St. Paul Foundation hosts $1 million challenge

7:15 AM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- St. Paul wants to hear from its citizens, its workers and even its visitors about what ideas they would implement to make the city better?

The only rule is the idea can't cost more than $1 million.

"There are so many good ideas that people have and we maybe aren't accessing all the great ideas so if we invite everybody to submit an idea. We are going to get way more ideas than if we just did our regular grant making program," St. Paul Foundation President Carleen Rhodes said Monday referring to the Forever St. Paul Million Dollar Challenge.

The challenge is simple, submit your idea to and see what happens.

The open ideas contest runs until April 3, after that around 20-30 finalists are selected and then by summer the pool will be narrowed to three.

Folks will then vote for the winner online and at the St. Fair this August. The grand prize is $1,000 and of course, the title of the million dollar idea.

"I don't know if my idea is any better than anyone else's, but I would love to see the money go to people who have struggled with their mortgage because that eases the burden for everyone," Cathy Hauser, a small business owner in St. Paul said.

Others we met talked about paying for all of the start up costs for sustainable energy outlets; others wanted urban gardens in low income neighborhoods.

One 12-year-old said he felt like every family should be awarded a puppy. So no idea is too big or small for this, fourth annual, idea open.

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