Talking Points: Betsy Hodges & The Generational Shift In Mpls.
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City elections were notable for how long it took to get results and the generational shift in those who were elected.
The new Minneapolis Mayor elect Betsy Hodges is 44. Seven of the Council Members elected are in their late-20s or mid-30s. But the new faces at City Hall will have to balance the demands of an ambitious downtown redevelopment plan with concerns about city spending and rising property taxes.
Here is Esme Murphy with tonight’s Talking Points:
It may have taken days to count the votes but it was obvious from almost right after the polls closed that Council Member Betsy Hodges would be the next Mayor of Minneapolis.
Hodges beat back a traditional DFL candidate in Mark Andrew who was endorsed by almost all local labor unions. Hodges, on the other hand, has clashed with union heads.
As Chair of the City Council Budget committee she pushed for reforms and cuts in the municipal union pensions. She has also backed deep cuts to the city’s Fire Department which now has 25 percent fewer fire fighters than it did four years ago.. The fire union has labeled her policies dangerous.
Hodges must now figure out a way to balance continued concerns about city spending and rising property taxes at a time when there is a multi-pronged plan for downtown redevelopment that includes a new Vikings stadium, a $200 million streetcar line and a revamped Nicollet Mall.
“Those two things are not mutually exclusive. For me, we need to make sure what the bottom line is, we need to know what our resources are and then it’s a question of what we spend them on. And growing and building Minneapolis is the biggest thing we get to do,” Hodges said on WCCO Sunday Morning.
Hodges will also have to deal with a City Council that has seven young new members that will no doubt have their own agendas. Among the new members is the first Somali-American, the first Latina and the first Hmong ever elected to the council.
You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.