Minnesota: Ya, you betcha we’re the best city

But don’t be blinded by high rankings in magazines; there is still much left to accomplish.

Martha Pietruszewski

As the weather reaches negative temperatures, many students — including myself — are asking one question: Why?

Why do I live here? Why is it so cold outside? Why is that person not wearing a hat?

For those of you who are always quick to dismiss Minnesota when winter is in full swing, just wait a minute. The Atlantic recently published an article titled “The Miracle of Minneapolis,” saying that the city is a great place to live for many reasons. I wholeheartedly agree.

Some reasons for Minnesota’s greatness are clear: Prince, summers at Lake Calhoun and former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak.

Other reasons, however, are not so clear.

For example, did you know that there are 19 Fortune 500 companies located in the metro area? Minneapolis has more Fortune 500 companies than any other city of its size.

The number of successful companies within our metro area is great for many reasons. First, it provides recent graduates with numerous job opportunities without requiring them to relocate. Because these grads don’t have to uproot their lives, companies enjoy a fresh crop of new talent each year.

Minneapolis has also supported small business startups. Talk to almost anyone on campus and I’m sure they know someone that has worked at a startup.

The University of Minnesota was responsible for incubating 15 new startups in 2014 alone.

And for those startups that need space to work, Coco is a local business that actually provides a location for these growing companies.

The fact that Minnesota is an entrepreneurial hub is due in part to our education system. We are promoting innovation and creativity at our colleges. The University offers more than 140 majors to cultivate students’ interests and allow us to create our own paths into the world.

Even though Minneapolis may have a sparkling reputation for innovation and business, Minnesota as a state is lacking in some areas.

A study done in 2014 shows that Minnesota has the largest financial gap between whites and minorities.

Somehow, “best of” reports seem to glaze over these facts. We need to be aware of this if we truly want to make Minneapolis the number one place to live.

However, that gloomy statistic may not hold for long. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and her team have made racial inequality a top priority during her time in office.

Change is coming — if we take the mayor’s goals seriously, Minneapolis will continue to grow into a prosperous community.

Winter is almost over. Hang in there, and remember that Minneapolis isn’t all that bad. See you at the state fair!