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What residents are boasting about in #BragMpls campaign


Now that Minneapolis has celebrated a successful All-Star Game, what should its residents brag about now?

Earlier this week, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges launched a #BragMpls social media campaign to get people talking about why the city is so great – she calls it "the best week of bragging about Minneapolis ever," and it lasts through Sunday.

Hodges announced this social media campaign in her April state of the city address, and recently wrote about it in an editorial on MinnPost, where she posed the question: "If we don’t brag about ourselves, who will?"

For many in Minneapolis, bragging about the city came easy on Monday and Tuesday – they had perfect material in the events surrounding the All-Star Game.

Now that the glitz and glamour of the MLB's midsummer classic is over, what are people bragging about now?

Not to worry – Hodges has lots of suggestions. She started a "Mayors Bragging Challenge," inviting you to check off as many stops as you can on this list of 60 attractions and then share pictures of your adventure on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #bragmpls. Those interested in the challenge can do it by themselves or as part of a team of 10 or fewer members.

Items on the list include visiting various local restaurants and museums. She also suggests you thank a Downtown Improvement District Ambassador.

Those who complete the most tasks win a lunch with Hodges.

Not the competitive type? Hodges sends out a tweet every morning with a theme to brag about to get the conversation going.

Many are tweeting about the theme for the day, while others have taken to Twitter to promote the city's parks, the Walker Art Center, the Mississippi River, and other Minneapolis favorites.

Here's a sampling of tweets from this week (see more by clicking here):

#BragMpls has some people asking about it's neighbor, but the Star Tribune reports Hodges says she'll be bragging about St. Paul, too – and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman agrees.

Some have criticized Hodges for choosing to promote the city instead of addressing its problems, but in her MinnPost editorial she mentions some of the challenges the city faces, including racial disparities, unemployment, violence and even the city's potholes, but she says a mayor shouldn't just focus on the problems.

"The choice between promoting our city and addressing our problems is a false one in any case. The things that we brag about are, in large measure, the strengths upon which we can draw to solve our problems," Hodges wrote.

That hasn't stopped some people from using #BragMpls on social media to point out some of the city's struggles.

That's one of the reasons City Council President Barb Johnson has decided not to participate in the social media campaign. She told the Star Tribune she feels her North Side constituents would criticize her for bragging about the city when they hear gunshots in their neighborhood.

“I want to pay attention to the things that are important, and right now, it’s the safety of the people I represent,” Johnson told the newspaper.

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