Well friends, my time in office has come to an end. I want to thank you, the people of Ward 12, for giving me the opportunity to serve you over the past decade, and for your tremendous support along the way. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure.
Today at noon, Aurin Chowdhury will be sworn-in as our next council member. I am excited to see her take the helm, knowing that she is prepared and eager to begin the work. It has been wonderful getting to know her and I look forward to continuing to be a resource and supporting her success in the role.
As I depart, I want to recognize and thank my staff, both Kate and Claire in the present, who will transition to working with CM Chowdhury through the end of the year, and Suzanne, Ilhan, and Dylan in the past. I was always impressed with their talent, wisdom, and dedication to serving the people of Ward 12. They share in the many accomplishments, and I am proud to call them friends.
I also want to thank my family. They never asked for all that came with my being an elected official, but they supported me unconditionally along the way, enabling my success and making their own sacrifices during all the moments where the responsibilities of office demanded my attention. Particularly my wife, Sara. Spending more time with them is something I am immensely looking forward to.
I consider myself fortunate to have worked over the years with great colleagues, appointed leaders, and City staff whom I learned much from and share fond memories of. This extends as well to the external boards I served on and colleagues at other levels of government where we share representation of the same communities. It’s a very big and diverse group that’s united in wanting to make life better for the people of our city and beyond. I wish them the best in their work ahead.
A word of encouragement - the many thousands of conversations I had with constituents made such a difference over the years and directly influenced my priorities and thinking on matters. I particularly appreciated those who shared heartfelt personal stories, explained their reasoning behind why they wanted me to vote a particular way, sought to understand and consider my position on a given issue or vote, and who treated me with respect even when they disagreed. It was a level of thoughtfulness and grace that so many of you extended to me, and I hope you continue to practice this with my successor and other elected officials so that they may be better for it - both as representatives and human beings.
For City Hall in the years to come, I pray that a renewed spirit of collaboration takes hold, despite the many forces which seek to divide. A spirit that finds strength in diversity of perspective, offers a wellspring of goodwill, casts aside grievances, and makes steady progress through compromise. I hope you will join me in continually encouraging such leadership from those who represent us at this and every other level of government.
I trust I will see many of you around as I stay active in the community. Minneapolis is the city I love. It’s one I am proud to call home and to have served. It’s not without its challenges and flaws, but I know that together we can rise to these challenges and continue to perfect our great city, whose best days are surely ahead. As the City’s motto says, En Avant (Forward).
From his Nov. 21, 2023 e-newsletter
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