Emily Larson to be sworn in as Duluth mayor today

Emily Larson

Emily Larson

Today, Emily Larson will take the oath of office as  the new mayor of Duluth, Minnesota.

She becomes the first female mayor of this Great Lakes international port city and successor to popular outgoing mayor Don Ness.

Here on the Iron Range I refer to this position as the “person we see disproportionately on the local news.” In addition to obvious city administrative duties, the Mayor of Duluth is something of a regional figurehead.

On his way out, Ness got a lot of attention for the progress Duluth has seen in the last eight years. Growing economy. Resolved retiree healthcare problem. Infrastructure improvements. But as good as things have been for most Duluthians, it is easy to see holes in the recovery.

Larson wrote about some of those challenges in a Sunday Duluth News Tribune op-ed:

As Duluthians, we name our challenges. We know the need for significant investments in streets, and we know that we have neighborhoods where some people thrive and others do not. Thanks to recent history, we have experience addressing challenges head-on, even when doing so is hard. Moving forward, we’ll need that resiliency as we continue to tackle issues that have the potential to hold us back.

Larson will be sworn in during a public ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Harborside Ballroom in the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. Larson will give a short speech. The event will feature the Duluth Color Guard, a group of student drummers performing as “World Beat” and a reading from former Duluth Poet Laureate Deborah Cooper.

In addition to Larson, six city councilors will be sworn in, including four new members. Joel Sipress (District 2) and Jay Fosle (District 5)  are the incumbents. Newcomers include Gary Anderson (District 1), Em Westerlund (District 3), Elissa Hansen (at-large) and Noah Hobbs (at-large).

According to the Duluth News Tribune, At-Large City Councilor Zack Filipovich is the only stated candidate City Council President. At 25, Filipovich would be the youngest to ever hold that position. Sipress is the only state candidate to be Vice President.

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