MN Sanctuary City Mayor Announces Future Plans

Photo credit: Theater of Public Policy

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has announced that she will be running for a second term.

In a press release dated December 15th, Hodges said, “I am running for reelection because I’ve gotten great results for our city.  I am running for reelection because I’ve delivered on the promises I made to our people.  And I am running for reelection because I’m not done yet: there’s a lot more to do and I’m the right mayor to get it done.”

In the press release, Hodges targets President-Elect Donald Trump.  She says, “In just the five weeks since Donald Trump was awarded the Presidency without really winning it (emphasis added), I have defended our Muslim brothers and sisters against vicious attack, I have worked with the City Council to put more resources into investigating cases of discrimination and I have stood rock-solid in defense of our separation ordinance – what some call “sanctuary city” – so that everyone in Minneapolis, including immigrants, can feel safe when calling the police.  I will not waver in my defense of our city against Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Mike Pence, or anyone who sets their sights on us and comes after our people.”

Included among her list of accomplishments over the past three years as mayor is “making it easier to file and track complaints against (police) officers.”

Under Hodges’ leadership, Minneapolis has seen a lot of turbulence and turmoil.

In a Facebook post dated November 9th, Hodges encouraged people to “rage” after the election of Donald Trump:

Anti-Trump protesters marched through downtown Minneapolis and blocked the street outside of the WCCO television station at 11th and Nicollet in November.  Police officers were asked by a witness to the protest, Jake Duesenberg, president of Action 4 Liberty why the protesters were allowed to block traffic.  According to Duesenberg, the officers told him that they were “under orders to make no arrests, we are only to escort the protesters.”  When Duesenberg questioned where the orders came from, the police officers responded, “They came directly from the Mayor.”

Shortly after Election Day, Hodges said that she would not comply with President-Elect Donald Trump’s policies. Trump, in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes announced plans to deport 2-3 million illegal immigrants with a criminal background. Hodges took a personal stand against Trump and said that Minneapolis Police would not assist federal agencies in detaining illegal immigrants.

Earlier this summer at a rally for Donald Trump in Minneapolis, Trump supporter Henry Schmeper told Alpha News that he was pushed, shouted at, spray painted, spit-on and had his fingers stepped on by anti-Trump protesters outside of the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Schemper said there were several officers present who did nothing to help those being assaulted. On the day of the assault and on two separate occasions while filing a police report, officers told Schemper that orders came, “from the top” not to apprehend the violent protesters nor follow up on assault claims.  The Mayor’s office denied these claims, saying she did not issue a “stand down” order.

In July, Hodges posted a profanity laced Facebook rant aimed at Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation for comments he made about the poor attendance at Lynx games.  His comments about the team came after four off-duty Minneapolis police officers working in the capacity of security contractors walked off the job at a Lynx game when the players wore “Black Lives Matters” warm-up jerseys shortly after the death of Philando Castile.

“Bob Kroll’s remarks about the Lynx are jackass remarks,” Hodges wrote, “Let me be clear: labor leadership inherently does not speak on behalf of management. Bob Kroll sure as hell doesn’t speak for me about the Lynx or about anything else.”

Mayor Hodges and her husband, Metropolitan Council member Gary Cunningham, were two of the many DFL insiders recently named in U.S. Bank Stadium “ticketgate.”  Hodges and Cunningham were among the recipients of misused tickets given out by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), which was recently investigated by Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles.

Hodges says as mayor, she is proud that she is making a difference for people.  “That’s the great thing about this campaign, though: for the next year, it gives me an excuse to tell people everything they got when they voted for me.  I am looking forward to it and I’m starting now,” Hodges said in her press release announcing her reelection bid.

Hodges, so far, will be facing Black Lives Matter activist Nekima Levy-Pounds, who announced that she will be running for mayor of Minneapolis back in November.

The election will be held in November 2017.

Donna Azarian