I’ve had the honor and the privilege of serving as your At Large Duluth city councilor for three and a half years and as council president for the past year.
Some of what we have accomplished together includes more than $1 billion in private investment coming to the eastern part of downtown; nearly $50 million invested in our St. Louis River Corridor; the return of youth programming to some of our parks; a more intuitive regulatory environment for first-time entrepreneurs and business owners, the result of creating and chairing the Red Tape Reduction Task Force; an ordinance to allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Duluth while maintaining a level playing field for our taxicab industry; a sustainable plan to address our deteriorating waterline system; the investment of an additional $1 million for street repairs and an additional $7 million annually for 2020 and beyond; the opening of an emergency warming center for folks experiencing homelessness; work to preserve and enhance our Lake Superior Zoo; and advocacy for an increase in training dollars for our police officers and firefighters.
I am uniquely qualified to continue to build on the positive momentum we have created.
One of the best opportunities we have is leveraging the billion-dollar investment into the medical district. We can leverage this into creating more and new opportunities and explore partnerships to continue to diversify our economy.
My wife and I bought our home in 2012 in West Duluth. If we were to buy the same home today, we would have a difficult time qualifying for a mortgage, as the value of the home has nearly doubled. Before buying, I remember how difficult it was to afford rent working full time.
In my day job, I work in affordable housing. I have the knowledge and deep understanding of financing and funding to create housing opportunities for all income levels. Duluth has a housing shortage across the board; we need to find a way to more rapidly address this issue while understanding Duluth has several unique challenges. I believe increasing our housing supply to be one of the biggest issues facing Duluth in the next four years, and there is no candidate better capable of providing solutions to this problem.
I have never shied away from difficult conversations in our community, and I work with all stakeholders to find common ground and move our city forward. I work tirelessly to be a consensus-builder, something I think is often far too lacking in today’s politics. I have been an honest and authentic public servant who has always worked for the common good while working to grow Duluth and remain diligent in addressing issues facing our city.
I also continue to give back beyond my elected capacity. I serve on various boards, such as those of PAVSA, CHUM, Visit Duluth, Lake Superior Zoo, the Duluth Air Show, and the Northern Lights Express. I am also a Duluth Economic Development Authority commissioner.
I have the knowledge, experience, relationships, leadership and commitment to continue to move Duluth forward. I would appreciate your vote again in the primary on Aug. 13.
Noah Hobbs is one of two incumbents being challenged by five others for two At Large seats on the Duluth City Council. They all were invited by the News Tribune Opinion page to submit columns. The primary is Aug. 13. The top four vote-getters will advance to Election Day on Nov. 5.