Many filed in on the morning of Thursday Feb. 16 where students and faculty alike listened to an important message on civic engagement.
Everyone focused diligently as the political history of our local Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was told in detail. Her message was not focused on herself, but on what we, as a community, can do to get involved and engaged.
Hodges told the story of how she first got involved in her community at age 21, not as a politician, but as a concerned community member during the HIV/AIDS crisis by calling many local citizens to help women with HIV. With her driven community work she was able to get the Women’s Health Project off the ground in New Mexico, which focuses on education and services for women with HIV. The program still exists today.
“I offer you this story not to point out that I’m something special, but to point out that I’m not,” said Hodges.
She believes that much of this progress lies in developing communities, not just in our local representatives and politicians.
Hodges also spoke on how she was very interested in community in her college years as a sociology major, and how she took a hesitant leap into her political career. Working on many campaigns and volunteering for local organizations, she met many local community developers. One of those developers was Senator Scott Dibble, who asked her to run for office.
“Women often need to be asked to run for office,” said Hodges, also saying most should run for office in general. “I recommend all of you run for office if you’re asked.”
Hodges mentioned how she is improving Minneapolis and the community, helping children development, a parks and streets deal to ensure our parks, streets to be maintained, and how we’re opening our arms to the X Games, the 2018 Superbowl, and the NCAA Final Four.
With a small portion talking on Trump’s administration, and their standpoint on immigration, Hodges said that she would stand for immigrants, and build community to stand with immigrants in solidarity.
“We value, honor and cherish our immigrant neighbors, brothers and sisters, and people who live with us and around us,” said Hodges. “To have President Trump trying to come in and insert himself and punish cities who want to keep people safe is ridiculous and I think immoral, and I also think its unconstitutional”