Rochester, Minnesota: Our community is stronger when we all do better. Racial equity is key to that strength.
Rochester will be a community where everyone of every race thrives. Rochester is a unique city that enjoys a growing and diverse population, a high employment rate and percentage of the population that works, and international connectivity unlike other Midwestern communities of a similar size. As home to the Mayo Clinic and a large IBM campus, Rochester welcomes more than 3 million visitors annually, competing with cities across the nation and around the world for the best and the brightest minds in health and technology. City residents overwhelmingly believe Rochester offers them a high quality of life, providing arts and entertainment typically found only in larger cities along with an accessible parks and trails system that contributes to neighborhood identity and wellness. Inclusion on several “Top 10” lists from such renowned sources as US News and World Report and Livability.com provide national and international recognition of Rochester’s quality of life.
Rochester has experienced steady population growth throughout its history. Since its incorporation, Rochester has grown to become the third largest city in Minnesota and the largest city in the state outside of the Twin Cities. We expect this trend to continue through 2040, resulting in a more diverse community with a greater variety of economic, housing, transportation, and social needs. These changes will provide our city with major opportunities for a prosperous and sustainable pattern of growth and development.
On September 18th 2017 Rochester was declared a city of compassion. Rochester has a long history of inclusionary planning, recognizing and celebrating diversity in the community. The City’s mission statement and the Community Vision 2040 strongly support social, racial, environmental, and economic equity. Furthermore, through the 21st Century Partnership, Rochester has made a commitment to creating “a community that welcomes diversity, and that provides a safe, non-discriminating environment with respect and opportunity for all.” Within this Resolution, the City committed to “infuse and reflect compassion within its policies, procedures and programming including the ‘Planning 2 Succeed: Rochester Comprehensive Plan 2040’”.
Rochester GARE will challenge the City of Rochester and ourselves to examine our existing policies, ordinances and all activities we do publicly and internally. We pledge to deliberately build an equity lens into our decision-making processes and to hold ourselves accountable to strategic plans and our equity commitments. We will report on racial equity progress. Our commitment is to our residents, our visitors and our staff.