Burgum hosts Roosevelt, Waltons as support builds for presidential library
Gov. Doug Burgum hosted Theodore Roosevelt V, the great-great-grandson of the nation’s 26th president, and Melani and Rob Walton this week as they met with state lawmakers to emphasize their support and the tremendous opportunity in the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum at Medora, N.D.
Burgum has proposed investing $50 million in earnings from the state’s Legacy Fund, with $100 million in matching funds required from private donors and other sources, to create the experiential library and museum as a major tourist attraction and educational center at the doorstep to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Melani Walton, a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library (TRPL) Foundation board member and Dickinson State University alumna, and her husband, Rob, former chairman of Walmart Inc., met with legislative leaders Tuesday at the Capitol. They were joined that evening by Theodore Roosevelt V, National Park Foundation CEO and President Will Shafroth and others at the Governor’s Residence for a reception with legislators, emphasizing their commitment to the project and challenging lawmakers to seize the opportunity.
“Let’s build a world-class institution that will remind this country of the defining role that North Dakota played in shaping American history,” said Theodore Roosevelt V, whose wife, Serena, serves on the TRPL Foundation board.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have right here at your fingertips. It’s your choice,” Melani Walton said.
“Melani and I are very excited about the potential for the Theodore Roosevelt (Presidential) Library and Museum in the park in Medora and hope that you will be the catalyst that lets it happen. Because we’re certainly standing ready to be very supportive as well,” Rob Walton said.
It was also announced that the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation recently donated $5 million to the North Dakota Community Foundation.
The presidential library project continues to draw letters of support from various groups, including recently the Medora City Council, Dickinson State University President Tom Mitzel, U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness. The Economic Development Association of North Dakota also has indicated its support.
Governor launches podcast with DOCR director as first guest
Gov. Burgum today is launching his podcast, “Work Worth Doing,” focused on the great work that state team members and others are doing to make North Dakota an exceptional place to live.
The podcast’s title was inspired by former President Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
In the first episode, Burgum interviews Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Leann Bertsch, who has received national recognition for her prison reform efforts in recent years.
Theodore Roosevelt V will be the guest for the podcast’s second episode.
Sanford meets with Realtors, Bankers associations
Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford met this week with members of the North Dakota Association of Realtors and the North Dakota Bankers Association in Bismarck, underscoring the important roles the groups play in improving the state’s quality of life and recruiting and retaining residents.
Ensuring the availability of housing and financing is critical for attracting and retaining a 21st century workforce, which is one of the three pillars of the Burgum-Sanford administration’s Main Street Initiative, along with smart, efficient infrastructure and healthy, vibrant communities. More than 60 cities are engaged in the Main Street Initiative, and 46 listening sessions have been held across the state.
The second Main Street ND Summit is scheduled for Oct. 30-31 at the Bismarck Event Center. The Main Street Initiative is one of the Burgum-Sanford administration’s five strategic initiatives.
Elementary students get chance to interview governor
Fourth-graders at Jeannette Myhre Elementary in Bismarck got to test their interviewing skills on a special guest Thursday as Gov. Burgum paid a visit to the school.
Students asked Burgum about his previous work experience in the private sector and his current job as governor. Afterward, the governor toured the school in south Bismarck.
Burgum’s executive budget recommends increasing the K-12 per-student payments by 2 percent in each year of the next biennium, to a record $10,036 for the 2020-21 school year. School aid spending would increase by $115.5 million.
Burgum stresses budget priorities to Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC
Gov. Burgum delivered remarks Thursday evening at the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC’s annual dinner, introducing keynote speaker Paul Long.
The governor highlighted how his executive budget recommendation addresses the state’s priorities, including balancing ongoing revenues and ongoing expenditures, replenishing the state’s rainy-day fund, shoring up the pension fund, providing salary increases for team members, increasing funding to K-12 and higher education, providing nearly $1.5 billion for infrastructure and funding one-time legacy projects – all without raising taxes.
The Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC has more than 1,300 members.