VIDEO: Sen. Moran Speaks on Senate Floor to Recognize a Revitalized Humboldt
Moran: It is timely because just yesterday the New York City mayor joked that my home state of Kansas has “no brand”
Sep 29 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Kan.) spoke on the Senate floor yesterday to recognize the city of Humboldt as a leader in small-town revitalization and to recognize Humboldt with the Building Better Communities Award.
“The community of Humboldt is a success story,” said Sen. Moran. “It’s a role model. It demonstrates how teamwork, creative thinking, hard work, treating others with respect and caring about the future of your community can make a difference for your city, the state and for our entire country. That’s our brand in Kansas.”
“I offer my congratulations and gratitude for the kind of leadership and effort among all residents of the community to see that Humboldt is a good place to live today and, and perhaps even more importantly a great place to live tomorrow,” continued Sen. Moran.
Click HERE to Watch Sen. Moran’s Full Remarks
Sen. Moran’s remarks as prepared:
“Mr. President – This evening, I want to highlight a community in Kansas that is a model for rural towns across our state and our country.
“It is timely because just yesterday the New York City mayor joked that my home state of Kansas has “no brand” and then chuckled at his joke.
“I had planned to give this floor speech before the mayor of New York City used Kansas as a punchline, but now it seems a little more fitting.
“Located in Allen County, Humboldt, Kansas is home to about 2,000 residents. Like many small communities in rural America, Humboldt was facing declining population numbers as businesses moved away and buildings on Main Street were abandoned.
“Even the locally-owned newspaper, which opened in 1864 and was the state’s longest, continuously running paper, the Humboldt Union, had to shut down.
“However, in the last couple of years, Humboldt has defied the odds.
“The vacant buildings on Main Street now boast thriving businesses and welcoming storefronts. Since 2020, Humboldt has gained a coffee shop, a variety of bars and restaurants, a fitness center, a microbrewery, a grocery store, a hotel and the Humboldt Union was re-established.
“Even as the pandemic created new challenges for many small businesses, Humboldt’s businesses were able to persevere.
“In January, the travel desk at The New York Times selected Humboldt as a top destination in the world alongside places such as Greece, Australia and Argentina. Pretty ironic now.
“The majority of growth and economic development in the community can be contributed to a civic organization called “A Bolder Humboldt.” This group was formed a few years ago by leaders, like Paul Clouthier, and is still going strong today.
“Paul recently took me on a tour of downtown with Mayor Nobby Davis to see first-hand the renovation being done and to meet the owners of the small businesses that are reshaping the town square.
“Paul said, “I’ve lived in a lot of big cities, and the thing I loved about them was that they had complete neighborhoods, with a grocery store and a dry cleaners and a bar and little restaurants. Which is basically what a small town is, or used to be.”
“Bolder Humboldt is working to rebuild the ideal, American small town for the 21st century.
“I visited a café and coffee shop owned by Josh Works who is also involved in Bolder Humboldt. His father owns B&W Trailer Hitches and set a standard during the recession in 2008 to prioritize and care for his staff and his community.
“In addition, the community has rebuilt 10 blocks of the downtown streetscape with help from a local business, Monarch Cement Company. Owned and run by Walter Wulf, this a 110-year-old business is a staple of the community.
“The city has also developed Southwind Industrial Park with the latest addition of Murphy Tractor and Equipment Company – providing new jobs for locals and new residents.
“Humboldt also has gained fame as the hometown of Biblesta – an annual festival taking place this weekend that has been going for six decades and features the world’s largest Bible-themed parade.
“Each year City Manager Cole Herder addresses graduating high school seniors and presents them with mailboxes in the school’s colors – black boxes with orange lettering.
“Each box has the student’s name and “Humboldt, Kansas” stenciled in orange letters. Inside, there is an invitation.
“He appeals to students to pursue an education and new experiences, but he also encourages them to consider their hometown of Humboldt as the place to establish their careers and raise their own families.
“The community of Humboldt is a success story. It’s a role model.
“It demonstrates how teamwork, creative thinking, hard work, treating others with respect, and caring about the future of your community can make a positive difference for your city, the state and for our entire country.
“That’s our brand in Kansas.
“I am proud to recognize the efforts of Humboldt with what we’ve called the Building Better Communities Award.
“Today, in the United States Senate, I offer my congratulations and gratitude for the kind of leadership and effort among all residents of the community to see that Humboldt is a good place to live today and, and perhaps even more importantly a great place to live tomorrow.”
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