Hodges talks Minneapolis bragging rights, growth

In her State of the City speech, Mayor Hodges sketched a prideful vision of the city of Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has only been in office since January, but already she’s championing the city and calling on others to follow suit. In her State of the City address last week, Hodges framed the city’s future within a few main areas: growth, equality and transportation.

“We are growing, Minneapolis. We are thriving,” Hodges said. It’s true that Minneapolis is going through unprecedented growth, and it shows. On and around the University of Minnesota campus, we’ve seen some of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods and investments.

Unfortunately, we’ve also seen attempts of thwarting growth: former Ward 3 Councilwoman Diane Hofstede’s moratorium on Dinkytown development, pleas for historical status on neighborhood buildings and a proposal out of Ward 2 for conservation districts.

As the leader of Minneapolis, Hodges cannot falter in supporting growth and planning for future residents — not simply current ones. Hodges called on residents to brag about the city. With national events coming to the area on the horizon, such as the 2014 Ma¬jor League Baseball All-Star game this summer, the city would do well to take advantage of the publicity.

Hodges also highlighted that growth must be inclusive and diverse. Income inequality and racial disparities have long plagued Minneapolis. The city should seek to combine development efforts with more equitable growth, such as additional housing options that could curb rising rent prices.

Transportation remains a divisive issue for Hodges, who remains opposed to the Southwest light rail in the Kenilworth corridor. Hodges should follow through with campaign promises and support alternative transportation projects for the neighborhoods that need it most.

Hodges’ address championed the right values, and we hope her tenacity is contagious.