With celebrities, Duluth gives survey roll-out star treatment

With $1,700 and four celebrities, including Ice-T, Duluth purchased star power to a community survey rollout. The city paid an Olympian, a dancer, the rapper, and a boy band singer to record videos through the website Cameo.com to tout the results of a resident survey. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images/TNS)
With $1,700 and four celebrities, including Ice-T, Duluth purchased star power to a community survey rollout. The city paid an Olympian, a dancer, the rapper, and a boy band singer to record videos through the website Cameo.com to tout the results of a resident survey. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

With $1,700 and four celebrities, Duluth purchased star power for a community survey rollout.

The city paid an Olympian, a dancer, a rapper, and a boy band singer to record videos through the website Cameo.com to tout the results of a resident survey.

“Bye bye bye to the days of unsightly medians and litter and hi hi hi to improved landscaping and clean roadways,” former NSYNC member Lance Bass said on the four-minute video. His listed rate on the website is $249.

Singer Paula Abdul ad-libbed part of her script about housing standards, blowing kisses to her audience. Her going rate is $399.

“May 2021 bring all of you so much love, success, happiness, joy, laughter, abundance and prosperity,” she added. “Love to all of you.”

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas — whose fee is listed at $500 — told Duluth residents she knows “all about high standards from my many years in the Olympics.”

“It seems that Duluth just keeps on raising theirs,” she said. “Let’s see how they plan to keep this trend going.”

And actor-rapper Ice T, whose rate is $450, told viewers issues with neighborhood parking are “messed up.”

“Let’s see what you think are the problem areas and what the city is doing to address them,” he said. “I wanna know. Let’s do that right now.”

Duluth spokesperson Talore Ruedt said the celebrities were chosen to appeal to a wide demographic. Feedback has been positive, she said, and it has helped engage the community.

The survey itself showed residents prioritized maintaining home landscapes and exteriors, more proactive code enforcement and improved walkability. They want fewer apartments and less on-street parking in neighborhoods.

To watch this video, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgIISKBJksE&t=1s. For survey results, go to www.duluthga.net/surveyresults.

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