The terrible tragedy that occurred this weekend on West 7th Street has us collectively mourning. Our hearts are with Marquisha Wiley’s family, friends and surrounding community, and the victims of that night.
And after a summer of dramatic improvement and a season of celebrating our progress – the results of which include the lowest downtown crime rate in five years – these events have left many of us rattled. Our friends and customers have wondered aloud about coming downtown for concerts, or hockey games, or going to the office. It can feel as if we’ve lost our momentum, but this is the reality of community building. The truth is that no city or town will be able to prevent all tragedies, and they will always shake our confidence. It is our job in these moments to double down on our progress and the effective public safety strategies that we know can make downtown safer and more vibrant for everyone.
I speak for the Downtown Alliance when I say that we do this work because it’s our calling, because we love our community and we love our neighbors, even if and when we disagree. We will continue to support our neighbors in formal and informal ways. John Bandemer, our Street Team Ambassadors and our Safety Communications Center are going to continue to provide and improve their services to keep positively impacting safety outcomes and perceptions in downtown.
We will also continue to support our West 7th businesses. I’ll be having breakfast, lunch and happy hour there on Friday (The Downtowner, Tom Reid's and McGovern's respectively). Join me if you like, or pick a time that works for you. I know they’ll appreciate it.
Please don't hesitate to reach out any time,
Saint Paul Downtown Alliance