Skip to main content

Mayor: Minneapolis is working through some tough stuff to get stronger

Betsy Hodges says there's 'discomfort' in the city, but it's ultimately a good thing.

These days the best-known street in Minneapolis is still a dusty, muddy tangle of partitions and plywood boardwalks.

But Mayor Betsy Hodges told her city Tuesday that better days are drawing near for Nicollet Mall – and all of Minneapolis.

In her State of the City speech Hodges used the years-long makeover of the downtown pedestrian mall as an example of her speech's main point: working through discomfort is leading to a better future in Minneapolis.

Hodges conceded the renovation that has torn up downtown's central spine for a couple years has brought pain to some in Minneapolis. But she also promised Nicollet Mall will be a destination again within a year, concluding "We all will benefit from this transformation — including those who are feeling the most discomfort right now. It will be good for all of us."

Other discomfort, too

Hodges used the same good-for-us-in-the-long-run theme in describing some other changes in the city:

  • the upcoming requirement that businesses have to give paid sick time to their workers
  • changes in the police department that are meant to improve public trust in law enforcement
  • the work to make housing more available in every price range

The mayor told her audience at a mosque on the city's north side that all of those things bring some discomfort but are putting the city on a path to a stronger future.

She called her speech "One Minneapolis: Transition and Triumph" and you can read the whole thing here.

Hodges also called out President Donald Trump. She said giving her State of the City speech at Masjid An-Nur mosque was one way to show "We stand with our Muslim community, as President Trump singles them out for attack and unfairly-targeted policy.”

A batch of political opponents

Hodges' strategy of urging patience through an uncomfortable transition is sure to be tested on the campaign trail this summer.

She's up for re-election as she finishes her first term, and Hodges faces a longer-than-usual list of challengers for an incumbent in the Democratic stronghold of Minneapolis.

They include Ray Dehn, who serves in the Minnesota House; Jacob Frey, who is on the city council; Nekima Levy-Pounds, who used to head the Minneapolis NAACP; Tom Koch, the former CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust; and filmmaker Aswar Rahman.

While she's not exactly a political opponent, one prominent city official who has recently clashed with Hodges is Police Chief Janeé Harteau. MPR News reports Harteau was not on hand for Hodges' speech Tuesday, with a spokesperson telling the network the chief had another commitment.

Next Up

Bar beer

Study: Excessive drinking cost Minnesotans almost $8 billion in 2019

The study was published by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


Price of Disney+ is going up, unless you want ads

The ad-free version of Disney+ will increase from $7.99 per month to $10.99 per month, effective Dec. 8.


Mall of America shooting suspects arrested in Chicago

The two suspects were spotted leaving a barber shop.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Walz: Increased state law enforcement presence to stay in Twin Cities

A multi-agency effort to curb crime will go on until further notice.


Bloomington PD to provide update on Mall of America shooting investigation

There's unconfirmed reports the suspected gunman and an accomplice have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 3.14.27 PM

Motorcyclist found dead behind guardrail 6 hours after crash

The crash happened before sunset Wednesday, but no one called 911.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 2.49.44 PM

Strike vote set for 15,000 Minnesota nurses

If the nurses walk off the job, Minnesota would be home to one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history.


Iowa Gov. asks court to lift injunction on 'heartbeat' abortion ban

A court challenge seeks to revive Iowa's abortion ban.

zipper merge, construction

6 transportation projects in Minnesota get $100M federal funding

The projects extend to areas all across the state.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 9

The number of cases in the latest reporting period dropped compared to the previous week's update.


Jacob Frey elected mayor of Minneapolis

He beat out incumbent Betsy Hodges – but it took multiple rounds of counting.

More Democrats line up to challenge Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

Betsy Hodges was elected as a Democrat. All three people that have said they'll run against her in 2017 are also doing so as Democrats.

Yes, there's an election: Your guide to the 2017 St. Paul mayoral race

For the first time in 16 years, there's no incumbent in the race.

Yes, there's an election: Your guide to the 2017 Minneapolis mayoral race

16 people are running, and police reform is a big issue.

Minneapolis mayor issues warning to Trump on illegal immigrants

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has a problem with Donald Trump's plan to withdraw federal funding to "Sanctuary Cities."

Betsy Hodges' efforts as Minneapolis mayor were overshadowed by policing incidents

The mayor's own list of accomplishments were overshadowed by policing incidents.

5 things to know about the new mayor of Minneapolis

Jacob Frey replaces the incumbent Betsy Hodges.