MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Senator Al Franken has endorsed Betsy Hodges for re-election as Minneapolis Mayor. Hodges’ campaign announced the endorsement with a press release stating:
“Minneapolis needs a tested leader, and I need a local partner, to stand up to the President’s attacks on cities and people all across the country,” said Senator Franken. “I know we can count on Mayor Betsy Hodges to look out for our neighbors, build on past successes, and, in the time of Trump, protect the gains we’ve made together. I’m proud to support Betsy’s campaign for re-election, and I’m proud to call her my friend.”
“I am honored to win the endorsement of Senator Al Franken. He’s showing us all the kind of determination and creativity that it takes to stand up for the people of Minneapolis in the time of Trump, when Republicans are coming after our cities and our people,” said Mayor Hodges. “He’s always been a strong partner who digs in to do the hard, long-term work of actually getting things done for Minneapolis. He’s also been there as a friend. I can’t wait to continue our work together.”
— Betsy Hodges (@MayorHodges) March 9, 2017
Hodges and Franken have both been vocal in their efforts to “resist” the Trump administration. After the presidential election, Hodges turned to Facebook to urge her followers “to grieve, to rage, to confess confusion, to shake with fear. Only when we let ourselves feel fully do we free our minds enough to think clearly about what is next. Then we get to remember that we have one another, we know how to organize, and we know how to stand up, dust off, and take the next step. Together.”
The Minneapolis Mayor has also joined efforts against President Trump’s enforcement of immigration laws, saying, “He’ll have to come through me. He’ll have to come through us,” promising to continue Minneapolis’s “sanctuary city” policies even when under threat of losing federal funding.
He’ll have to come through me. He’ll have to come through us.
— Betsy Hodges (@MayorHodges) January 25, 2017
Hodges joined the Minneapolis City Council in signing a resolution to welcome Syrian refugees to Minneapolis and encouraged other cities to do the same.
More recently, Hodges joined with the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, Minneapolis Youth Congress and City Council Member Cam Gordon to announce to President Trump that all are welcome in Minneapolis. The groups along with the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced a “statement of welcome” that affirmed the city and county’s commitment to serving “all people through programs, activities and services without fear of reprisal for their immigration or refugee status.” The statement went on, “In these times, let us look out for one another and make sure all of our children and their families feel welcome and safe in Minneapolis. We provide support for the marginalized and affirm the existence of all people – youth, adults, those with and without families, those of all gender identities or sexual orientation, regardless of religious belief, race, ethnicity, abilities, or socio-economic status.”
Hodges continued in her vow to “resist” Trump in the press release announcing the “statement of welcome,” writing:
“Unfortunately, cities and our people are on the front lines of attack under President Trump and his administration. However, we are also on the front lines of resistance, and when we come together as a community on behalf of the most vulnerable among us, we are showing Trump and everyone else who we are.”
Franken has also been vocal in his resistance to the Trump administration, frequently as one of the more aggressive questioners in Trump cabinet member hearings. He harshly criticized Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for her stance on choice school programs, while, as Alpha News recently reported, sending his own children to posh private schools costing tens of thousands of dollars a year.
A MSNBC compilation video of Franken questioning Trump’s cabinet nominees show his barrage of questions and criticism against the nominees. In the segment hosted by Rachel Maddow, Maddow asks Franken if there is an overarching strategy by Democrats to resist Trump’s cabinet picks. Franken responds, “We discussed it today, and we have a strategy. I’m not going to tell you the strategy tonight.”
Franken has also questioned Trump’s mental stability. As Alpha News reported, in an interview with Jake Tapper, who asked about the truthfulness of the rumor that Republicans questioned Trump’s mental stability, Franken responded, “In the way that we all have this suspicion,” Franken told Tapper, “He lies a lot. He says things that aren’t true. That’s the same as lying, I guess.”
Both Franken and Hodges have encouraged those marching against Trump. Hodges spoke at the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017 in St. Paul. In her speech, Hodges warned the people that Trump “and his Cabinet and his advisers who are intent on using the levers of our federal government to move us away from democracy and more toward authoritarian rule.”
Franken, in a Facebook post stated, “I am grateful for the hundreds of thousands of people–including thousands of Minnesotans–making their voices heard today in women’s marches in Washington and around the country.” He warned the people against Trump’s executive order to repeal the ACA and the threat against Planned Parenthood: “And don’t forget Republicans are gunning for Planned Parenthood, too, one the nation’s largest providers of healthcare for women. The Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood would take away care from nearly 25,000 people in Minnesota alone. So make your voices heard. And thank you for what you are doing.”
The Minneapolis Mayoral election will be held on Nov. 7, 2017. Hodges is facing a large field of challengers, which includes Black Lives Matter activist and former leader of the Minneapolis NAACP, Nekima Levy-Pounds. Other challengers include Raymond Dehn – the Democratic House of Representatives member for 59B, Jacob Frey – Minneapolis City Council Ward 3, and Tom Hoch – CEO of the Hennepin Theater Trust. Aswar Rahman, who at age 22 is the youngest contender in the race, is a filmmaker who graduated from the University of Minnesota at age 19 . The only Republican in the race is Abdimalik Askar, who ran for Minnesota House District 60B against Representative Ilhan Omar in 2016.