David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751.
- Member for
- 3 years 9 months
Three old-timers are partnering to bring a rare event to our beloved community. These old-timers are the Duluth Playhouse, the Duluth News Tribune and the Duluth Area Chamber. Founded in 1914, the Playhouse is one of our nation's oldest community theaters. Founded in 1869, the Tribune has served as the newspaper of the Northland dating back to before the City of Duluth was first incorporated. Founded in 1870, the Duluth Area Chamber has served as the voice of business for 146 years.
It was a rare and unfamiliar experience. This past Monday evening, for just a moment, I was able to see clearly and vividly into the future. It was a revelation. What I witnessed, in that flash of clarity, was how the Duluth City Council will soon mandate that businesses based in Duluth provide paid, earned sick and safe time to employees. The council still has a few details to figure out. It will establish a community task force, comprised of representatives of various businesses and workers, which will have up to a year to make recommendations to the Council.
Our beloved community needs more housing. The proposed Garfield Square Housing Development will provide Duluthians with 50 new apartments. The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce supports the construction of this apartment building. The Chamber remains an unwavering advocate for engaging our members in generating housing solutions for Duluth.
If not for Duluth's fortuitous location on the greatest of the Great Lakes, our Zenith City would be heralded as a Great City on a Great River. Duluth's 20-plus miles of shoreline is evenly distributed between the St. Louis River and Lake Superior.
The decision to initiate Leadership Duluth in 1987 has stood the test of time. The initiative remains vibrant and beneficial 29 years later.
Elected officials are accustomed to multiple competing special interest groups concurrently lobbying them on behalf of individual state bonding requests. Most often, these interest groups have opposing and conflicting requests of these elected officials. There are old, tired rivalries, business vs. labor and government vs. private sector, which elected officials must navigate during each legislative session.
Two years ago, the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce set out to more fully understand the experiences developers encountered when they moved projects through the city of Duluth's planning and construction services divisions. We subsequently interviewed individuals who had shepherded building and expansion projects through City Hall.
The 10th annual Hockey Day Minnesota this weekend is the event's finest, boldest and most picturesque. I can readily make this statement because the host for this year's Hockey Day is our beloved City of Duluth. I applaud Fox Sports North for selecting Duluth as the place to celebrate the sport of hockey. Their decision makes sense because Duluth has embraced organized outdoor hockey since the 1890s.
The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated its 145th year of service to our beloved community. This fact, along with the election of Mayor Emily Larson, has me pondering the inextricable connection and collaboration that exists between the chamber and the city.
Our community's ability to retain its vibrancy depends, in part, on our capacity to offer an appealing place in which to live. One way Duluth can remain enticing is by offering citizens and visitors vistas and structures that embody community pride and optimism for the future. The Lakewalk is such a place. The AMSOIL Arena is such a building. Bayfront Park and, now, Pier B, are such places. Unfortunately, the former composite board manufacturing plant, which is often referred to as the Superwood Plant, is not such a place.