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League staffers and board members enjoyed meeting approximately 10,000 people and educating them about city services at the Minnesota State Fair. The League’s Cities Matter booth was in the Education Building for the 12 days of fun.
The League offered interactive activities to help fairgoers understand more about city services, as well as to provide them an opportunity to voice their thoughts about how best to provide these services.
In the Idea Avenue activity, people were asked for their thoughts about what city leaders should focus on to help maintain the quality of life in Minnesota cities. Those with ideas had the chance to write them down and place them on our idea board. We received many ideas, which will be combined with ideas the League gathered during a series of Community Conversations held in 12 cities over the summer.
In another activity, we invited visitors to be a “city bean counter.” Each person was given a six-bean budget and had to decide how to spend it on eight city services. Players quickly got a better understanding of the tough budgeting decisions that city officials are required to make.
All visitors were invited to take a Minnesota road map with city-related children’s activities, and each person who participated in the bean counter activity received a personalized city button indicating that he or she was “Mayor for the Day.”
2011 City bean counter results
About 7,100 people participated in the city bean counter activity. This is how they spent their beans:
Contact Don Reeder
Assistant Director of Communications for Public Affairs
(651) 215-4031 or (800) 925-1122
Would you like to use the city bean counter activity for a special event in your city? The League's bean counter display is available for cities to borrow.