St. Cloud Mayor Kleis apologizes for the city’s past racial problems

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis apologized Monday for the city’s history of racial intolerance.

At a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, Kleis said the city must take responsibility for racial discrimination in the past, even as it celebrates the accomplishments it has made, said the St. Cloud Times.

Positive changes have occurred, other speakers noted, with three black men now holding top civic positions: St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson, Metro Bus Executive Director Ryan Daniel and St. Cloud school district Superintendent Willie L. Jett II.

Speakers at the event at St. Cloud State University said such improvements mean the city can no longer be dismissively called “White Cloud,” the paper said.

The Rev. James Alberts II of Higher Ground Church said he’s seen “monumental change” over the years, but that the city now needs to focus on fair housing, education, jobs and transportation.

“We are big enough to make a difference and small enough to make this work,” Alberts said.

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