Newly re-elected St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman hopes to make education and downtown redevelopment top priorities for his third term.
Appearing on MPR's Morning Edition program this morning, Coleman said he wants to help reduce the disparity in achievement between white students and students of color in the city's schools.
"The one thing I learned is the sense of urgency that is shared in almost every corner of the city to really address this education issue, and this deficit we have, this achievement gap between kids of color and white kids in our community," the mayor said. "People are proud of St. Paul. They like the general direction. They know there are some challenges that we face together, but they see that this overwhelming cloud of this achievement gap is threatening us and the success we can have in the future."
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Coleman said he plans to push forward with plans to make St. Paul a transportation hub, including street cars and the Gateway Corridor to Stillwater and beyond.
He didn't rule out subsidies for redeveloping the site of the former Macy's store, but said he prefers to see private enterprise.
"These investments that we're making are about setting the future for private investment," Coleman said. "At the end of the day, this is not about what government can do, but about how we can set the table, so that private investors will come in, whether it's a business owner or someone who wants to open up a new condo in downtown St. Paul. And I think we've set that table pretty well."
Coleman handily beat challenger Tim Holden winning 78 percent of the first-choice votes. Another St. Paul election, to fill a vacant City Council seat in Ward 1, isn't likely to be decided until Monday because of ranked choice voting.