Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges applauded new growth in the University of Minnesota’s area and called for more citywide development in her first State of the City address on Thursday.
“We are growing, Minneapolis. We are thriving,” she said to the audience of about 200 people in the Minneapolis American Indian Center’s gymnasium.
New development in the city is boosting revenue and spurring economic growth, she said, noting specific projects in the University’s area.
The Central Corridor light-rail project, she said, has led to other investments. The plans to develop along the Green Line in the Prospect Park neighborhood will add valuable green space and growth to the city, Hodges said.
Ward 3 City Councilman Jacob Frey, who represents the University’s area and surrounding neighborhoods, said he agreed with the points Hodges made in her address, adding that city leaders will need to guide growth going forward, rather than attempting to stop it.
“Whether you like it or not, it’s coming,” Frey said.
Hodges emphasized that growth in the city must be equitable.
“When we eliminate our disparities, we will both ignite and propel our prosperity,” Hodges said. “This is the key that will unlock our growth as a city.”
An American Indian drum circle performance preceded the address, and it came a day before the City Council votes on whether to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.
Hodges said she is supportive of the resolution and she would sign the proposal if it came to her desk, adding that Minneapolis would be the first city in the state to make the change.
Binesikwe Means, a Powderhorn Park resident who attended the address, said she liked the location for the address.
“I like the idea of her stepping outside of such a formal setting and kind of coming into the community,” Means said.
Bragging about Minneapolis
During her address, Hodges said there are many laudable things about Minneapolis, but outside communities don’t always realize it because residents don’t brag about their city.
“We are, as I have said before, militantly modest,” Hodges said. “We have got to brag, people.”
Hodges said she is planning a week in July where she will promote bragging about Minneapolis, using outlets like social media.
Means, who is a part of the Native American community, said she’s always been taught to be humble. Still, she said she’s intrigued by Hodges’ idea.
“It’s funny,” Means said. “We’ll have to see how it goes in the Native community.”