Elissa Hansen

We speak with Duluth City Councilor-at-Large Elissa Hansen.  She is the Chair of the Finance Committee and the writer of an award-winning grant that was submitted to the Knight Foundation for Imagine Canal Park. This award will be celebrated today with a free and open-to-the-public Community Launch Party from 4 to 7 p.m. in Canal Park.

evilfoo/Flickr

The perceived "east-west divide" in Duluth is significant, especially when it comes to socio-economic barriers and even a ten-year discrepancy in life expectancy, depending on where you live.

Could meeting in the middle somewhere, say, Canal Park, help get people thinking in a new way?

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation think so, and they're willing to shell out $200,000 to find out.  

Tim Olsen/Flickr

The title of the project is a mouthful ... but Duluth Mayor Emily Larson's proposal is one of three finalists (among 144) for the Knight Cities Challenge.

To win, a project needs to focus on one or more of the following three criteria:

●      Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep talented people;
●      Opportunity: Ideas that expand economic prospects and break down divides;
●      Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.