How local leaders can build community, racial equity

The presidential election has focused attention on leadership at a national level. But in many ways, what happens in our local communities is what most affects our quality of life.

Mayors of Golden Valley, Richfield and Worthington, Minn.
From left: Shep Harris, mayor of Golden Valley; Maria Regan Gonzalez, mayor of Richfield; and Mike Kuhle, mayor of Worthington.
Courtesy photos

Racial justice and equity have become central issues in some cities, especially as Minnesota communities become more diverse.

In Richfield, where 40 percent of schoolchildren are Latino, Minnesota’s first Latina mayor is working to make local government more responsive to new immigrants, such as by working to improve access to affordable housing. 

Golden Valley is exploring its racially segregated history, which came about through restrictive deeds that prohibited people of color from living in properties unless they were servants. 

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And in Worthington, where immigrant-owned businesses have revived downtown storefronts, residents have been coming together after a contentious school bond issue

MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with mayors from these three cities about how they are addressing racial equity in their increasingly diverse communities.  


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