Betsy Hodges first ran for City Council for simple reasons: she was asked, and she believed she could make a difference. Betsy saw that people in Minneapolis didn’t all have an equal chance to succeed and so she became active in the Minnesota Justice Foundation and Take Action Minnesota to work towards a fairer city. Betsy believes that people organized and involved in their communities are a key part of a government that respond to their needs. She has worked to bring new energy to the council, renewing its commitment to progressive principles and putting people first.
She won that race, the first Democrat in 12 years to win in Ward 13, has been at the forefront of Minneapolis’ continued progress since. As Chair of the Ways and Means/Budget committee, Betsy has been in charge of protecting the city’s key priorities. Despite a recession and Republican efforts to shift burdens onto city government, under her leadership the city has balanced budgets, while strengthening our commitment to its basic services.
Her tireless efforts to solve the city’s structural pension issues have allowed the city to commit millions of dollars to important needs like health care, education, and jobs programs, while holding the line on property taxes.
Betsy has been a leader on creating a 21st Century Twin Cities transit system. She was a key member of the committee to rebuild the I-35 Bridge, worked to make Minneapolis’ interlocking branches of government coordinate better to meet people’s basic needs, and improved oversight of the city’s police department. Whether it’s upgrading our recycling system or innovative efforts to help Minneapolis eat healthier food and live healthier lives, Betsy’s worked tirelessly to improve our quality of life. And as President of the Minnesota League of Cities, Betsy has worked with Senator Franken to help the League develop best practices to make our state more energy efficient while creating clean energy jobs.
She’s running for Mayor to keep making Minneapolis a great city, to make sure that every neighborhood has the chance to be a part of the city’s prosperity, and commit the city to being a leader in the 21st Century economy.
Betsy was first elected in 2005 with 57% in a three-way primary and 64% in the general election. She was re-elected handily in 2009.
Raised in Minnesota, she attended high school in Plymouth, and has a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a Masters in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. She is married to Gary Cunningham, a member of the Metropolitan Council and Vice President and Chief Program Officer of the Northwest Area Foundation. She has two step-children, four step-grandchildren, and a slightly neurotic cat named Nakatomi.
Read some recent press about Betsy and her campaign to be mayor:
“…Betsy Hodges wins our endorsement based on her City Council record of responsible fiscal leadership, her willingness to take on special interests on behalf of taxpayers, and her potential to grow into the civic cheerleader role that came naturally to Rybak.”
“Rybak credits Hodges for taking a political risk, especially for someone looking to run for mayor: “She tackled it. Mastered it. Took massive amount of heat. And her leadership was a very important way that we got there.”