A visit from Senator Al Franken
Hi, my name is Camille Morley and I’m one of the new interns at SPUR. As a Political Science and Economics double major at St. Olaf, I was particularly interested in our visit from Senator Al Franken. A small crowd of local business men and women representing Northfield’s economic development institutions greeted the Senator, as well as a few students and staff from St. Olaf who have taken personal interest in Northfield’s economic atmosphere. What began as a room full of introductions and casual jokes by the senator soon developed into a moving discussion on the future of SPUR and organizations like it. It was proposed that spaces like SPUR would bring independent and self-employed workers together to network and bounce ideas off one another, in a friendly community location. Franken admitted to his shared desire for working in a bustling atmosphere which is why he would write his books at the physical location of his publisher, a very uncommon habit for most authors. Amidst Franken’s seemingly-comic charm, he made some important points for us to take away. He advised to continue working on marketing SPUR to encourage new memberships and prolong its existence. He strongly believed an engaged town such as Northfield should take advantage of some of its unique qualities like the two liberal arts colleges and an active downtown to pull more involvement into SPUR. With room to grow, he said he hopes to come back in a few years and see SPUR expanding into a large network of connections and truly embodying Northfield’s full potential. Overall, his visit was a success for SPUR offering us encouragement and ways to move forward as a supporting agency for economic development in Northfield.