By Charles Hallman
Mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges pledges that if elected next month she will ensure that city residents will be involved in all decisions. “It’s important to get community input on everything we do in the City,” she states.
This includes the $1 billion Vikings stadium project, which Hodges, the budget committee chair, says initially she didn’t support using public dollars for, but nonetheless wants to see that inclusion and diversity is present at all levels of the project from start to finish and beyond.
“Certainly when projects are as big as this one, we have to make sure that we are in that partnership,” notes Hodges. “There’s a lot of public money we’re spending [$150 million from Minneapolis], and we should ensure that it is spent equitably and fairly. I worked [on the city council] to make sure that we had real good workforce goals, and worked to see that stadium operating jobs have high workforce goals as well.
“When the facility opens, I want to work with the [Metropolitan Sports Facilities] Authority to make sure that that happens,” Hodges says.
As mayor, “I will have the ability to work very closely with the Met Council and Metro Transit, as well as in my role with the City, to ensure that there is good community input” on local and regional transit projects, pledges the candidate.
“I am aware that our community is not safe when people do not feel safe calling the police,” says Hodges. “I’ve been working on [police] accountability my entire time on the council.”
She also noted that she advocated for placing cameras on police officers while on duty. “It’s been shown to be very effective at reducing use of force and creating a better environment for everybody in the city. That’s why I went out of my way to find dollars to fund that pilot project and to get that project underway.
“I tried to make the CRA (civilian review authority) work,” she continues. Although she didn’t support the new Office of Police Conduct Review, “I am watching it very, very closely.”
Finally, “I’ve said this before and I’ve said this the whole campaign, that I believe the North Side can guide the way for our growth and prosperity” in Minneapolis. “I’ve worked with folk in the community for a long time, even before I was on the council. I know what strength there is in the community, and it is our job to build on that strength and lend our voice to the good work that is happening there.
“Please vote for me [as] your number-one choice for mayor on November 5th.”
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