Ness profile highlights Duluth’s success

Duluth Mayor Don Ness was the subject of an extremely positive profile in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune on Sunday. Duluth’s success in diversifying its economy continues to be a good model for the region.

In fact, the Iron Range’s historical and geographical relationship with Duluth means that the fate of these two places are intertwined. Either the Iron Range becomes more economically diverse and modern along with Duluth or else its inability to do so will limit Duluth’s further growth.

I do know that two of my sisters left the Range for the economic and cultural promise of the Twin Cities in the last two years. One is already moving to Duluth and the other would like to. People vote lots of ways, but the biggest way they vote is with their feet (and stuff … and money).

Photo: Cover shot from the Strib story/Jim Gehrz


  1. Someone smarter than me posted a wise comment on here a while back. He mentioned something about clustering. He was right. Cultural clustering is a key point to this discussion.

    Iron Range demographics seem to be changing a lot. I just wonder if so many of us clustering elsewhere has created what seems to be a growing cluster of another type on the Range? And, if so, is that purely coincidental? Is there an effort behind the cultural clustering that seems to be taking place on the Range?

    I hope economic diversification is achieved for the Range. I believe reaching that goal will be made more difficult by what I perceive as a different cluster taking hold on the Range.

    A lot of us from the Range generation Aaron writes so eloquently about, learned a certain value system and life lessons from our youth there. Those values and lessons do not appear to be as prevalent on the Range anymore.

  2. Great point, T. One of the frustrations I’ve encountered is the *lack of interest* in economic diversification among the people who live here. There may indeed be a clustering effect whereby people interested in things other than mining, natural resources, service industry work, “play hard” lifestyles and subsistence living just don’t congregate here except in retirement, when they have different social priorities.

    In effect, economic diversification would inherently involve attracting new people to cluster here, which would have a series of effects that I can’t accurately predict.

    This may be worth its own post. Thanks for the inspiration!

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