If the League of Minnesota Cities’ (LMC) “Mayor for a Day” essay contest is any indication, the future of Minnesota’s cities is in good hands! This first-ever contest was part of the League’s centennial celebration. Four winners were selected to receive $100 each in recognition of the League’s 100 years of service to cities.
More than 300 students entered the contest, which kicked off in August at the State Fair and ended on Nov. 1, 2013. They told us what they would wear (a top hat and a bow), what they would build (water parks! pools! zoos!), and what they would fix (bullying, littering, cracks in the sidewalks). The ideas were endlessly creative and ambitious, but also genuinely heartfelt and thoughtful.
We heard stories of mayors visiting elementary schools to help students work on their essays, as well as entire classrooms and school districts completing the project together. Our Minnesota kids care deeply about their cities, and future mayor after future mayor promised us clean streets, clean water, days off school, free pets, places for seniors to live and kids to play, well-stocked libraries, green parks, and lots and lots of recycling.
LMC Executive Director Jim Miller and President Shaunna Johnson were tasked with picking the winners. Two winners were selected in the age categories of 7-9 and 10-12, based on creativity, originality, and legibility.
Hayley Whipps, 9 years old, Jordan
Ellaina Esther Bergstrom, 8 years old, Buffalo Lake
Victoria Roy, 10 years old, Hastings
Madeline Kovacich, 10 years old, Woodbury
A few more creative entries:
"I would reduce bullying, lower crime, and help people feel safe. I would do this by having a friendship festival to get everyone friends with everyone. If that doesn’t work, I’ll make [an] army of kids with slingshots to protect the city.”
Tucker Giambrone, Afton
"I would be good to everybody. I would give the key to the city to the Avengers. After that I might check some files [to see] if people are being good.”
Trevor Boe, Crookston
"First I would make police on top security. That means more police officers on the streets, and we can get kids involved too. We can make a special kids unit called S.K.U. and kids working together will make the job more fun.”
Lloyd Tokpah, East Grand Forks
"… the same thing you put in your home to keep the lint and hair out of your vent. I would put one big one in all of the sewers to catch all the trash.”
Jacob Dehmlow, Hastings
"I would put a small petting zoo in East Grand Forks. The fee would be $2 per person. If you came there four times in one month you would get it half off. The animals there would be rabbits, lizards, dogs, cats, birds, and sheep.”
Blake Stordahl, East Grand Forks
"I would visit the nearest hospital, meet all of the people and I would bring my dog Townes to cheer them up.”
Neve Moore, East Grand Forks
"I would invent flying shoes and it will help old people that are in wheelchairs. They could go anywhere they wanted to.”
Andy Hou, Jordan
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