Minneapolis Middle and High School Students Invited to Participate in My Brother’s Keeper | MPLS Youth United Day of Action on January 14

Middle and high school students throughout Minneapolis are invited to participate in the My Brother’s Keeper | MPLS Youth United Day of Action on Saturday, January 14 at Coffman Memorial Union on the campus of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

my_brothers_keeper_lockup_newThe My Brother’s Keeper | MPLS Youth United Day of Action will provide tools and resources to youth throughout the city, to help not only prepare them for what’s next beyond high school, but how to become the leaders our city needs today. Through the My Brother’s Keeper | MPLS Initiative, we’ve been working to ensure that boys and young men of color are full participants in our city’s success and our nation’s promise. This conference will be a great opportunity toward meeting those goals, and I encourage all middle and high school students to register, set aside the day, and be ready to be inspired.

The MBK|MPLS Youth United Day of Action will provide Minneapolis middle and high school students with tools to make our city safer and stronger by promoting healthy leadership through providing young people with real strategies to cope with trauma they experience. Additionally, all youth will receive hands-on training on how to become community advocates through civic engagement. Youth will be invited to participate in one of three tracks throughout the day with youth-led workshops on on-site social impact projects related to:

1. Becoming a champion of community safety
2. Using social media to be a leader of positive change
3. Learning how to start their own business today

The all-day conference is free to attend, and will include information regarding internships, spoken word performances and live music. Co-sponsors include the Bush Foundation, Cities United and the University of Minnesota Office of Equity and Diversity.

Youth interested in participating in the event must register online by January 11 by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6MBTT89.

About My Brother’s Keeper | MPLS:

In 2014, I  joined Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in accepting President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge. My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is an ambitious initiative to fully include boys and young men of color in our cities’ success and in America’s promise. Its six goals are that every boy and young man of color be ready for kindergarten, read by third grade, graduate from high school, complete postsecondary education, be fully and productively employed, and live free from violence.

President Obama first announced this initiative in February 2014.

Snow Emergency Information

Help spread the word about Minneapolis’ Snow Emergency
Help your friends and neighbors avoid a ticket and tow

snowemergencyMinneapolis has declared a Snow Emergency beginning today, December 11, 2016. City crews have been plowing and treating streets to keep them drivable. Now that a Snow Emergency is declared, parking restrictions will take effect beginning at 9 p.m., tonight (Sunday), so crews can plow more than 1,000 miles of streets from curb to curb. That’s the equivalent of 3,200 “lane miles” of streets that need to be plowed—enough to plow a lane from Minneapolis to Anchorage, Alaska.

When a Snow Emergency is declared, parking rules go into effect so plows can clear the streets and fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and other vehicles can get around. In order for crews to plow streets completely, vehicles must be moved out of the way. It’s in everyone’s best interest to follow the parking rules so plows can do the best job possible, and folks can avoid a ticket and tow.

Snow Emergency parking rules

Tonight, Dec. 11, 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. (Day 1)
Do not park on EITHER side of a Snow Emergency route until 8 a.m., or the street is fully plowed.

Monday, Dec. 12, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Day 2)
Do not park on the EVEN side of a non-Snow Emergency route until 8 p.m., or until that side of the street is fully plowed, or on EITHER side of a parkway until 8 p.m. or until the parkway is fully plowed.

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Day 3)
Do not park on the ODD side of a non-Snow Emergency route until 8 p.m., or until that side of the street is fully plowed.

How to get Minneapolis Snow Emergency information

Residents, workers and visitors have a number of ways to learn when Snow Emergencies are declared and what to do when they are. People should put many of these tools to use, not just one or two. The more ways people use to learn about a Snow Emergency, the more prepared they will be to do their part, and the less likely they will be to be towed.

Hotline – By calling the automated 612-348-SNOW hotline, folks can find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared. The hotline will include the most current information regarding parking rules. The hotline includes information in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

The City’s website – Go to www.minneapolismn.gov/snow to find out whether a Snow Emergency has been declared and for a wealth of information on Snow Emergencies in many languages. Also, check out the street lookup, which lets you put in an address or a neighborhood to see where you can park during a Snow Emergency.

Phone alerts – Minneapolis uses a high-speed voice messaging system to alert residents when Snow Emergencies are declared. People can add cellphone numbers or any other phone number to this call list by signing up on the City’s website.

Email alerts – People can sign up to get automatic Snow Emergency email alerts.

Mobile app – The City’s smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android devices, contains detailed, timely and useful information including if a Snow Emergency has been declared. It also allows you to sign up for email and text alerts and features a quick call button that connects you to the Minneapolis Snow Emergency hotline. The app does not send push notifications, so when the snow flies, you will need to open the app to find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared.

The news media – News releases are sent to the news media so TV, radio stations and other news outlets can inform their viewers and listeners that a Snow Emergency is in effect.

Cable TV – Tune in to City cable channels (Comcast channels 14, 799, 859; CenturyLink channels 14, 8001, 8501, 8002, 8502). These channels will have information in several languages when a Snow Emergency is declared.

Facebook  Like Minneapolis Snow Emergency on Facebook.

Twitter – If you have a Twitter account, just follow Minneapolis Snow Emergency on Twitter. Both the Twitter and Facebook pages will tell fans and followers when a Snow Emergency is declared.

Digital billboards – Clear Channel Outdoor billboards in Minneapolis will display a message to inform the public when a Snow Emergency is declared.

Video – This video explains Snow Emergency parking rules: Minneapolis Snow Emergency Parking Rules (English)

Information in languages other than English – Snow Emergency information is available on the Web in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Oromo and Vietnamese. If you know someone who speaks one of these languages, please share the following videos and web links with them.

            Español www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/español (website link for information in Spanish)
Reglas de Estacionamiento de las Emergencias por Nevada (Spanish Snow Emergency Park Rules video)
Averigüe dónde estacionar su carro cuando se ha declarado una Emergencia por Nevada para evitar una multa y remolque.

            Somaaliga www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/somaaliga (website link for information in Somali)

                                    Xanibaada Goobaha Baabuurta La Dhigto Xilliga Gurmadka Barafka(Somali Snow Emergency Parking Rules video)
Hel meel aad baabuurka dhigato marka lagu dhawaaqo gurmad barafka looga xaaqayo wadooyinka si aan gaariga lagaaga jiidin laguuna ganaaxin.

            Hmoob www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/hmoob/  (website link for information in Hmong)

                                                Kev Cai Li Choj Txog Kev Kub Ceev thaum Daus Tau Lo (Hmong Snow Emergency Parking Rules video)
Thaum muaj daus tau lo, lub nroog yuav tsum tau kaus kev. Pej xeem yuav tsum tau tshem lawv lub tsheb, lub nroog thiaj li kaus tau kev du lug.

            Oromo www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/oromo (website link for information in Oromo)

            Vietnamese www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/vietnamese (website link for information in Vietnamese)

Snow Emergencies are declared whenever there’s enough snowfall to warrant a complete plowing of city streets. To get that done, people need to follow the parking rules and move their vehicles so crews can plow full width. When the snow flies, City Public Works crews have enormous jobs to do, with more than 1,500 miles of streets, parkways and alleys that need to be cleared. It’s important for drivers to follow the Snow Emergency parking rules so plows can do the best job possible clearing snow. Vehicles parked on the street in violation of Snow Emergency rules can be ticketed or towed.

Snow Emergencies are not ways to generate revenue for the City. Towing and impounding vehicles is time consuming and expensive, and it makes plowing inefficient. It’s in everyone’s interest to help drivers follow the parking rules.

More information: www.minneapolismn.gov/snow

Remember to shovel sidewalks and shovel around your garbage carts

Sidewalks are a critical part of our city’s transportation system, and they should be open for everyone. That’s why Minneapolis ordinance requires property owners to clear sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowfall for houses and duplexes and four daytime hours for apartment and commercial buildings. Failure to shovel your walk could lead to a ticket plus the cost of crews shoveling it.

There may be resources for people who need help clearing their sidewalks. Call 311 for a list of available resources.

A Balanced Approach: 2017 Budget Adopted By City Council


The Minneapolis City Council this evening approved my proposed 2017 budget for the City of Minneapolis that makes significant, intentional investments in improving public safety and public trust, enhancing Minneapolis streets and parks, managing Minneapolis’ strong growth, racial equity, and good government.

Through balancing innovative investments in community policing and community-based safety strategies, we have changed the center of gravity on how we think about public safety in Minneapolis. In the 21st-century, safety and trust are inextricably intertwined.

We are going to need to come together and work with community to think about how to keep our communities safe for the next four years. Tonight, we chose to make increased investments in partnerships with community that will build public safety, and increased investments in the Police Department that will build public trust. We will need those resources in the years ahead.

Highlights of the adopted 2017 budget include:

  • $1,305,000 for fifteen new sworn Minneapolis Police officers: 12 for community policing, and three for a police/mental health co-responder pilot program.
  • More than $1 million for community-based strategies to improve public safety.
  • More than $1 million annually for a new, ongoing Community Service Officer class to build more capacity for a proven, effective pathway into the police department for people of color.
  • $400,000 for five additional full-time sworn firefighters, which will allow the Minneapolis Fire Department to better serve residents and reduce overtime dollars.
  • A total of $14.5 million in affordable housing development, including a Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing strategy, the Family Housing Initiative, and additions to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Budgets are always an exercise in balance, and this budget is no exception: I am proud of the balance that we have struck between providing basic services and responding to the changing needs of our city and the people we serve. I thank my colleagues on the City Council for their close and thoughtful consideration of this budget. I look forward to the results that it will bring for the people and businesses of Minneapolis.

A Responsible, Balanced Tax Levy

The  recommended property-tax levy, which the City Council also adopted, provides the resources to ensure that the City runs well, makes critical investments, and begin to implement the landmark, 20-year agreement to fund the infrastructure and operations of neighborhood parks and City streets.

In addition, the levy ensures that the City is positioned to respond to the uncertainties of the statewide and national political climate in the coming year.

2017 Budget Investments

Public Safety and Public Trust

  • $1,305,000 for fifteen new sworn Minneapolis Police officers: 12 for community policing, and three for a police/mental health co-responder pilot program.
  • Nearly $1 million for community-based strategies to improve public safety, including:
    • $500,000 for collaborative, community-driven, public-safety strategies in two locations with high levels of youth violence: West Broadway between Lyndale and Girard, and Little Earth. This innovative initiative will provide technical and financial resources for residents and business owners of these areas, and the community-based organizations that serve them, to decide for themselves what downstream public-safety interventions would best improve public safety there.
    • An additional $100,000 for similar strategies in the neighborhoods of Ventura Village and Phillips West.
    • $290,000 for a Group Violence Intervention strategy, a collaboration among the Health Department, MPD, and the community that offers support and resources to offenders who leave violence behind, and holds accountable those who do not. These resources are in addition to a $250,000 federal grant to implement Group Violence Intervention.
    • $62,000 to enhance the hospital-based intervention strategy to reduce gun violence.
    • $200,000 for mental health co-responders to be paired with sworn officers in the co-responder pilot program. This is community-based public-safety initiative is often requested by community members, and is a recommendation of the City’s Police Conduct Oversight Commission.
  • More than $1 million annually for a new, ongoing Community Service Officer class to build in more capacity for a proven, effective pathway for people of color to become sworn police officers.
  • Ongoing resources to manage and operate the Minneapolis Police Department body-worn camera program.
  • An additional position in the Department of Civil Rights to investigate complaints of discrimination and hate crimes, which are already on the rise.
  • $400,000 for five additional full-time sworn firefighters, which will allow the Minneapolis Fire Department to better serve residents and reduce overtime dollars.
  • An additional civilian case investigator at the Office of Police Conduct Review, and improvements to the process of filing misconduct cases.


  • Advancing the Mayor’s “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign to close the word gap and prepare our children for success.
  • New investments in the work of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
  • Supporting the annual Trans* Equity Summit and working to provide access to gender-neutral bathrooms in public buildings.
  • Investing in Somali youth programs and engaging East African people with disabilities.
  • Implicit-bias training for all City of Minneapolis staff.

Managing Growth

  • A total of $14.5 million in affordable housing development, including a Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing strategy, the Family Housing Initiative, and additions to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
  • Funding for traffic control agents to ease the transition to modernized downtown streets and manage upcoming events.
  • A lead appraiser in the City Assessor’s office to capture fairly the financial benefits of our growing city.

A “Get to Yes” City

  • A team of who will help small businesses succeed, and will lead a customer-service focus at the City that helps anyone who wants to invest in Minneapolis “get to yes.”

Good Government

  • City staff improvements, including a customer service representative in Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, a records specialist in the City Clerk’s office, and an additional auditor in the City Auditor’s office.
  • Investing in outreach and education on Earned Sick and Safe Time, and renewing the Green Business Cost Sharing program.
  • New training for city employees, including training and licensure in the City Assessor’s office, training for our improved 911 call system, and information governance training across the city enterprise.
  • Creating new pathways into City careers to attract and develop new talent.
  • Sustainability work, including accepting grant funding from the Rockefeller Foundation for a Chief Resilience Officer, continuing funding for the successful Clean Energy Partnership, and implementing the commercial building efficiency component of the city’s Climate Action Plan.

Don’t Miss Holidazzle 2016: Now Through December 23


Holidazzle has returned to Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis for a second straight holiday season. The free event will run Thursdays through Sundays 5-9 p.m. from now until Friday, Dec. 23. As downtown Minneapolis’ premier holiday celebration, Holidazzle has food, drinks, merchandise, activities, entertainment and other things that will help get you in the holiday spirit.

Some features at this year’s Holidazzle:

  • Fireworks: There are fireworks displays at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 17 and Dec. 23.
  • Santa: Visitors can meet and take photos with Santa Claus.
  • Movie nights:
    • Dec. 4: A Christmas Story
    • Dec. 8: Elf
    • Dec. 11: Happy Feet
    • Dec. 15: Serendipity
    • Dec. 18: Frozen
    • Dec. 22: Ice Age
    • Dec. 23: A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Free skating: The Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate is open seven days a week, plus during all Holidazzle hours and includes the Warming House courtesy of CenterPoint Energy. Bring your own skates or use a complimentary pair available in the warming house.
  • Kids zone: New this year, Holidazzle has a kids zone with activities that offer creative opportunities that let children build, navigate a haybale maze, participate in yard games and more.
  • Local musical performances: Musical performances from local groups and community bands/choirs will provide entertainment throughout this year’s Holidazzle.
  • Bonfires and warming houses: Outdoor bonfires scattered throughout the area as well as multiple warming houses will help keep visitors warm.

More information is available at holidazzle.com.


Letter to President Obama Regarding Standing Rock

December 3, 2016

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear President Obama,

I am writing at a time of great uncertainty and unease in our nation, and with a deep appreciation of the many ways in which you and your Administration are responding to this difficult moment.  At the same time, I respectfully request your renewed attention to the many pressing issues surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline. I am honored to write as Mayor of Minneapolis, a city blessed with the densest urban American Indian community in our country, as well as with non-Native residents who care deeply about the rights and safety of their Native brothers and sisters.

I appreciated the announcement of the Army Corps of Engineers on November 14, 2016 that more study and consultation is needed before granting an easement, and that that consultation would include the possibility of rerouting the pipeline to reduce the risk of an oil spill that would endanger the Standing Rock Sioux’s vital water supply. However, in the few weeks since then, the situation at Standing Rock and at camp Oceti Sakowin has become even more urgent. The North Dakota winter is now firmly settling in, and confrontations between water protectors and local authorities have escalated to the point that human life is threatened.

Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico sent you a letter on November 30, 2016, a copy of which I have enclosed, that well expresses concerns about the Dakota Access Pipeline that I share. I respectfully echo his requests that you consider all options in responding to the Standing Rock Sioux’s two-year public record of opposing the pipeline, including rerouting it; that the Department of Justice respond to the Tribe’s request to investigate potential civil rights violations; and that the Administration coordinate with all authorities, including Tribal, to ensure the health of safety of law enforcement and water protectors, particularly in the current context of worsening weather and escalation of violence.

Moreover, I have grave concerns about actions that may be taken by the President-elect, who has already stated that the pipeline should and will be built. I am concerned about the harmful effect decisions of his administration may have on the safety of both the authorities and the water protectors. In this pressing context, the residents of Minneapolis and I would greatly appreciate any clear communication you or you Administration can make in the next few weeks about steps you are taking to address the Standing Rock Sioux’s concerns.

Mr. President, I write in deep appreciation of the many ways that you have delivered on your promises to honor our country’s commitment to American Indian nations and communities, and to correct many historical wrongs. No president in memory has done more to partner fully with American Indians as equal, sovereign people. It has been a hallmark of your Administration for which you will be long remembered in Minneapolis, across the country, and around the world.

It has been an honor for the residents of Minneapolis and me to partner closely with your Administration over the last eight years, including the three in which I have served as Mayor. We are a stronger, more prosperous, and more equitable city because of it. You have my most profound thanks, and a continued pledge of my full cooperation as we work together over the next several weeks and beyond, including on a positive resolution of the conflict at Standing Rock.


Mayor Betsy Hodges
City of Minneapolis

NOTE: A PDF version of the letter is available here.

Interview with Rachel Maddow Regarding Trump’s Scapegoat Politics

Last night I joined Rachel Maddow for a live interview regarding President-elect Trump’s threats to cut federal funding to Minneapolis and other cities that are putting public safety before politics.

As I told Rachel, any loss of federal funding could have significant impacts on services for our residents. But the stakes are higher than just money. Public safety and the very foundation of our democracy are at stake. If we sacrifice those principles, if we sacrifice our public safety for the sake of those dollars, we’ve got a lot bigger problems.

I don’t use the term “sanctuary city” because I don’t want to give people the impression that we have more levers than we do at our disposal. But what I do say, and it is important to continue to make clear, is that our police officers are not going to enforce federal immigration law. It’s not their job and it undercuts the primary purpose of their job, which is public safety.

When our police officers don’t ask people about their immigration status, they’re not breaking any laws, they’re doing their job. They are making sure we are keeping Minneapolis as safe as we can.




Click here for the full interview.

Read my previous statement of last Saturday regarding this issue here.

On President-elect Trump, Public Safety and Minneapolis’ Immigrant Community

I will continue to stand by immigrants in Minneapolis. For years, Minneapolis has codified in ordinance that our police officers will not do the work of the Federal government and ICE regarding immigration status. If police officers were to do the work of ICE it would harm our ability to keep people safe and solve crimes. Witnesses and victims of crimes won’t come forward if they think our police officers will question or detain them about their immigration status. Our ordinance has helped us solve crime and keep communities safer. If our police were doing the work of ICE, Minneapolis would be less safe for everyone, regardless of immigration status.

In his quest to scapegoat immigrants, Donald Trump has threatened cities’ Federal funding if we do not change this practice. I repeat: I will continue to stand by and fight for immigrants in Minneapolis regardless of President-elect Trump’s threats. I will not compromise the public safety of the people of Minneapolis to satisfy Trump’s desire to put politics before public safety. If Congress follows through on President-elect Trump’s threat to cities, they will have our hardworking officers bear the brunt of their own obstructionism.  The complete failure of President-elect Trump’s allies in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform should not be borne by our local police officers who already have a tough job to do.

Minneapolis is being built and strengthened by people from all over the world and I am grateful for their commitment to our city. I stand with them today and will continue to take that stand as the President-elect prepares to take office.”

The Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Title 2, Chapter 19 states:
Public safety officials shall not undertake any law enforcement action for the purpose of detecting the presence of undocumented persons, or to verify immigration status, including but not limited to questioning any person or persons about their immigration status.”

Statement Regarding Donald Trump’s Comments Directed at Minnesota’s Immigrant Communities

Earlier this evening, I posted the following statement on Facebook:

Donald Trump, you need to know a few things about Minnesota that your ignorant tirade in Minnesota today revealed you do not know and I fear you are incapable of understanding:

1) You say “don’t let them roam our communities” like you have already created the fascist state you are hoping to turn this country into. This is America, Donald, and the Somali people of Minnesota and Minneapolis are not *roaming* our communities, they are *building* them.

2) Minnesota has problems, that’s for sure. All states do. There is poverty, and violence, and despair, and those have consequences – in every group, in every community, including the people you addressed today. But we aren’t like you, Donald. In Minnesota we respond to those challenges with kindness, not hate; by pulling together more rather than less; by appreciating one another more rather than less; and by working harder, not by giving up on one another. Everything you’ve done in your life – from your business practices to your sexual assaults to your Islamophobia to your constant blaming of others for the problems you’ve created yourself – betrays your ignorance of those values. But they are Minnesota values and we will vote them on Tuesday.

3) Minneapolis is a better, stronger place for having our Somali and East African immigrants and refugees in it. It is a privilege and an honor to be mayor of the city with the largest Somali population in this country. Your ignorance, your hate, your fear just make me remember how lucky we are to have neighbors who are so great.

4) You did get one thing right today, though. “Four years, you can forget it,” you said. Indeed. You can forget it.

Body-Worn Cameras Fully Implemented Across Minneapolis


This is big news for Minneapolis and the MPD.

Each of the patrol officers who respond to 911 calls is now wearing a body-worn camera.

At the end of October, the Minneapolis Police Department completed the implementation of Officer-worn body cameras in each of the City’s five police precincts. This completes the roll out process of the body cameras which began in July. We are marking this achievement here at 5th precinct headquarters, the last of the precincts to implement the roll out.

The conclusion of this phase of the body cam’s implementation comes after several years of study, community discussions, input and feedback. The program has been a priority for Chief Harteau since she became Chief in 2012 and has been a priority of mine since before I took office as Mayor.

And it has been a priority for the community as well. Residents and community leaders have repeatedly asked for body cameras in order to preserve video evidence of interactions between residents and police officers.

My 2017 budget, outlined in August and currently being considered by the City Council, calls for an additional $325,000 to continue to support the use of body camera technology. This is the third year of such an investment in the program.

These are challenging times across the country for police departments, the communities they serve, particularly communities of color.

While not the only tool, body cams can provide a tangible path towards transforming the relationship between police and community for the better. As I have noted previously when talking about all of the levers we are pulling to ensure greater transparency, accountability and the safety of the public overall, each lever we pull gets us closer to building trust between the police department and all of our communities. Body cams are an important tool for improving police-community relationships.

Chief Harteau and her team have worked hard throughout the process, and through that leadership and dedication the Minneapolis Police Department continues to lead nationally in 21st-century policing.

The implementation of body cameras has already proven successful. And a large part of that success is due to the engagement with the community, as the Police Department has met with stakeholders in neighborhoods throughout the city to explain the policy and demonstrate how body cameras work. I’m grateful to all those who have been part of that conversation.

I also want to express my appreciation to everyone involved in making this announcement a reality, including all of the officers involved in the body camera pilot program, the Department of Justice for their support and funding, and all those who have provided feedback and input along the way.