After 116 Years, Welcome Back

Posted August 5, 2008 at 12:41pm

We are excited to host the 2008 Republican National Convention.

It’s been 116 years since the Republican Party last endorsed a presidential candidate in Minnesota. We’ve missed you, and we’re glad to have the party back.

As you rush between the events and meetings of the convention, we urge you to take the time to get to know our cities. People new to our cities are surprised and delighted by all that we have to offer.

In Minneapolis-St. Paul you will find:

• a thriving economy

• abundant career opportunities

• a vibrant cultural, arts and entertainment scene

• a wealth of outdoor recreational trails, parks, lakes and activities

• an exceptional educational system

• an innovative, rock-solid economy

Minneapolis-St. Paul is built on innovation. Pacemakers, Post-it Notes, Wheaties, the supercomputer — all were conceived and created in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

There are 18 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters here, including 3M Co., Target Corp., Medtronic, Travelers Insurance and SuperValu.

Along with our very robust small- business community, they exemplify a diverse economy with strengths in retail, energy, medical devices, agribusiness and financial services.

Minneapolis-St. Paul’s entrepreneurial energy grows from our people. The University of Minnesota is among the top research institutions in the world. We are also home to nine private colleges and universities, 10 public higher education institutions and many private trade and professional schools.

As a result, we boast among the most highly educated, creative, innovative work forces in the United States. And that shows throughout our cities.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is a wonderland for people interested in sports, outdoor recreation, interesting dining options and the arts.

With professional baseball, football, basketball, soccer and hockey franchises, we can cheer for our hometown teams year-round.

We have the nation’s highest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. Among them is the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company and the nationally renowned African-American theater Penumbra Theatre.

Academy Award-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen got their start here. Our thriving music community gave rise to legends Bob Dylan and Prince, along with groundbreaking musicians like the Replacements, Soul Asylum and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. You can go to dozens of clubs to catch perhaps the next legend to emerge from Minneapolis-St. Paul.

You can visit 57 major museums, including the Science Museum of Minnesota, the largest producer of IMAX films in the world; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Minnesota Children’s Museum; or a more specialized museum like the American Museum of Asmat Art, whose collection focuses on the Asmat people of West Papua, Indonesia.

The rich culture of Minneapolis-St. Paul comes from our surprising cultural diversity. Our cities are home to the largest Hmong population outside of Southeast Asia.

We have a thriving East African community made up of new Americans originally from Somalia, Ethiopia and other nations. Our Latino community is one of the fastest-growing in the country.

The influence of these diverse cultures is showing up in new businesses, new kinds of food and music, new connections with other nations and other interesting ways.

The 2008 Republican National Convention is an important milestone in the continuing story of America. Thank you for visiting Minneapolis-St. Paul as you play an important part in this story of democracy at work.

We look forward to seeing you again.

Christopher B. Coleman,
St. Paul mayor
R.T. Rybak,
Minneapolis mayor