Get short takes on city issues.
Looking for a new way to learn about topics that are important to Minnesota cities? The City Speak podcast provides short takes on city issues — from timely topics like legislative updates, to perennial content like city budgets and collaboration. You’ll hear engaging interviews and firsthand accounts of cities using their heart, hard work, and humanity as they provide excellence in city government across the state.
At less than 30 minutes apiece, you can listen to episodes of The City Speak during your drive time, on your lunch break, or while taking a walk.
Most recent episodes:
In this episode — one of three in a legislative series — League intergovernmental relations (IGR) representatives Daniel Lightfoot and Ann Lindstrom address federal support for cities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss the need for any future aid to be disbursed directly to cities with more flexibility and clear direction from the Treasury; the careful coordination needed among federal, state, and local government partners; and the importance of sharing your experiences with state legislators and your congressional delegation. For more legislative information, check out the League’s legislative policies, subscribe to the Cities Bulletin e-newsletter, and connect with League IGR staff.
In this episode — one of three in a legislative series — you’ll hear about economic issues affecting cities that will likely be discussed in the 2021 legislative session. League Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Director Gary Carlson and Assistant IGR Director Anne Finn share updates on the state budget deficit, transportation funding, and duty disability for first responders. They also emphasize the importance of sharing your local stories. For more legislative information, check out the League’s legislative policies, subscribe to the Cities Bulletin e-newsletter, and connect with League IGR staff.
In this episode — one of three in a legislative series — you’ll hear about the League’s new racial equity legislative policy. League Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Counsel Irene Kao and IGR Representative Craig Johnson explain how the policy was developed, and how it can be used to address equity in policy areas ranging from housing to less obvious topics like energy. For more legislative information, check out the League’s legislative policies, subscribe to the Cities Bulletin e-newsletter, and connect with League IGR staff.
League of Minnesota Cities intern and college senior Laurel Poole takes over the hosting duties in this bonus episode, interviewing fellow intern and classmate Elijah Henderson. Henderson spent the summer focusing on research for the League’s race equity initiatives, including conducting interviews with city officials of color. Elijah shares some of the themes he heard in their experiences, and explains how this work has inspired him to become a part of local government.
As we approach the general election and the end of 2020, we check in with Brad Wiersum, president of the League of Minnesota Cities and mayor of Minnetonka. Wiersum shares valuable lessons he’s learned while in office and offers practical advice for newly elected officials just starting out on their city leadership journey. He serves up some nuggets of wisdom we can all use, including focusing on the future, not taking yourself too seriously, and being kind to yourself and others.
We talk with David Maeda, director of elections for the Minnesota Office of Secretary of State, who gives us the lowdown on all things elections – including safety and security of the voting process, absentee voting and naked ballots, and when we can expect final election results. David reveals what keeps him up at night during this unique election year, and shares how impressed he is by the enthusiasm and integrity of those who help run elections in Minnesota. Get election information at www.mnvotes.org.
We wanted to share with our listeners this Center of Everywhere podcast episode from our partners at the Center for Rural Policy and Development and featuring our own David Unmacht, executive director of the League of Minnesota Cities. Dave discusses the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota’s small cities, how uncertainty will be the defining characteristic of the next five years, and why getting involved in local government may just be the best thing you ever do in life.
Community first responders are repeatedly exposed to trauma, and that trauma can take its toll. Dan Willis, retired police captain and author of Bulletproof Spirit, talks with us about proactive wellness strategies for first responders. He explains the cultural shift needed to emphasize emotional survival as well as physical survival, and how promoting a heart-centered approach to work can help keep those in public safety motivated, inspired, and connected to the true nobility of what it means to be a first responder.
Dan Greensweig, administrator of the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, shares some interesting takes on how the Trust partners with cities on managing risk and solving problems. Dan explains how preventing claims is just as important as providing coverage protection, and talks about Trust efforts to help cities deal with some of the bigger challenges and issues they are facing these days.