It’s Duluth2Mayor of Duluth (Ga.) gives mayor of Duluth (Minn.) a few helping hands
By: Mike Creger, Duluth Budgeteer News
Nancy Harris, the mayor of Duluth, Ga., has been in contact with Minnesota’s Duluth since she was elected to her office in 2008, the same year as our Mayor Don Ness. While there isn’t a formal sister city arrangement between the cities, Harris has kept Minnesota on her mind over the years.
That’s why she suggested at her church last year that it get involved with a youth missionary group to fix up homes and churches up north. It just so happened that the catastrophic June flood came a month before the World Changer group arrived.
Harris also organized a drive to collect work gloves for those helping with flood recovery. She delivered 600 pairs Thursday morning to Ness in West Duluth’s Irving Park.
Harris was at the block party Wednesday night that brought the working teens together along with people hoping to build a new Baptist church in West Duluth. Food and drink was organized by the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention’s disaster relief group, which has been in the city for weeks helping with flood response.
And her impressions of this Duluth?
“It just looks different,” Harris said. She said the evergreens are a switch from mostly blooming trees in Georgia. She also marveled at Lake Superior and Duluth’s hills.
She said her Atlanta suburb of 27,000 people got its name in 1871 after people complained about the city’s original name — Howell’s Crossing.
“It was kind of a joke,” she said, revolving around a late-19th century railroad link between that town and this one. “Why not call it Duluth?”
The whole story, including the over-the-top speech by U.S. Rep. J. Proctor Knott of Kentucky on “The Untold Delights of Duluth” about the railroad’s terminus at the Zenith City of the Unsalted Sea, has been on display at that Duluth’s City Hall, complete with artifacts from this Duluth.
Harris winces when her fellow southerners pronounce her city with a long “o” sound — Doo-luth.
Duluth, Ga., has a diverse population, Harris said, calling it a minority-majority city. Koreans have flocked to the city, with the government in Asia calling it a destination city. “You have New York, Los Angeles and Duluth, Georgia,” she said with a laugh. She credits her city’s excellent schools as a draw.
The mayor took plenty of heat about, well, the heat, and how she brought it with her Wednesday afternoon. As she arrived in West Duluth, the sky cleared and the temperature climbed into the 80s. But she had the remedy: homemade peach tea, a specialty from her neck of the woods.