Grag Clark, the Minister for the Cities, urged Birmingham residents to vote "yes" to an elected mayor, after signing the order telling Birmingham to hold a referendum on May 3.
In an article, originally published in abbreviated form by the Birmingham Mail, he said "the choice is yours" - but argued that a Birmingham Mayor would give the city a strong and accountable leader "who fights their corner - batting for Birmingham on a national and international level."
Mr Clarke is a Minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government. He writes:
Yesterday I was delighted to sign an order which will give residents here in Birmingham the chance to put a directly-elected mayor at the helm.
Putting pen to ballot paper, voters here, and those in the nine other cities, hold the power to bring in a new politics on May 3rd.
Why is this such a great opportunity?