anybody say I won because I'm black and having been elected twice. I think it's it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that race did play A Part my other comment is I wonder how she feels about losing possibly because of her support of Chief Bob Olsen from what I talkin to members of the Minneapolis Police Department. He seems to be much too distant, you know to be an effective. Chief I would like her comment on that. (00:18:57) First of all, I the speaker obviously didn't listen to all of my comment. I did not say that I thought the race was you know, the factor I said, I thought that it could be a factor and I want the collar to know that race has always been a factor in all of them. I elections not just the the mayor's race. And all you have to do is to pick up on some of the commentary that was written during the course of this campaign or any of the campaign's over the last 18 years and see in and see what role so it wasn't the dominant factor. And so I don't want to call her to go and away from the conversation thinking that secondly I would say two of the caller that you could have strung together. Into any number of things that I was four and individual people were against and those things could have lost votes as well. Let me start with some that I was involved in before I was even the mayor that were controversial the state and Orpheum Theater. That was a big factor in my first race for mayor were those wise Investments. Some people said no, others said, yes, they proved to be solid Investments. Let me talk about this most recent campaign that targets store that was a big deal for some people and there are a lot of people that I met who said you've been a great mayor but I'm not going to vote for you because I hate the Target store. Well, the Target store is proving to be a great success for Downtown Minneapolis and for the retail environment of the downtown. Retail Corridor Nicollet Mall. Again. People's may have voted against me for that Bibles and you mentioned Bibles and Bob Olsen was distant. Bob Olsen was distant. I don't know what that means. But I will tell you this about Bob Olsen and the police Administration in the City of Minneapolis seven years ago people were describing minneapolis's murder applets and there are record number of homicides that took place that year Bob Olsen and the fine men and women that worked with our police department and the citizens of our community and the private sector all got together work together and brought the crime rate down. Again, Bob. Olsen can take credit for that if he isn't talking enough to individual police officers, you know, I'm sorry that happened but the bottom line is the citizens of the city. Minneapolis wanted safer streets and that's what they got. That was the number one priority and I feel really proud about our work in public safety and feel really prolific privileged and honored to have Bibles and working for me. We took a criticism on the I said conference from with regard to the ocean police Administration. And we also took criticism for the role that we played in supporting the state and Highway 55. There was a lot wrong about those individual Police Operations that we are we have corrected but again conversations between Bibles and and the police officers directly. I don't think should have been a reason for not voting for the mayor (00:22:49) mayor in terms of getting away from me. False and for a moment, it seems like police-community relations have been devil the city for years and years as you leave office you have any advice for incoming mayor elect Ryback the city council members of the police department as to what it is that should be done. So to bridge that that gap which just seems to persist forever between the police and the community. (00:23:24) Well Gary, you're right to talk about it being a long-term and systemic problem an issue for the city and it began long before I was the mayor in fact, I remember these issues as a young female in a Minneapolis. I got involved in my first Civic activity if you will behind the police activities when I was just 20 years old and I remember marching down to Hee-Haw with members of the community complaining about some police action. You know what I think the key is I think the key is respect mutual respect and regard for one another the police don't dominate over the community the police are partners with the community and when we work together police and citizens, we have Safe Community. They can't be in every place all the time. They're not going to see everything that goes down in a community as a neighbor as a citizen living in that neighborhood. I'm more likely to see something then they are if I see myself as a partner with the police we can solve crime we can prevent crime and we can intervene before crime occurs, but it's all about a partnership and at it's very core is respect. And so one of the things One of the pieces of advice that I would give not just to the elected officials, but do the citizens of the community is to work hard towards building a mutually respectful relationship between the two that will be the key to building positive police community relations and I will also share with you Gary that in the 30-year span between my first visit to City Hall as a citizen activist on a police of harassment brutality issue and to today I think progress has been made is the job done new but police community relations. I believe have improved over time. (00:25:42) We're talking this hour without going Minneapolis. Mayor Sharon Sales Belton, and if you have a question or a comment for the mayor give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand 651 Two two seven six thousand outside the Twin Cities one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight gets more of your calls here in just a couple minutes. I'm Kathy Wars or with a question for you. How has your life been affected by the terrorist attacks on September (00:26:08) 11th. We're collecting the thoughts (00:26:10) of our listeners for a special project called how we've changed. Think about what's different in your daily life and your outlook on the World to submit an essay. You can go to the Soap Box section of our website, (00:26:21) Minnesota Public Radio dot org and look for the how we've changed link or you can call our (00:26:26) comment line 6512901080. Today's programming is sponsored in part by Financial contributions from listeners, like you call 1-800 to to 7 2011 to make your 2001 tax-deductible contribution today. We thank you in advance Stephen John joins us now with some headlines Steven. Thank you. Gary. President Bush She is again vowing that the US will track down Osama Bin Laden. He told reporters at the White House that us. Officials don't know where Bin Laden is but he said the terrorist leader will be found dead or alive. He also said the country is more secure from terrorism today than it was before September 11th. More US troops are being put on Osama. Bin Laden's Trail defense. Secretary. Donald Rumsfeld says, they'll be sent into Eastern Afghanistan's abandon Al Qaeda cave complex to continue the search Rumsfeld wouldn't say how many troops would enter the caves Ramon Puerta has assumed the interim presidency of Argentina. The South American country is reeling from deadly anti-government rioting in a crumbling economy lawmakers have formally accepted the resignation of outgoing leader. Fernando de la rúa in Regional news state grants to more than 9,000 public and private college students in Minnesota could be eliminated or reduced if the agency in charge of financial aid carries out a 10 percent budget reduction plan, most of the families affected by the potential reduction would be those with incomes between 30,000 and 60,000 dollars a year the plan developed by the Minnesota Higher Education Services office was created. In response to budget-cutting preparations by Governor. Jesse Ventura said ministration a Minneapolis man won't be prosecuted in the death of his infant son who was left in a sweltering minivan Last Summer the Anoka County Attorney's Office throughout a manslaughter indictment against Kevin daily saying they would be unable to prove Beyond A Reasonable Doubt the daily intentionally or recklessly caused. His son's death daily says he didn't realize he'd left his son in the van while he went to work. Mostly cloudy today than tonight a chance of some snow developing and tomorrow a winter storm watch goes into effect and continues through Saturday night from Southwest through Central into Northeast Minnesota. You can expect the most snow Ely at 16 degrees of sour. It's 25 and Fergus Falls 26 in Rochester. And in the Twin Cities sits partly sunny and 28 this hour and Gary. That's the latest from The Newsroom. Thank you. Stephen 27 minutes before 12:00. Midday coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio Our Guest today Minneapolis. Minneapolis is outgoing mayor Sharon sales belt and who is wrapping up eight years as mayor? Of the City of Minneapolis 18 years as an elected official should serve to 10 years prior to becoming mayor serve 10 years on the Minneapolis city council. She's here today to talk about her experiences and what's coming up next for again. If you'd like to join our conversation, six five one two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for to 218 Jane. Go ahead, please good morning mayor kills. Well tonight. I want to tell you that my heart heard on the day that you were defeated in your election attempt to be re-elected, but it hurts even more to they as I call to commend you for all of the marvelous service. You've given you've been unflappable in your energy and the way that you've worked on behalf of all of the citizens you have always shown a sanguine unemotional effort to try to talk and to explain what you are representing as a public servant and you've made that At that word those words you've made those really sing for me. I want to tell you that because so many people including unfortunately, even the head of our own State have made the words public servants sometimes seem as though they're they're dirty words you have lived up to every ideal of it. I happen to have a niece who was on the city council for the city of Detroit Brenda Scott, and I've always used you as someone that I wanted to commend her to pay attention to and you've just been wonderful. I just have to say that to you. (00:30:29) Well, thank you. So very much, you know the word politician and public servants have been much maligned over over the years that is to be true and I never really understood that because there are so many good people all across the state of Minnesota and the country who perform these services with distinction and with integrity and they really see themselves as working on behalf of the citizens and their goal and objective is to make of the community in which they live the state in which they preside over better places for all of the people. I think public service is a very very high calling. It's not for everyone because there are a lot of personal sacrifices that need to be made but when people answer the call To be a public servant we want to encourage the citizens of Minnesota to be supportive of them and to find ways to be in partnership with them so that they can be successful their goal and objective is to serve the public and they can do that better when they are informed by the public. (00:31:51) Ron are your question? Yeah. Well, first of all, I'm glad she was mayor and I'm glad she's gone is gone and not mayor and that I think eight years is your great plenty of amount of time for anybody to be in office and that and I think they get to the point where they think that jeez. If I'm not reluctant everything's going to go down but I have to admit she's probably the most graceful person I've ever heard speak when she looked when losing the election. I mean she shows dignity and pride in it. That's all I have to say. Thank you. (00:32:22) Now the discussion about term limits is always an interesting one and I think it's Probably one that will continue to be debated. As I said, I think for some people in the election it really was you know, eight years is enough you done good by so I really appreciate it and certainly understand other callers comments. There's no (00:32:48) true that many times though when folks are serving and an office and matter how long they may have served. They they can't help I would think can't help but make some decisions based on how it's going to affect their ability to get reelected which not may not necessarily be the best decision they could make is that not true. (00:33:09) Well, I think that I think it is true and I think one of the things are that on occasion, you know, my advisors have said, oh, you know mayor don't do this because it's going to hurt your chances of re-election or abandon this because it's going to hurt your a comeback, you know to bite you. Later, and I don't think you can can or should make decisions along those lines. I mean Heck if that if I would have followed the advice of some I would have abandoned the state and Orpheum Theater is a project. I would have abandoned the Target store. I would have abandoned the housing projects on the riverfront. You know, there are a lot of things that are really good for the city that we needed to do and they were going to help the city grow and prosper and I think the thing that I'd like to see politicians or public servants public leaders do is to stand up for what you believe in if you know, it's right go out there and defend it and help the public understand your reasons in your rationale for it and maybe you might convince them. Otherwise, I mean, there are a lot of times that I had to go out and tell people that need I hear what you're saying. And here's why see it differently and here's why I'm going to take that position. And I know some of you are going to walk away from this conversation and be disappointed with with the decision that I that I'm making but because I know they're going to be disappointed if it is the right thing to do I need to do it, you know Gary one of the things that I did early in my career and I was not the mayor at the time but I was on the city council and we were talking about the creation of these civilian review Authority. There are it's a lot of people who talk to me about, you know, they wisdom of that and really thought that I should back away from it. This will be review Authority was I think a good decision. We have one of the best review Authority. He's in the country and I'm not saying that because it's what I believe we got professors all over the country. They had reviewed them and they look All of them and they said Minneapolis is one of the best but there were a lot of people who said you will anger law enforcement. If you do this, they will never support you if you do this, and that wasn't the reason you know, that wasn't the primary thing that I needed to be concerned about. I need to be concerned about the Public's trust, you know of our ability to examine and investigate cases of police brutality and that was important. So you have to stand up for what you believe in even if it means you might lose a (00:36:03) vote Dave your comment. Yes. I wanted to thank the mayor for her service. I unlike other colors and very sorry to see her go and I wanted to Echo the comment that she made about sometimes being a leader means you have to make hard decisions and sometimes even though people don't agree with you and I think that that really hurt her in the election people not understanding that I would like to How the mayor thinks that are if the mayor thinks that the Brian herons can old kind of contributed to the call for Change in city hall and I'll take my comments off the air, (00:36:40) you know, as I said before I think that there were a lot of different factors know one thing many things. I think Brian hearin the brain Heron cave so was a factor because I'll tell you what I had people say to me when I was out campaigning, you know, Brian Heron hurt you, you know, if Brian hearing did took a bribe or whatever, you know, what's to keep me from believing that you didn't do the same and I said, well, why would you say that? Well, you know Brian was a supporter of yours Brian represented though the ward that you represented what they never would say, but I think so. People thought it was you know, Brian is African-American. You're African-American. You guys are you know, all the same, you know get painted with the same broad brush and that certainly that's a discussion and the and a conversation that we probably all have had in in different settings, you know, all of you know deciding that one group is terrible because of the actions of individuals and yeah, I think it was a factor and I think it did hurt and I think that people thought well, okay Brian here and did a bad thing. Maybe the maybe they all did get them all out. Let's sweep out the whole place. Well, you know, maybe I mean, I understand that but I don't think that good people should be hurt by that and and I think I was I I have never ever ever conducted myself in a manner that was not full of Integrity. I just never have and it was it was painful to have those conversations with people who said that the Brian hearing incident is the reason why I'm not going to vote for you because I didn't do anything wrong and I've always been an honest and truthful person. But you know again, I'm also practical and pragmatic and I understood when that incident happened that it would have a damaging impact on me that's life. (00:39:20) You think the harrowing incident was purely an isolated case or if people poked around On long enough, they would find other incidences of corruption in the City of (00:39:32) Minneapolis. I don't personally believe Gary at all that there are any people who sit on the city council with me who were involved in the criminal Behavior demonstrated by Brian Heron? I don't believe that at all. Do I believe that there are public employees that were on the take I don't believe that is it possible that there could have been yes, but I don't I believe that the vast majority of the people that serve in the City of Minneapolis do so with distinction, but I have to tell you that in the eight years that I served as mayor there have been employees that have been fired in the police department and Public Works in A lot of other places in City Hall for taking money and taking materials that didn't belong to them. So again, those things have happened and they are a matter of public record. And so we have to remember that the environment of City Hall and the employees that work. There are no different from the environment elsewhere around this country this country or in the workplace. There are people who are conduct themselves in morally and engage in criminal behavior. And every time they do one of their, you know acts of crime, they adversely impact the work environments and the other decent and honest people That work in that same work environment and Brian here and did that to me and to others on the city council. I don't think that he thought about that when he engaged in his behavior, but his behavior certainly had an impact on all of us Tom your (00:41:49) comment. Hi Sharon. I'd like to thank you for your help and support of the gay community and I always loved your performance and the Gay Pride Parade each year and sorry to see the top mayor anymore. (00:42:00) Well, I will tell you that I still own the ruby slippers and on occasion, I will aware them. And when I do I will think fondly upon my presence and participation with the gay and lesbian bisexual and transgender community. And the other thing that I would say is that I am a fierce. And for the Children and Youth of our community and I would once again encourage the gay and lesbian Community to reach out to the youth through a district of 202 and support them in any ways that you can (00:42:47) Debbie your comment. Yes are Belton. I just thought we live in Orono and so you're not our mayor but we thought you did a fabulous job from what we could see and hear and I'm glad that they gave us this forum today to express that whenever people come into the City of Minneapolis. We benefit all of us from the progress that's happened down there the renovations that you were kind of attack for I thought during the last election and and been beautiful the transformation of the city and I think you've cared a lot about the people there. And also I wanted to ask you what you see is a vision for the future of politics not just your own but others because I'm Little concerned about this simplistic way, we're starting to vote as a people personality rather than record and always pointing out what they didn't do rather than the good things. They accomplished. I'd like to hear your comments and thanks again. (00:43:42) Well, first of all again, thank you for the accolades and I want you to know that part of our goal and objective was to ensure that the City of Minneapolis was safer for the citizens that live here and that the citizens would have greater access to goods and services and the downtown and as well the neighborhoods that they lived in and we want all of our neighborhoods to be a sought-after places to live and it was fun. I watching up people make the decision to stay in the minute City of Minneapolis rather than leave and it's been a lot of great fun watching people who left years ago come back and establish residence in the city and feel comfortable once again, Entertained in the downtown and eating at some of our fine restaurants and having a libation that one of those great double bars. I'm the question of participation in the political process. And what's in the future. I think the onus is on the voter to be informed. I think it is the voter that has to place a value on what the candidate for public office. I has done and what they have the skills to do and I think that when we make the decision that it is really substance over form of then we will make different decisions and I think will make better decisions and that's not to say that we don't want our politicians to you know have I'll but it can't be all style. It really has to be substance. They have to actually be able to have the skill and the capacity to be able to take on the challenges that a complex society like the one we live in actually has and those complex issues arranged, you know from, you know Public Safety to Economic Security to economic Justice to managing issues of Health Care and issues of chemical dependency and mental health and how people with all of those problems and challenges can live together in a community in Harmony and how we can respond to all of those needs recognizing Our capacity to pay for and contribute to those goods and services being delivered it has to do with our need to see ourselves not in context of individual Community but our relationship with other communities our relationship as a region inside the state and in concert with our colleagues outside of the state our relationship with our region in the country and our relationships with corporations that span the globe and politicians today need to understand that politicians today public servants today need to understand, you know issues of National Security and 911. Helps us to understand that there are our complex problems and there are age-old problems that we need people to understand particularly people who see themselves as public leaders leaders of public policy and the onus is on us the voter and we need to do our homework and I'm going to encourage everyone to remember you don't vote for this smile. It's might be the thing that attracts you to the candidate, but what's in their head what are their values? (00:48:13) Yes, mayor-elect Ryback a man of substance is HE capable of taking on all those issues. (00:48:19) I think that the citizens of the City of Minneapolis said, yes, and so We'll see. (00:48:30) What does Sharon cells Belton (00:48:32) say? Well, you know, if you're asking me the question I voted see I voted for me I voted for me because I thought that I could do, you know a better job. I think the thing that I would say about RT Rybak is RT Rybak is the mayor-elect and on January second. He's going to take office and he said out in this campaign to paint a vision for you know, this city that he wanted to lead or said that he would put a vision together in 90 days. Well, okay the 90 days we'll start on January 2nd and we'll have a chance to see exactly what he's going to do. I encourage other mayor-elect to assemble a strong team of professional staff that can assist him and discharging that Vision because that's He's going to need to do I didn't come into this job knowing how to dig a sewer hole or knowing where the sewer hole should be dug now. I'll tell you what, I know a little bit about sewage now, and I know what tools people need to get the job done. I know how you can do it cheaper then that's some of the ways we've been doing it in the past. Artie will learn these things and I think my hope and wish a for him is that he will grow in the job and that he will be successful. I am a resident of the City of Minneapolis and I need to my leader to be effective (00:50:15) mayor. We're out of time but really want to thank you for coming in today. Thank you for all the time. You spent in public office and good luck in whatever it is you decide to do. (00:50:23) Well, thank you so much Gary, and it has been indeed a pleasure to be with you and I'm going to Say you're a charming smile. Occasionally. My My Hope Is that I will have occasion to come back and talk about the next things that I'll be doing in the in my (00:50:41) life. Gotta run. Thank you so much Minneapolis. Mayor Sharon Sales Belton who leads office on January first five minutes now before?


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