Senator Norm Coleman was elected to the United States Senate in November, 2002. Coleman serves on four committees including the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In addition, Coleman is Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Before he was elected Senator, Norm Coleman was Mayor of Saint Paul for 8 years. As Mayor, Coleman led Minnesota's capitol city through a remarkable renaissance. Since 1993 there have been more than 18,000 new jobs created with more than $3.0 billion of new development. As Mayor he kept his commitment to a zero percent increase in the property tax levy for eight years in a row, and Saint Paul received its first 'AAA' bond rating...unprecedented in the city's history. The value of taxable property in the core downtown has more than doubled, and every neighborhood has seen an increase in property value.
In 1997, Coleman secured a National Hockey League franchise for the Capital City. The Minnesota Wild dropped the puck in September 2000 at a new state-of-the-art $175 million arena. He helped create a new $90 million Science Museum of Minnesota which overlooks the majestic Mississippi River Valley and brought Lawson Software, Minnesota's largest software company with over 1,000 jobs, to downtown Saint Paul. New and expanded businesses are emerging both in the downtown core and in neighborhoods throughout the city.
In addition to economic development, Coleman made public safety a priority while serving as mayor. By adding 40 police officers and working with neighborhoods, the City expanded community-based policing. The result has been a drop in the violent crime rate since 1993 and more confidence in the community about the safety of its neighborhoods.
Education had remained a cornerstone of his administration. Coleman used his position to bring more accountability, additional resources and needed change in our public schools. By working closely with Superintendent Patricia Harvey, they forged exemplary models of choice and parental involvement through traditional public school programs, as well as innovative charter schools. As home to the nation's first charter school, Coleman has championed education reform, leading an initiative to bring 20 new charter schools to Saint Paul.
Coleman also helped in the planting of over 35,000 trees and shrubs along the urban corridor of Mississippi River. He was instrumental in recapturing brownfields and creating new uses for once-discarded land. His Upper Landing housing development serves as a national model of urban renewal on a once blighted land. The Upper Landing project, in partnership with the Centex Corporation, will bring nearly 800 new units of housing, with 20% of those deemed affordable, to a former scrap yard along the shores of the Mississippi River.
Coleman has created a national model for building public/private partnerships. He brought together the top 20 CEO's of the region to create the Capital City Partnership, which is committed to promoting, marketing and developing Saint Paul. In January 2001, Mayor Coleman received the United States Conference of Mayor's Award of Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships. In addition, Coleman has been recognized by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars with their Award for Public Service.
Coleman served as Chair of the George W. Bush campaign in Minnesota. He served on the Board of Directors of the United States Conference of Mayors and was a charter member of CEO's for Cities, an alliance of Mayors, corporate CEO's, and nonprofit executives focused on market-based approaches to revitalizing urban centers.
In 1993, he was elected Mayor of Saint Paul, as a conservative Democrat. In 1996, he joined the Republican Party and was reelected in 1997 as the first Republican Mayor in Saint Paul in over 25 years, receiving nearly 60% of the vote. He carried the Republican banner for Governor in 1998, narrowly losing to Jesse Ventura by 2% .
Coleman was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received his B.A. from Hofstra University and his J.D. (with high honors) from the University of Iowa. He served 17 years with the Minnesota Attorney General, holding the positions of Chief Prosecutor and Solicitor General of the State of Minnesota.
Norm and his wife Laurie have two children, Jacob and Sarah.