Mayor Hodges’ State of the City: “We can’t do this without you, Minneapolis”
Mayor says to meet our challenges, we can’t leave any genius on the table
April 2, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) — In her annual State of the City address, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges today made the case that every person has a role to play, a contribution to make, or a gift to give in service of creating One Minneapolis. She invited everyone to fit into the picture.
“We have the strength we need to address our biggest challenges: climate change, workforce, public safety, community trust, equity, to name some of them. To meet those challenges successfully, we are going to need our greatest strength: our people and every bit of talent and every ounce of genius we have got. All of that genius is right here, ready to build our economic future, and our city’s future. The question before us is: how much of that genius are we going to leave on the table?”
Mayor Hodges delivered her speech, entitled “We can’t do this without you, Minneapolis” at the American Swedish Institute (ASI). She said ASI’s vision to be a gathering place for all people, helping swap stories of immigration among people of Swedish, African, Latino, and Asian descent is an example of how they are bringing genius to the table from every community.
Mayor Hodges spoke at length about making sure that the genius of our young people is valued and brought to the table. This starts with the nurturing of our youngest children, which is the work of her Cradle to K cabinet, whose final recommendations are ready to be implemented. It continues with a special focus on 18- to 24-year old young men of color, some of the most vulnerable people in Minneapolis and among the youth that are the focus of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Challenge, in which Mayor Hodges and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman are active participants. Mayor Hodges praised new and ongoing work to keep these youth out of the criminal justice system and connect them to opportunities in the 21st-century workforce, but added that “We need our kids to be more than workforce-ready. We need kids who are ready to build One Minneapolis.” She also invited people to lift up success stories of young men of color and submit them on her website.
“Today, I am calling all of us to act on behalf of our children. For us to succeed as a community, each of us has to know and act on the truth that we are all responsible for our children and their futures — all of our children, each and every one,” she added.
In her speech, Mayor Hodges announced a number of new or ongoing initiatives focused on the future of our community, including:
Mayor Hodges also singled out for praise the work of the City’s Transgender Issues Work Group and last year’s first-ever Trans Summit. She called on everyone to “learn from the courage that our transgender friends display every day,” and addressed Minneapolis’ transgender community directly by saying, “all of us need to be in the picture of this city for us to succeed, including and especially you.”
Mayor Hodges concluded the State of the City address with:
Our common future depends on our ability to sustain a strong economy and strong community. Our common future depends on having a population that is healthy, housed, educated, and contributing to the economy. Our common future depends on no life outcomes being determined by race, class, or zip code. Our common future depends on all of our genius being on the table.
“Because we can’t do this without you, Minneapolis. Everyone must be in this picture or we will not be One Minneapolis.
“Knowing that, the answer to today’s question is an easy one for all of us. How much genius do we want to leave on the table? How much are we willing to sacrifice our future prosperity because we struggle to muster the courage to head into a future that is thus far uncharted? None. None at all.”
Read the full text of Mayor Hodges’ 2015 State of the City address‚Äč as prepared for delivery here: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/mayor/news/speeches/2015StateoftheCity
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Published Apr 2, 2015

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