January 03, 2018 01:26 PM
Melvin Carter was sworn in as St. Paul's new mayor Tuesday afternoon, officially becoming the first African-American mayor in the city's history.
The ceremony took place at St. Paul Central High School, the school from which he graduated in 1997. Carter was voted most likely to succeed and best dressed.
Central High School Principal Mary Mackbee remembers Carter well.
"I'm extremely proud," Mackbee said. "Very outgoing, always smiling, always positive. I don't think I've ever seen Melvin down. Melvin is one of many, many great leaders that have come from this school."
Among those in attendance was new Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who himself was sworn in during a private ceremony earlier Tuesday.
Frey will deliver his own inaugural address following a public swearing-in ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
"Right now is an exciting time for St. Paul," Carter said in his inaugural address. "We have more places than ever to enjoy art and music and eat a great meal. We have big development opportunities ahead and our population will soon reach an all-time high. St. Paul is a city with momentum. But we are also a city of deep inequity. And I live that too.
"I know firsthand how it feels to live on a block devastated by foreclosures; to long for a teacher who looks like my child; and to be stopped by police over and over again. We have work to do to fulfill St. Paul's promise for every person in every part of our city. That work will center around three pillars - public safety, education and economic justice."
From affordable housing to public safety, the Twin Cities' new mayors each have their priorities. But what issues would you like to see them address first?
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Carter said he plans to work with St. Paul police chief Todd Axtell to review and revise the department's use of force policies, as well as to propose a partnership with business, philanthropy and nonprofit leaders to start every child born in the city with $50 in a college savings account.
And he called for the city's minimum wage to be increased to $15 per hour as soon as possible.
He also made a call for inclusion of people of all backgrounds.
"We prove our greatness again and again with every generation that redeems the value of those powerful words that launched our democracy - 'We the People' - by fighting to assure that we means all of us," he said.
Carter concluded by saying he was focused on the task ahead.
"I am humbled by the enormous work ahead and ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with you to guide this city forward," Carter said. "We the people will build a city that works for all of us. We the people are the ones we've been waiting for.
"And we the people ain't gonna let nobody turn us around."
Carter was elected last November, earning over 50 percent in the first round of counting.
Updated: January 03, 2018 01:26 PM
Created: January 02, 2018 12:01 PM
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