02/14/2020 | News release | Archived content
Hamline President Fayneese Miller and City of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter shared the stage, some serious moments and a few laughs in front of a crowd in Sundin Music Hall during the noon hour on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
The two leaders appeared to have a good time discussing serious topics. The students, faculty, staff and neighbors in attendance were treated to a lively conversation that covered civic engagement, public safety, the environment and adaptation to climate change.
Occasionally, the two leaders ventured into personal topics. Mayor Carter shared that witnessing the disenfranchisement of his brother-in-law during the 2000 Presidential election set him on his path to city government and eventually being the mayor. During discussions about policing, President Miller told of needing a special sign in her car from the St. Paul Police to access her house on Summit Avenue during the protests in the wake of the Philando Castille shooting.
Most of the conversation revolved around the importance of connecting to the community. Mayor Carter emphasized that his administration strives to make citizens aware of their role in the city. He noted that residents literally 'pay the rent' for his office with their tax dollars.
To drive the point home, he challenged the students in the room to engage with the city government at all levels and noted that the city website has numerous positions available on task forces and commissions.
Members of the audience found the Mayor's comments uplifting.
'It's inspiring to see the level of importance Mayor Carter places on collaboration; that Saint Paul belongs to its citizens and that the city accomplishes more when all of us have a say and put in the work,' said Taylor Tuomie, an MBA student. 'When you have a leader asking you to be a part of the process, it makes you want to be involved.'
For more reporting on the conversation between President Fayneese Miller and Mayor Melvin Carter, please see the related article in The Oracle, Hamline's student newspaper.
Written by staff.